Deeper, More Effective Sleep
How Much Sleep Do You Need
Sleep is essential to maintain a healthy immune system and normal function of the human body. Sleep disruption can adversely affect the immune system and increase vulnerability to health concerns. People with occasional/chronic insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea causes brain dysfunction, which leads to cognitive performance (thinking, reasoning, problem-solving etc.) and mental health (dementia, delirium, and declining memory in patients etc.). Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain, caffeine, medications can contribute to insomnia. Stress and sleep share a bidirectional relationship meaning sleep disruption can reduce stress tolerance and vice versa. Studies are ongoing to understand sleep regulation and its function and this bidirectional relationship between sleep and diseases.
ant to take control over your quality of Sleep Cycle? Then this guide might be perfect for you.
First, I will be talking about the science behind Sleep, so stick with me.
Sleep constitutes two stages: rapid eye movement (REM, deep sleep) and nonREM (light sleep). What is REM sleep? And what is nonREM sleep? We'll find out in the next section.
Both are equally important to consolidate memory and normal body functioning. Mechanism of sleep is regulated by circadian rhythm (day-night cycle) and sleep wake homeostasis of the body (keeps a track of need of sleep).
What is REM Sleep?
Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep or REMS) is a unique phase of sleep in mammals and birds, characterised by random rapid movement of the eyes, low muscle tone throughout the body, and the sleeper's proclivity to dream vividly.
In simple terms, Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is one of the four stages of sleep that the brain goes through. This stage of the sleep cycle occurs approximately 90 minutes after a person first falls asleep. It is characterised by physiological changes such as muscle relaxation, eye movement, faster respiration, and increased brain activity.
What is non-REM Sleep?
There are 3 stages of non-REM Sleep -
This stage of light sleep lasts between five and ten minutes.
Everything, including your eye movement and muscle activity, begins to slow down.
Your eyes remain closed. If you are jolted awake from stage 1 sleep, you may feel as if you haven't slept at all. You may recall fragments of images.
You may feel as if you are about to fall and then experience a sudden muscle contraction. This movement is referred to as hypnic myoclonic or hypnic jerk by medical professionals. Hypnic jerks are common but not cause for concern because they are unlikely to result in complications or side effects.
This stage of light sleep includes periods of muscle tone (partially contracting muscles) interspersed with periods of muscle relaxation.
Your eye movement stops, your heart rate slows, and your body temperature drops.
Brain waves slow down. You may occasionally experience a burst of rapid waves known as sleep spindles.
Your body is preparing to go into deep sleep.
This is the stage of deep sleep.
During this stage, your brain generates delta waves, which are extremely slow brain waves.
During this stage, it is difficult for someone to wake you up.
There is no eye movement or muscle activity in your body.
You may feel groggy and disoriented for a few minutes after being woken up.
How much Deep Sleep do you need? Answered in the section below.
So, the answer to the question that everyone is looking for: How much deep sleep do you need? Deep Sleep is vital to health, according to scientists, and although stages 1–4 and REM sleep are all necessary, deep sleep is the most important of all for feeling rested and remaining healthy.
The typical healthy adult receives 1 to 2 hours of deep sleep for every 8 hours of sleep. There are many methods to determine if you are, ranging from personal monitors to a sleep study.
If you find yourself waking up weary on a daily basis, it's time to see a doctor.
Insomnia accelerates aging with visible signs, for e.g. wrinkles, dull skin, puffy, tired eyes, unhealthy hair. However, deep sleep provides a healthy and youthful skin by promoting following processes.
- Cell Growth & Repair: During deep sleep, the body restores and repairs itself at a cellular level. The body increases the production of proteins (including collagen – the most abundant protein found in the human body) important for cell growth and repairs the damage caused by environmental factors and free radicals.
- Good Circulation – Sleep reduces blood pressure, improves blood flow via relaxed arteries, and makes the nutrients available throughout the body and provides healthy skin with a youthful glow.
- Human Growth Hormone – HGH is a powerful regenerator and an essential component of collagen. It contributes to a more youthful appearance of skin, hair and nails. It rejuvenates the body by regulating metabolism, immune function, protect against heart disease and diabetes.
