Enhance Your Sleep Cycles
According to the National Sleep Foundation, research shows that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. But other findings suggest that the type of sleep we get is more important than the duration of our sleep.
When we sleep, our body goes through five specific stages as noted by he National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Each stage accumulates to REM sleep, and then restarts, completing one cycle. The first stage through REM takes about 90 minutes to complete, and adults typically need to complete at least four or five sleep cycles per night, or 6 to 9 total hours of sleep.
Stage 1 of the sleep cycle is considered light sleep. When in stage 1, sleepers drift in and out of sleep, easily awakened. Physically, sleepers eyes and muscle activity slows down, but may experience muscle contractions. Youve probably experienced this its when you wake up as if youre startled. Hypnic myoclonia is the proper term for this, and is often described as a falling sensation sleepers get when sleeping.
When awakened during stage 1 sleep, most people are unable to remember simple things. To test this out, try having a conversation with someone as theyre falling asleep and see how much they remember. And if youve ever turned your alarm off in the morning and went back to sleep only to forget that you turned it off in the first place, youre probably being awakened during stage 1.
What It Means
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.
Tracking Sleep Through Smart Technology
Millions of people are using smartphone apps, bedside monitors, and wearable items to informally collect and analyze data about their sleep. Smart technology can record sounds and movement during sleep, journal hours slept, and monitor heart beat and respiration. Using a companion app, data from some devices can be synced to a smartphone or tablet, or uploaded to a PC. Other apps and devices make white noise, produce light that stimulates melatonin production, and use gentle vibrations to help us sleep and wake.
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What A Dog’s Sleeping Position Will Tell You
Dogs go through the same sleep stages as humans they just spend less time at each sleep stage. And no one knows why, but big dogs dream longer than little dogs, and little dogs dream quickly and frequently.
The position a dog sleeps in can tell you about how they’re feeling. A dog sleeping on its side feels safe as its vital organs are exposed. If they’re sleeping somewhere new or around people who they’re not familiar with, they may not sleep on their side.
If a dog sleeps curled up in a ball, it may be because they’re not in a comfortable environment and feel more secure protecting their organs, and they can get up faster, or this may conserve heat.
Puppies will often sleep on their stomach so that they can get up quickly and not miss any playtime! If a dog sleeps on its back, it is either very comfortable, as its organs are the most exposed, or it’s trying to cool off. If your dog cuddles with you, it’s showing you affection and trust.
Many dogs will circle before lying down, which is what their ancestors the wolves would do to trample grass down to make a comfortable bed. Digging is something their ancestors would do to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
If your dog sleeps during the day, it may be due to boredom. If there’s any kind of noise and their ears perk up, it means that they are just waiting for something exciting to happen and aren’t in deep sleep.
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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.
What Is A Sleep Cycle
During the night, you alternate between sleep depths.
I like to think about these depths or different stages as going from shallow to deep sleep and back again.
Research tells us that a normal night of sleep is divided into sleep cycles.
A sleep cycle begins with you gradually descending for about 20 minutes into a deeper sleep, from stage 1 to stage 3 or 4.
You can read about the stages further down in the article.
After stage 4 you usually enter an episode of REM sleep. This is the stage where your body is the most active during sleep.
This is also where its believed you dream the most.
The first sleep cycles during the night consists mainly of deep sleep with less amount of REM, while the sleep cycles during the later parts of the night include more REM sleep.
During a lifetime, the need for sleep varies. Children need to sleep a lot more than adults and elderly. Children experience REM sleep a lot more as well.
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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 Does Sleep Work
Every person has an internal timekeeping system known informally as the “circadian clock,” which is located in the hypothalamus near the front of the brain. The circadian clock is programmed to reset, or “entrain,” every 24 hours. This 24-hour cycle, the circadian rhythm, is guided by natural light and plays a major role in hormone production, as well as mood, appetite and digestion, body temperature, and other bodily functions.
This clock consists of roughly 20,000 nuclei clustered together to form a structure called the suprachiasmatic nucleus . During the day, the retinas in your eyes perceive natural sunlight and transmit signals through a nerve tract that leads directly to the SCN. These signals inform the brain whether it is day or night.
In the evening as natural light begins to disappear, the pineal gland in your brain will produce melatonin, a natural hormone that induces feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. When you wake up in the morning and your eyes perceive natural light, the body will produce another hormone, cortisol, that promotes alertness and wakefulness. The brain stem also communicates with the hypothalamus to produce GABA, a hormone that decreases arousals and helps the body wind down.
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How Many Hours Of Deep Sleep Does One Need
In todayâs highly demanding work environment, it is quite normal to cut back on sleep to achieve your career goals. A common notion is that you will miss out on opportunities if you give sleep much importance in your life. However, thatâs not the reality. You may not notice it, but even minimal sleep loss will have an impact on your energy, mood and ability to handle stress. And when you talk about the night sleep, the most important phase is deep sleep that plays a role in making you feel fresh in the morning. That brings us to a question, âExactly how much deep sleep do you need?â Keep reading to find out yourself.
Are All Sleep Cycles The Same
It is normal for sleep cycles to change as you progress through your nightly sleep. The first sleep cycle is often the shortest, ranging from 70-100 minutes, while later cycles tend to fall between 90 and 120 minutes. In addition, the composition of each cycle how much time is spent in each sleep stage changes as the night goes along.
Sleep cycles can vary from person to person and from night to night based on a wide range of factors such as age, recent sleep patterns, and alcohol consumption.
