It only took one conversation with Dr. Ejike Udeze for me to conclude within myself to add him to the list of contributors on my blog. He’s not only a friend but he serves as a mentor. He radiates wisdom, intelligence and positivity. Alright, let’s join him on this wellness journey!
Definition of sleep:
Sleep according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is
1 : the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored.
This means that sleep is a state of rest following which the body recovers from physical and mental exhaustion. From the perspective of the more medially inclined Stedman’s Medical dictionary;
From this it goes to add that there is a need for sleep and this need has a periodicity to it and must be met regularly.
STAGES OF SLEEP:
Physiology is the study of the normal functions of the body. From a physiologic point of view, sleep has always been divided into two phases or stages. The Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep and the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
The NREM usually lasting longer comes before the REM. This stage starts from the wakeful state, extending to the just asleep but yet easily rousable, then to the more deeply asleep but no rapid movements of the eyes. Clinical research has also shown that the greatest quantity of growth hormone release occurs during the later stages of this deep state of slumber, Particularly important for growing children. NREM sleep can last for four or five hours in a six hour sleep.
REM SLEEP (State of bliss):
This is the phase of dreams, the phase of greatest inactivity (up to the level of paralysis even). This is when the body recovers the most from all those physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. The brain makes use of this sleep stage to ‘sort’ itself out. To sort things out really, to organize and store information, especially new information. To consolidate new experiences, emotions and encounters of the day or rather wakeful state. The brain brings up other brain data and thinks about them, thus coming to the sleeper as dreams. (This will bring us to my next article Dreams, the interpretations).
The REM sleep is so important that anyone woken before fully attaining this state of total recovery most times feels worse off than they were before sleeping, both physically and otherwise. Have you ever woken up feeling even the more tired? Well that’s usually because you didn’t actualize the REM sleep stage.
Sleep: how much of it is enough?
An adult’s need for sleep varies too depending on persons and place. But yet medical opinion puts it at an average of six to seven hours in a day. Personally I say seven to eight hours, my prescription being to have more of sleep. The more you can get the better. There’s no overdose to this essential aspect of human nature ‘Sleep.’
Sleep is highly important to the general well-being of humans. It provides renewal of strengths. Gives the brain some break, note the brain is ever active even during sleep. It allows many the ability of achieving in their dreams what they can’t think of achieving during the day times. Many have been known to receive world-changing revelations in their sleep as the powers of their minds go unfettered, skipping by leaps and bounds, and tearing down frontiers.
Sleep is very important to humans. Early to bed, early to rise… So we’ve always known. Learn more about your personal sleep pattern, make it an individual course of study. Know thyself. Sleep more, achieve more!
Ejike Udeze is a health personnel at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH). Ejike is always in search of new medical discoveries and breakthrough. You can reach him on Facebook by clicking here or with his name “Ejike Udeze.“