The best way to recover from stress, illness and emotional issues?

Emobileclinic Trending Issue : Sleep

Emobileclinic Reporter: Femi Fayomi

Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles -Macmillan Dictionary.
Sleep is a state that is characterized by changes in brain wave activity, breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and other physiological functions- American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Sleep is an active state that affects both your physical and mental well-being. A good night’s sleep is often the best way to help you cope with stress, solve problems, or recover from illness.

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Rapid eye movement (REM sleep)

Non-rapid eye movement (NREM or non-REM sleep).

Each type has a distinct set of physiological and neurological features associated with it.
REM sleep is associated with the capability of dreaming.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) divides NREM into three stages: N1, N2, and N3, the last of which is also called delta sleep or slow-wave sleep (Silber et al., 2007)

Sleep plays a vital role in our daily lives. We spend more time sleeping than doing any other single activity. We abandon vigilance in order to sleep, we render ourselves vulnerable when we sleep. But, what is sleep for? And why do we spend so much time sleeping? How do the benefits of sleep outweigh the risks?
Sleep helps our body save and restore energy by slowing down our metabolism. By lowering our metabolism, we conserve energy. While we sleep, the brain’s learning processes are turned off. Still another theory predicts that sleep helps replenish our stores of neurotransmitters. This is because most neurons decrease their activity during sleep.

The sleeping brain has been shown to remove metabolic waste products at a faster rate than during an awake state.
It is theorized that sleep helps facilitate the synthesis of molecules that help repair and protect the brain from these harmful elements generated during waking. (Siegel, 2005)
Another potential purpose for sleep could be to restore signal strength in synapses that are activated while awake to a “baseline” level, weakening unnecessary connections to better facilitate learning and memory functions again the next day. (Guilio and Chiara, 2013)
Wound healing has been shown to be affected by sleep. A study conducted by Gumustekin et al., in 2004 shows sleep deprivation hindering the healing of burns on rats.
A 2014 study found that depriving mice of sleep increased cancer growth and dampened the immune system’s ability to control cancers. The researchers found higher levels of M2 tumor-associated macrophages and TLR4 molecules in the sleep deprived mice and proposed this as the mechanism for increased susceptibility of the mice to cancer growth.
Sleep has also been theorized to effectively combat the accumulation of free radicals in the brain, by increasing the efficiency of endogeneous antioxidant mechanisms. (Reimund, 1994)
In a study conducted by Turner, Drummond, Salamat, and Brown (2007), working memory was shown to be affected by sleep deprivation. Working memory is important because it keeps information active for further processing and supports higher-level cognitive functions such as decision making, reasoning, and episodic memory.
This process demands that no external information is presented to these dendrites, and it is suggested that this may be why it is during sleep that memories and knowledge are solidified and organized.
Maybe this is why we feel mentally sharper when we have had a good night of sleep, compared to how we feel after staying up all night long.
According to the ontogenetic hypothesis of REM sleep, the activity occurring during neonatal REM sleep (or active sleep) seems to be particularly important to the developing organism (Marks et al., 1995).
Studies investigating the effects of deprivation of active sleep have shown that deprivation early in life can result in behavioral problems, permanent sleep disruption, decreased brain mass and an abnormal amount of neuronal cell.

Silber, MH; Ancoli-Israel, S; Bonnet, MH; Chokroverty, S; Grigg-Damberger, MM; Hirshkowitz, M; Kapen, S; Keenan, SA; Kryger, MH; Penzel, T; Pressman, MR; Iber, C (March 2007). “The visual scoring of sleep in adults”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 3 (2): 121–31
Saladin, Kenneth S. Anatomy & Physiology the Unity of Form and Function. Dubuque: McGraw-Hill, 2009
Guilleminault, C. and Kreutzer, M.L. (30 September 2003). “Chapter 1 – Normal Sleep”. In Michael Billiard. Sleep: Physiology, Investigations, and Medicine (Google eBook). Springer.
Turner, T.H.; Drummond, S.P.A.; Salamat, J.S.; Brown, G.G. (2007). “Effects of 42 hr sleep deprivation on component processes of verbal working memory”. Neuropsychology 21 (6): 787–795.
Guilio Tononi and Chiara Cirelli. “Perchance to Prune” Scientific American. August 2013. Pgs 34-39.
Macmillan Dictionary for Students Macmillan, Pan Ltd. (1981), p. 936. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
Thorpy, Michael J. “PARASOMNIACS.” The International Classification of Sleep Disorders: Diagnostic and Coding Manual. Rochester: American Sleep Disorders Association, 1990
Reimund, E. (October 1994). “The free radical flux theory of sleep”. Medical Hypotheses 45 (4): 231–3.

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