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Good Sleep To Fuel The Body

Updated on September 3, 2015

Introduction

If when you wake up from sleep and feel tired, and need more sleep, it is apparent that you are not well rested. It can be a sign of sleep deprivation. Or you may have trouble falling asleep.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the 19th century French army general was credited to have said that a man need six hours of sleep, a woman need seven hours and a foul eight hours.

Whether this general was speaking specific regarding his comrades in arm, I do not know. Or whether he pin point mankind in general is still a question to challenge. Or he may be setting a standard for himself and I think this can be true to some extend considering the type of person he is.

Sleep is a lovely thing. It is beloved from the North to the South pole. Even the Creator designed sleep for humans and non-humans without any flaw but with holistic therapy value.

How many hours of sleep a person needs can be a matter of personal preference. They are two types of sleep. Rapid eye movement or Rem sleep and Non-rapid eye movement or Nrem. The purpose of this article concern only rapid eye movement sleep.

What Is Sleep: It is hard to define and explain what sleep is. It is shred in mystery. As the function of sleep is not even understood, so is sleep in itself. Is it laying on a bed and stop snoring off to rest just for an hour during day time? It takes more than that to get a quality sleep. Is it the remaining 1/3 of our life span that occupy our time during the night? When you lay down and the mind and body shut off, your brain seems to be very active. This is to prepare the body for the next level of activity on the same day or the next. It is this active state that we note sleep.

Okay, Wikipedia says that as regard to the human, it “is a natural occurring state characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, and inhibitions nearly all voluntary muscles.”

In other words, sleep that can be induced naturally, apart from the feeling to day time sleeping needs, whereby one lost some degree of consciousness while asleep cannot be said to be a sleep. Day time or night time sleep will occur naturally. But the Harvard Medical School defined it as "a highly active process which the days's events are processed and energy is restored." Both quotes would seem to mean that while the body lay idle, the brain takes a survey or tour to restore, lubricate, rejuvenate and recreate the body and mind for the tasks ahead.

When next you wake up from sleep, ask your-self these few questions:

  • Am I well rested?
  • Am I refreshed?
  • And are you well alert and energetic, and can pick up yourself on the go without any drug related beverages like coffee, tea and commercial made fruit juicy?

Your answer to the question ensures the degree and quality of your sleep.

Some Misconceptions Or Myths About Sleep

I referenced the hub by referring to concrete institutional study on the subject of sleep. Hence the information therein is subjected to further research as the subject of sleep is still an ongoing study. Both sleep scientists and researchers are still puzzle about what sleep is and its many problems. Very little is understood about the subject matter

  1. “Sleep is the time for the body in general and the brain specifically to shut down and rest.” This misconception is easily debunk because in the main sleep concept, the rapid eye movement sleep or REM sleep, the brain seems to be very active “as any time” when one is not sleeping.
  2. “Getting just one hour less sleep per night than needed will not have any effect on day time functioning.” In a 24 hour life cycle, your normal sleep time is 8 hours. Losing one hour regularly per day would in a week means you had lose 7 hours of sleep. This 7 hours of sleep according to sleep experts is a “sleep debt.” The more the sleep debt or sleep deficit increase daily, the more problem sleepiness increased over night. This can have a “powerful effect on day time performance, thinking, and mood.” In other words, the ability to think properly and respond properly too will be greatly impaired; cardiovascular health and the immunize system is compromised. The result will be a "mental and physical breakdown."
  3. “The body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules.” Suppose you are on a night shift and sleep 8 or 9 hours in the during the day time. Do you think you do not have to sleep again when you go to work in the night on the same day? In other words, if you try to change your biological sleep/wake cycle, it will still function according to normal day/night schedules. The biological clock premise that a person will function best during the night when sleeping; and active in the day time. If this were to change, the biological clock must be retrained.
  4. “People need less sleep as they grow older.” The more a person grows older, the less sleep it was though that is need. No, older persons do not need less sleep, but usually get less of all the sleep need to fuel the body to function well. The ability or desire to get good sleep can increase or decrease with age.
  5. A “good night sleep” can cure problems with excessive daytime sleepiness. Excessive day time sleepiness is a sleep disorder like insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. Extended sleep is not a cure for other sleep disorders and such sleep issues. It required changes in behavior. Pharmacological and even surgical interventions to relief the symptoms it has been asserted.

