Sleeping is a crucial part of leading a healthy life – it replenishes our energy levels, clears our thoughts, and allows us to exercise critical thinking throughout the day. Our sleeping patterns can indicate a lot, including our stress levels, the type of sleep we get, mental disorders, and more. First, it’s important to understand how sleep works:
According to the American Sleep Association, there are 5 stages of sleep: Stage 1) brain frequency is slower than during wake time; this is the lightest of sleep; Stage 2) deeper sleep, and the person is less able to be awakened; Stages 3 and 4) progressively deeper stages of sleep, the brain frequency is much slower; Stage 5) REM sleep, or the stage of sleep associated with dreaming. In the last stage, breathing is more erratic and irregular.
Harvard Medical School states that our sleep patterns may be impacted by age, amount of recent sleep or wakefulness, the time of day or night relative to a person’s internal clock, and other environmental issues such as exercise, stress, temperature, light, chemicals, and more. An appropriate amount of sleep is typically 7-9 hours. If you’re getting around this amount of sleep and you’re feeling refreshed in the morning, this is likely a good sign.
A 2015 study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation stated that as a young adult or adult, sleeping significantly outside of the 7-9 hour range is abnormal and could be an indication of a sleeping disorder or other significant health problems. For example, if you’re not getting enough sleep, it could be due to stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, substance abuse, and more. If you’re sleeping excessively each night, you could be experiencing depression or another physical health concern.
One of the best ways to determine if your sleep is giving you the energy you need is to keep a sleep diary. In doing this, you can record the days and times that you sleep, as well as the quality of your sleep and how you’ve been feeling throughout the day afterwards. If you go to see a doctor regarding this, a sleep diary could give them more important information to work from.
If you’re losing sleep due to substance abuse, make the decision to seek help today. There are a variety of tools that you can develop to help you overcome the challenges you are currently facing. You are not alone, and there are people ready to help you.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you or your loved one is ready to begin treatment, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.