Stages of Sleep Psychology: REM and Non-REM Sleep Cycles

Stages of Sleep Psychology

Sleep, obviously, the most important thing you need to do well the following day. Ensuring sound sleep at night is meant to ensuring your better life. A lot of physical and psychological things are related to sleep. A good night’s sleep can help you perform well for whole day.

Stages of Sleep Psychology

When you sleep at night, you cycle between two main stages of sleep cycles- REM and NREM. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement whereas NREM stands for Non-Rapid Eye Movement. Our body repairs, restores and dream while we sleep. NREM happens first and then REM. This sleep cycle repeats for the whole night.

Both stages are equally important for our body and mind. Our body repairs, re-grows, strengthens immune system of our body, builds our body muscles during NREM sleep stage. And when we pass NREM and enter REM, we dream as our brain keeps more active, heart rate increases. You may also experience sleep paralysis if any of your sleep stage does not complete

However, as the title of this post is all about the stages of sleep including REM and NREM, let me tell you exactly what happens in these sleep stages.

As NREM comes first while sleeping at night, I would like to describe all about it. And, then, I will tell you about the later phase of sleep, REM.

NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement stage)

We have to pass three short phases of sleep during NREM. Every stage lasts short. Average duration of this phase lasts from 5 to 15 minutes. After finishing these phases, our sleep shifts to REM (Rapid Eye Movement).

Phase #01: Though your eyes are closed, it is easy for you to wake up easily. And, this is the first stage of your sleep at night. On average, this phase lasts up to 10 minutes.

Phase #02:  In this phase, your body temperature starts to decrease slowly to allow you to sleep well. Your heart rate also gets slow. You will fall in light sleep stage and slowly it will take you to the deep sleep.

Phase #03: This is the stage when you sleep deeply allowing your body to repair, re-grow tissues, build bones and also increase your immune system. Actually, NREM sleep stage occurs in this phase. And, if someone wants you to wake up, you will feel disturbed and disoriented for minutes.

Also, this deep sleep stage leads you to the REM sleep stage. But due to less and deep sleep in your older age, you may see aging symptom in you.

REM (Rapid Eye Movement)

The stage of sleep is very important as your brain keep more active to recollect and increase your memory. That’s why; you may have dreams during sleep. Almost every individual dreams at night for several times.

Rapid Eye Movement starts almost one hour and a half after you go to bed. This phase may continue just for ten minutes for the first time and it continues to increase the duration. In the final stage of REM, your heart rate and breathing get faster and it continues at least an hour. In the meantime, if your sleep breaks for any disturbance, you may have sleep paralysis as well.

But as you grow older, the duration of your REM sleep phase will decrease. So, it is seen that babies spend most time in REM sleep stage compared to adults.

How to Stop Sleep Paralysis? (The Ultimate Guide)

how to stop sleep paralysis

Were you struggling to move your body during sleep but could not move a bit? But after a few seconds or maybe a few minutes, everything became normal and you could move your body and take breathe without any difficulty.

What did happen to you then? (You started worrying)

This happened to you due to Sleep Paralysis.

how to stop sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is very common among people. Every four out of ten may have this sleep problem. Actually, it is a condition of our body during sleep when we cannot move any part of our body. Even, we can feel extra pressure on our body. We think that something (maybe, a ghost) appears in our bedroom, sits on our chest and holds us tightly so that we cannot move.

Thoughts about sleep paralysis over the centuries

Most people throughout history considered it as sleep paralysis demon that comes at night while sleeping to abduct us. But it is nothing but a bodily condition at the time of sleeping. When our body passes into sleep stages, it occurs. It is seen mostly in the night while sleeping. A shadowy evil creature comes to the helpless sleeping human being to terrify at night.

