“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” — Thomas Dekker
Sleep is a state where awareness to environmental stimuli is reduced. Sleep is different from states of coma, hibernation, and death by the fact that it can be rapidly reversed.
- Improves memory and learning, increases attention and creativity, and aids in decision making.
- Maintains physical health, particularly in the healing and repairing of cells, such as those in the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems.
- Maintains the balance of hormones
Insulin increasing links to diabetes, kidney disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Growth hormones assist in tissues repair and boost muscle mass.
- Improves the immune system - linked to difficulty fighting infections and increased risk of illness.
The amount of sleep varies among individuals. The usual requirement of sleep is around 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Some individuals may function with less than 6 hours per night while some may need around 12 hours of sleep.
Like most other mammals, humans also show two types of sleep:
- Rapid Eye Movement (REM)
- Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM)
For Youtube fans, here is a video link for further information on the sleep stages:
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By Sarah McCarren, RN, MSN, CPNP
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