February 6, 2015( Comments: 0 )

Are You Sleeping?

Living on the Northern Beaches naturally makes us wake up early, so we can get out and enjoy this beautiful place, who wouldn’t if you were living up this way – Bayview, Church Point, Warriewood, Narrabeen, Newport, Mona Vale & Collaroy – such amazing places! But one thing we do need to be mindful of; are we getting enough sleep?

Having to wake up as early as I do each morning I know sleep is so precious, it’s the repair that keeps my body running and the recharge that keeps my brain functioning during those late nights studying.

Along with poor concentration, memory and coordination, a lack of sleep can cause fatigue and mood changes as well. A Bad Sleep can affect the performance you givethroughout a high intensity training program, If sleep and nutrition are neglectedeventhe best training plans will NOT work.
Without sufficient sleep (8 hours per night), there is not enough rest for muscle cell growth and repair.
Lack of sleep can also affect hormonal stress levels which will have a negative impact on performance – at home, work and the gym!
Sleep stages
Sleep isn’t a static state of consciousness. The brain moves through distinct stages of sleep, over and over, every night. The two broad categories of sleep include:
→ Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
→ Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep- Occurs regularly, about once every 90 to 120 minutes. It makes up about one-quarter of your night’s sleep. The brain in REM sleep shows significant electrical activity. The sleeper’s eyes tend to dart about under closed lids, hence the name.
The bulk of dreams are thought to occur during REM sleep. Sleep researchers have established that at least some eye movements correspond with dream content, which suggests that we watch our dreams like we watch movies on a screen.
Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep
Non-rapid eye movement sleep is what you experience for the remaining three-quarters of your sleep time. The amount and type of NREM sleep vary with age and the degree of sleep deprivation.

The 4stages of NREM sleep include:
Stage 1 – Dozing or drowsiness. You hover between being asleep and awake.
Stage 2 –You lose awareness of your surroundings. Body temperature starts to drop. Breathing and heart rate slows down.
Stages 3 and 4 – The Deep sleep, also known as ‘delta sleep’. Your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing become very slow and your muscles relax. Growth and repair processes occur during this stage.

Things to remember

  • Sleep is essential for your health. It refreshes the mind and repairs the body.
  • Lack of sleep can cause fatigue, poor concentration/memory, mood swings, impaired judgement, reaction time, and poor physical coordination.
  • Common causes of sleep deprivation are parenthood, shift work, and travel across time zones, illness, poor sleeping habits, comfort, some medications and the Internet.

1) Never Oversleep- You cannot catch up on lost sleep. Over sleeping (10+ hours) can change the body’s patterns and make it more difficult to fall asleep the following night.
2) Sleeping Area should be Calm- Soothing music, cool climate with a humming fan to drown out exterior noises will make the place you sleep more conducive to quality sleep.
3) Avoid Active Evenings- If possible do not exercise 2-3 hours prior to sleep or be highly active prior to sleeping. Relaxing a few hours prior to sleep works well for naturally preparing the body for a quality sleep, and avoid the television in bed.

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