It can be divided into two parts

Sleep paralysis can be happened at the beginning of our sleep or at the end of our sleep. So, sleep paralysis is divided into two parts- predormital sleep paralysis and postdormital sleep paralysis. So, if you fall asleep and cannot move your body part, it may be the sleep paralysis symptom of the first one. As you know, when we fall asleep, our body relaxes slowly.

On the other hand, the same thing happens to you just before the end of sleep. It is because your sleep cycle changes its stage from NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) to REM (Rapid Eye Movement). Both take at least ninety minutes to complete the stage. During NREM sleep, our body rests, repair and restores itself. After that, there happens a quick transition to REM sleep. During this sleep stage, our body muscles keep turn off; eyes move fast and start dreaming. Like the rest of our body keeps in a very relaxed mood and if you are aware before the completion of REM, you will notice that you cannot move your body or speak.

Sleep paralysis causes

Sleep paralysis occurs in teenagers in most cases. But it is not limited just to them. People of any age may have a sleep problem. It can run through generations. It has been found that most people have this problem during sleep all over the world. However, there are some causes also that are responsible for sleep paralysis.

  • Those who do not have proper sleep may develop this sleep inconvenience at night for days.
  • Frequent changes in sleep schedule can be a cause of this problem.
  • Stress plays a vital role to develop this problem.
  • Back sleepers may have the sleep issue.
  • Narcolepsy or nighttime leg cramps can be a potential sleep issue.

Can you die from sleep paralysis?

The answer to the above question is a big “NO”.

To tell the truth, you may need no treatment if you have this sleep problem. Only if you notice that the problem is happening with you regularly, then you should consult with your doctor. Also, keep an eye whether you fall asleep faster and feel sleepiness during the daytime. If anxiety is going to take you, visit a doctor to have a prescription so that you can sleep well at night.

Actually, lack of sleep throughout the whole night can lead you to sleep paralysis as well.

Now I would like to jump to the section where I am willing to tell you the ways or treatment (you may say) to get rid of this nuisance.

How to treat sleep paralysis?

Though there is no specific treatment for sleep paralysis, some people may consult with their doctor if it happens regularly. Sufficient sleep at night, maintaining sleep pattern and other regular physical activities can keep you away from this sleep problem.

  • You have to ensure that you are sleeping 6 to 8 hours each day.
  • If you have anxiety, you cannot have a good night’s sleep. Antidepressant can be a good option for you to ease your depression so that you can sleep well.
  • You should visit a doctor if you have narcolepsy or cramp legs.

Takeaway

If you can lead a disciplined life, you may overcome this problem over time. Also if you see that this problem is happening with you every day, you should visit your doctor. Though it is not life-threatening, it should be cured because nobody wants to fall into this problem. You may have other sleep disorder associated with sleep paralysis. So, it is also important to share this problem with your physician in order to get a good suggestion.

How to Sleep Without a Pillow (Advantages and Disadvantages)

sleeping with or without a pillow

Sleeping without a pillow may be difficult for modern people. So, some people may think that there is no use of discussing the title of the article. But, think about our ancestors. Did they use any bedding or pillow for sleeping? If you go researching this question, you may be surprised by discovering that they did not use any bedding or pillow anymore. Still, there are some tribal groups on the planet who do not use pillows for supporting their heads and necks during sleeping.

sleeping with or without a pillow

Also, in the present world, there are a lot of people who do not use pillows for sleeping because of their having some difficulties on their neck or spinal cord too.

So, sleeping without a pillow can result in you in many benefits for your overall health.

Sleeping without pillow posture

Those who sleep on their stomach should avoid a pillow. But a flat pillow can be used for this sleeping posture. On the other hand, if you are a side sleeper or back sleeper, you will need a pillow for your neck and head’s proper support.

So, the question with “How” is given, we think. Now, let’s talk all about the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping without a pillow as anything under the sun has merits and demerits.

Advantages should come first.

