Sleep has a profound effect on our:
Memory & our well-being in general
According to the National Sleep Foundation:
Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders!
There is no pill or treatment in the world that can help you relax, heal (mentally or physically), or affect your appearance as much as a good nights sleep!
—– A clinical trial commissioned by Estée Lauder and conducted by physician-scientists at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center found that poor sleepers demonstrated increased signs of skin aging. In the study 60 pre-menopausal women between the ages of 30 – 49, with half of them falling into the poor quality sleep category. Researchers evaluated the women’s skin and conducted a variety of skin challenge tests including ones involving UV light exposure. The classification was made on the basis of average duration of sleep and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a standard questionnaire-based assessment of sleep quality.
This is a screenshot of a polysomnographic record (30 seconds) representing Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. EEG highlighted by red box. Eye movements highlighted by red line.
The Sleep Cycle
Characterized by two states—REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM.
Non-REM sleep has three stages, ranging from drowsiness to deep sleep.
- Stage 1 – occurs mostly in the beginning of sleep, with slow eye movement. Alpha waves disappear and the theta wave appears. People aroused from this stage often believe that they have been fully awake.
- Stage 2 – no eye movement occurs, and dreaming is very rare. The sleeper is easily awakened.
- Stage 3 – is deep sleep, slow-wave sleep (SWS). Dreaming is more common in this stage than in other stages of NREM sleep though not as common as in REM sleep. The content of SWS dreams tends to be disconnected, less vivid, and less memorable than those that occur during REM sleep. is made up of the deepest stage of NREM, and is often referred to as deep sleep.
REM sleep (classified into two categories: tonic and phasic) is where dreams occur, breathing and heart rate increase and become irregular, muscles relax and the eyes move back and forth. Criteria for REM sleep includes rapid eye movement, low muscle tone and a rapid, low-voltage EEG.
REM sleep typically occupies 20–25% of total sleep, about 90–120 minutes of a night’s sleep. REM sleep normally occurs close to morning. During a night of sleep, one usually experiences about four or five periods of REM sleep; they are quite short at the beginning of the night and longer toward the end. Many animals and some people tend to wake, or experience a period of very light sleep, for a short time immediately after a bout of REM. The relative amount of REM sleep varies considerably with age. A newborn baby spends more than 80% of total sleep time in REM. During REM, the activity of the brain’s neurons is quite similar to that during waking hours; for this reason, the REM-sleep stage may be called paradoxical sleep.
REM sleep is physiologically different from the other phases of sleep, which are collectively referred to as non-REM sleep (NREM sleep). Subjects’ vividly recalled dreams mostly occur during REM sleep.
Just a few of the ways Sleep deprivation can effect the way you look:
- Aching muscles
- Periorbital puffiness, commonly known as “bags under eyes”
- Increased blood pressure
- Obesity – people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours. There is a link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite; less than six hours of sleep is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin. Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.
- Erythema (redness)
- Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) increased
- Sallow skin
- Fine lines
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Decreased ability to heal especially from sun damage
- Your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
- Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.
The National Sleep Foundation identifies several warning signs that a driver is dangerously fatigued, including:
rolling down the window
turning up the radio
trouble keeping eyes open
drifting out of the lane
At particular risk are lone drivers between midnight and 6 am.
|Age group||Recommended amount of sleep|
|Infants||9-10 hours at night, plus 3 or more hours of naps|
|Toddlers||9-10 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of naps|
|School-age children||9-11 hours|