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The association between short sleep and obesity after controlling for demographic, lifestyle, work and health related factors. Brain activity becomes closer to that seen in wakefulness, but arm and leg muscles become paralyzed to stop a person from acting out their dreams. Experts believe a person needs some REM and non-REM sleep for memory consolidation. Read on to find out more about each stage of sleep.

This sleep drive – also known as sleep-wake homeostasis – may be linked to adenosine, an organic compound produced in the brain. Adenosine levels increase throughout the day as you become more tired, and then the body breaks down this compound during sleep. A member of our medical expert team provides a final review of the content and sources cited for every guide, article, and product review concerning medical- and health-related topics. Inaccurate or unverifiable information will be removed prior to publication. Call the Help Me Sleep Hotline at I-CANT-SLEEP for a set of tips, meditations, and bedtime stories to help you get a good night’s rest. Setting the table for high-quality sleep is an all-day affair.

Each has unique characteristics including variations in brain wave patterns, eye movements, and muscle tone. Sleep cycles and stages were uncovered with the use of electroencephalographic recordings that trace the electrical patterns of brain activity (Loomis et al., 1937; Dement and Kleitman, 1957a). You may think you’re wowing your boss by burning the midnight oil, but putting off a good night’s rest could be having an adverse effect at work or school. In fact, sleep has been linked to improved concentration and higher cognitive function, both of which can help you be successful at work. But one restless night can leave you feeling frazzled, making it more likely that you’ll make mistakes that a pot of coffee won’t be able to fix.


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Floras JS, Jones JV, Johnston JA, Brooks DE, Hassan MO, Sleight P. Arousal and the circadian rhythm of blood pressure. By the time you put away the journal, climb under the covers, and switch off the light, you’ll be in a better frame of mind for drifting off into dreamland. Mental health and wellness tips, our latest articles, resources and more. Adopt Good Sleep Habits – How improving your sleep environment and sticking to a regular schedule can improve the quality of your sleep. If you find it hard to fall back asleep, try a relaxation technique such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation, which can be done without even getting out of bed.

Once we fall asleep, our bodies follow a sleep cycle divided into four stages. The first three stages are known as non-rapid eye movement sleep, and the final stage is known as rapid eye movement sleep. If you have a hard time falling asleep, it’s natural to think that the problem starts when you lie down in bed. In reality, though, the lead-up to bedtime plays a crucial role in preparing you to fall asleep quickly and effortlessly. Getting enough sleep isn’t only about total hours of sleep. It’s also important to get good-quality sleep on a regular schedule so you feel rested when you wake up.

White noise masks any change and keeps a steady stream of soothing sounds going at your ears so you aren’t disturbed. You can try putting several drops of lavender essential oil in your bath before bed, or put a few drops in an aromatherapy diffuser. Some diffusers use water, which can also humidify your bedroom for additional comfort. Other essential oils connected with good sleep include vanilla, sandalwood, bergamot, and ylang ylang.

Getting a good night’s sleep may seem like an impossible goal when you’re wide awake at 3 a.m., but you have much more control over the quality of your sleep than you probably realize. Just as the way you feel during your waking hours often hinges on how well you sleep at night, so the cure for sleep difficulties can often be found in your daily routine. Some people just aren’t cut out for going to bed at 10 p.m.