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Tutor Momo Sensei 's Column

From A to ZZZ; The Truth About Sleep

Dec 15, 2019

What happens when we sleep?

Every night almost everyone on the planet enters into a state of unconsciousness and paralysis. But what is really happening inside the body when we drift off? And what is the impact if we don't get enough sleep? Sleep is regulated by your circadian rhythm or body clock , located in the brain -at hypothalamus-. The body clock responds to the light cues ramping up production of the hormone melatonin at night and switching it off when it senses light

Sleep Stages

There are four stages of sleep that the body experiences in cycles throughout the night. On a good night we cycle through these stages four or five times. 

                                                  SLEEP STAGES

 

                           Light Sleep                                Deep Sleep                       

*Stage 1 (Non Rapid Eye Movement)      *Stage 3 (Delta Sleep)

*Stage 2 (Non Rapid Eye Movement       *Stage 4 (Rapid Eye Movement Sleep)

                                     

                                      Sleep-cycle average 90-120 min.  

 

Stages one and two are light sleep. This is the transition from being awake to falling asleep. Heart rating and breathing begin to slow, body temperature falls and muscles may twitch.

Stage three is sometimes referred to as 'delta sleep' because of the slow delta brainwaves that are released during this stage. This is the first stage of deep sleep where our cells produce the most growth hormone to service bones and muscles allowing the body to repair itself.

Stage four is where we begin to dream. The body creates chemicals that render it temporarily paralysed so that we do not act out of our dreams. In this stage, the brain is extremely active and our eyes, although closed dart back and forth as if we were awake.

Humans roughly spend one-third of their lives asleep. Modern lifestyles, stress and the proliferation of technology mean that people are sleeping far less today that they were a century ago. *A human sleeps 25-30 Years (average over a lifetime)


Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions which could reduce life expectancy. 

*Obesity

*Diabetes

*Heart Disease

So, for a healthier longer life get some shut-eye.

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