Normally, only doctors, health workers and other qualified sleep experts can write on such a subject. But what about a person who has gone through a sleep issue and manage it well? Does he/she qualify to write on his/her experience and share the story? Many persons can welcome such a story more.. That is why I write this hub because like all human beings, I have a first-hand experience of insomnia. I was in my grammar school then. I believe till date sleep doctors or sleep scientist were rare in those days. I hardly found an article on the subject in major magazines in my locality. Although I consult my doctor, he just took away my papers and told me it will rebate. I manage the issue well and I had to share.

A United States study on world sleep day 2014 has the following statistics:

  • Cost of insomnia is between 92.5 and 105 billion per annual.
  • 71,000 people got injured every year due to sleep related accidents or motor accidents.
  • 1,500 persons died because of sleep related accidents.
  • 46% of individuals troubled with sleep disturbances report missing work, or making errors at work, when compared with 15% of people who sleep well.

Specific sleep statistics on insomnia is between 20-40% per year. One out of every three person is affected.

Over three million children suffer from sleep disorders. Of this, 30-40% do not sleep well

The following topics will be treated subsequently:

How Much Sleep A Person Need?

How much sleep does a person need in the night or in a day? Is it 6, 7, 8 or 9 hours or more? Sleep research it has been noted has not pinpoint the exact amount in a magic box. The actual amount of sleep a person need varies. As individuals varies in their character, emotions, and so on, the exact amount of sleep need also varied. In spite of what Napoleon said that a person who sleep for 8 hours is a fool, such a person according to research may need 10 hours of sleep to stay in sound health if that is practical. Otherwise, disease like unsound mental health, sleep walking and sleep paralysis is the results.

Some persons has unnecessarily deprived themselves of much need sleep, by late night outings that during day time when sleep start to strike, they suppressed it with alcohol and other caffeine based beverages. This brings in more sleep problems.

How much sleep does a person actually need? There is a certain amount which experts all agreed upon. This amount is called the basal sleep need. It is not an exact figure. It even varied with all individuals. This is the sleep one need to fuel the body properly. It can be any figure from 7 to 9.5 hours on scientific principle. At times, I need a basal sleep of 10 hours and that is on weekends. This kept my body in optimal performance. Yours may be 8 or 9 or more than mine. It all depends on your daily activities like work, physical activities, emotion, stress, and so on.

Okay, is it normal for you to feel sleepy when you should be awake? Say you are in the classroom with fellow student. They are energetic and alert and taking down notes and challenging the teacher. But you and two others are sleepy and dozing. Is that normal? No, but it is human. Yes, you and these few need some more sleep in the night. Here you fall within what sleep experts called the sleep debt or sleep deficit. This is the state in which some persons do not have an hour of sleep in the day (siesta) or enough hours of sleep in the night. It can result to both physical and mental issues.

One unique thing about the sleep debt is that is that it is not a sleep disorder.

Two types of sleep debt can be identified. One, partial sleep deprivation. Here a person sleeps very little during the night for many days. For example, a student may like to burn the mid-night oil to study for his/her exams. He/she is constantly losing some hours of sleep. I have gone through such recourse by studying till 4.00AM after midnight for few days or a week..

The second is total sleep deprivation. This is means a person keeps awake for some days without any sleep. They are practical instances of these done for sleep research http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sleep_debt

Sleeping In The Night

A Woman Sleeping During The Night With Her Baby Behind
A Woman Sleeping During The Night With Her Baby Behind | Source

Sleeping Insomnia

While, very few of the populace 15% can get enough sleep, and well rested on waking up, majority has at least one or two trouble getting the much needed sleep to keep the mind and body healthy. It can either be insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome or sleep paralysis. Have you suffer or experienced insomnia for instance? Did you consult a doctor or sleep therapist? Or did you go for herbal treatment? What do you think? You do not take any action but think the issue can resolve itself? That cannot happen. A bad sleep like insomnia is a disorder and like all sickness has to be treated. Having trouble sleeping or falling asleep is a challenge. Nowadays, having a sleep question has an answer or two.