People with their back pain should welcome

If you are suffering from back pain for a long period of time, you should welcome the method of sleeping without a pillow. Maybe, you are suffering from back pain because of the thickness of your pillow or the height of your pillow that does not let your spinal cord remain perfectly aligned with your neck. If the case is so, you should try sleeping without a pillow to experience if there is any development. Yet, you do not find any improvement; you should consult with your physician.

Get rid of acne and wrinkles

It is proven that sleeping without a pillow decreases the chance of breaking out acne and wrinkles on your face. There is a fact behind actually. When you sleep, your face spends nearly 8 hours in touch of your pillow. What if your pillow cover is infected with harmful bacteria that can be a cause for acne and wrinkle? Besides, your face cannot breathe as well at the time of side sleeping. Thus your lovely face gets covered with annoying acne and wrinkles.

Ensure your deep sleep to start a nice day

Without sufficient and restful deep sleep, we cannot do well for the next day. All day you may doze for the lacking of good sleep. So, it is also important to make all arrangements for your quality sleep. Many people think that a soft pillow is the precondition of a good night’s sleep. But they are mistaken because excessively soft pillow may be responsible for your headache after getting up from the bed and so does an extra thick pillow.

But if you make a habit of sleeping without a pillow, you can have a better result within few days. At first, it may seem daunting but it will bring better comfort later.

Give a boost to your memory

After waking up from the bed, our brains start consolidating everything and become very busy. So, if you cannot sleep well, your brain will not allow you to work properly. For the restful sleep, you have to ensure everything. You need sufficient sleep. Otherwise, your memory will not boost and work properly. As the process of sleeping without a pillow can provide you a restful night’s sleep, you can boost your memory a lot.

Anything natural is more effective

Some believe that natural ways are far better than the ways invented by human beings. They think that the natural position of their body is beneficial and more preventive to resist any issues as well. Otherwise, if we look at our anatomical structure, we can see that there is a perfect alignment among our head, neck, and spinal cord. To keep them perfectly aligned, all you need to do is to avoid pillows under our head and neck.

Placing pillows under your head can mess up the alignment and thus you may feel sore neck after getting up from sleep. On the other hand, if you have neck pain, you can get rid of the pain without using any pillows underneath your head and neck.

Goodbye flat head syndrome of your little one

Babies head remain soft at the very beginning of their birth. With the passage of time, their heads start to develop a stronger shell. In this situation, if you use a very soft pillow for your lovely baby, chances are your baby’s head may become flat as it is very soft as well. This is called flat head syndrome.

To avoid this problem, let your baby lie without a pillow which is very soft or hard. Through this habit, you will see a perfect-shaped head of your baby.

Along with the advantages, there come some disadvantages too to sleep without a pillow. Among many demerits, we will discuss a few of them just to make you clear that it has downsides also.

Disadvantages comes later.

Acid reflux may be acute

While sleeping, if our head remains at the same level of our gastrointestinal level, acid reflux may find our throat to reach without any hindrance. In this case, you will suffer more with the acid reflux.

On the contrary, if you use a raised pillow under your head, it can lessen the suffering. But keep in mind that too high raised pillow is also bad for your head and neck. After getting up from sleep in the morning from the extra high pillow, you will explore sore neck and headache.

Difficulty in changing habit

Suddenly, you take a decision to sleep without a pillow under your head. It takes time to build up a habit day after day. So, at the very beginning of changing the habit, you will find a lot of difficulties including sore neck, aching head and the like after getting up from the bed though after a few days or more it will be normal.

Side sleepers may find it difficult also

Without a pillow, your neck does not get much support to rest on. Side by side, at the time of sleeping, your muscles keep stretched for a long time. As a result, you feel a sore neck after waking up. So, for a side sleeper, a pillow is the ultimate solution to use under his head.

Apart from the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping without a pillow, there are a few questions to answer. You may also find difficulties finding answers of the following questions. So, we think to make a short list and answer them one by one so that you don’t get tired of typing them in the search bar for finding the answers of the below-listed questions searching online.

