Much Ado About Sleeping 

I’ve been experiencing something quite strange over the past few months. When I am tired, but can’t sleep, even with the air conditioning switched on, I feel hot. This does not happen when I am tired and sleepy though! Then I feel nice and cold and when I pull up a blanket, it’s nice, warm and toasty – just the right temperature to sleep in! 

I tried googling this, but can’t get any site which addresses this problem. Any thoughts?

I’ve always been a bad sleeper – I can take upto 30 minutes from the time I switch off the lights to actually getting some zzz. It doesn’t help that I can’t sleep without some reading done – physical or ebook. So all this can easily add a couple of hours from the time I get into bed to the time I actually sleep. I’ve pretty much tried everything, meditation, counting sheep, trying to get into the zone etc., but the only thing for me to really fall asleep is to get super tired! Some days even that doesn’t work and inspite of being tired, I am wide awake…

Scientists say that an adult requires between 7.5 to 9 hours a day. I fall somewhere in the middle – my ideal is 8 hours, but I can function well on 7.5 hours. However, I rarely sleep that much every night, except maybe over the weekend! I use a sleep tracking app (actually two, since I am OCD like that 😝) on my phone and have realised that I actually need slightly more 50% of my total sleep in deep plus REM sleep.

Sleep deprivation occurs when there is not enough of deep sleep. This is the time the body repairs itself and builds up energy for the day ahead. It plays a major role in maintaining your health, stimulating growth and development, repairing muscles and tissues, and boosting your immune system. In order to wake up energized and refreshed, getting quality deep sleep is essential.

For those who don’t know, REM or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep is one of the five stages of sleep that most people experience nightly. It is characterized by quick, random movements of the eyes and paralysis of the muscles. This stage of sleep is also sometimes known as paradoxical sleep and this is when most people are able to have especially vivid dreams. Every night we sleep, we move between wakefulness, REM and non REM sleep. Each cycle typically lasts about 90 minutes each and repeats as much as four to six times each night.

During REM sleep, your brain consolidates and processes the information you’ve learned during the day, forms neural connections that strengthen memory, and replenishes its supply of neurotransmitters, including feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that boost your mood during the day. Sleeping an extra 30 minutes to an hour in the morning, when REM sleep stages are longer will get you more mind and mood-boosting REM sleep, try sleeping an. Improving your overall sleep will also increase your REM sleep. If you aren’t getting enough deep sleep, your body will try to make that up first, at the expense of REM sleep.

Most adults, atleast those that I know of often have huge sleep debts and we think by sleeping in over the weekends (waking up late, taking naps during the day) will allow us to pay a part of that debt. However, it’s not that easy. This will help only temporarily and you may feel great on Monday after a weekend spent sleeping away, but as the day goes on, you’ll only feel more tired. Ways to get off a sleep debt include trying to sleep atleast 7.5 hours each night, sleeping an extra hour each morning and paying off the debt over a period of time, keeping a sleep diary to record sleep and drastically taking a sleep vacation to pay off a long-term debt. Lastly, schedule sleep in your calendar and banish anything from your bedroom which hinders sleep (Easier said than done, I know! Been there, done that 😳)

There are tons of resources available online for sleep. Googling “sleep” gave me 798,000,000 results and googling “how to sleep better” gave me 632,000,000 results!

If you also are sleep deprived like me, go ahead and look these up, but remember, don’t do this before you are about to sleep. You’ll be up all night otherwise!

Happy zzzz


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s