Author: Sarah Baker (Sarah Baker), a specialist in the field of structural-resonance therapy (SRT)
There’s nothing worse than a morning block, afternoon slumps and General fatigue. Fatigue seems like an epidemic, and almost everything connected with modern life, contributes to its appearance. But did you know that, through better understanding the structure of their sleep cycles, you can find ways to optimize your sleep to feel more energetic and productive? Here’s how you can do this:
5 phases of sleep
The sleep cycle consists of five phases:
First phase: When you start to fall asleep, the movement of your eyes begin to decrease, and the brain produces waves called theta and alpha waves. This first phase lasts not too long, only about 5-7 minutes, so at this initial stage you can still Wake up.
Phase II: Brain waves begin to grow, and then slow down when the sleep is quite easy. If you are going to take a NAP, it is better to Wake up immediately after the second phase, to prevent the feeling that you have slept too long.
Third phase: Finally, you begin to experience deeper sleep, brain waves slow down even more, turning into the so-called Delta waves. At this time, muscle activity and the movement of the eyeballs cease, and the threshold of perception of the environment decreases. When you are in the third phase, it is difficult to Wake up for the alarm or a snoring partner.
Fourth phase: the Amplitude of brain waves is lowered another notch, and you have to go deeper into restorative sleep. This is the phase of physiological repair, during which the updated tissue and muscles, strengthens the immune system and stimulates cell growth and energy to the next day you woke up with a feeling of lightness.
Fifth phase: This final stage, the stage of rapid eye movement (REM/REM), starts in about an hour and a half after you fall asleep, and can last about an hour. After during all the previous phases of the activity of your brain slows down, the waves begin to rise again, and this is happening when you dream. At the same time quickens the heart rate and increased blood pressure, eyeballs twitching, and breathing can become irregular. This phase is also extremely important because it helps stimulate memory and learning ability. Did you know that during this phase of sleep your brain stores information and experience for long-term memory? Amazing, isn’t it?
How are sleep cycles
A complete sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, and this means that within one and a half hours you experience all five phases. The first four phases of the sleep cycle are considered non-REM sleep (NBDG/NREM), which means that we go from light sleep to deep sleep. During NBGH-sleep muscle activity or brain missing. REM sleep is when our brain is stimulated through dreams and information that is as important as NBDG restorative sleep.
In brief the cycles are as follows: in the first half of the night, or rather during the first 2-3 sleep cycles we experience NBDG sleep. During the final sleep cycles (usually in the early morning hours) we spend much more time in REM.
What does this mean for how we ideally need to rest? To answer this question is difficult because we are all incredibly unique. Just as there is no universal diet suitable for everyone when it comes to food, there is no single approach to how many hours of sleep we need. Some of us need 9-10 hours of sleep a day while others feel great, slept only six hours.
Tips for improving sleep
If you feel tired, try to take some steps to provide a sufficient number of sleep cycles during the night.
- Wake up every day at the same time: Yes, even on weekends. Getting used every day to go to bed and Wake up around the same time, you form a natural internal clock that helps regulate your sleep cycles, or at least will contribute to their stability.
- Take steps to ensure deep sleep: Even if you sleep 7-8 hours, but do not reach the phase of deep sleep, the next day you may experience fatigue. Associated with lifestyle habits such as caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption before sleep or external stimulants such as a snoring partner can prevent you to take in a full deep sleep. Among some easy ways to achieve deep sleep includes maintaining dark in the bedroom and visit the bathroom before you go to sleep, so you don’t have to run to the toilet in the middle of the night
- Turn on in the evening diet, homeopathic remedies and herbs: Inclusion in the evening diet, Botanical medicine, herbs and nutritional supplements will help you relax before you go to bed, and improve sleep quality. Dietary Supplement melatonin is produced by the body, the hormone which helps us fall asleep, but when we experience a violation of the circadian rhythm of the organism or increased voltage, adding a small amount of melatonin can help us to sleep quickly. Herbs such as tulasi (Tulsi), are natural sedatives and when used in the form of tea help to reach Zen, and tinctures that contain ingredients such as Valerian root and chamomile, can be placed directly under the tongue for quick absorption and instant action.
- Avoid using phones and sitting in front of the screen before going to bed: many Hours of sitting in front of TV or browsing social networks on your phone at the end of the day exposes your brain to too strong stimulation, and the blue light emitted from screens can also disrupt your sleep cycles. Try before bed to read for 30 minutes or find another occupation that does not require the use of technology.
Supplements and herbs for better night’s sleep
In addition to all the above simple lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your life to improve a night’s sleep, there are also some natural remedies that you can add to your diet! Let’s look at some of them widely spread.
Melatonin: This specific dietary Supplement is already naturally in your body, since it is a hormone that is produced by your brain. The purpose of melatonin is to regulate sleep cycles-waking, and usually it is recommended for those who experience the violation of the circadian rhythm of the body. If you suffer from insomnia or have trouble falling asleep, you can take 1 to 10 milligrams thirty minutes–an hour before bedtime.
Tulasi (Tulsi): also Known as Holy Basil, this herb has been discovered in South Asia many centuries ago. Active ingredient tulasi, eugenol contributes to the fact that the plant has anti-stress and calming effect. Tulasi helps our body to regulate cortisol levels, preventing the accumulation of too much of this hormone that causes stress. In the evening you can enjoy a Cup of Tulsi tea or take it in the form of tinctures, to take advantage of its magic properties.
Valerian root: This root belongs to the flowering plant with a sweet smell that grows in parts of Asia and Europe and is said to helps to stimulate the production of GABA in our brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps us regulate our nervous system so we did not experience excessive anxiety and can reduce anxiety and stress. For the manifestation of the cumulative effect of Valerian root takes a few weeks, and the best way to consume Valerian root a few hours before you want to go on the side.
Chamomile: One of the most popular herbs (this is actually a flower) which you may have heard. Chamomile is widely used as a tea and helps to soothe virtually every system in our body. It reduces inflammation, soothes stomach upset and helps to achieve Zen when it comes time to go to sleep. You can add a bit of honey in chamomile tea to get a bonus dose of antioxidants.
Better understanding how our sleep cycles and if you follow these simple steps to help you feel rested the next day, you will be able to better control the preparation for sleep and sleep mode. With these simple tweaks, taken before the day comes to an end and tonight, you can say “Adios” second (or third) Cup of coffee, helps to cheer up during the day, or a glass of wine, needed to sleep. Pleasant dreams!
This article was written by Sara Baker, a certified holistic coach in nutrition and health, business consultant in strategic brand development and founder BalancedBabe.com. In between working with clients and the development of its Wellness brand, Sarah spends most of time promoting in the media available and full life.