Insomnia

A bad sleep like insomnia is a disorder

See results

Night Time Sleep

My Baby Sleeping During The Night
My Baby Sleeping During The Night | Source

Problem Sleepiness Or Sleep Disorder

Problem sleepiness or sleep disorder exists. More than 70 sleep disorders have been recorded. Problem sleepiness is high among many persons and results in serious effects like drowsy driving or asleep on wheel, errors in work or accidents in work place. The most commonly marked sleep problems are insomnia or lack of sleep, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

  1. Insomnia: or the lack of sleep is an inability to sleep. It is the most common sleep disorder. It naturally makes a person to wake up during the night for no apparent reason unlike waking up for urinating. Going back to sleep again becomes hard for such a person. Stress, emotional discomfort, the side effects of certain medical and herbal drugs and beverages can cause insomnia. Insomnia is identified as both primary and secondary. The later is a complex factor of two sleep disorders like drugs and mental deficit. Secondary insomnia is more serious than primary insomnia.
  2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is a breathe issue that arise during sleep. The air passage becomes relax and collapse and the intake of air or oxygen is blocked. In other words, you cannot breathe while you are asleep. This makes the oxygen level in the blood low, while carbon dioxide is increased; and the only option is for the subject is to wake up for breathe or fresh air. OSA can cause other health problems to sufferers, and can be life-threatening. Taking the USA as a pointer, OSA affected over 12 million Americans. OSA affect not only men and women, but boys and girls, and even pre-school children. Its many minus effects includes morning headache, excessive day time sleepiness, sleep deprivation, high blood pressure and heart attack. Another type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea (CSA). Here the air passage is not blocked but the brain failed to receive the signal for the muscles to breathe.
  3. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): persons that are affected by RLS are characteristic by “unpleasant leg sensations and an almost irresistible urge to move the legs.” The symptoms become worst when sufferers are not active and this greatly interfered with sleep. Exercise and massage are designed to threaten the symptoms. Others are complete elimination of alcohol and caffeine based beverages from the diets.


Night Time Sleep Should Be A Sweet Dream

A Girl Getting Ready To Sleep
A Girl Getting Ready To Sleep | Source

Recipe For Chronic Sleep Deprivation

How many times can a man sleep in a day apart from the good night sleep? Sufficient sleep is a health tonic for the body. Six to seven hours has been assert as “a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.” So how many times or how many hours do a person (an adult) sleep in a period of 24 hours to get the sufficient sleep recommendation?

Many factors can help one to sleep well. Factors like exercise, medication, relaxation and diet. Watch video below for an expert advice as how you can evaluate your health. Can you make out one or two factors to help you sleep?

Key Facts Summary

  • To sleep and wake up well rested, it is the quality of your sleep that is upper most. Quantity has its value in reducing sleep disorders.

  • Both the quality and quantity of sleeping time depends on the emotion, stress, physiology, activity and exercise and diet of the sleeper.

  • Sleep is beyond the state where the body lay idle to rest. It is the surgical process of the brain to work the mind and body for the next level of activity for the day’s task.

  • All the misconception about sleep are rebuttable with sound scientific evidences.

  • Your hours of sleep differs greatly from another person or persons, as each individuals varies in character, function, biology and activity.

  • Insomnia is a sleep disorder and can be handled with relaxation, herbal and medical tools.

  • The major sleep disorders are insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and restless leg syndrome (RLS).

  • Sleeping only six to seven hours deprived one of much need sleep.