Here is the list of the possible questions we are going to answer them carefully.

We have enlisted here five questions and their possible answer. These five specific questions are as follows-

Question #01: Is there any benefit for an individual with neck pillow?
Question #02: Are pillows actually important to have a good sleep?
Question #03: Is sleeping without or with a pillow good for hair?
Question #04: Does sleeping without a pillow increase height? Or, does sleeping without pillow make you taller anymore?
Question #05: Do you think that sleeping without pillow improves posture?

Let’s answer the questions one by one.

Is there any benefit for an individual with neck pillow?

Sleeping without a pillow allows your head, neck, and spine to remain straight and thus an individual with neck pain can find comfort without a pillow.

Are pillows actually important to have a good sleep?

If you think about our ancestors, they did not use a pillow for their sleeping. Instead, they used raised mound to sleep on it and they sleep well as well. So, it varies from individual to individual. But if you are suffering from acid reflux or something like that, you should use a pillow. Also if you have neck pain, you can use.

Is sleeping without or with a pillow good for hair?

Actually, there is no connection between a pillow and your hair. For hair tips, you can read some blog post regarding this specific topic online searching from Google.

Does sleeping without a pillow increase height? Or, does sleeping without pillow make you taller anymore?

In order to be a little bit taller, you have to take a few regular physical exercises. But, we did not find any relationship between the two terms actually. Though the question is interesting having no answer, we would like to make sure that you cannot be taller sleeping without a pillow. So, the ultimate answer to the question is a big ‘No’.

Do you think that sleeping without pillow improves posture?

We think so. As it helps to sleep straight, improved posture is an outcome of sleeping without a pillow.

Conclusion

So, it mostly depends on your need whether you need to sleep without or with a pillow. Think twice before making a habit of sleeping without a pillow. In this case, you can consult with your doctor. If it is recommended by your physician, go for it. Otherwise, you should not adopt this habit as you may have some sleep disorders like sleep apnea that can bring more sufferings for you.

How to Make a Kid Fall Asleep (14 Proven Tips)

14 tips to fall your kid asleep

What if you have to wake up suddenly in the midnight and play with your kid? Sometimes, you are trying to make your kid fall asleep but he/she is not responding to you. He/she wants to play with you in the midnight waking up. Perhaps, this habit has been developed for months and you did not notice. If it continues several nights with you, you may feel tired and get bored and at the same time, you may be anxious about your child.

14 tips to fall your kid asleep

Not only a kid but also an adult may have sleep problems. It results in sleepiness, ill-temper and much more if sufficient sleep cannot be ensured. So, to avoid these types of unwanted sleep problems, you have to be aware from the very beginning. A kid’s mental as well as physical growth also depends on the adequate duration of sleep. Sleep duration may vary from person to person and age to age. Another thing you have to consider that all babies in the world are different from one another.

However, when your kid wakes up in the midnight and keeps you up with him/her, you can apply several techniques and develop good habits to solve the problems. A sleep-deprived kid is more irritable and shows behavioral changes, has trouble concentrating and sometimes, gets overweight. As a result, he/she cannot concentrate on his/her studies as well. He/she may sleep while reading in his/her reading room that is awful for any parents indeed. But as a parent, you have to ensure his/her enough sleep time for the entire welfare of the kid.

This may be hard and time-consuming work for parents to assist your baby get as much sleep as he/she needs to grow up normally. But as ideal parents, you have to assist your baby because he/she deserves it from you. You should maintain a strict routine for whole family’s bedtime as well as the wake-up time that help your kid follow. When your child continues to follow the same bedtime and wake-up time daily, it helps him/her fall asleep at a certain time and get a restful night’s sleep.

You can also make your kid perform some bedtime rituals which play an important role in his/her sound sleep. When your baby passes several nights following the routine you fixed to follow, a good habit will develop in him/her to go to bed at the same time every night.