Many people turn to either alcohol or sleeping pills to find sleep. But is it really a deep sleep they are getting? If yes, then at what cost? Alcohol initially has a sedative effect and may help to fall asleep faster. Alcohol consumption interferes body’s sleep-wake cycle and stimulates the brain to produce adenosine (sleep and drowsiness inducing neurotransmitter) by altering its natural 24-hour cyclic rise and fall levels. Sadly, the effect of adenosine wears off and wakes the person before completion of full good night sleep. Hence, alcohol ends up acting as a stimulant. Alcohol affects the quality of sleep by suppressing REM sleep (Deep Sleep).
Sleeping pills are chemicals that help you sleep, but it becomes an addiction to fall asleep in due course of time. Eventually, this condition leads to higher dosages and transforms into sleeping pill abuse which causes side effects, e.g., dry mouth, foggy memory, dizziness, itching, swelling etc. Hence, it would be better to switch to a natural sleep aid that supplements your body to achieve deep sleep naturally.
How To Get To Sleep Fast
Natural methods for falling asleep in five minutes
If you're having trouble falling asleep, learning how to sleep fast may appear to be an insurmountable job. However, there are several easy strategies that might assist you in meeting the illusive five-minute sleep latency objective. This section should answer how to get to sleep fast.
Step 1: Prepare your bedroom for sleep.
It may take some time for you to establish the ideal sleeping environment for you, but here are some easy modifications to get you started:
- Keeping timepieces out of sight. It can help you avoid worrying over the time.
- Taking electrical gadgets out of the room. Allow yourself to completely shut off.
- Choosing between blackout blinds and curtains.
- Cleaning up your bedroom. This can also help you cleanse your thoughts.
- Maintaining the temperature of your space. Bedrooms should be kept at a temperature of 16-18°C.
- Lowering the Loudness Some people feel that using earplugs to filter out noise is beneficial. Others find that listening to soft music or white noise helps them relax.
Step 2: Prepare your body for sleep.
If your body isn't prepared for sleep, you'll have a more difficult time falling asleep. Here are a few things you can do to help you fall asleep:
- Caffeine should be avoided close to bedtime. Reduce (or eliminate) your intake of stimulants, particularly in the evening.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages in the hours leading up to night. Even a few drinks might have an effect on your sleep quality.
- Eat supper sooner. Allow ample time for your stomach to digest meals before retiring for the night. And, by limiting your calorie consumption earlier in the day, you'll have more time to burn off any extra energy.
- Take a warm bath or shower before going to bed. The drop in your body temperature after a bath may trick your body into believing you've transitioned from day to night. According to some, this may enhance the desire to sleep.
- Include some regular exercise in your regimen. Exercise is excellent for reducing tension and anxiety, which may assist with how to sleep quickly. However, if you're going to bed early, consider soothing, low-impact activities like yoga.
Step 3: Prepare your thoughts for sleep.
Working hard days and nights. Trying to balance a busy family life. Managing all of the various stressors that life throws at you may all contribute to difficulty sleeping.
Here are a few ideas to help you wind down your thoughts before going to bed.
Experiment with regulated breathing.
You may experiment with the 4-7-8 breathing method. Some proponents of this technique say it can put individuals to sleep in less a minute. Simply follow the following breathing pattern:
- Inhale for four seconds.
- For seven seconds, hold your breath.
- Exhale for eight seconds.
Unhelpful ideas should be reframed.
Changing your viewpoint on something that is bothering you may help you cope with it before going to bed. Reframing may help you avoid getting into a negative thinking loop that prevents you from falling asleep. It requires the following three steps:
- Recognize the idea.
- Put it to the test.
- Replace it with a more optimistic outlook.
Use the military strategy.
It may take many weeks to get the hang of this technique and see results. However, it claims to help you fall asleep in two minutes or less, so it's worth a go. 11
- Relax the muscles in your face, including your jaw, tongue, and the muscles surrounding your eyes.
- Relax your shoulders. Then, one at a time, bring your arms down to your sides.
- Allow your sternum to relax.
- After that, relax your legs. Begin with the thighs and work your way down.
- Clear your thoughts now. For 10 seconds, concentrate on a calming image. For example, imagine reclining in a boat on a calm lake, gazing up at a beautiful blue sky.
- For another 10 seconds, repeat to yourself, "don't think, don't think, don't think."
- You should leave shortly after that.
Hope that helps you get to sleep fast. You can also include a natural remedy in your routine.
