Alaska Sleep Education Center

7 Important Things You Need to Know About Sleep

Posted by Evelina Brown on Sep 10, 2021 12:51:38 PM

Female asleep in blue nightdress.

Have you been using weighted blankets for adults lately? Is it because you discovered their amazing role in sleep hygiene while researching sleep itself? If so, then you’re not alone!

Recently, a lot of adults have been looking forward to ways to get their sleep back on track. The adverse impact of sleep deprivation has us all worried.

According to Philips Global Sleep Survey 2019, approximately 62% of the world’s adult population reported not getting as much sleep as they would've liked.

And, as per a recent 2021 study, 20% of the participants relied on supplements, 8% on aids, and 3% on other sleep comfort products.

Well, there’s no denying that sleep is as important for our well-being as eating and breathing. It's not an activity but rather a necessity.

In this post, we have listed the 7-most important things that everyone needs to know about sleep. Time to make sleep a priority!

Routine is the Key to Sleep Success

Having a consistent sleep schedule is crucial for good sleep quality. It is because your body loves following a routine. It is not spontaneous but rather systematic and organized.

When we sleep at a particular time every day, our brain adjusts our body accordingly. The circadian rhythm (sleep regulation system) releases sleep and wake hormones at the same time.

As a result, we start a day energetically and gradually feel a wave of tiredness washing over us by night time. Hence, allowing us to take a good, undisrupted sleep.

Hypersomnia Exists

We all have heard about insomnia that deprives people of sleep. But have you ever heard about hypersomnia? It surely exists!

Hypersomnia refers to a condition in which an individual experiences continuous episodes of excessive sleepiness. One can experience these episodes either at night or throughout the day.

Also, hypersomnia can occur as one prolonged sleep or recurring naps. Some other symptoms include irritation, slow speech, appetite loss, restlessness, and memory issues.

Simply put, hypersomnia is oversleeping. It may occur due to several reasons, such as depression, obesity.

Snoring is a Sleep Disorder

Often, we overlook snoring and dispose of it as an irritating habit of someone. However, snoring can be an indication of a serious underlying issue, also called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder largely characterized by snoring. It also gets accompanied by these symptoms:

  • Breathing pauses
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep
  • Gasping during sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Sore throat

Approximately 50 to 70-million individuals in the US suffer from sleep disorders, with sleep apnea the most prevalent. Over time, obstructive sleep apnea worsens and can cause premature death. It paralyzes the muscles of the airways. As a result, it causes oxygen levels to drop significantly low.

Adults & the Sleep Numbers

Most people sleep according to their daily activities and level of exhaustion. However, did you know studies recommend a certain amount of sleep?

Well, these hours of sleep suggested by studies is optimum. Following the guidelines can help improve the overall sleep quality. It also enables you to perform at your best the next day.

The recommended sleep guidelines for adults include 7 to 9-hours of sleep. This particular adult categorization includes 18 to 64-years old individuals.

Of course, you may tweak the sleep schedule slightly as per your schedule and activities. However, do not exceed the limit extensively.

For example, as an adult, you may sleep 7 to 10-hours or 6 to 8-hours. But, sleeping for more than 12 or less than 5-hours can cause great disturbances.

The Deadly Link to Heart

We all associate our heart and blood circulatory system with the core responsibility of keeping us alive. But, what is that one significant factor affecting the heart itself? It’s sleep!

Sleeping is the resting and recharging period of our bodies. Every organ and part is restoring its strength for the next day.

Now, we experience different stages during our sleep; REM and NREM. When we are in the NREM (non-rapid eye movement) stage, our heart rate drops and causes stabilization in breathing.

These changes occurring in the NREM stage reduce stress on the heart. Hence, the heart can recover from the strain received throughout the day.

Insufficient sleep or disorders reduce the periods we spend in the NREM stages. As a result, our heart is unable to recover fully before taking up another day’s load.

It is why sleep-deprived people are most likely to experience heart issues. These include heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.

Weighted Blankets Improve Sleep Quality

Weighted blankets are what they seem like - literally. These are heavy blankets that are available in two styles; knitted and duvet. Both of these use different weight-adding techniques.

A duvet blanket uses plastic/glass beads or ball bearings, whereas knitted blankets use dense yarn to add weight. Surprisingly, these blankets enhance sleep quality to a great extent.

Weighted blankets utilize deep pressure stimulation to trigger the production of serotonin (mood-boosting hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone). It also lowers the release of cortisol (stress hormone). Consequently, one can sleep better.

Sleep Deprivation and Infertility

Research shows that women sleeping less than 7-hours a day were 15-percent less likely to get pregnant than the ones who slept 7 to 8-hours. You see, the region of the brain responsible for producing sleep hormones also releases reproduction hormones. Hence, sleep deprivation can trigger infertility in both men and women. These interesting facts will help you understand sleep better. The number one fact you should know about sleep is that Alaska Sleep Clinic is the most comprehensive sleep lab in Alaska. You should never sacrifice your sleep to work hard. Do everything in its time and place and you’ll be successful. Have a lovely night!



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Topics: insomnia, Sleep Tips, sleep hygiene, heart health

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