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The problem of sleep is one that many encounter. While I find myself restful most days, there are times when I am utterly lethargic, which is a major problem if I have to get to work on time. Commuting in traffic while slipping into sleep is a major problem in the United States. “The Basics of Sleep” infographic by Tasty Placement shows that each year, one million road accidents are caused by drowsy drivers. I’m sure that numbers for texting while driving are higher, but to be asleep behind the wheel is just as bad if not worse.
My father always told me that going to bed was a rhythm. It started when I was younger. We designated a time for bed that seemed to get later and later with each birthday by about 15 minutes. Basically, we stuck to this schedule every day. We went for a walk with the dog after dinner, nothing to stressful but something to walk off mom’s cheesy lasagna casserole. Then, I’d take a hot bath and read a book. The television was turned off after 9:00 on most nights. Strangely enough, my parents were doing something right, as “The Basics of Sleep” outlines something very similar for a good “sleep hygiene.” Basically, you should relax before bed, such as through taking a therapeutic bath or meditation, and you should stick to a schedule.
I think that starting a sleep schedule early really helped me to get all the rest I need before work. However, on those occasions when I can’t get work off my mind or something just doesn’t feel right, “The Basics of Sleep” has some ideas that can help. For example, if you’ve been lying in bed for 20 minutes or more without falling asleep, it’s time to get up and do something relaxing like read a book or write a letter to someone special not on Facebook.
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Off to Bed but Not to Sleep: Why You’re Still Awake
The Basics of Sleep
Sleep was long considered just a block of time when your brain and body shut down. Thanks to sleep research studies done over the past several decades, it is now known that sleep has distinct stages that cycle throughout the night in predictable patterns.
Your brain and body functions stay active throughout sleep, but different things happen during each stage. For instance, certain stages of sleep are needed for us to feel well reseted and energetic the next day, and other stages help us learn or make memories.
Phases of Sleep
During sleep, we usually pass through five phases of sleep: NREM (Non-rapid eye movements) stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Sleep begins in stage 1 and progress into stage 2, 3, and 4. After stage 4 sleep, stage 3 and stage 2 sleep are repeated before entering REM sleep. Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2 sleep. Sleep cycles through these stages approximately four or five times throughout the night.
|Stages||Duration||EEG Waveforms||Brain Activity|
|R.E.M.||Increases with each cycle. 10-25% of the total sleep time spent in the R.E.M. phase.||–||Eye movement, increased respiration rate and brain activity. Voluntary muscle paralysis. Dreaming.|
|Stage 1||~5-10mins per cycle.||–||Transition from being awake to light sleep. The brain produces high amplitude theta waves.|
|Stage 2||~20mins per cycle.||–||Light sleep. The brain begins to produce sleep spindles. Body temperature decreases and heart rate slows.|
|Stage 3||Transitional phase.||–||Transition phase from light to heavy sleep. Deep, slow brain waves (delta waves) begin to emerge.|
|Stage 4||~30mins per cycle.||–||Deep sleep also known as delta sleep. Bed-wetting or sleepwalking may occur in this phase.|
Facts & Figures
Many of us due to poor sleep hygiene have inadequate sleep at night and the next day we wake up feeling tired. The result is due to waking up in the wrong phase.
Some 100 million (1 in 3) people in the United States have a sleep problem.
Total US population: 307 million
Number of People (millions) – Sleep Conditions
10.2 million people – Restless Legs Syndrome
15.5 million people – Sleep Apnea
30 million people – Intermittent Sleep Disorder
40 million people – Chronic Sleep Disorder
Each Year, Drowsy-Driving is the cause of:
One Million, or 17% or Road Accidents
(Total US road accidents per year = 6,000,000.)
Seventy one thousand or 3% of all injuries.
(Total US crash related injuries per year = 2,000,000.)
Over fifteen hundred or 5% of the total deaths.
(Total US crash related deaths per year = 31,000.)
And an annual healthcare cost of sixteen billion dollars. ($16b)
If you are having trouble sleeping, this is a list of things you should try to improve your sleep hygiene and the quality of your sleep.
- Stick to a sleep schedule always even on weekends.
- Exercise is great, but not too late in the day.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
- Avoid large meals and beverages late at night before going to bed.
- Don’t take naps after 3 p.m. Keep power naps less than 1 hour.
- Relax before bed.
- Take a hot bath before bed.
- Have a good sleeping environment. Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep.
- Have the right sunlight exposure.
- Don’t lie in bed awake. If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than 20min, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.
- Adopt Good Sleeping Postures.
- See a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.
Like eating week and being physically active, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to your physical and mental wellbeing. A lack of good sleep can affect your mood, mental alertness, and also your energy levels. It may cause or worse a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, stroke, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Monitor your daily sleep and wake times, to track how much sleep you are getting.
This infographic is presented by TastyPlacement, Inc. To read more articles on SEO and social media marketing, click here.