Everyone needs it. Everyone wants it. Why not write about it? If you’re lacking in writing topics, sleep is a perfect solution. To everything! Sleep seems to be one of those luxuries where if you’re successful, it’s because you burned the candle at both ends, feverishly working late into the night to become a self made, hardworking success. Not someone who regularly got the recommended eight hours of sleep and kept their iPhones and iPads off in bed.
However, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), we spend one third of our life sleeping, and for good reason. “Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.”
Regulators in the sleep process
Several structures in the brain, including the brain stem, hypothalamus and the great third eye pineal gland and more, are integral to the sleeping process. Each structure takes care of its own particular part of sleep, restoring the brain and body holistically.
Thinking of sleep as a general reset button is a great analogy. Interestingly, your body comes with two such built in buttons.
Skip the snooze button
Your circadian rhythm, which is set to a 24 your clock, cues your body in to a natural pattern of sleep during darkness and wake during brightness.
Some people even believe in forgoing the alarm clock all together and relying solely on their circadian rhythm, believing it can actually boost your productivity if you abide by it.
The backup reset button is the “sleep wake homeostasis”. Homeostasis is a term that means ‘return to baseline’ and it is your bodies way of recovering itself. So when you have pushed the limits and exhausted yourself, your body automatically tries to signal to you that you need sleep.
The NIH says, “This [sleep wake homeostasis] drive gets stronger every hour you are awake and causes you to sleep longer and more deeply after a period of sleep deprivation.” Which is why your eyelids feel heavy and you yawn uncontrollably the more hours you push yourself.
How to get more sleep
- Set a daily schedule and follow it
- Get 20-30 min of heart pumping activity per day, but not close to bed time
- Avoid stimulants (caffeine and alcohol) before bed
- Create a calming sleep environment- dark, cool rooms with low lighting and white noise
- If you are unable to fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time, get out of bed and do something else. Don’t just lie in bed awake.
The information provided to you in this post is from the National Institute of Health’s information and recommendations on sleep. This is a huge subject and people devote their entire lives to it. It would be a fantastic topic for your writing if you are blocked creatively because there are so many studies and facets of research for you to delve into. Happy writing!