Sleep In Time, Enact In Time

By Vikas Mehra April 01, 2021

“A day without a nap is like a cupcake without frosting”(Thomas Dekker). It is very important to have serious discourse on sleeping and be aware of its benefits and afflictions. Sleep, a pivotal component in the life of an individual is undervalued in most cases. The integral function of sleep is to repair the tissues in order to be fit and keep going for another day. Talking about human beings, the activities of the human brain are completely dependent on good sleep.

The neurons or the nerve cells are in continuous contact with each other to let the brain continue its activities. In our headset routine, we brush our teeth every day in the morning. Likewise, a good sleep removes all the toxins from our brain that usually build up while we are active. Adults should experience a sleeping cycle of 7 to 9 hours, whereas children and adolescents need more resting time than adults.

It is rightly said, “Take care of your mind, your body will thank you. Take care of your body, your mind will thank you” (Debbie Hampton). A downturn in the body temperature, no blinking of eyes, the relaxation of the heart rate, and the muscles play a fundamental role in the process of sleeping. According to recent research, human minds take 10-15 mins to sleep, having said that, if you take less than 5 mins to sleep, chances are that you are sleep deprived. “Humans are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep”.

It is very surprising to know that our body inculcates an “alarm clock” that rings in the form of tiredness, headache, irritability, forgetfulness etcetera. These signs trigger the ringing of the alarm clock and cut down the efficiency rate of our body. This “alarm clock” functions according to the 24-hour cycle, scientifically termed as “circadian rhythm.” Evenings are the pinnacle when the signs will culminate up till night.

Light is another factor that drives the “Circadian rhythm”. In addition, our brain functions in a very peculiar manner. There is a specific stomping ground of nerve cells present in the brain, known as the “hypothalamus”, wherein a bunch of cells concocts the signals when our eyes unfold to the natural or the artificial light assuming whether it is time for sunrise or the sunset. In consequence to that, with the fading of the natural light, our body releases a specific hormone, melatonin, which induces drowsiness in the body of an individual. The peculiar functionality of the brain comes to a perfect shape when in the morning, the body releases another hormone, cortisol, which induces alertness of mind and energetic behavior.

It is very surprising to know that the most neglected component of our life inhibits certain stages, namely, Non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). Our sleep incorporates four stages mainly, referring to the first three stages as NREM and the last stage as REM. Stage N1, does not last for a very long time, however, comes into action as soon as you sleep. The act of sleeping in this stage is so light that one can easily wake up. Stage N2, lasts for the longest duration as compared to all four stages. The act of sleeping in this stage is deep, with no blinking of eyes leading to relaxation of heart rate and muscles. The brain activity in this stage becomes slow-driven.

Stage N3, also lasts for a longer duration, with an estimation of 30-40 minutes. The processing of delta brain activity is triggered and it is possible that the person shows some body movements. The unnatural movement during sleep is often termed as Parasomnia. Recent researches have proved some people being guilty because of unnatural movements during their sleep. However, it is toilsome for a person to wake up easily in this stage. Stage 4 (REM), as the name indicates, this stage lasts for about 90 minutes and is often characterized by blinking of eyes or the fluttering of eyelids. People often tend to have dreams during this stage and unfortunately are unable to enact upon their dreams due to the ongoing process of relaxation of the muscles.

Typically, REM is the progression of the NREM stage. As you grow older, there is a decrease in the duration of REM, leading an individual to spend more time in the NREM stage. Furthermore, it is very important to know that the REM stage helps the mind to retain the learned experiences and transform them into long-term memories. There is a periodical repetition of all four cycles till the time an individual does not wake up from their sleep. There are rare cases of people waking up in the middle of the night, and not remembering the act, the next day. The act of experiencing such an episode is termed as the “W” stage.

“Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.” (JoJo Densen, Dirt Farmer, Wisdom). Keeping this in mind, it is important for our brain to experience proper cognitive and behavioral functionality, which in turn is only possible if we take a good sleep. Sleep deprivation is a disease that many people are not even aware of. Sometimes our brain becomes so tolerant of our lack of sleep that our body stops struggling for sleep and the less amount of sleep makes them feel enough.

To combat such an unknown deficiency and to live a healthy life,  one must follow a proper sleep pattern and remain stuck to it even during leisure days. Refrain the intake of caffeine, alcohol or heavy meals right before your bedtime as there will be difficulty in the induction of sleep hormones. Rigorous exercise during the day can help you drain your energy and prepare you for a good sleep. The perfect room temperature should be taken into consideration to avoid any hindrance to the body feeling too warm or too cold during your sleep. Last but not the least, a dark room can make an individual fall asleep faster than a room full of lights unless someone fears darkness. Indeed, having good sleep helps boost our immunity system and improve our quality of life. “Sleep is the best meditation”. (Dalai Lama)


Reference Links 

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  3. Jane Taylor | Transition Coach | Engagement Coach | Wellbeing Coaching | Mindful Self-Compassion Coaching | Gold Coast | Mindfulness Teacher. (2014). Habits for Wellbeing. [online] Available at:
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  6. Jordan, P. (n.d.). Overcome Insomnia: The Secret to a Great Night’s Sleep. [online] Sleep Habits. Available at:

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