The Eight Hour sleep is a myth

A common theme today is people complaining about an interrupted sleep pattern. Roger Ekrich of Virginia Tech has done thorough research and believes that many sleeping problems are rooted in the human body’s natural preference for segmented sleep. Simply, the body likes to break the sleep cycle. Due to the nature of today’s fast paced society, including conveniences such as 24-hour stores and coffee shops, late night television and many other developments, sleep has become almost secondary to everyday life.

This theory is compounded by the high percentage of people using technology. Mobile phones, iPads and other forms of technology are affecting sleep patterns. This could be anything from stimulating the mind before sleep, or simply by glowing and flooding the room with artificial light.

There are four stages of sleep which we reportedly go through every 60-100 minutes:

  • Stage 1 is a drowsy, relaxed state between being awake and sleeping – breathing slows, muscles relax and the heart rate drops
  • Stage 2 is slightly deeper sleep – you may feel awake and this means that, on many nights, you may be asleep and not know it
  • Stage 3 and Stage 4, or Deep Sleep – it is very hard to wake up from Deep Sleep because this is when there is the lowest amount of activity in your body
  • After Deep Sleep, we go back to Stage 2 for a few minutes, and then enter Dream Sleep – also called REM sleep – which is when you dream

Therefore, it would appear than an interrupted night’s sleep isn’t that out of the ordinary!

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