Sleep and Why it is so Important
By Drew P
Are you one of the deeper sleepers out there? If you are a teen, the answer is probably no. People, especially teens, don’t take sleep seriously. When you turn twenty-one, you will have slept about seven years, I know it seem like a baby sleeps that much in their first two years of life. In this article people, especially teens, may decide that sleep is a little more important than they thought.
Stages of Sleep
Prior to sleep and Stage one: Do you ever think you’re hot at night? Actually, your temperature slightly decreases prior to sleep, I know weird right. The first stage of sleep brings some odd things, too. During stage one you may feel like your falling. You may feel your legs jerk and/or feel your legs jerk. I feel at least one of those during the night. One thing I noticed in my research the sleeper’s alpha waves disappear and they lose awareness of the outside world. Along with your alpha waves disappearing, your brain activity slows with your breathing rate. If you were to wake someone in this stage they would probably deny they were sleeping.
Stage two, three, and four: Do you ever wonder what stage sleep talking takes place in? This takes place in stage two. Sleep talkers normally don’t talk about their dreams because sleep talking doesn’t occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Did you know that during stage three, it is really, and I mean really, hard to wake a sleeper in this stage of sleep? I didn’t know that because I am the one being woke up. The delta waves in stage three are larger and more regular. You young boys and girls, this fact is for you. Bedwetting occurs in stage four. Your parents will have to “deep” clean your sheets because you wet your bed during the “deepest” stage of sleep. If sleep walking occurs it happens during stage four. When you are a child a growth hormone also occurs during stage four. The sleeper only stays in stage four for about twenty minutes, and after stage four the sleeper is into stage 5. Also known as, REM sleep.
REM sleep: Did you know that REM was discovered during stage five? Most people know that you dream during REM sleep, but some don’t. But what most people don’t know is that, during REM your muscles are paralyzed. REM sleep lasts about ten minutes. After REM sleep you go back into stages three or four. This happens four to six times a night.
Let’s travel back into ancient Greece. If you were sick, you would go to a dream oracle. There he/she would tell you to lie down and rest. When you got up they would ask you what your dream was about. If you dreamed of falling down a waterfall you might just be thirsty. Now we are back in present day. One theory of why we dreams is, dreams are a form of exercise that helps the brain develop. Another theory proposes that dreams function as a form of psychotherapy. You dream for about an hour a night. In one experiment scientists wear red tinted goggles for twenty-four hours before they sleep. The results were…… can you guess? Their dreams were red. Dreams are difficult to remember. One way to solve this is to write your dream down immediately upon waking.
Meaning of dreams: Do you consider yourself a creative person? If you do you may find inspiration in your dreams. Most dreams solve problems, express feelings, or reveal wishes or needs. Some examples are, if you dream of falling, it might mean you 6are worried of failing, in school perhaps. On the other hand if you dream of flying, you may feel confident. If you dream of a road or a path, it may be symbol of a journey through life. Another example is, if you dream of being naked, you may feel helpless or self-conscious about something. My last example is that, if you dream of a king or a queen, they mayrepresent your parents or authority figures.
Mammal Sleep Cycle
Do you know what animals sleep cycle takes about two hours to get though? I didn’t know until I found this note, but it is an elephant. It is exactly opposite for smaller mammals. For some smaller mammals it takes nine minutes to get through their sleep cycle. Now we are on to the loud, do whatever they want babies. Babies don’t seem to have a sleep cycle at all; they also don’t seem to have deep sleep until they are three months old.
Moms and dads, do you know how much you need to sleep each night? You should get eight hours of sleep. Do you get less than that, around that, or more than that? A one year old baby sleeps about fifteen hours a day. A two year old baby sleeps about twelve hours per day. A baby between two and five years old should get about ten hours of sleep per night. Parents with teens in college know that there is a lot of homework, which equals less time to sleep. They should get ten hours of sleep. Twenty-one year olds should sleep for about seven hours. If you are pregnant you need eight or more hours of sleep. Have you noticed a pattern yet? The older you get the less sleep you need until you are elderly. When you are sixty-five or above you normally wake up several times during the night, often to use the bathroom, but they only need seven or eight hours of sleep.
Funny Things while Sleeping
Did you know that sleep walking is out grown by age four-teen? What I am about to share is overwhelming, An eleven year old boy was found ONE hundred miles from his house unharmed. This boy boarded a train which took him a long ways. Have you ever seen a sleep walker pee in a trash can or something else that reminds them of a toilet? Sleep walking happens in the first two hours of sleep before age four-teen.
There are animals that get comfy in a weird way. Sea otters float on their back while holding a plant between their paws as an anchor. Bats hang upside in a cave or under a bridge and lions sleep on their backs. Gorillas that have learned sigh language make up signs for words in their sleep. The loudest snore ever recorded was ninety-three decibels, like a dog barking an arm length away from you.
This is all from me. I hope that everyone learned how much they should sleep. I also hope that everyone goes home and sleeps the right amount so they can succeed in whatever they have tomorrow; school, work, sports, etc.
Brain 2007. Print.
Romanek, Trudee. ZZZ... N.p.: Kids Can, 2002. Print.
Rosen, Marvin. Sleep and Dreaming. New York: Info Base, 2006. Print.