Sleep is more than just not being awake. There are five different levels of sleep,and levels 1 through 4 consist of light
to very deep sleep. People normally move back and forth through these levels during sleep,reaching level 4 the deepest,a couple
of hours after falling asleep.
Level 5 is the strange one because it is marked by activity in the brain
similar to that of someone who is awake. The sleeper's eyes move rapidly under the closed eyelids,which is why this level
is sometimes called REM (rapid eye movement ) sleep. Yet the body muscles have reached their deepest level of relaxation.
a person is awaken during level 5,the person will say she was dreaming. Although many of us don't remember much or anything
about our dreams,sleep researchers have found that all of their subjects had severall periods of REM sleep each night,so dreaming
seems to be a normal and nightly occurance. We really don't know why humans need to sleep,but there is little doubt
how disruptive a lack of good sleep can be. In particular it seems that we need levels 3,4 and REM sleep,to function normally
during the day.
If people is somehow deprived of REM sleep,eventually the body will catch up by having lots of
it. However,this rebound effect.is usually marked by vivid dreams or nightmares and therefore disturbed sleep.
is defined is defined as poor sleep accompanied by poor sleep. This includes being physically tired,having difficulty concentrating,feeling
depressed,irritable or lethargic. these daytime components of insomnia are the problem and,because they interfere woth your
ability to cope with daytime Tasks,they further increase your stress and therfore your anxiety. In yet another way,anxiety
can feed on itself.
Sleep needs vary a lot and tend to decline with increasing age. Although some insomnia sufferers
will complain they "didn't get a wink of sleep",research has found they usually sleep for at least a few hours. Complete insomnia
is a rare condition. One bad night's sleep,even as little as two hours,coesn't really affect your performance next day,although
you may feel more irritable,hostile,fatigued or unhappy.
Little sleep for a week makes some people pathologically
sleepy,but even these cumulative effects disappear after one night's sleep. The real question is not how much time you
spend asleep,but how you feel during the day. If your sleep disturbance is caused by your anxiety problem,you might expect
it to fade as you learn to manage your anxiety. this is possible but there is one risk.
For some insomnia sufferes,disturbed
sleep was triggered by some easily identifiable cause: a painful illness like rheumatoid arthritis,jetlag,a peak of stress,whatever.
But after the original cause has long faded from the person's life,his sleep is still disturbed because it has become a conditioned
part of his life.
He has learned that bed is somewhere he vainly tries to sleep and approaching sleep causes
anxiety about "another sleepness night." He may have tried some of the popular remedies for sleeping problems that actually
make them worse,or developed some bad sleep habits that now keep his problem going.
If you are now having more
than the occasional night of disturbed sleep,the suggestion is that you take some practical steps to sleep better,to avoid
the risk of developing a chronic sleeping problem.
Sleep researchers agree that insomina is not an illness but
a symptom of underlying problems,just as a pain signifies something else is wrong. There are five groups of factors that contribute
to insomnia: 1) Biological factors. 2) Psychological factors. 3) Use of drugs,including alcohol. 4)Bad sleep habits or environments.
Specialists in treating sleep disorder agree on two more important points. First,the never see
someone with a sleep disturbance due to only one of these possible causes. Second,they agree that success fully solving a
sleep problem requires carefully identifying the causes applying to each person,so that they tackle those relevant to them.
factors: One of the many problems is medical problems like arthritis that can disturb sleep. The normal,gradual decline in
your sleep needs as you get older can cause problems if you start to worry about not getting as much sleep as you used to.
Unless is is associated with the daytime consequences of insomnia,sleeping less as one ages is not a problem.
factors: The psychological problem most likely to contribute to insomina is anxiety,which in turn increases your physiological
arousal. Insomnia is a common symptom of high stress and,by interfering with daytime functioning,it can further add to stress.
Some depressed people people suffer from disturbed or shortened sleep,although some sleep more than usual. That
this is still a sleep disturbance is shown by the fact that these people report being fatigued,despite their extra sleep.
of drugs: Many drugs (not referring-generally- to RA medicine ,if concerned ask your physician-in your case ), including,alcohol,can
disturb sleep patterns. This includes legal and illegal,prescibed,over-the-counter and social drugs.
research study,drug or alcohol dependency was found to be a major cause of insomnia and eight sufferers. Sleep clinicians
have found that many types of antianxiety,antidepression and other mood-affecting drugs can disturb sleep. So can some of
the drugs used for thyroid problems,contraception and heart disease.
If anyone is taking any regular medication
they should ask their doctor whether it could be contributing to the sleeping problem,and,if it could,whether you can try
a different drug or even nondrug treatment for insomnia.
What may surprise people,however,is that sleeping drugs
themselves contribute to sleep disturbances. Sleeping drugs usually puts one to sleep,so they seem to work. The trouble is,they
knock out the lower levels of sleep,the ones that are essential for a person's refreshment. They cause fragmented and and
disturbed sleep,according to a study by psychologists. The psychologists in the study further state that some medical practisioners
have accepted this,and instead of prescribing sleeping drugs as such,they will prescribe an antianxiety drug "to help you
Alcohol is also a popular form of self-help for insomnia,just as it is for anxiety. Unfortunately it
has the same undesirable effects as prescription sleeping drugs. A person may spend time asleep,but it won't be normal,refreshing
sleep. Two or three nights of excessive drinking are enough to give one rebound sleepness the next night. If one reach for
the bottle to get to sleep,then one is developing a drinking problem.
Bad sleep habits or environment: Try to
go to bed in a relaxed state. Any habits that contributes to an aroused state,or not needing sleep,can contribute to insominia.
and drink: Drinking too much caffeine ( in coffee,tea or cola drinks ) will stimulate the arousal level. Drinking too much
alcohol will rob one of the important levels of sleep. If the stomach is rumbling from either lack of food,too much food,or
food that is too spicy or rich,sleep will be restless. However,some sensible and moderate eating might help.
has been a popular belief that carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta or sweets,have an arousing and energizing effect. Researchers
have found the opposite to be true. A meal heavy in carbohydrates,especially when they are not balanced by other food groups
such as proteins,usually has a calming and even fatiguing effect. Men tend to be relaxed and women tend to feel sleepy.
effects occur in children. These effects of eating lots of carbohydrates in most people were not due to hypoglycemia,which
is actually a rare condition. Providing it fits consumption in the evening may help one sleep.