What processes occur during sleep?
A brain deprived of sound sleep resembles a neglected hotel. It cannot function at an optimal level, and it is the first step in creating many deficits in the body’s performance. Remember that our physical and mental wellbeing depends on the proper functioning of the brain and this requires sleep, which is when its essential processes occur.
Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is often the culprit of many of our mental and physical failures. Sleep is essential to inhibit the secretion of cortisol. At the same time, neurons are rebuilt, as well as the creation of new connections between nerve cells. Mainly due to these processes, we can start each day with new energy, and above all, an alert and attentive mind.
A few words about sleep stages
Sleep can be divided into the NREM stage, i.e. non-rapid eye movement and REM – rapid eye movement. First, as we are falling asleep, our muscles relax, and the eyeballs stop moving. The heartbeat and breathing gradually calm down and the body temperature begins to decrease. The NREM stage is characterized by prolonged brain waves. The blood pressure decreases in the deep sleep stage, our muscles sag and we completely lose orientation. The intermingling of the NREM stage with the REM stage is a phenomenon, where the brain organizes information from the previous day, but most importantly, it creates new connections of nerve cells and levels out the hormonal balance. This means the endocrine system produces hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which have a beneficial effect on well-being in the morning and throughout the day.
Effects of sleep deprivation
To prevent a vicious cycle which disturbs our daily activities, it is worth taking the necessary steps to restore proper and healthy sleep. Insomnia has a number of negative effects over time, such as deficient concentration, memory deterioration, and lack of performance at work. Furthermore, insomnia leads to increasing ill health, including nervousness, which can then lead to depression. Our mind and body regeneration, i.e. sleep, is the foundation of our body’s proper functioning on every level.
Weighted blanket – a cure-all?
Most insomniacs desperately want a cure and the weighted blanket truly affects our sensory systems and is a great antidote to insomnia. It relaxes the body, calms the mind and has a beneficial effect on falling asleep quickly. It also ensures a deep sleep. Some other great suggestions that make it easier to fall asleep include:
- suitable conditions before falling asleep – calming and relaxing
- air the room before bedtime
- suitable temperature in the bedroom not exceeding 18 degrees Celsius for adults and 20 degrees Celsius for children
- don’t eat just before bedtime
- eliminate coffee and tea before going to bed
- regular sleep and waking times