Path To Improved Health
Older adults often see their sleep-wake cycle change. This can be caused by age, lifestyle, or health conditions. Your bodys chemicals and hormones are a factor, too. For example, as you age, your body produces less melatonin. This is the natural hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. Lifestyle habits can affect your sleep. These include smoking and drinking alcohol or caffeine.
Certain medicines can make it hard to sleep. Dealing with pain can keep you awake. Some health conditions can even cause sleep problems. Diabetes and prostate issues can contribute to sleep disturbance and make you fatigued.. The problem caused by these conditions is that you are being woken up to urinate many times through the night. Conditions such as congestive heart failure or kidney disease may cause sleep issues. You may have trouble lying flat and getting comfortable enough to fall asleep. If you find yourself sleeping in a recliner or waking up many times throughout the night, it is important to talk to your doctor. He or she can make sure underlying health problems arent causing your sleep issues.
Tips For Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
Getting enough sleep is good for your health. Here are a few tips to improve your sleep:
Set a schedule go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but no later than a few hours before going to bed.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day and alcoholic drinks before bed.
Relax before bed try a warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine.
Create a room for sleep avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and dont watch TV or have a computer in your bedroom.
Dont lie in bed awake. If you cant get to sleep, do something else, like reading or listening to music, until you feel tired.
See a doctor if you have a problem sleeping or if you feel unusually tired during the day. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.
How Learning About Sleep Cycles Helped Me
What I figured out was that I was waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle. Thats when I really got interested in learning more about sleep and what sleep cycles are all about.
Sleep cycles are periods of about 90 minutes where our body and mind go through a sort of cleansing and rebooting of all the systems. And research tells us that we need many of them, not less than 5 per night, to be fully rested and refreshed .
But what I was doing wrong wasn’t that I usually got less than 5 sleep cycles per night but that I’d set my alarm clock to wake me up in the middle of sleep cycle 6 for the most part and some days even in the middle of sleep cycle number 5.
In this article I want to explain the magic of sleep cycles and also help you to, with our very own sleep cycle tool, figure out when you should go to bed so that you can avoid waking up in the middle of one.
Armed with this knowledge you’ll be able to take control of your sleep and figure out a way to wake up refreshed and “boot-up” faster every morning.
Normally we sleep for about a third of our lives. Let’s not go around feeling half-a-sleep all of the mornings as well!
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Sleep Cycle Stage : Drifting Between Wakefulness And Sleep
Stage 1 is the transitional stage between wakefulness and sleep.
The first stage begins when you close your eyes in bed, you shift in and out of consciousness, and loose your sense of time and place.
As you are still partially awake in this stage, its still very easy to wake you up.
This is the stage where you may suddenly feel like you are falling and jolt awake. This is called hypnic myoclonia or hypnic jerk.
If you awaken from the first sleep stage, you might not even be aware that you were sleeping.
Sleep Deprivation And Weight Gain
Many people attribute their inability to lose weight to a lack of discipline. They feel guilty because they can’t stick to a diet and exercise schedule, which can lead to emotional eating.
The reality for many people struggling to lose weight is that the lack of restful sleep impacts their brain’s hormone production. When you don’t get enough sleep, your leptin levels go down, and as leptin is the hormone that helps you feel satisfied and stop eating, you feel the need to continue eating.
In addition, your ghrelin levels go up, which is the hormone that stimulates your appetite.
As well as changes in ghrelin and leptin levels, researchers at the University of California Berkeley have found that when people are tired, they’re more likely to eat foods that are bad for them. This can become a vicious cycle where you don’t sleep well, so you eat more foods that are likely to be unhealthy, which in turn negatively impacts the quality of your sleep.
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How Long Is One Sleep Cycle And How Much Sleep You Need
A good nights sleep is essential for functioning well the next day. Proper sleep helps our bodies and brains recover from everything that they are doing during the day. Unfortunately, many of us dont sleep enough, or very well, at night and it takes a toll on us during our waking hours.
According to HealthySleep, the brain goes through characteristic patterns of activity throughout each period of sleep Understanding these patterns, and the factors that affect them, may help in making choices that will lead to better quality sleep.
Understanding how your sleep cycle works can help you start to make it your friend. A lot of the things that we do today, like looking at bright screens and going out for a late-night drink or cup of coffee, disrupt our sleep cycle. Adjusting those things can get our sleep cycle back to normal again and help us sleep much better.
