Benefits of Healthy Sleep

What constitutes healthy sleep? The amount of sleep you get is extremely important. But the type of sleep you get also determines how well-rested you’ll be when you awake.

Why you need good sleep

You need good sleep so that you can function well – both mentally and physically – during your waking hours. Good sleep can enable you to work productively, make sound judgments, avoid harm, and interact with other people effectively.

Sleep also helps us in less visible ways. During sleep, the body secretes a hormone that repairs and regenerates tissue throughout the body. Sleep may also be instrumental in reinforcing our memories and, some experts believe, essential to processing complex emotions.

Your personal sleep needs

Different people require different amounts of sleep. The vast majority of us need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Some people need more than nine hours, and that’s perfectly normal for them. Some others can sleep less and wake up completely refreshed.

How to know if you’re getting enough sleep

You should sleep uninterrupted. When you wake up, you should feel well-rested and ready to go. Most importantly, you should generally have no sleepiness during the day, even when involved in boring or mundane activities.

If you’re feeling drowsy during the day, you may not have gotten enough quality sleep.

The types of sleep you need

In healthy sleep, we experience different kinds of sleep and – just as important – we experience them in a particular sequence of stages.

There are two primary sleep stages

  1. Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) accounts for longer periods of sleep during which our brain activity and bodily functions slow down. Rapid-eye movement (REM) happens in brief spurts of increased activity in the brain and body. REM is considered the dreaming stage of sleep.
  2. Healthy sleep is characterized by a specific “sleep architecture,” or sequence of stages. The sleep cycle usually begins with a period of about 80 minutes of NREM sleep followed by about 10 minutes of REM sleep. This 90-minute cycle is repeated four to six times each night. If the sequence is interrupted (for example, by external noise or a sleep disorder), the quality of our sleep suffers.

How sleep loss affects you

You know firsthand that sleep loss is not just a “nighttime” problem. Its impact can extend far into the day, limiting how well you can function physically and mentally. The table below lists just a few ways that a sleep deficit becomes a “daytime deficit.”

And while there is clearly no substitute for a good night’s sleep, there are ways to increase your chances of staying alert on the job and behind the wheel. It’s also helpful to know how (and how long) to nap.

How sleep loss affects you

You know firsthand that sleep loss is not just a “nighttime” problem. Its impact can extend far into the day, limiting how well you can function physically and mentally. The table below lists just a few ways that a sleep deficit becomes a “daytime deficit.”

And while there is clearly no substitute for a good night’s sleep, there are ways to increase your chances of staying alert on the job and behind the wheel. It’s also helpful to know how (and how long) to nap.

How sleeplessness affects…

  • YOUR HEALTH: Increased risks for depression
  • YOUR WORK: More likelihood of work errors, impaired concentration, slowed reaction time and poorer work performance
  • YOUR RELATIONSHIPS: Impatience; being cranky or irritable
  • YOUR SAFETY: Higher incidence of workplace accidents, traffic accidents and microsleeps

Above information seen on www.shuteye.com; Sanofi-Synthelabo, Inc.

This website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Advanced Comfort is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this website. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.