Sleep activates the conscious mind
Getting a great night sleep?
Problem is not so much in the sleeping, per se, but in the falling asleep part. As soon as the body slows down, the brain speeds up, and suddenly has all the great ideas that eluded all day. However, trying to force to sleep seems to have the opposite effect, and the more challenging try, the less rest.
Sleep activates the conscious mind, precisely the opposite of what the body wants when trying to settle in for the night. Rest is not a state one can think the way falling asleep. Thinking too hard about sleep is part of the problem. Thinking about the inability to sleep may make more anxious and contribute to keeping awake.
The mind needs a chance to slow down to transition to sleep. It is, not a metaphor; it is a physiological process. As we transition to sleep, the firing of cortical neurons in our brain slows down and allows our mind to ease into a state of sleep, That is why we often feel like we are drifting off to sleep. Falling asleep is the process of the brain slowing down on a physiological level. Laying in bed, focusing on falling asleep and even thinking, sleep, sleep, sleep, will not work. By consciously thinking about falling asleep, will make neurons in the brain fire faster, not slower.
The mind and body have to be in a state of relaxation to sleep. Ease indicates the physical slowing down of processes after a period of tension or activity. It is a real physical phenomenon. No matter how much we tell ourselves, some of the screen-based things we do to fall asleep — like watching TV or scrolling on the mobile phone — relax us. It is not right on a physical level. Screens are stimulating, even if whatever is on them seems enjoyable and chill. Our bodies cannot help but respond to the light they emit, so turn off those reruns of The Office and go to sleep.
What should do if really want to sleep and just cannot? Give up. Do not lie in bed all night, tossing and turning. It is better to leave the bedroom and read a boring book. Sometimes just changing the environment will help nod off. The other thing is that because sleep requires a reduction in physical activity, it helps get some exercise to start. It turns out; Exercising is essential for sleeping. It helps put the body into a state of relaxation — but because when practice, the body produces calming hormones.
Do not have to do an intense workout to enjoy sound sleep; almost any physical exercise will help sleep to some degree. Rest seems like something that should not be rocket science, but it is, in fact, a scientific phenomenon. That feels pretty liberating. Cannot sleep; it is not a character defect or anything. It just means the physical conditions are not exactly right for relaxation. That seems like a very solvable problem — as long as do not try to think too hard about solving it right before bed.
How does sleep feel?
Scientists divide sleep into two significant types: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep or dreaming sleep, and non-REM or quiet rest. Surprisingly, they are different from each other as each one is from waking— yet both may be important for energy.
Non-REM sleep involves three stages. Sleep specialists believe that the last known as deep sleep or slow-wave sleep—is the primary time when the body renews and repairs itself. This stage of sleep appears to be the one that plays the most significant role in energy, enhancing the ability to make ATP, the body's energy molecule. In deep sleep, blood flow is directed less toward the brain, which cools measurably. At the beginning of this stage, the pituitary gland releases a pulse of growth hormone that stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair.
Researchers detected increased blood levels of substances that activate the immune system, raising the possibility that deep sleep helps prepare the body to defend itself against infections. Someone whose deep sleep is restricted will wake up feeling less refreshed than a person who got adequate deep sleep. When a sleep-deprived person gets some rest; they pass out quickly through the lighter sleep stages into the deeper stages and spend a more significant proportion of time there, suggesting that deep sleep fills an essential role in a person's optimal functioning.
Just as deep sleep restores the body, scientists believe that REM sleep restores the mind, perhaps in part by helping clear out irrelevant information.
Other studies have found that REM sleep facilitates learning and memory. People tested to measure how well they had learned a new task improved their scores after a night's sleep. If prevented them from having REM sleep, the improvements were lost. By contrast, if they were awakened an equal number of times from deep sleep, the scores' progress was unaffected. There is also emerging evidence that getting enough REM sleep may help to preserve memory and cognitive function as one age.
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