Why Does Grandpa Nap All Day
Thereâs a general notion that the elderly need less sleep, but that may not be true, says Simpson, whoâs just completed a review of the literature on sleep and aging.
âIt turns out that they do get less sleep, but itâs not necessarily because they need less,â he says. âTo some extent, their sleep is frustrated by all the issues of aging — a bad hip, a sore back, heart trouble, a knee thatâs out of whack.â
Older people also have a tendency to develop something called advanced sleep-phase syndrome, in which the whole rhythm of their circadian clock is off.
âThey go to bed much earlier in the evening and wake up much earlier in the morning,â Simpson says. âThe system becomes deregulated and loose, and they kind of unlearn the rhythms of sleep.â
Basically, the elderly revert back to the sleep schedule and patterns of very young children.
âThey also wake up many more times during the night than younger adults,â Chokroverty says. âThis is why they take naps during the day.â
One way to treat this problem is with bright light therapy in the morning and early evening.
âA good blast of sunlight in the late afternoon and early evening, combined with a little exercise, seems to help people push their clock later and, in turn, wake up later,â Simpson says.
The 5 Stages Of Sleep
The first stage of sleep is a period of very light sleep when a person drifts into and out of consciousness. A person is easily awakened during this stage, and muscle contractions are common. Stage two of sleep occurs when the brain waves slow down and eye movement ceases. This is also when a persons body temperature drops and the heart rate slows down. 1
During stage three of sleep, slow and faster brain waves alternate and a period of deep sleep sets in. This is a transitional time between non-REM and REM sleep and when sleep disorders, such as sleepwalking, may occur. The fourth stage of sleep is marked by more deep sleep and slow brain waves. Finally, the last of the 5 stages of sleep is REM sleep, which is rapid eye movement sleep.1
Rem Light Deep: How Much Of Each Stage Of Sleep Are You Getting
Waking up tired, angry, or cranky? If you use a Fitbit Alta HR, Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Versa, Fitbit Ionic, or Charge 4, your sleep data may soon be able to reveal why. By tapping into your nighttime heart rate and movement patterns, these devices will be able to estimate how much time you spend in light, deep, and rapid eye movement sleep. Pretty cool, right? Each of these stagesor sleep typesserve a different purpose, so understanding how much of each stage you log can help you identify and address sleep-related issues. Below, a breakdown of what you need to know about each sleep stage.
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How Long Should Adults Nap
Naps do not necessarily have to be a kids-only activity. In fact, there is substantial data that shows naps can actually be very beneficial for adults, when used properly.
For adults, a healthy nap–otherwise known as power nap–should be relatively short in duration. This is because of the unique architecture of sleep, specifically when it comes to sleep cycles. During healthy adult sleep, the body goes through several rotations of a full sleep cycle, each with five phases: three stages of NREM sleep, and two stages of deeper REM sleep.
Every full rotation through a five-phase sleep cycle takes approximately 90-110 minutes. When the body reaches the deeper levels of sleep, around phase 3, it releases chemicals into the bloodstream and experiences changes in electric activity in the brain that shift the body further into sleep mode. These changes help keep your body from responding to external stimuli, which normally helps you stay asleep for the night. In the context of a nap, however, going too deep into a sleep cycle and triggering those changes can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented when you wake up, since your body has already started priming you for deeper sleep.
You Probably Dont Need Eight Hours Of Sleep
Nobody knows where the suggestion we should all be aiming for eight hours of sleep came from. One theory is that it may have come from the idea that a day should be split into thirds one third is to be spent working, one third is to be spent on recreation, and the remaining third is reserved for sleep.
Yet, we all have an individual sleep requirement. Some of us might only need five hours of sleep. Some of us might need six. Others, seven. Yes, some people might need eight hours but they would be in the minority.
All sleep duration guidelines and recommendations are based on averages and, by definition, this means that there will always be people who are outside these averages and still living happy and healthy lives.
The World Health Organization puts the average height of a woman at 163 cm and the average height of a man at 176.5 cm. Does this mean that women taller or shorter than 163 cm have something to worry about, or that men taller or shorter than 176.5 cm have something to worry about? Probably not.
An article written by Germanys Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care found that the average person sleeps about seven hours each night around the age of 40, while an expert panel of sleep experts gathered by the National Sleep Foundation in the United States recognized that just six hours of sleep might be appropriate for adults between 26 and 64 years of age.
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How Much Sleep Do You Need
How much sleep you need changes throughout your lifetime. An infant may need up to 17 hours of sleep each day, while an older adult may get by on just 7 hours of sleep a night.
