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How natural sleep differs from sedative sleep?

Updated on April 11, 2013

Sleep physiology.

Sleep is a state of body's spontaneous unconsciousness from which it can be aroused. It is a process of natural mind and body refreshment from a tiring day.

Science says sleep has two major states as a low active (Non-Rapid eye movement sleep-NREM) and other is highly active (rapid eye movement sleep). The former state prevails most with brief intervals of latter. Both are required for complete refreshing sleep.

The NREM is associated with deep sleep with less body movements. The REM is associated with rapid eye movement with active state of brain with frequent dreams. Even in NREM state dreams occurs less frequently but are like nightmare sort off. REM state dreams are remembered but not of NREM state.

Sound sleep

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Quality and quantity of sleep.

A deep refreshing sleep is of prime importance of health, it keeps a person fit for next day work. But improper non-refreshing sleep can make a person ill.

In general Quality of sleep and quantity of sleep are in union. That is a person who falls asleep after days work or being tired, wakes up spontaneously after he feels exhausted by sleeping or the mind is unable to sleep anymore. Here both quality and quantity (time spent) of sleep are good and are in mutual harmony. So a child, healthy person or even animals can sleep when they feel to and awake when they are satisfied of sleep.

A person falls asleep within first half an hour when he goes to bed. But sometimes we may keep strolling on the bed in trying to sleep. But still the sleep cycle is in quality wise and quantity wise to wake up with complete refreshment. If the sleep is disturbed by some external means then tendency to be drowsy and dissatisfied may appear.

But in case of patients who suffer from insomnia or state of inability to sleep. They have some sort of mental conflict either

  • They are very happy and mind is in a state of excitement with full of uncontrollable thoughts making them asleep or
  • They are in some sort of grief or pain with inability to sleep.

Sedative medication indifferances to natural sleep

The sedative drugs which are prescribed to insomniacs or sleep deprived people provide a good quantity of sleep but rarely good quality sleep. That is the person may sleep for a long time but he gets up dissatisfied of sleep.

The reason is, the natural sleep arises due to inhibition of some centers in the brain by other sleep controlling centers. It means though some centers are sleeping other centers are active in the brain to coordinate proper sleep.

In sleep disturbed patients this control might be deranged or lost. So when they are prescribed sedatives and other hypnotics by physicians, these drugs inhibit or minimise the overall brain activity including sleep regulatory centers The normal refreshing mechanism during sleep is not done. So patient might experience low quality sleep though the quantity was higher.

So the main problem of insomnia has to be rectified i.e hyper brain activity, depression or high sensitivity to sounds etc.

Natural systems of medicine especially homeopathy has drugs for specific symptom related insomnia.

But if one cannot pin-point the reason for insomnia then allopathic medicines can be used. But they have tendency to develop dependency.

Not having proper sleep does affect human health and on the long run this insomnia can be a type of mental and physical stress.


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    • bheem profile image

      bheem 7 years ago

      Daniel sir! thanks for your comment and advice for the follow up hub. It will soon be there.

    • Daniel Carter profile image

      Daniel Carter 7 years ago from Western US

      A very helpful and informative hub! It reinforces how important it is to try to assist the body to have a healthy, natural sleep, rather than a drugged sleep. Thanks for the information.

      A good follow up hub would be to list what natural sleep aids there are, and how to achieve a healthy, natural sleep, rather than a drug-induced one.

      Thanks again!