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The Sleep Blog: Part I

August 01, 2017

Dr. Don's Good Sleep Blog Part 1 Graphic


Overview of How Sleep Works and Why Sleep is Essential to a Person’s Well-Being

By Dr. Don McCarren

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” — Thomas Dekker

Definition of Sleep

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.

Why We Need Sleep

- 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

  • Ghrelin and leptin regulate feelings of hunger and fullness and is likely to explain the link between inadequate sleep and increased risk of obesity.
  • 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.

Duration of Sleep

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.

How Sleep Works

Like most other mammals, humans also show two types of sleep:

- Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

- Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM)

Five Stages of Sleep

For Youtube fans, here is a video link for further information on the sleep stages:

Stay tuned to the blog, “The Prescription” at DrDonsCarePackages.comfor:

Part 2:Sleep disturbances – Causes and Treatment

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