yourhealthharmony

Nutrition for Body and Soul

What Does Your Sleep Pattern Look Like?

on September 14, 2017

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It’s amazing these days with all of our technology…such as the FitBit, Apple Watch, etc… how we can tune into our bodies!  What does your sleep pattern look like?!

Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep, REMS) is a unique phase of sleepin mammals and birds, characterized by random/rapid movement of the eyes, accompanied with low muscle tone throughout the body, and the propensity of the sleeper to dream vividly.

The REM phase is also known as paradoxical sleep (PS) and sometimes desynchronized sleep because of physiological similarities to waking states, including rapid, low-voltage desynchronized brain waves. Electrical and chemical activity regulating this phase seems to originate in the brain stem and is characterized most notably by an abundance of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, combined with a nearly complete absence of monoamine neurotransmitters histamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

REM sleep is physiologically different from the other phases of sleep, which are collectively referred to as non-REM sleep (NREM sleep, NREMS, synchronized sleep). REM and non-REM sleep alternate within one sleep cycle, which lasts about 90 minutes in adult humans. As sleep cycles continue, they shift towards a higher proportion of REM sleep. The transition to REM sleep brings marked physical changes, beginning with electrical bursts called PGO waves originating in the brain stem. Organisms in REM sleep suspend central homeostasis, allowing large fluctuations in respiration, thermoregulation, and circulation which do not occur in any other modes of sleeping or waking. The body abruptly loses muscle tone, a state known as REM atonia.

Professor Nathaniel Kleitman and his student Eugene Aserinsky defined rapid eye movement and linked it to dreams in 1953 and further described by researchers including William Dement and Michel Jouvet. Many experiments have involved waking up test subjects whenever they begin to enter the REM phase, thereby producing a state known as REM deprivation. Subjects allowed to sleep normally again usually experience a modest REM rebound. Techniques of neurosurgery, chemical injection, electroencephalography, positron emission tomography, and reports of dreamers upon waking, have all been used to study this phase of sleep.

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The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

Sleep isn’t 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 won’t be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on “service” and you’re headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between health and productivity. By addressing any sleep problems and making time to get the sleep you need each night, your energy, efficiency, and overall health will go up. In fact, you’ll likely get much more done during the day than if you were skimping on shuteye and trying to work longer.

Read more…

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