“If it is good to live it’s even better to dream and the best of all is to have the opportunity to wake up! ” Written by the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, he mentions that sleeping is an activity that we perform, but sometimes we ignore the health benefits provided by a good night’s rest.
Sleeping not only allows you to relax and regain energy, it also facilitates the regeneration of skin cells and the secretion of growth hormone.
The benefits of a good sleep are still being studied but we know for certain that lack of sleep can harm the immune and nervous systems, coordination, concentration, and of course mood.
The brain never sleeps. Although it seems that nothing is happening when you are asleep, your brain is in frantic activity. In fact, sleep specialists have detected several cyclical stages ranging from drowsiness, deep sleep, light sleep to deep sleep with slow waves and rapid eye movements (REM).
A full sleep cycle lasts between 90-110 minutes: almost 50% of the time is light sleep. Rapid eye movement (REM) begins and lasts for 20% of the sleep cycle with the remaining 30% distributed in the following stages:
- The phase of light sleep, the eyes move slowly and it is easy to wake up.
- When sleep is deep, muscle movement stops and the brainwaves are very slow, so it is difficult to wake up. A person during this stage is likely to feel disoriented and takes time to recover completely.
- During REM, breath quickens as well as heart activity and blood pressure. When this stage is interrupted, the cycle of sleep is broken and when woken up dreams are strange and illogical.
There are more than 70 sleep disorders
According to Dr. Pérez Padilla more than 70 types of sleeping disorders, most of which can be corrected if it is consulted with a doctor and followed with appropriate treatment.
The number of hours of sleep a person needs depends on several factors, such as age and gender. While a baby can sleep about 16 hours a day, teenagers require around 9 hours.
In the case of adults, it is usually needed between seven to eight hours, but this is relative because there are individuals who simply sleep 5 hours and others that that require 10 hours.
If a person has not slept enough hours for several days, the body creates a “sleep debt” and you will have to sleep more hours in the following days.