Even though often overlooked, sleep is undoubtedly the most important part of life. People can go without food for days, but the effects of sleep deprivation are quick to show. It’s not surprising that a good night’s rest has incredible benefits for both the body and the mind. How you feel during the day depends on the quality of sleep you get at night. Your productivity at work, your concentration, memory, and your mood and appetite also depend on the quality and quantity of sleep that you get. When you are deprived of sufficient sleep for a prolonged amount of time, the effects do not take long to show.
A large number of people suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. And in most cases, they are not even aware of it. Most people who suffer from a sleep disorder go their entire lives without realizing why they never got sufficient sleep. Disorders of sleep are of various kinds, but they all interfere with the normal quality and quantity of nightly sleep.
There are people who do not suffer from any sleep disorder but also do not get sufficient sleep. This is mainly because of a hectic schedule and making more time for work, home, and other social commitment. It is no surprise to find people doing with only 3 or 4 hours of sleep every night because they work too late and wake up early. When people have too much stress in life but not the required amount of sleep, it is a potential course for various health disorders. Productivity, memory, and concentration also suffer if nightly sleep remains insufficient for a long time.
Why Is Sleep Important?
Most imagine that sleep is a period of inactivity. This assumption is not surprising because while we are asleep, we do not get to know what happens inside our brain. That’s why we tend to think that while we sleep the brain is also asleep. But the brain and the body never sleep and keep working even while we rest.
Some of the most important processes of the brain take place while we are asleep. It must be remembered that the brain cannot perform the rejuvenating and revitalizing functions while we are awake. These functions can only be performed when we go to sleep.
Sleep can be divided into four stages, three of which are non-REM stages and one REM stage. All of these stages are equally important in ensuring sleep quality. While the first two stages are light sleep, the later stages are deeply relaxing and rejuvenating.
The third sleep stage is a non-REM stage and lasts 10 to 30 minutes, but sleep here is the deepest and almost like a coma. It generally takes a long time for a person to wake up from this sleep phase. In this stage, the heart rate and the body temperature of the person are the lowest, muscle movements barely occur, and the breathing is gentle and rhythmic. It isn’t possible to turn or change sides in this phase because the body is immobile. Delta waves in the brain are produced in this stage, deeply relaxing to the body and helping it heals and recharges in this stage, because of the delta waves. This is the stage when bedwetting, night terrors, and sleepwalking occurs but the person has no memory of them when they wake up.
The final stage of sleep is the only REM phase. Unlike the earlier three stages, the brain becomes active in this stage although the body is still immobile. The REM phase lasts for a short time, with most adults spending only about 20 percent of their sleep in this phase. This is when dreaming occurs along with the rapid movement of the eyelids from side to side behind closed eyelids. The heart rate, breathing, and body temperature begins to rise in this phase.
The REM sleep stage is when the brain starts to become active, right before the person wakes up. This stage is extremely important in ensuring proper sleep quality. Because this is the deepest sleep stage, the brain recharges and prepares for the day.
The REM sleep stage is important because this phase boosts learning, memory, and cognitive functioning. When this stage is hindered, the brain doesn’t get to complete these processes, leaving you foggy and disoriented when you wake up. Alcohol is notorious for hindering REM sleep, preventing you from restorative sleep no matter how long you’re asleep.
Importance of A Sleep Study
It goes without saying that being part of a sleep study is expensive. Then why would anyone want to take one? That’s because there’s so much that a sleep study can reveal about your health and your sleep quality. If you have untreated sleep disorders, a sleep study can be eye-opening and lead you to take your sleep more seriously.
Sleep studies can be performed either in a labor at home. However, if serious sleep disorders need to be diagnosed, then the study should be performed at a lab because brain waves will be monitored. The great thing about a sleep study is that it’s able to diagnose a problem in an hour or two whereas a doctor will require a series of tests to find out the same over a few months. Because sleep studies are conducted by sleep experts, if they diagnose a sleep disorder, they can begin treatment immediately. This means you can recover quickly.
Is Sleep Study Worth The Cost?
Although sleep studies are on the expensive side, most insurers have started to recognize the health risks of untreated sleep disorders and also have good coverage costs. You should check with your insurance company to find out if they offer coverage for a sleep study. In many cases, it can be very affordable.
A sleep study depends on the type of sleep disorder. An affordable alternative to taking a sleep study in a lab is to take a home sleep test, which is only a fraction of the cost.