While sleep is commonly defined as a state of passive unawareness, recent advances have made it possible to examine brain activity more closely. Among these advances are ways of measuring brain signals, which show when someone is asleep. These methods could ultimately lead to the identification of specific structures that mediate sleep and their functional roles in the process. But these advances are still in their infancy. Sleep plays an essential role in many different aspects of human health. For instance, deep sleep promotes the growth of brain cells. And The National Sleep Foundation report highlights the importance of sleep for both adults and children. As we age, our bodies need less sleep than when we were younger but we still need a reasonable amount of quality sleep to keep our metabolisms healthy, although some of this may come from naps, rather than long overnight sleeps.
Sleeping Too Much and Ill Health
Research has shown a correlation between sleep duration and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. While sleep deprivation can cause fatigue and ill health, studies have also shown that a longer sleep duration can affect the expression of certain cytokines and the circadian cycle. However, long sleep has other consequences. Long sleep may contribute to underlying illnesses such as coronary artery disease, heart disease, and depression. Therefore, if you want to improve your health and feel energized during the day, you should stay consistent with your sleep pattern. Besides being detrimental to your health, too much sleep may also trigger a condition called hypersomnia. It affects circadian rhythms, deprives the body of sunlight, and compromises the immune system. It may even raise the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker of chronic low-grade inflammation and is associated with heart disease. Regardless of the cause, excessive sleep is as detrimental to health as sleeping too little.
In fact, those who sleep for seven to nine hours per night are least likely to develop diabetes. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHNES) linked an elevated risk of heart disease in women with nine to 11 hours of sleep per night. The study included 71,000 middle-aged women. Women who sleep nine to 11 hours per night were 38% more likely to develop heart disease than women who slept for eight to 10 hours a night.
Sleep deprivation increases the likelihood of developing diabetes, obesity, and other conditions. In addition to its negative effects on health, studies have shown that inadequate sleep can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression, and depression, as well as fatigue that can lead to accidents at work, while operating machinery or when driving.
Consistency is the key to setting up a regular sleeping routine. Determine the amount of sleep you need each night and then set a regular schedule to meet your needs. Often, this will require some trial-and-error, but the goal is to be consistent and achieve the optimal amount of sleep. Then, monitor your mood and how much sleep you get and adjust the sleep schedule accordingly. The best way to figure out the perfect amount of sleep is to keep a log of how long you sleep each night and how you feel throughout the day.
So, if you’re having trouble getting enough rest, try to find a balance between too long and too short sleep durations for the sake of your health. The good news is that we need enough sleep but it does not necessarily have to be in one uninterrupted stretch. Research on sleep patterns has shown that people did not normally sleep in uninterrupted stretches until the late seventeenth century or even later. In fact, they used to sleep in two segments, called first sleep and second sleep, with a wakeful period of possibly two hours, called “The Watch” in between.This gave them six to eight hours of sleep in total between the two periods.
If you want to get more sleep, decide what your bedtime should be and what time you need to get up at. If your normal bedtime is much later than your desired bedtime, bring it back gradually, so you have time to get used to going to bed earlier. Keep a record of your sleep times and the quality of sleep and what happened during the day or the foods and medications you take to try and see whether there is any pattern you can discern that could help you get more quality sleep regularly.