Sleep is a condition that affects the body and all its systems for several hours. In most cases, it occurs at night and involves the inactivation of the nervous system. Precisely, most of the organs of the body are at rest during sleep. Their activities reduce and this results to reduced body temperatures and energy requirements. Besides, the ability to react to stimuli is reduced during sleep.
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Scientific research suggests that deprivation of sleep has a significant toll on mood, health, productivity and cognitive capacity (Lee-Chiong T, 2005). Sleep is necessary for growth. The growth of hormones is activated during sleep as well as bone development in young children and infants. Thus, young people need more sleep than the old. Sleep replenishes, strengthens and reestablishes the contents in the memory.
In fact, 95% of people spend eight hours sleeping per day. Furthermore, 2.5% of people spend more than 8 hours day sleeping. Therefore, only 2.5% will require less than seven hours of adequate rest (Lee-Chiong, T. L. (2005). Most people will concur that a stressful day at home or work can be repaired by a long slumber. The next day one feels refreshed, calm, and ready for work. The aches, stresses, and pains of the previous day disappear in most cases. In fact, going without sleep for long is deemed as a form of intoxication; lack of sleep can result in drunkenness.
It is during sleep that the body encodes the information it obtains during the day into the memory. This is suggested by the extreme activity of brain throughout sleep. Those that lack sleep often have little attention and are forgetful (Green, 2011). During sleep, the body rests and renovates energy while the brain thoroughly works night long processing memories and tasks. During sleep, the brain can have ample time to recover the knowledge that may it might have forgotten during the day. Thus, it ensures that the brain gets enough time to sort out occurrences or events. Extensive memories are generated while sleeping. This is possible through remembrance cells that underpin the memory of the brain.
Research shows that sleeping encompasses two movements relating to the movement of the eyes. First, there is Non-rapid Eye Movement; an evident cycle during sleep. Secondly, there is Rapid Eye Movement that is essential to sleep. These states consist of four stages. During sleep, the body cycles between REM and NREM (Green, 2011). Sleeping encompasses durations of NREM that are pursued by other durations involving REM. Imaginings are present in the REM state of sleep. All these stages incorporate electroencephalographic aspects.
REM is associated with widespread eye movement whereas NREM has reduced eye movement. Most NREM sleeps are not associated with aspects that relate to thoughts. Further, research shows that, there is no movement of muscles during the state of REM. People that do not undergo the two sleeping states get stuck in the NREM sleep, and since muscles are not paralyzed, a person can experience sleepwalk (Avidan, 2006). What is more, NREM has seen to it that there is proper systematization of the mind. Additionally, dreams play a significant part in preserving sleep.
According to Carl Jung, it is through dreams that people get to accomplish aspects that they are unable to do in real life situations. On the contrary, Calvin Hall studied a two week dream series for university students and concluded that dream is continuous with waking behavior and thought. Dreams solve troubles we cannot settle in the waking life. However, this is efficient in those cultures where dreams are thought to a part of the cultural role.
Avidan, A. Y., Zee, P. C., & Ovid Technologies, Inc. (2006). Handbook of sleep medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Green, A. (2011). Sleep: Multi-professional perspectives. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Lee-Chiong, T. L. (2005). Sleep: A Comprehensive Handbook. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.