How long do you usually sleep? When you were young, your parents used to make you go to bed early to get more sleep. However, at a certain point you started to say unconsciously, “I’m tired. I want to sleep more.” In modern life, people are running out of time doing their work so hard. They even make a judgment that the longer they sleep, the lazier they are. However, we need to sleep the right amount and properly. Sleep is worth more than you have thought.
Importance of Sleep
People usually relieve stress and fatigue through sleep. In particular, people can get the energy to be active by sleeping. Moreover, sleep is important in relation to health. Sleep has an influence on memory. While we are sleeping, our brains store information that we’ve learned all day long. Surprisingly, participants who sleep well do their work efficiently at a high speed, and sleep also protects the heart. When you sleep, the heart rate slows down and blood pressure is lowered. If you do not sleep, the heart works constantly and blood pressure rises gradually.
Stages of Sleep
Even when you lie down on the bed, you do not get to sleep right away. There are several stages in falling asleep. There are four stages of sleep. Stage one is the start of the sleep cycle. At this moment, high-amplitude theta waves, slow and relaxing brainwaves, appear from the brain. At stage two, the heart rate slows and the body temperature decreases. People in this stage become less responsive. Stage three and four are deep sleep stages. In these periods, delta waves emerge. Delta waves are the deepest type of waves. People who are sleeping deeply may feel disoriented if other persons arouse them from sleep.
Stages one, two, three and four are called Non-REM Sleep. There is also the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep stage. REM sleep is characterized by the eye movement. Usually, REM sleep occurs 90 minutes after the beginning of sleep. During REM sleep, the brain and other body systems become more active. In contrast, muscles become more relaxed. These diverse stages do not progress in sequence. Sleep starts at stage one and progresses toward stage two. Then, sleep progresses toward stages three and four. After the fourth stage, sleep again goes back to stages three and two. Next, you enter the REM sleep stage. These cycles repeat four or five times when you sleep.
Everyone Needs Enough Sleep!
Red eyes, dark circles under your eyes, dry skin, looking tired… If you see your friend like this, you will ask him or her, “Didn’t you sleep well last night?” Likewise, we know sleeping and our health has a big relation. We usually call it a sleep deficiency when people sleep less than they should be. Then how can you diagnose it? People who have a lack of sleep show common symptoms such as inability to handle stress, poor memory, decreased appetite, and mood swings.
According to BBC News, Korean students get the lowest sleeping hours of anywhere in the world. Not only for students but for most Koreans, it is a common phenomenon. Drinking too much coffee in the daytime and eating a lot right before going to bed distract you from falling asleep. It is getting worse since the smart phone has spread. The hormone that stimulates sleeping only releases when it is dark, but the smart phone is so much brighter.
However, some people cannot sleep because they have some illnesses. Some people cannot sleep and even if they fall asleep, they wake up several times. We call this insomnia, and people who have insomnia feel fatigue all the time. On the other hand, narcolepsy has totally opposite symptoms. Narcoleptics do not realize they are falling asleep in abnormal daytime hours. This is a very dangerous sleeping disorder. Imagine you are walking on a busy street. Suddenly you feel drowsy and fall asleep. It would be such a horrifying situation. In 2009 in South Korea, the Ministry of Health and Welfare chose it as an incurable disease. Obviously, sleeping well is a big blessing.
If you do not get enough sleep, it can lead you to serious illness such as heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. It can also distract you from concentrating and impair your judgment. Sleep loss increases hunger and lessens the appetite. William Shakespeare compared sleeping to Nature’s soft nurse. Maybe he already knew about the importance of sleep.
24 Hours Are NOT Enough
Nowadays, many people are having late nights because of their own reasons such as studying, working, or hanging out with friends. Dance clubs, singing rooms, PC rooms and billiard rooms are also famous places that are open day and night. For these reasons, people spend money even at night, so 24-hour stores are usual nowadays. Even cafés, markets, drug stores, and fast food restaurants, which were considered to open only in the daytime, have changed. University students often work overnight shifts to earn money at those places.
Jobs like parcel delivery have to work at night to satisfy customers. Public institutions such as fire stations, police offices, airports, and highway toll gate offices cannot shut down. Hospitals always have emergency rooms, so they have to be open for 24 hours a day. To maintain our society safely and nicely, someone has to wake up at night.
