It is said that sleep is the best source of energy and relaxation. Have you ever wondered what happens to your body and mind after you fall asleep? Be sure, sleeping is a pretty complicated process. In the following paragraphs, we will cover some basics of sleeping. We will talk about effects of sleep on your body and importance of having a comfortable sleeping place with quality pillows, proper mattress and ability to control the amount of light entering your room.
Basically sleep consists of REM and non-REM phases. During REM phase your brain is more active, you can have many dreams. REM is characterized by rapid eye movement – hence the name REM. On the other hand non-REM phase is where your deep sleep happens.
Non-REM phase has three steps:
- This step lasts 5-10 minutes. It is the shallowest step of the non-REM phase.
- Here, you are preparing for deep sleep: frequency of your heart is decreased and temperature of your body falls.
- This is the deepest step of the non-REM phase. Here, it is difficult to wake you up.
In non-REM phase, your body repairs and immune system is regenerated. Each step lasts approximately 10-15 minutes. Our sleep starts with a non-REM phase that follows by a REM phase. After that another non-REM phase follows and so on.
How sleep affects your body
While you are sleeping your organism recovers its lost energy, your body pulse is lowered along with your blood pressure. The organism’s natural detoxing process is activated and your body prepares for a new day’s tasks. There are certain toxic proteins accumulating in brain while being awake! These proteins are flushed away while sleeping so that you can feel refreshed and alert again. Moreover, sleep is such a pleasure! Just remember how refreshing and renewing sleep can be.
How much should I sleep?
The number of hours a person needs to benefit from his/ her sleep is more or less individual. Most people ignore their organism‘s exhaustion signals. They try to substitute sleep deficiency by taking energy supplements. However, these sources of energy are insufficient and even lead to more exhaustion. Therefore, never ignore the signals your body is giving you!
Benefit from taking a nap
Nowadays, taking a nap after lunch is highly recommended. Especially, if you happen to eat junk food more often. In case you’ve eaten something unhealthy, all your energy centers around the digestion process instead of your activity performance. For this reason, your mental activity is reduced. You should take a nap!
Half an hour is enough to regain the lost energy. But bear in mind not to sleep more than recommended. Otherwise you will wake up more tired than before. A half an hour rest shortens your average sleep needs by 2 hours. According to NASA, short sleep immensely shortens the reaction period and thus reduces the
risk of accidents by about 33%.
Increase your productivity by having more sleep
Sleep considerably improves creativity and overall mind performance. Nowadays, it is not important how many hours a person works, but how efficient this person is while working. Quality before quantity!
Among strong supporters of short sleep were some famous personalities such as: Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Konrád Adenauer.
Invest into comfortable sleeping place, it pays out
Not all beds are created equal. You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning feeling like run over by a truck, right? It all comes down to sleeping phases and your sleeping mattress. You should invest into high quality mattress that suits your sleeping style to always feel comfortable and well rested after you wake up.
Mattresses come in various degrees of hardness from soft to very hard and various composition like spring, latex, multiple layers of latex with different properties and memory layers. As a rule of thumb, you should pick the hardness depending on your typical sleep position and how comfortable you feel.
People sleeping on their backs should opt for harder mattresses, while those sleeping on their sides should pick somewhat softer alternatives, this choice allows proper accommodation to the shape of body and provides evenly distributed support.
In addition to having high quality and comfortable mattress, it pays out to have stable bed with strong enough construction to support you. It’s worth considering a massive wood bed or even continental style beds – these have multiple layers of spring mattresses, typically topped with a high quality mattress from natural materials. Continental beds often utilize horse mane that is very high quality natural material, superior to synthetic fibers.
And then come pillows and duvet, we highly recommend to choose comfortable pillows from high quality, preferably natural materials like feathers. If you for any reason have problem with feathers, then choose high quality cotton pillows and duvet. Cover these with cotton or silk pillowcases. Such pillowcase will reduce the probability of any skin infection or other problems by ensuring good ventilation and absorption.
Sheet is also important, it’s good to choose high quality material that feels comfortable on your skin, cotton is common and natural choice when choosing an affordable high quality sheets. Microfiber tends to be a common alternative to cotton.
You also need to think about light conditions when building your ideal bedroom. It’s good to have control over the amount of light that enters your room from the outside. We think it’s almost essential to have window blinds mounted, it also pays to add some nice curtains or draperies to have additional control over the light conditions and visuals of your room.
Get the best alarm to wake you up
Waking up too early or too late can both be a problem as you may be taken out of sleep during a deep sleep phase when your brain and body is running through their important sleeping duties. This is a typical problem you have with ordinary alarm clock. Thankfully, our modern times bring solution to this problem by introducing smart alarms.
Such smart alarm estimates your current sleep phase by measuring pulse and other activity like tossing, it will only wake you up when it thinks you are in shallow sleep ( almost awake ).
You just set a time when you must be awake – it will wake you up at this time latest, but may do it somewhat earlier when it thinks you are in the proper phase to wake up. Just give it a try! Some of the smart, sleeping phase alarms you can try are listed below.
We wish you many hours of restful sleep and productive days!