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Sleep: Rest or psychological function?

“How come someone would be able to work without getting a good night sleep,” was always the complaint of my colleague whenever she was not able to sleep the hours she decided are enough for a good night sleep. This colleague of mine indeed wouldn’t be able to work or function properly unless she have the eight to ten hours she usually spent sleeping, and this is not counting the half an hour nap she has during her lunch break which can be extended to one hour. She will always sleep at ten in the evening and wake up at 7 in the morning. In rare circumstances where she either slept late or wakes up early her day is full of complaints and mistakes. Sometimes she even prefer to sleep rather than having dinner or lunch. For her sleep is not only resting it is one of the necessities of life that makes a person alert.

Others may argue that despite the fact that you might not be able to sleep enough hours, if u get enough rest then you still can stay awake and alert in your day to day life.

And every time I see this colleague of mine particularly in her bad days due to “sleep depreciation” as she call it makes me wonder how some people can function well with few hours of sleep and others couldn’t.

According to Wikipedia sleep is defined as a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost, so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli.

If this is all sleep is about, how can we witness people who sleep or have the rest of mind where the body is not even to close to rest. There are people who dose off in bus-chairs, sofas, office desks and list went on and there are others that close their eyes lie in a bed but still wonder or think about many things, people in such situations are not full-filling one of the factors that makes sleep but still tend to admit they are sleeping. In addition, various physiologists and psychiatry books recommend that sleep is not just resting but it plays critical physiological function, and is indispensable for your intellectual development!

In a recent research by Dr Robert Stickgold, assistant professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center made it clear that sleep is also essential for learning, and he elaborated that without sleep the possibility of remembering what we learned the previous day is very small. Others also say that to be productive, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and fully energetic all day long depends on the ones sleeping habits. Ones sleep schedule, bedtime habits, and day–to–day lifestyle can make enormous difference in the quality of nightly rest.

Although sleeping habits may vary some habits are very strange that makes one wonder if the mind or body is really resting particularly when you witness people sleeping pending in a chair or sofa or office table or a moving bus. In the contrary, there are people that both the mind and body can’t rest unless they have the comfort of their own bed.

I have a friend who can’t close her eyes if she is out of her own bed, for her sleep comes with her bed. It is the place that makes her sleep; this friend of mine can’t even sleep in her own house but in different bed.Psychological findings analysis patterns of sleep to be related with age, state of physical health, psychological state, and certain drugs and new born.

Be it in our bed or in our office table, the secrets to sleep better are to have regular sleep schedule, to regulate the sleep-wake up timing, create relaxing bedtime routine, eating habits, exercises are the suggestive points for sleeping better and fighting insomnia or sleep deprivation.

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