On Friday the 17th March it is not only St Patrick’s day but also World sleep day! This got me thinking about how important sleep is. Contrary to our quiet physical state, the brain can be very active during sleep. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. I track my sleep on my apple watch. I set a target of 9 hours sleep a night and then the next morning I can see how much sleep I actually got and it shows the 4 different stages of my sleep: Awake, REM, Core and Deep.
Awake- We wake up periodically throughout the night
REM- REM sleep occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep. It is when most of your dreaming happens.
Core- Core is sometimes referred to as light sleep, but it represents most of our sleep.
Deep- This stage happens in longer periods during the first half of the night. This is when your body repairs.
As someone who loves and needs sleep, sometimes I struggle to find it! I am not alone as apparently 1/3 of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep. During sleep, our minds and body heal and rest. Our brain performs problem-solving tasks which the saying ‘sleep on it’ evolves from. It is better to have less sleep but better quality sleep, than poor sleep.
Dr Michael Mosley has produced a BBC podcast on sleeping well. It is well worth listening to. I found it deeply relaxing, simple to follow, and very helpful. Give it a go!