Broken Sleep? Who Cares!

Broken Sleep Is Nothing to Worry About

Sleep certainly makes you feel better, providing rest and restoration, both physically and mentally. If you want to experience a good night’s sleep which is unbroken and deep, sleep experts will tell you that there are a few tips you can follow to enhance sleep. Their tips for a good night’s sleep are –

● Make sure your bedroom is quiet, comfortable and dark
● Go to bed and get up at more or less the same time ever day
● Sleep only when you are tired
● Stay away from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, at least 4 to 6 hours before going to bed
● Deal with things that are causing you anxiety before you go to bed
● Ensure you have a firm mattress and good pillow.

Middle-of-the-night Insomnia shouldn’t be a Problem

Who says you have to sleep 8 hours every night? Many sleep experts reckon that it is an artificial invention of modern life, and isn’t a good thing, something that is unnatural and therefore bound to be interrupted. Sleep patterns of the past weren’t bound by a rigid 6 – 8 hours a night. People think that our circadian rhythms should wake us as the sun rises, but many animals, birds and insects, in keeping with the perfection of nature, don’t sleep in one uninterrupted stretch, but in segments. Ekirch, a professor of history, believes that humans left to sleep naturally, don’t require a solid stretch of 8 hours of sleep.

Wakefulness Occurs to Nearly all of Us

Sleep is made up of 2 distinct states, namely rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM), and these states of sleep are entered into 4 to 7 times each night. However a person’s eye moves during sleep, everyone basically wants quality sleep so that they can be refreshed for the tasks at hand the next day. Bimodal– or segmented sleep, is where periods of sleep have periods of wakefulness. Sleep experts tell us that this is a natural pattern of human sleep.

Everything is Normal

Many people are disturbed by this, believing they are suffering with sleep disorders, In fact there are very few people who sleep solid 8 hours a night. They think they do but they actually wake several times in the night. They are simply experiencing normal patterns of sleep.

Many people with broken sleep patterns become so concerned, they make appointments with their physicians who will diagnose a sleep disorder, and prescribe sleep medications.

Historically, human beings slept in 2 distinct phases, with a period of wakefulness separating the two. Sleep research reveals that bi-modal sleep patterns, combined with a short sleep in the day will result in greater wakefulness during the day time than uninterrupted sleep. It is during those times of wakefulness that the brain secretes prolactin, a hormone connected to feeling of serenity.

Your Sleep Patterns will Naturally Change

The time of wakefulness between the two sleep segments was regarded as a special time to ‘catch up’ on some reading or meditation before returning back to sleep. There is plenty of literature about segmented sleep from bygone times, providing historical evidence that humans slept in 2 separated segments. In fact, research shows that during the waking period people were fairly active, often rising, using the toilet, having sex, drinking water and returning to sleep. It is interesting to note that by the 1920s the notion of a 1st and 2nd sleep had all but disappeared as people stayed up more.

The amount of sleep that you need will change throughout your life, depending on your age and your situation. If you wake up a few times during the night, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, only of course if there is something medically wrong with you. If you awaken, don’t lie away stressing about the events of the day.

A Time for Quiet Creativity

Get up, listen to some gentle music, drink a cup of tea, read another chapter and then return to bed. Waking up is a sign your body wants a break from sleeping – a sign to do something else until your mind and body are ready to fall asleep again ….naturally. Forcing sleep isn’t the way to go, and segmented sleep is just another opportunity to make use of the wee hours of the night for other opportunities.

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