by Craig Desorcy
Power Sleeping starts with Understanding Sleep
Most people may not realize it but getting proper sleep involves a complex process which not only energizes the body but also promotes healing strengthens the immune system. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions regarding sleep but with a proper understanding of the inner sleep system you can dramatically improve your quality of life.
Naps can be very beneficial for improving energy if done properly and for the right duration. If napping is not done properly it can actually disturb your inner sleep system, inner sleep clock and leave you feeling tired and drained. There are five stages of sleep. The first two stages are considered light sleep and the last three stages are where deep sleep takes place. During Stage 1 and 2 we can be easily awakened. During the latter stages we enter deep sleep which is where major physiological changes take place including a slower heart rate, a drop in respiration and a lower body temperature. People usually enter deep sleep after about 45 minutes and if awakened during deep sleep the processes can be harmed. For this reason naps should always be less than 45 minutes. In fact, it has been determined that ten to twenty minutes naps can be the most effective in increasing energy levels and making you feel refreshed.
Too Much Sleep can be Harmful
It is a common misconception that the longer you sleep the more energy you will have. This is not true. Have you ever noticed that when you sleep longer than usual you are often then tired all day? Sleeping too long can actually rob you of energy and damage your inner sleep system. This is because one very important element of your inner sleep system is prior wakefulness. When you sleep too long you limit your awake time and put stress on your melatonin levels, sunlight exposure time, and body temperature rhythm. Too much sleep can also be detrimental to the quality of deep sleep that you experience which can compromise the immune system.
Quality Sleep for Health
You may have noticed that people tend to sleep longer when they are sick. This is because when we enter deep sleep, Stage 3 and Stage 4, our blood vessels dilate and all of the blood that typically stored in the organs throughout the day moves into our muscles to nourish and repair them. Our immune system activates during deep sleep to heal our bodies and fight off disease.
A proper understanding of the inner sleep system can ensure that we receive the proper amounts of light and deep sleep. This can ultimately resulting more energy, less visits to the doctor and the ability to go on less sleep.