Sleep is an unconscious state of mind and body which is characterized by muscle relaxation and reduced perception of external stimuli.
It mainly consists of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) Sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep. Non-REM consists of Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3. Sleep begins with Stage 1 through REM where the body begins to relax and enter a restful state. Progressing to stage 2 which comprises to 50-60% of the total sleep time. The body enters deep sleep on entering stage 3 which is 10-15% of sleep time.
REM is popularly called dreaming stage in which eye movement is more rapid and brain waves are more active than stage 2 & 3.
It is a time duration during sleep in which there is a rhythmic movement from the deep sleep phase and REM sleep phases. It may vary from 90 to 120 minutes. A person needs 4 to 5 sleep cycles per night.
It varies from person to person according to age, lifestyle and amount of physical activity in daily life.
Infants: The babies under one year need 16-20 hours of sleep per day.
Children under 4 years: They would require a sleep of 12-13 hours per night.
Children under 12: On average school-going children require 10-11 hours of sleep.
Teenagers: Average sleep time may vary from 8-9 hrs.
Adults: Depending on the lifestyle and nature of work, the average sleep duration is 6.5 to 8 hours per night. For laborers, it is 9 hours but for a person doing a sitting job requires a sleep of 7 to 8 hours.
Advantages of sleep
- Enhances memory development
- Reduces stress
- Helps the body to fight infections
- Manages high blood pressure
- Reduces chances of diabetes
- Keeps your heart healthy
7 Tips for Good sleep
- Ensure to set up go to bedtime and wake up at the same time every day.
- Exercise 20-30 minutes daily but not before bedtime.
- Avoid watching television or smartphone just a few hours before sleep.
- Avoid Caffeine, nicotine and alcoholic drinks just before your sleep time.
- If you do not feel asleep while lying down in bed, try reading books or listen to music until you feel tired.
- Dim light and silence are the main factors required for an ideal bedroom.
- Visit your doctor if you issue while sleeping or sleep time is much less than the average sleep time.