Why do we sleep?
Here are some of the amazing health benefits derived from sleeping on the right mattress. Reasons to sleep better:
1. Live better
Sleep reduces stress hormones, inflammation in the body, blood pressure and heart rate. Keep the sleep deficit low to live long and prosper. Sleep also lowers stress hormones that increase aging and degeneration of your organs and cells.
2. Heal better
Sleeping allows our body to regenerate and repair itself, which helps combat the effects of stress, pollution, infections and more. This keeps our body in top form to fight the battles that matter and stay in the pink of health.
3. Think better
The organization and storing of memories occurs during sleep. Lack of sleep contributes to a poor memory. So sleep to enjoy your brain boost.
4. Perform better
Sleep is essential for maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills, such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking.
5. Look better
Hormones that affect your appetite are regulated in your sleep. Plus sleeping early prevents late-night snacking. Its never too late or too early to catch up on "your beauty sleep".
6. Learn better
Research by the Harvard Medical School found that sleep is essential for learning new skills. Sleep to learn, learn to sleep.
What happens if we don't sleep?
After one night without sleep, it gets more difficult to focus and your attention span shortens considerably. Over time, the part of your brain controlling language, memory, planning and sense of time is severely affected. Lack of sleep also has a huge impact on emotional and physical health. Research has linked sleep loss with the increased risk of obesity, as hormones and chemicals that help control appetite and weight gain are released during sleep.
For the Sleep Chart above, the Total Sleep needed includes nighttime sleeping as well as daytime naps. This is for babies and toddlers as naps are needed. However, naps can be beneficial for all ages. The amount of naps and length of naps depends on each individual.
Again this sleep chart is only the average. The times will vary more with the babies and younger children as their sleep needs change with growth spurts and other factors in the early years of life. Sometimes for the teenage years, more sleep may be needed. Again as the body grows and changes, additional sleep will be needed for teens.
Another factor to consider is athletes and active adults. Elite athletes typically need extra sleep for recovery and sometimes naps are need for the body to repair properly.
What is sleep?
Sleep occurs in a recurring cycle of 90 to 110 minutes. It is divided into REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep.
It comes and goes throughout the night, making up one fifth of our sleep. Although our muscles are relaxed, the brain is very active and our eyes dart from side to side as we dream.
Now the brain is quiet whilst the body moves. Hormones are released into the bloodstream and the body repairs itself. There are 4 stages of non-REM sleep.
How much sleep do we need?
This largely depends on your age. The amount of sleep is not the only factor contributing to energy levels during the day. You may be getting adequate sleep but not quality sleep.
Other influences such as diet, exercise and overall health can also affect how alert you feel throughout the day.
|1 to 4 Months
||15 to 16 Hours
||Regular sleeping patterns begin and longer night sleeping
|4 to 12 Months
||13 to 14 Hours
||Important to establish regular sleeping patterns at this time
|1 to 3 Years
||12 to 14 Hours
||Naps remain important to sleep health
|3 to 6 Years
||10 to 12 Hours
||Naps will become shorter
|7 to 12 Years
||10 to 11 Hours
||Bedtime gets later
|12 to 18 Years
||8 to 9 Hours
||Teens may need more sleep
||7 to 8 Hours
||Times will greatly vary
||They wake more easily after 3 to 4 hours
||9 to 10 Hours
||More sleep and naps may be needed