However, some people spend nights awake with some different reasons. Have you ever been to CBNU’s library during exam period? So many students stay awake studying for their tests. Outside the library, CBNU professors’ laboratories have the lights on even at night to complete their tasks. Those who work hard day and night are important resources for CBNU and for the nation.
Are you suffering from insomnia in summer?
Every summer, tropical nights irritate us. Then, what is a tropical night and its cause, exactly? A tropical night means that the lowest temperature is more than 25 degrees Celsius on a summer night. Originally, the heat was released into the air in the daytime. However, if it is very cloudy and humid, the earth cannot throw off a lot of heat. Consequently, the heat remains at the surface of the earth. Therefore, the temperature still rises in the night and we feel hot.
- Self-Diagnosis Of Insomnia In Summer-
1. In order to sleep, you usually spend more than 30 minutes awake after lying in bed.
2. Although you sleep more than 10 hours, you always feel very tired.
3. You are exhausted and cannot concentrate on work in the daytime.
4. You cannot sleep soundly more than three times a week.
5. While you are sleeping, you dream of complicated things. If you wake up at dawn, you cannot sleep anymore.
If you check more than three points, you should be concerned of insomnia.
-Let’s Overcome Insomnia By Answering General Ideas
Is a cool shower good to sleep by cooling you off?
No. It is just a temporary condition. Using warm water is rather helpful, because a cool shower wakes our sense organ up and makes us fully alert. Furthermore, using a cup of vinegar can be helpful to be relaxed and is good for fatigue. After taking a vinegar bath, don’t forget to wash your body with clean water one more time.
Is a sleeping pill good to sleep enough?
Sleeping pills can help a person who suffers from a little insomnia. However, if a person suffers from severe insomnia, it is not good to depend on sleeping pills. The pill exhausts us the next morning and we feel more fatigue. Instead of this, warm milk or tea is recommended.
Is a drink good to sleep soundly?
No. Some people drink a glass of beer late at night because they can’t fall asleep. However, then their stomachs start to work, and this wakes their bodies up. People may have feelings of falling asleep for a moment, but it will stimulate their hearts to beat faster soon.
Methods of Deep Sleep
Sleeping for many hours is not always wonderful. Tiredness in the day depends on how you slept. You are able to get a good night’s sleep by having good posture and good environment. Let’s see a set of tips for sleep.
Make your bedroom ‘right’ for sleeping
The environment of the bedroom is important for deep sleep. First, noises like clocks and cell phone alarms should be removed in the bedroom. The ideal bedroom temperature is between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. The proper humidity for a bedroom is 50%. Also, do you leave the light on after bed time? Bright light interferes with sleep, so when you sleep, dim illumination is good. If you sleep with the light on, despite having enough time for sleep, you’ll feel tired all day.
Regular exercise is great help for deep sleep. However, you should avoid severe exercise before bedtime because it disturbs deep sleep by changing your temperature. Light exercise like simple stretching and meditation is good for your sleep.
Correct bad habits
Smoking has a bad effect on deep sleep. Nicotine of cigarettes stimulates consciousness when you sleep. Also, when you drink coffee or eat sugar-rich foods before going to bed, you might have a really hard time falling asleep.
Avoid use of smart phones before bedtime.
Using smart phones in dimly lit rooms disturbs deep sleep. Due to the effect of smart phone light, your brain takes some time to sleep again. Light from electronic devices disturbs the secretion of melatonin, the sleep-promoting hormone, so it is good to avoid using electronic devices before bedtime.
Good bedding for deep sleep
A low pillow helps you to fall into deep sleep. Also, when you are in bed, it is good not to fold your neck. For example, 4-6 cm for adult males and 3-5 cm for women is the proper height of pillow. An uncomfortable pillow interferes with deep sleep. Use the proper pillow.
Foods for deep sleep
Drinking warm milk and eating banana, lotus root, and onion is good for stable sleep. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, so foods including a lot of tryptophan like milk, bananas and cheese help you sleep well. Lettuce, buckwheat, walnut, garlic, and jujube are also good for deep sleep. In particular, ingestion of garlic improves blood circulation and keeps you warm, so it eliminates fatigue contributing to insomnia.
Sadly, there are many people suffering from sleeping disorders in Korea. However, it is important for you to sleep soundly in order to have a heavenly morning. Deep sleep helps people to make the most of their abilities. Consequently, a good sleeping pattern can change your day and life. How about sleeping tonight by using these tips? Certainly, you can feel a better start to the day!