An Introductory To The Wonderful World Of Sleep
Sleep has always been a pretty marvelous thing, especially when you consider why we do it. For hours each and every day we completely turn off and become oblivious to our surroundings. Although it has not been proven the exact reason why we sleep, we do have a pretty good idea why the human body needs to do so and with more research being done each and everyday we are unlocking new secrets all the time.
For example did you know that your body does most of its physical and mental restoration during sleep, and did you know that your brain is more active while sleeping in certain stages? Sounds crazy, but it is true! There are many different stages of sleep that each serve their own purpose.
Our goal here at the sleeping academy is to educate and not only learn more, but help those who want to sleep better as well. We want to educate, be educated, experiment, and truly unlock our potential as human beings, and in order to do this we need to study and learn as much as we can. Although we already know lots about how sleep works, the field itself is pretty much new in the world of science. We have uncovered a lot in the past few years and more attention is being brought to the wonderful world of sleep.
If you are looking for a place to talk sleep, help figure out your problems then you have come to the right place.
The 5 Stages Of Sleep
The first we need to do is learn a little bit more about how sleep exactly works. While we are sleeping our body is doing all kinds of different things. What our body does, depends on what stage of sleep we are in. Each stage of sleep is different then the next and there are 5 in total. Below is a better explanation of how the 5 stages of sleep work.
Most people will argue and say that there are only 4 stages of sleep but truly there are 5! In order to get sleeping better you need to have a good understanding of what each stage does for your body, as well as what your body is doing during the time it is sleeping.
Here are the 5 stages of sleep:
- Stage 1 is the beginning of sleep, and surprisingly it starts while you are awake. In this stage your brain waves start to slow down and you become “sleepy” so to speak.
- Stage 2 happens while you are exactly sleeping and lasts for around 20 minutes or sometimes a little bit more. During this time you are easy to wake.
- Stage 3 is sometime referred to as deep sleep. In this stage you are hard to wake and delta brain waves are very strong. It is also believed that the body does repair and recovery during stage 3 of sleep.
- Stage 4 is a prolonged version of stage 3 of sleep with even more delta waves occurring.
- Stage five called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is the most interesting stage of sleep as your eyes quickly move while you are asleep. This is also where dreaming occurs. If you closely pay attention to someone who is REM sleep you will notice that there eyelids might move as well even though they are closed.
All the stages of sleep occur many times throughout the night and as you sleep longer some stages get shorter while others get longer. For example in the early morning REM sleep is much longer which explains why people awake to dreams and often dream the most in the early morning of the day.
Here is a picture that explains how to the 5 stages of sleep progress throughout a typical night of rest.
Why We Have Troubles Sleeping
We live in a world that is highly technologically advanced and beyond what nature ever intended us to live in. Because of this some of us have forgotten how to sleep, or even worse we were never really educated about how to sleep well or why it is even important at all. In fact you will notice that society does the complete opposite and encourages people to sleep less, as if staying at work all night and getting no sleep by showing up first thing in the morning is something to be proud of. In fact its highly ineffective as we all know how useless we are when we are sleep deprived.
Usually most people go through a large percentage of their lives living like this until they just simply can’t take it anymore, I was one of these people. I worked nightshift for 3 years before I ever learned anything about sleeping. I simply got tired of being miserable and having no energy all the time so I turned my computer monitor and started to search. Many years later and I am a completely different person.
Sleep is one of the most important things in our lives, if we want to be highly effective people, and live an enjoyable and fulfilling life then we need to master the art of getting a good nights rest. We need to move back into how nature taught us how to sleep if we want to live the best we possible can.
Technology is great and can be used to make our lives easier but as we become more reliant on it we are moving into an artificial world that s not good for our body. Watching too much T.V, not getting enough exercise, staying inside all day, being addicted to your cell phone.
The Most Common Sleeping Disorders
There is a pretty long list of sleeping disorders but I am only going to list the most common ones here. Click on the name of each sleeping disorder for more information.
- Sleep apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Sleep Anxiety
- SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Chances you have heard one or more of these before, and before you start thinking that you may have one you need to first fix your sleep clock. Mastering your circadian rhythm is the first step, so read more about that first, (more information on circadian rhythms below).
Once you get a better understanding on how your body naturally sleeps and the cues that effect it you can start to diagnose what problem you might have. The majority of people should see some improvements right away, however for the few who don’t you might need to keep digging in order to fix your problem. For more information about sleeping disorders, click here.
Also check out the posts below that help explain each sleeping disorder in better details.
If you would rather get a hands on approach with a doctor then a sleep clinic is your best bet however sometimes they can take a long time to get into. Here at the sleeping academy we try to be a general online sleep clinic to help those with sleeping problems. Sometimes a doctor is not the right option, and fortunately because of the internet you can do a lot of research yourself.
Factor That Determine How Well We Sleep
In order to understand how to sleep well we need to learn what factors determine how our sleep cycle functions. Our sleep is primarily determined by a system designed by nature called our sleep clock or circadian rhythm. This clock basically works very similar to an automatic program that tell your computer to do the same thing everyday at a certain time.
The reason why the majority of people, except in rare cases, experience sleeping problems is because their sleep clock is completely out of whack. The primary challenge then becomes to getting your sleep clock back to normal. You can find a few articles here on this website that will talk more about this and explain it better but for starters you need to learn what cues make this clock run effectively the way it was supposed to.
You can read more about circadian rhythms here. I also grabbed this nice image courtesy of Wikipedia that you can check out below.
Factors that determine how your circadian rhythm works:
- Body Temperature
- Food and diet
- Social Interaction
- Water Consumption
These are the main factors that ether make or break your sleep clock. To learn more about your sleep clock check out the posts listed below:
How To Use The Website
This whole page is just a general reference and only used to get you started. There is much more to learn, but you can go about doing that at your own pace. If you need more information search for it and see if there is an article on this site about it first.
This website is meant to be a general reference to learn more about sleeping and to also help those who seem to be having issues with sleep. The majority of the information here can be found on the blog and looking through the archives of this website.
You will notice that all topics and posts are categorized so that if you are interested in reading articles about a specific topic you and click a category to help filter out your results. The best way to help improve your knowledge about sleep is to learn as much as you can, but for now if you are more interested in learning about sleep apnea, for example check out the category for that topic so that you can get all the posts you need. Come back and read the other posts later on when you have more free time.
Sometimes you might have a problem or question that only suits your unique situation, or maybe you would rather speak with us directly. This is fine, and we encourage everyone to ask us and let us help you get a better nights rest. There are a few ways that you can contact us if you need the extra help.
First off you can leave a comment in an article or post that you might have questions about. If you think your question might be similar to someone else’s or if it fits the topic of the article then we encourage you to share your questions in the comments section.
If you would prefer to write to us directly you can do so by e-mail or by visiting our contact page and filling out or contact form. We will try to get back to you within 24 hours, if you need a quick response, then e-mail is probably your best option.