Understanding Sleep Patterns to Deal With Your Insomnia
Many times you know that you can’t sleep because you are worrying about a problem. But then there are those times that you just can’t fathom out why you are not sleeping.
You might be feeling sleepy and tired but when it comes to going to sleep, sleep just doesn’t come. You toss and turn in bed all night and then you start worrying if this is normal.
When sleep finally comes you are rudely awakened by your alarm clock only having gotten a couple of hours sleep at the most.
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep and waking up way too early. While we are sleeping our brains are active and sometimes this over activity can be a cause of insomnia.
Understanding how your sleep pattern works is the beginning to discovering how to effectively deal with your insomnia.
There are five phases of sleep. The first phase is a very light sleep and you will wake up easily if distracted. Your eye and muscle movements during this stage are very slow.
When you enter into stage 2 your eye movement’s stop and your brain waves become slower. You experience what is referred to as ‘sleep spindles’, which are bursts of rapid waves.
During stage 3 delta waves appear in your brain. These are very slow brain waves mixed in with smaller, faster brain waves.
By the time you are in stage 4 you’re in a deep sleep and it will be harder to wake up. If you do wake up suddenly in this stage you will feel disorientated for a short while.
The last stage of sleep is known as REM and this is when your breathing is faster, irregular and shallow. Your eyes move rapidly in different directions and your limbs are actually paralyzed for a short time.
In the REM stage your heart rate and blood pressure rises. This is also the stage where you experience dreams.
These five stages are repeated in a cycle, with each cycle taking about 90 to 110 minutes to complete. During the night the REM stage gets increasingly longer and deeper.
Research has shown that most people spend 50% of their time in stage 2. Another 20% being the REM stage and the final 30% accounting for other sleep stages.
Our brains are balanced by neurotransmitter signals and these signals allow us to sleep or stay awake. When anything in our lives change this balance is lost and we start to feel tired and less alert. The end result is that our sleep patterns change and we begin to suffer from mild insomnia.
It is important then to identify the causes of insomnia as soon as possible. Easy treatments for insomnia include using natural teas and herbs such as lavender and chamomile. Capsules and teas containing valerian are also extremely effective and safe.
Learn more here about what causes and how to manage insomnia and sleep stress management.
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