Sleeping patterns overtake mind; How to maintain healthy cycles


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Whether it’s because you have to stay up for a project, are distracted by technology, or simply due to not being able to close your eyes and fall asleep, these factors may be contributing to some sleeping patterns that could potentially target your health, without you even realizing.  

 Everyone falls guilty to wanting to stay up late for a night or two, but then realize it’s better to get some more shut eye.  We have all experienced the fatigue, short temper, and lack of focus from loss of sleep. However, it’s also possible that you have met someone who thinks he or she can fully function with 4-6 hours of sleep a night.  

With the recommended amount of sleep being between 8 and 12 hours, those who are “functioning” are most likely being kept alert, aroused by adrenaline, a stress hormone, rather than actually being energized.  

If harsh sleep patterns continue, these stress hormones alone can wreak havoc on your body, including your skin, which ages faster, but most importantly, your brain, which needs the fuel and sleep time to regenerate cells.  

Junior Jordan Palmer believes that the small amount of sleep that she gets per night has the greatest impact on her testing skills, as she spends more time studying than getting a good night’s rest.  “No matter how I use my time management, I always seem to have more hours of homework and study time than I do to use for sleep,” Palmer explains “I can notice an increase in my stress levels completing even daily tasks which my lack of sleep is the probable cause.”

Studies found from The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, that a good night’s sleep helps improve learning new skills, paying attention, solving problems, making decisions, and opening the creative side of the brain.  

Symptoms that can be detected ahead of sleep deprivation may include drowsiness while reading, watching tv, riding in a car, or talking for a significant amount of time.  

In order to maintain a perfect sleep cycle, creating a routine for your day is essential.  Going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday allows your body to become accustomed to a healthy cycle.

A great tip from the NHLBI is to use the hour before you go to sleep for a quiet and relaxing time for yourself.  Avoiding strenuous exercise, bright, artificial light, and technology will allow for the brain to settle and not alert it as if it was time to be awake.  

One of the most popular healthy sleeping patterns is called the Circadian cycle.  This technique uses an internal, biological 24-hour clock that is running in the back of your brain, signifying if the body wants to remain awake or not.  

An article from Healthline also agrees that drinking and/or eating certain foods throughout the day can help to boost your immune system and maintain a healthy digestion.  Chamomile tea, cherries, bananas, and almonds, are only some of the foods that can boost your sleep quality.