Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

The research is pretty clear that we need not 6, not 7, but 8 hours sleep. To those who think they get by just fine on less, your body and mind may disagree.

During REM sleep, your brain renders your body in essentially a state of paralysis. Researchers think this is to prevent us from acting out our dreams. You may have experienced this if you’ve ever felt awake but unable to move or speak.

It’s during REM sleep that dreams occur. Researchers think dreams are actually our brain attempting to solve complex problems – like those times you went to bed with a problem on your mind and the solution magically appeared upon awakening.

The awake state is reception. The dream state is integration. Deny yourself quality sleep, and you deny yourself innovative insight and problem-solving abilities.

Warn sheets are nice, but the ideal bedroom temperature is around 65 degrees, allowing your core body temp to cool.

OTC sleeping pills blunt the conscious brain but inhibit REM sleep. Better than staying awake all night I suppose, but not conducive to high quality sleep.

Blue light especially prevalent from devices inhibits the secretion of melatonin, which tells your body to get tired. It tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime.

The list of diseases that benefit from or are prevented by high quality sleep are too numerous to count. Perhaps the most neglected question we fail to ask patients is, “Are you getting enough sleep?”

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