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The Beauty of Sleep

By: Pat Lam
Posted: October 24, 2008

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Inadequate sleep takes a toll on the body both mentally and physically. Some people either have trouble falling asleep, going back to sleep or waking up too early. Lack of sleep occurs more often among females suffering from depression and menopause; those suffering from medical problems; those taking certain medications, such as antihistamines; those addicted to smoking and alcohol; those with high stress levels; those experiencing indigestion, often resulting eating large meals too late at night; and those who are extremely fatigued.

Effects of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation can lead to many serious problems, including:

  • Reduced energy, resulting in fatigue and exhaustion
  • Reduced memory
  • Inability to focus and respond quickly, which often leads to accidents
  • Lower body immunity, often resulting in increased risk of infection, illness and disease

How many hours are needed?

The Mayo Clinic defines sleep as an adequate amount to produce daytime alertness and feelings of well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 30% of Americans get fewer than six hours of sleep at night, and 50-70 million suffer from sleep disorders. A person should feel recharged after a good night’s sleep. The amount of sleep needed changes with age, varies from individual to individual and is a result of other factors affecting our internal clock or circadian rhythms.

Different stages of sleep:

  • Stage 1: Light sleep, awakens easily, slower movement of eyes and muscles
  • Stage 2: No eye movement, brain waves slower and occasional bouts of brain waves
  • Stage 3: Deep—extremely brain waves—delta—mixed with smaller faster waves
  • Stage 4: Deep—mainly delta waves—no eye and muscle action
  • Stage 5: Dreaming stage—REM (rapid eye movement)—quicker, irregular and shallow breathing; eyes and limbs become temporarily paralyzed

The beauty of sleep

Do you know the main choice of spa treatments? It is massage. Body massage, facial massage, foot massage—any kind of massage! Why? Because it calms the nerves, mind and induces sleep! In fact, if you do not fall asleep, you would not think the spa treatment was wonderful, because the sleep that you experienced would have put you in a good frame of mind and induces a feeling of wellness. They get up and their eyes are clear and soft, their skin appears soft and smooth with fewer wrinkles, and they feel a sense of wellness or beauty! So sleep is beauty.

Snoring

Most have been exposed to snoring through their families. It is particularly difficult to sleep if your partner snores and you don’t. So, what is snoring? It is noisy breathing. When a person lays on the back and trying to breathe in air, a suction occurs causing the windpipe to collapse, thus blocking air. With less oxygen, the brain awakens and the person snorts or gasps for air, resulting in snoring.