Today, far too many of us are suffering from sleep insufficiency. Not enough sleep or sleep that's not restful or refreshing. Here's a little "cheat sheet" for assessing the quality of your sleep. If any of these factors apply to you - we'd encourage you to contact your doctor or medical professional for further assessment.
1) Do you get 6-8 hours of sleep every night?
2) Does it take you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep?
3) Do you wake up more than 3 times a night?
4) Can you go back to sleep easily after you wake up?
5) Do you feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning?
Sleep is highly essential, especially during the stressful times we are living in today. During sleep our bodies goes through balancing and building processes which clear out toxins, lower inflammatory and stress mediators and increase activity of regenerative hormones.
During a healthy night's sleep the body goes through 5 cycles of sleep. Each cycle consists of four stages (1) a transition phase between wakefulness and sleep (2) non-rapid eye-movement sleep in which our body temperature starts to drop (3) the deepest level of sleep where most body tissue and muscle repair occurs and (4) rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, when dreams occur. Some of us fail to move into these deeper levels of sleep and live most of our lives not knowing that our sleep and our health is at risk. That is why having the ability to connect with a trained sleep medical professional can be so helpful.
Reem Sharhan is a Naturopathic medical student at Bastyr University, and is the recipient of the Soaring Heart Endowed Scholarship for 2019-20. We are happy to have her contribute to our blog posts as her studies allow!
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