It is very interesting if you think about it. When you are a baby, you spend a lot of your day sleeping. By the time you become a teenager, you fight for your right to stay up late. When you attend a college or a university, you often spend many sleepless nights studying at the last-minute for an exam. But when you become an adult, you often find that you run out of time and you do not get the amount of sleep that you need.
Why do adults seem to not get the required amount of hours of sleep every night? Most people are deprived on sleep because they do not understand how important quality sleep is to their well-being. The sleep that you do receive should be deep restful sleep that lasts for an adequate amount of time. If you do not have a long and restful sleep, your body will not effectively go through all of the stages of sleep.
The Different Sleep Stages
When a person is having a restful sleep, they usually go through three or four different stages in their sleep cycle. The first stage is when a person is considered drowsy. In this stage, the body slowly begins to unwind from the busyness of the day, and a person is still aware of what is going on around them, and they can be awakened easily if necessary. Sometimes a person’s mind will become flooded with new ideas and thoughts.
The first stage usually lasts no more than ten minutes. The second stage is a slightly deeper stage of sleep. This is the stage when you are no longer aware of what is going on around you. This is when the body totally relaxes. It does not take long for the body to go from stage two to the third stage, but a normal sleep pattern will revert back to the second stage more than once during the night.
Stage 3 is the deepest of all levels of sleep. All of the body’s major functions decrease. Your body temperature drops, your blood pressure falls, your muscles become limp, your heart rate slows down, and you do not breathe as much. This decreased bodily activity allows more blood to travel throughout the body.
Can You Use a Sleep Aid?
You have seen the commercials of prescription and over the counter medicines that promise you a restful night’s sleep as soon as you swallow a pill, or drink some liquid. These sleep aids can be beneficial if you are having a few sleepless nights, but these medications should not be taken on a long term basis. If you are having problems falling asleep, you should speak to your physician.
How Can You Get a Better Night’s Sleep?
There are simple things that you can do so you can enjoy a better quality of sleep at night:
- Sleep in a dark room.
- Do not eat or drink before you go to bed.
- Do not listen to the radio, watch television, or use your computer an hour before you go to bed.
- Take a short nap during the day.
- Take a vacation if necessary.