But an age-based guideline is strictly that a suggestion based on research of how much sleep you may need for optimal health as your bodys needs change.
, these are the general sleep guidelines for different age groups:
Everyones sleep needs are different, even within the same age group.
Some people may need at least 9 hours of sleep a night to feel well rested, while others in the same age group may find that 7 hours of sleep is just right for them.
The biggest question is how you feel when you get various amounts of sleep. Heres what to keep in mind when evaluating your own sleep needs:
- Do you feel rested after 7 hours of sleep, or do you need at least 8 or 9?
- Are you having any daytime drowsiness?
- Are you reliant on caffeine to get you going throughout the day?
- If you sleep with someone else, have they noticed you having any sleeping issues?
Sleep deprivation is a real thing for some, especially as work and life stress builds up. Getting too little sleep can affect many of your bodys systems and restorative functions.
You may also be getting too little sleep due to:
When you fall asleep, your brain and body go through several cycles of sleep. Each cycle includes four distinct stages.
- The first three stages are part of non-rapid eye movement sleep.
- The last stage is rapid eye movement sleep.
Sleep Needs Frequently Asked Questions
Women need on average 20 minutes more sleep per night than men. One theory explains that women multitask more than men and have busier schedules, so their brains use more energy and need more recuperation.
Lack of sleep makes you less productive only rare people can be well-rested on 4-5 hours of sleep. Occasionally getting 5 hours of sleep is okay, but on a regular basis it isn’t healthy for most people.
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Tips For Getting Enough Sleep Each Night
Practicing sleep hygiene is crucial to receiving an adequate amount of rest on a nightly basis. Key aspects of sleep hygiene include:
Follow a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same times, even on the weekends or when you’re on vacation.
Chronic sleep deprivation should be taken seriously. If you aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis, consult with your doctor or another credentialed physician about ways to address this issue and improve your sleep allotment.
What Are The Different Stages Of The Sleep Cycle
Since the early 20th century, human sleep has been described as a succession of five recurring stages, sleep cycles, that are comprised of four NREM stages and the REM stage.
We need to cover the difference between NREM and REM sleep before we go through each of the 5 stages in the sleep cycle in more detail.
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Sleep Cycle Stage : Important For Your Immune System
Stage 4 is the second stage of deep sleep. The body is now so relaxed and ready for restoration and recovery.
It’s very difficult to wake someone during stages 3 and 4.
In stage 3 and 4 you have no recognizable eye movement or muscle activity.
This stage is a critical time for physical restoration.
Repair occurs at the cellular level, restoring strength and function to tissue, muscle, and organs throughout the body.
This stage is also very important for restoring function to the immune system.
People awakened during deep sleep do not adjust immediately and often feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes after they wake up.
Some children experience bed-wetting, night terrors, or sleepwalking during deep sleep.
This stage length is depending on age. Older people experience less time here while younger people will experience more.
How Can I Help My Baby Settle Between Sleep Cycles
Give them lots of support by patting, shhhing and reassuring until they calm. If it gets too much for baby or you, stop, and try again when you are both ready. Ensure that they are getting the majority of their feeds during the day. If breastfed, encourage them to empty the breast so they feel full.
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How Many Hours Does A 9 Month Old Sleep
You can still expect the baby to sleep anywhere from 12 to 16 hours in a 24 hour period, with most of that still happening at night. Two naps during the day will round out his sleep needs, but those naps could be short or long. In fact, at this age the length of the naps may vary by the day. 9 Months Hours of Sleep
Babies might start moving towards a pattern of 2-3 daytime sleeps of up to two hours each. And night-time sleeps get longer at this age. For example, your baby might be having a long sleep of six hours at night by the time shes six months old.
They usually take less than 30 minutes to get to sleep, but about 1 in 10 babies takes longer. At this age, baby sleep cycles are closer to those of grown-up sleep which means less waking at night. So your baby might not wake you during the night, or she might wake you less often.
Sleep Cycle Stage : Youre Asleep And Your Body Relaxes
Stage 2 is a phase of light sleep. Throughout the night and several sleep cycles, youll spend approximately 50 percent of your time in this second stage.
During the second stage, the brain activity slows down from waking levels.
The body also relaxes physically, your heart rate and your breathing decreases.
Stage 2 is a stage where youre asleep, but not in deep sleep.
Its still easy to wake from this stage.
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