Sleep Drops is a natural sleeping aid that will help get a restful, good night’s sleep. It is formulated to improve people's sleeping habits that are struggling to get quality sleep, waking up feeling dissatisfied & unenergetic. But what makes this product so unique? Let’s find out. Sleep Drops constitutes the following plant-based components:
1) Pure CBD
It is one of the cannabinoids extracted from cannabis and hemp plants used as pharmacological intervention in sleep disorders, including REM (Deep Sleep). Cannabinoids could improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and decrease sleep onset latency (the amount of time it takes you to sleep).
CBD is non-psychoactive and non-impairing (won’t get you high). CBD used in this formulation is concentrated; hence it is pure CBD and free from other cannabinoids with zero impurity. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS, consist of endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptor resulting in a relaxed state.
It is a medicinal herb widely used as a sleep-inducer via stimulating calming effect relieving depression and anxiety. Often found in Sleep Teas & other OTC products.
3) Valerian Root Essential Oil
It helps people fall asleep faster and improve the overall quality of sleep. Often used in substituting sleeping pills & OTC countermeasures for sleeping difficulties. People use valerian to treat anxiety, sadness, and insomnia, as well as to alleviate menstruation and stomach cramps. Valerian provides a moderate relaxing effect that generally does not cause drowsiness the following day. Valerian seems to be most helpful as a sleep aid for individuals who have difficulty falling asleep and believe themselves to be bad sleepers. It has also had positive effects for individuals who wake up in the middle of the night. According to some research, valerian may offer immediate relief for insomnia. However, for individuals with severe insomnia, it may take 2 to 4 weeks of regular usage to see an improvement in sleep. Scientific evidence is mixed on Valerian Root for anxiety whether is actually helps with anxiety
Valerian Root For Anxiety
Take 120 to 200 mg three times per day for anxiety. Your last dosage of valerian root should be taken just before going to bed.
In general, the suggested dose for anxiety is smaller than the dosage for sleeplessness. This is due to the fact that consuming large dosages of valerian root throughout the day may induce daytime drowsiness.
If you are drowsy throughout the day, you may find it difficult to engage in your regular daily activities.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) discusses an old research that found that 400 mg of valerian root extract improved sleep considerably more than placebo in 128 healthy participants.
Participants reported improvements in the amount of time it took them to fall asleep, the quality of their sleep, and the frequency of middle-of-the-night awakenings.
The NIH also mentioned a clinical study in which 121 individuals with insomnia were given 600 mg of dried valerian root for 28 days and found that their symptoms of insomnia were reduced compared to a placebo.
There hasn't been a lot of research done on the usage of valerian root for anxiety or alleviate anxiety. In a small 2002 trial of 36 individuals with generalised anxiety disorder, 50 mg of valerian root extract taken three times a day for four weeks substantially decreased one measure of anxiety when compared to a placebo. Other studies on anxiety utilised slightly greater doses.
It is Medium Chain Triglyceride oil extracted from coconut oil. Being lipid-like fatty acid, it has been used as a carrier for CBD (fat-soluble compound). It facilitates CBDs absorption hence increases the bioavailability of CBD to the body (absorbed better by the human body).
These are tiny aromatic molecules in cannabis and hemp plants. This blend has anti-stress, anti-anxiety effects induce relaxing effects.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, MHRA or EMA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
It is advisable to consult your health care professional before starting any kind of supplements or pharmaceutical or plant-based medication.
References (Clinical Evidences included)
- written/contributed by
Dr. Devendra Ridhurkar, PhD (Pharmaceutics)
& the editors at Pharm Biotics
Dr. Devendra works as an Expert Scientist-Formulation and Development at Neurax Pharm., Barcelona, Spain. He is responsible for the development of innovative formulations. He has over 16 years of experience and was associated with various pharma giants, Egis, Hungary, Dr Reddy’s, India, to name a few. He is an expert in using platform technologies like hot-melt extrusion (HME), Gastroretentive drug delivery systems, nanotechnology and cyclodextrin complexation. He obtained his M. Pharm & PhD degree in Pharmaceutics from IIT, BHU, Varanasi, India. He is a member of the editorial board of peer pharmaceutical journals and has earned over 8 peer-reviewed papers in various international and national journals and 5 patents to his credit. He has been associated with various pharmaceutical bodies in the Indian and American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. He is a member of the program advisory committee for Pharma Connect Congress, Hungary and has presented his research work in several international congresses and scientific meetings.