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Why Is Deep Sleep Important
Deep sleep is important for consolidation of new memories, and is often referred to as sleep-dependent memory processing. Thus, individuals with primary insomnia will have impaired memory consolidation and wont perform as efficiently as normal patients when completing memory tasks following a period of sleep. In addition, declarative memory is improved with slow-wave sleep, and this includes both semantic and episodic memory.
A central model has been created on the assumption that long-term memory storage is promoted by interaction between the hippocampal and neocortical networks. Several studies have shown that, once subjects have been trained to learn a declarative memory task, there was a significantly higher density of human sleep spindles when compared to the non-learning control task. This occurs due to unconscious wave oscillations that make up the intracellular recordings from cortical and thalamic neurons.
How Much Sleep Does A Person Need
The average adult should receive at least seven hours of sleep for every 24-hour cycle. Sleeping less than seven hours can leave you more vulnerable to different diseases and medical conditions, and also affect your ability to concentrate and increase your risk of errors and accidents. That said, the sufficient amount of sleep for a given individual depends on their age.
Insufficient sleep creates a problem known as sleep debt. Let’s say you are an adult 18 years or older who receives six hours of sleep every night. Just one week of inadequate rest produces seven hours of sleep debt. Napping can provide a quick pick-me-up, but it does not deliver the same restorative functions of nightly sleep. As a result, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems down the road.
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Other Interesting Animal Sleep Behaviors
Otters will float on the water laying on their backs, often wrapping themselves in seaweed in seaweed forests. Floating in water keeps them safe from predators on land, and wrapping themselves in seaweed keeps them from floating away. As many as 100 otters can be seen wrapped in seaweed, which is called an otter raft. Otters will often link paws together to keep from floating off.
Chimpanzees will build sturdy nests lined with leaves in trees to sleep in.
Meerkats will sleep in piled groups of up to 40 meerkats with the alpha males and alpha females as far away from possible threats. Communities of meerkats are called gangs or mobs and use closeness to keep each other warm.
Walruses can sleep on land or in the water. To keep their head above water when sleeping, they fill their pharyngeal pouches, located on each side of their esophagus.
Some speculate that great white sharks face the current while asleep so they don’t have to keep moving as the current will pass water over their gills so they can obtain oxygen without having to swim.
Guinea baboons sleep on the tops of trees on their heels so they can run off immediately if attacked.
Most animals will sleep in several sessions throughout the day whereas humans will usually sleep in one session .
Cows like to sleep close to their relatives and their position is determined by their rank in the social hierarchy.
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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A Sleep Cycles Overview: Dive Deep Into Each Stage Of Sleep
A good nights sleep plays a critical role in restoring us and keeping us healthy. Yet sleep is not a static state of mind, and quality sleep is not simply the number of hours you clock in. In fact, as we sleep, our mind travels through different phases, each of which contributes in varying ways to our overall sleep quality. Here we untangle what happens when we sleep, explain the difference between REM and Non-REM sleep, sleep cycles and sleep stages and how the different stages affect your mind and body.
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How Long Is One Rem Cycle
We go through several sleep cycles each night and the length of each REM cycles is longer for each new cycle. A full sleep cycle is 90 minutes. After passing through four stages of non-REM sleep, your first REM cycle can last anywhere from one to ten minutes. This number gradually gets higher as the night progresses.
Typically, REM sleep takes up about 20-25% of our sleep as adults, and is even as high as 50% of sleep in young babies. During REM sleep our breathing is quick and irregular, our heart rate is increased. Since this is the sleep cycle that is connected to dreaming, people believe that is the reason our eyes move rapidly while we are in REM sleep.
Before scientists used to believe that the body basically shut down during sleep, but now they know that they were wrong. During REM sleep the body is active but the arms and legs are temporarily paralyzed, possibly to stop us from acting out our dreams.
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The Importance Of Sleep
The quality of your sleep at night directly affects your mental and physical health and how well you feel during the day. Sleep impacts your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune function, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!
When youre scrambling to meet the demands of a busy schedule, though, or just finding it hard to sleep at night, getting by on less hours may seem like a good solution. But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.
Sleep isnt merely a time when your body shuts off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you wont be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on service and youre headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.
Why Sleep Is So Important
Many hard-charging managers pride themselves on their ability to work long hours and get by on 5 or 6 hours of sleep. But the truth is that theyre shortchanging themselves and their companies.
Sleep is not a luxury, says Dr. James OBrien, medical director of the Boston SleepCare Center in Waltham, Mass. Its a necessity for optimal functioning.
When you sleep, your brain catalogues the previous days experiences, primes your memory, and triggers the release of hormones regulating energy, mood, and mental acuity. To complete its work, the brain needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep. When it gets less, your concentration, creativity, mood regulation, and productivity all take a hit.
How sleep works To understand why the right amount of shut-eye is so important to performance, it helps to know how sleep works.
Healthy sleep is divided into four-stage cycles. As we progress through stages 1 and 2, we become increasingly unplugged from the world until we reach the deep sleep that happens in stage 3. In deep sleep, both brain and body activity drop to their lowest point during the cycle, and blood is redirected from the brain to muscles.
The fourth and final stage is named for the rapid eye movement REM that is its defining characteristic. Our brains become busily active in REM sleep, too, even more so than when we are awake. Dreaming happens during this stage.
In a full nights sleep, we experience three or four such cycles, each lasting 60 to 90 minutes.
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