Sleep makes you strong, makes you feel good. It is an important element of human flourishing and well-being, both subjectively and objectively. Sleep is necessary for a healthy and balanced life. Your body and your brain are active when you sleep. We need to sleep long enough (quantity) and well enough (quality) to function well during waking hours. Nearly all physiological and behavioral functions in humans occur on a rhythmic basis, which in turn leads to diurnal rhythms in human performance capabilities. Sleepdex is dedicated to raising awareness of sleep issues and encouraging people to take sleep seriously.
About Insomnia - types, causes, solutions
Sleep Disorders - apnea, restless legs syndrome, narcolepy, and many more
Circadian rhythms - the cycles of the day and night
Tools for sleeping - bedding, medicines, etc.
Fun stuff - naps, deep sleep, mythology of sleep
Most adults need around seven or eight hours of sleep every night to function well. Although many people claim they require less, doctors who study sleep find only 10% require significantly more or less sleep. A chronic lack of sleep and untreated sleep disorders may be factors in the development of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.
"Sleep rock thy brain" – Shakespeare, Hamlet
Sleep is an active behavior. Your body and your brain are active when you sleep. Biochemical and neurobiological functions take place all night long. Contrary to popular belief, the brain does not "shut down" during sleep.
Why do we feel stiff in the morning? Many assume it’s because out bodies have been stuck in the same position for an extended period of time. We get stiff after sitting watching television without moving, so the same thing must be happening when we sleep, right? It’s not that simple, though. Inflammation in body tissue diminishes during sleep – this is part of the break our body gets while sleeping. In anticipation of waking, the cytokine levels rise very late in the sleep cycle. We also go through REM periods often late in the sleep cycle. During REM the large muscles are not moving. When we enter this last period of REM, inflammation may be low, but during the REM period cytokine levels rise in anticipation of waking. With more inflammation the muscles become stiff. After waking, this stiffness persists. The inflammation persists but moving around can help reduce stiffness.
It is worth pointing out the distinction between insomnia and disturbed sleep. Insomnia refers to a subjective inability to fall or stay asleep, and chronic insomnia is due to circadian dysrhythmia, homeostatic dysregulation and hyperarousal.
A person can have insomnia but not disturbed sleep. When the person finally gets to sleep, he or she can sleep soundly. Young adults more typically have trouble falling asleep while old people have trouble staying asleep.
Insomnia, by this classification, often results in increased risk of depression, overall decreased productivity at work and in daytime activities. Disturbed sleep results in symptoms like those of sleep deprivation.