Getting enough sleep is essential for good physical and mental health. However, determining how much sleep one needs to function normally during the day isn’t always easy.
We are going to talk about how much sleep we need in order to function properly during the day.
Sleep Disorders as a Global Issue
Sleep disorders are a global issue, impacting a great percentage of people. A sleep disorder is any medical condition that affects the quality or duration of sleep. Common sleep disorders include restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and narcolepsy.
Some of the symptoms associated with these conditions can include difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, and daytime fatigue.
Phases of Sleep
Sleep typically divides into two distinct phases: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
During REM sleep, your body is in a state of relaxation and dreaming occurs.
NREM sleep consists of four progressively deeper stages, from light sleep to deep sleep. This is when your body repairs and restores itself, including brain cell growth, memory consolidation, and physical healing.
Let’s talk more about the REM phase.
There are several questions about how much REM sleep is enough to function normally during the day. These include how long a sleeper should get, how much REM is needed, and whether or not it can be achieved through physical exercise.
The answer depends on the person’s age, gender, and overall sleep needs. Typically, adults require seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Getting enough REM is important for ensuring your body functions properly, as well as for enhancing your creativity and memory.
What REM Phase Looks Like
During the REM phase, your breathing rate and heart rate speed up. This helps your brain process emotions and memories. If you haven’t been getting enough REM sleep, you may feel groggy and forgetful, or you might struggle with thinking, learning, and managing emotions.
90 Min Per Night
Although there isn’t a specific formula for how much REM sleep is needed, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that healthy adults get about 90 minutes of REM per night.
For those who are prone to insomnia, it is especially important to get to bed on time each night and to allow at least seven hours before waking up.
REM Phase Decreases as We Age
As you age, the amount of REM sleep you get decreases. In addition, it is possible to suffer from decreased REM sleep as a result of stress. However, the exact cause of this is still unknown.
If you are experiencing any of these signs, you need to work on improving your REM sleep. A good way to do this is by exercising. Ideally, you should plan to do at least a 20-minute walk before bed. Other exercises can also be helpful.
REM Sleep Tracking
You can track how much REM sleep you are getting through the SleepScore app, available for free on Google Play or Apple App Store. It’s a great tool for anyone who wants to learn more about their sleep habits.
REM is the last stage of a sleep cycle, and it is the stage where dreams occur. In fact, the majority of dreams occur during REM sleep. Many studies have shown that REM is associated with more vivid dreams than non-REM dreams.
Taking a Nap is Beneficial
While naps can help fight daytime fatigue, they can’t replace the quality of sleep you need at night. This is important for your health and your ability to function properly throughout the day. It can also boost your memory and stamina.
Taking a nap has also been shown to lower blood pressure in some people. In fact, a recent study by researchers from Allegheny College in Pittsburgh found that people who took naps regularly were less likely to have heart disease.
Even if you’re not experiencing any health issues, you might still be tempted to take a nap. That’s because short naps are a great way to combat fatigue. They also boost your mood.
Taking a nap can improve your memory, strength and reaction time, among other things. However, the amount of sleep you need is different for each person. A shorter 20-minute nap, for example, can improve your performance in school and on the job.
Naps should not be taken in the evening, however. The circadian rhythm that governs your body’s sleep patterns is affected by the time of day. When you nap in the morning, you will be more likely to wake up feeling energized and refreshed. Likewise, a late afternoon nap can interfere with your sleep cycle.
To get the full benefits of a nap, you need to make sure you are in a comfortable place and are able to be quiet. Ideally, you want to set an alarm to help you stay on schedule.
If you have sleep problems, talk to your doctor about whether a nap is appropriate. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health problems.
Women’s Sleep Needs
When comparing the number of hours of sleep women and men require to function normally during the day, there are several factors that come into play. These include gender, age, life stage, and medical conditions.
Lifestyle Differences and Hormone Changes
Among women, there are certain tasks that need to be done during the day that are more demanding on the brain. They include multitasking, juggling children, and taking care of other people in the home. As a result, the female brain needs more rest than the male one.
This may also be due to hormone changes, such as the menstrual cycle, or it could be just culturally shaped.
In addition, women tend to have more anxiety and insomnia. Menopause and pregnancy also affect sleep. It is important for women to get adequate sleep and develop a regular sleeping schedule.
Moreover, women’s sleep needs may differ from their male counterparts, depending on their lifestyle habits. For example, if they are single parents or work with an employed partner, their schedules will be less rigid. Therefore, they may be more inclined to have earlier bedtimes and napping.
Women may also experience sleep disruptions, such as insomnia or restless leg syndrome (RLS), at different points of their lives. This is a particularly severe problem during pregnancy and perimenopause.
Women More Prone to Disorders
Research has shown that women are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders such as fibromyalgia and sleep apnea. Having a regular routine for sleep can help prevent health problems.
Sleep is also associated with better quality of life. The human brain is a complex organ that requires a certain amount of time to repair itself. Getting adequate sleep can improve your health, and it can make you happier every day.
Shift Work and Sleep
The human body needs at least seven hours of sleep every night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re at risk of a variety of health conditions. In fact, those who don’t get the proper amount of sleep are at a higher risk of stroke, heart disease, and other serious ailments.
The Abuse of Substances
Night shift workers can find it difficult to adjust to their work schedules. Because of this, they’re often tired and don’t feel as though they’re functioning at their full potential. They may smoke, abuse alcohol, and have a reduced drive to stay awake.
Those who have to work a night shift can also be at a high risk of developing a shift work disorder. Researchers have found that this type of work pattern can affect mental, emotional, and metabolic functions. It can also have an impact on your immune system.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. These include sleeping in the same room, avoiding blue-lit screens, and using earplugs.
Consider getting a daily dose of caffeine. Caffeine can help you stay alert during your shift. However, you should be careful not to drink too much caffeine too close to bedtime. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and can cause muscle shakes.
Another option is to use a sleep mask, preferably one that blocks light. You can also use electric fans to circulate air and provide background noise.
It is clear that the amount of sleep you get each night is a key factor in determining your overall functioning during the day. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night in order to be able to function normally and feel their best.
Obtaining the recommended amount of sleep each night can help improve concentration, mood, and energy levels.
If you are experiencing any sleep problems such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, speak with your doctor to develop an individualized plan that can help you get the restful sleep your body needs.