Sleep Needs

Age
Hours
Remarks
New born to 2 months
12-18
The maximum hours at times is more than these figures
3 to 12 months
14-15
This varies with individual personality
1 to 3 years
12 14
-ditto
3 to 5 years
11 to 13
-ditto
5 to 12 years
10 11
-ditto
12 to 18
8-10
ditto
Adults (+18)
7-9
Some get less than both the minimum and maximum amount
Sleep Needs Of Differing Age Group

Relaxation Can Help You Sleep Well

Relaxation: The Corps Or Dead Man Posture
Relaxation: The Corps Or Dead Man Posture | Source

Insomnia: Issues And Treatment

Insomnia is one of the greatest sleep disorders that affect every person. If you have ever had an emotional disturbance, you should realize it as the beginning of insomnia if you have problem sleeping. Times are that you cannot even concentrate on the issue at hand. On waking up, you feel a lack of energy.

Insomnia is of two type, acute and chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia occurs as when one received a shocking news of failing an exam. It will later or sooner adjust its self. Chronic insomnia need is of a short or long duration. Many persons will not know that they have chronic insomnia over three to six months.

Many symptoms can be manifest by this disorder. Treatment can consist of a combination of diet, relaxation, exercise and medication, herbal or orthodox. Physiotherapy treatments are also available.

You should see a sleep expert or therapist when you cannot handle even a minor sleep disorder.


Tips To Help You Sleep Well

  1. Physical Activity: Have a moderate exercise in the evening. You can engage in any game of your choice like basketball, law tennis and football. I did this when insomnia pose a problem to me in my grammar school days. Indoor exercise like the jumping jack, mountain climbing, press up, and the plank can be done for 15 to 20 minutes in the evening.
  2. A Warm Bath: Have a slightly warm bath if the weather is cool or raining. Under a warm weather, a cool bath is all that is need.
  3. Eat a good nourishing meal. Your chop should have all the essential natural food ingredients in a well balanced proportion, carbohydrates, fats, proteins both animal and plants with plenty of fruits and vegetables including nuts. Persons who are addict to coffee and black tea can take these beverages in a slightly weak form or use the decaffeinate type along with the chop plate and can help you sleep well. But all alcohol and alcohol based liquor should be avoided at all cost. I recalled here when my family was very young, and I make a cup of coffee to go to bed with, they will all ran to bed before me because they cannot shut the doors and windows. Since, taking the coffee will make me sleep like a dead man.
  4. Read an interesting novel or an informative book during bed time. This will induced you to sleep well.
  5. Meditate and say your prayers depending on your believe in the creator Psm.2:8.
  6. Relax your mind and body while in bed. To get a good quality sleep, you must learn to relax mind and body. The quality of your sleep whether 6, 7, 8 or 9 hours will speak the story of health, well rested, vigor, energy and concentration on the task of the day.


You Can Read An Interesting Novel Or Informative Work To Help You Sleep Well

Bed Time Reading
Bed Time Reading | Source

Let Children Read To Bed

 Reading Before Bed Time
Reading Before Bed Time | Source

Babes Too Had To Relax Before Sleeping

Babe Miebakagh Relaxing Before Sleep
Babe Miebakagh Relaxing Before Sleep | Source

Additional Summary

  • Having trouble falling asleep is a sign of sleep deprivation.

  • A person deprived of a good sleep on waking up is not well rested and feel tensed.

  • Sleep has basically two forms: rapid eye movement or REM sleep, and non-rapid eye movement sleep or NREM sleep.

  • Sleep is a form of active state in which the brain prepares the mind and body to process the days events and converse energy.

  • The misconceptions about sleep can be easily refuted. Sleep is not the time the body lay idle. The brain seems to be as active before sleeping as when sleeping. Getting less than one hour of sleep can increased your sleep debt, and consequently problem sleepiness.

  • Attempting to change the body sleep/wake cycle is futile. It only has to be retrained.

  • Older person need more sleeping hours that can help them function well.

  • A good night sleep is not a cure all for a sleep problem.

  • How much sleep a person needs varies with age, emotions, stress, physiology and activities.

To build up a knowledge base of sleep. I recommend the following online sites:

Readers comments on the hub will likely improve its contents, and I will welcome all questions and answer same.

To your good health!

Miebakagh57 (Miebakagh Fiberesima) Copy right 2014-2015.


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    • Miebakagh57 profile image
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      Miebakagh Fiberesima 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I write this article because I had experienced insomnia and take the tips I outline to get a sound sleep. Readers opinions on the subject are welcome.