By: Lauren Antkowiak
Sleep is one of the most important things in life that often gets over looked. Not everyone sleeps the proper amount every night because things like work, family, and stress get in the way. March is Sleep Awareness month, so it’s the perfect opportunity to inform you about the importance of sleep.
Eight hours is the standard amount of sleep everyone should get each night. However, a lot of things interfere with that such as coffee, energy drinks, alarm clocks, and lights from our electronic devices. We are distracted when we are supposed to be sleeping, which messes with not only the amount of sleep we get but the kind of sleep we get.
Circadian rhythm is an internal system that regulates our feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness. The rhythm is different for everyone, which is why some people are “morning people” while others are “night owls.” Without the proper amount of sleep, our rhythm gets thrown off causing us to feel sleepy during the day. A circadian rhythm that isn’t consistent also messes with our stages of sleep.
There are different stages, the most important being REM; during this the body is most relaxed and our brain can rejuvenate itself. This is the type of sleep we are not getting when we don’t get the proper amount of sleep. Our brain needs time to rest to keep us functioning properly throughout the day.
This deep REM sleep for an appropriate amount of time is the kind of sleep we should all strive for. There is always going to be something that we think is more important to do instead of sleeping. We must start making sleep a priority; without it our body will suffer. Make a sleep schedule and stick with it every night, shut your phone off, and find a way to unwind before bed; these are just some of the ways to help you get a better night’s sleep.
For more information, be sure to catch the “Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness” episode on sleep awareness!!