Here are 14 proven ways to make your kid fall asleep

Stick to a regular routine

It is one of the most important tips for your baby to follow. Make sure your whole family maintains the same routine because your kid will learn from the family members. Persuade your baby that as all family members follow a regular go-to-bed and wake-up time, so do you. Stick to the routine even on weekends. Tell him/her about the benefits of sound sleep. Also, illustrate the bad sides of insufficient sleep at night.

Try to make him/her do all the necessary tasks before going to bed like brushing, going toilet, putting on night dress and so on. Also, give him/her a warning message that you have only 5-10 minutes to go to bed. You can also say to your baby that he/she will get a prize (reward) if he/she goes to bed at the fixed time every day even at the weekend. It helps to do the scheduled task cheerfully because babies like to get prizes.

Also, maintain a schedule for wake-up time. If he/she does not go to bed according to the schedule, they may not be able to wake up accordingly. Besides, some kids wake up at the scheduled time though they go to bed late. It interrupts their sleeping cycle which is really alarming. Without sleeping enough at night, a baby may not go well through the whole day coming next.

Foods before bedtime

A full stomach can obstruct your baby’s sweet sleep at night. So, it is better for you to serve him/her with a light snack before bedtime. It is true that kids need more meals than we need. So, supply them much food as they need for their better physical and mental growth. A small snack helps them sleep better at night than a heavy meal. You may offer milk with cereal, a piece of fruits and so forth just before going to bed for sleeping. Otherwise, some foods can help you baby fall asleep faster.

Bedroom’s environment

One of the most important aspects of a restful sleep at night is the environment of the bedroom where your lovely baby sleeps. Keep the room quiet and dark. You can use a small nightlight. This is because heavy light during sleeping hinders to increase melatonin, a chemical substance that helps you sleep faster and maintain sleep cycle.

Keep the bedroom cool and fresh

The bedroom where your baby sleeps should keep cool because it works better for everyone to sleep well other than a room with hot temperature. Also, make sure that the room is not too cold for your baby. You kid may catch a cold if the bedroom is cooler than needed. Covers may use if your baby does not kick them off or dress your baby before going to sleep.  Freshness is another aspect of a bedroom as we use it for sleeping which rejuvenates our body to work for the next day.

Don’t let your kid read scary story books

It is said that what we imagine all day long and try to solve any riddle, we dream them during sleeping at night. Scary story books are not suitable for your kids to read out especially before going to bed. Reading book is a good habit too. Sometimes, your baby reads storybooks lying on the bed. This is a good habit of course. But make sure your baby does not read scary story, thriller type books as they have a bad impact on a kid’s sleeping. Instead, you may allow them to read good books which have moral values and fun as well.

Turn off the TV before bedtime

Kids are fond of watching TV especially, cartoon and animals. You should turn your TV off at least 2 hours before bedtime. You baby may insist you that he/she wants to watch the running program more time but you need to tackle your kid tactically and turn it off. Otherwise, watching TV may result in keeping your kid awake more than 1-2 hours that is totally harmful to your kid.

Avoid telling stories or singing while sleeping

If you tell stories or sing while your kid is going to sleep, this habit will develop and continue for a long time. As a result, when your kid wakes up in the midnight suddenly, he/she will want to hear stories or songs because this habit has already been developed. So, try to avoid the habit of developing for your baby.

Keep the bedroom soundless

All babies are not the same. Everyone is different from one another. A baby may sleep in a noisy place whether other may not sleep because of a slight sound. When someone slams the door and it creates sound, your baby may wake up. On the other hand, at night, some creatures like a fox, dog make a horrible sound and they disturb your kid’s sleeping.

An electric fan may assist you in this situation. Turn on a fan and it will drown out these sounds coming from outside. Try this to help your baby fall asleep.

But keep one thing in mind that you should not use a fan during cold weather or season. If you do so, your little one may catch a cold.

Alleviate sleep problems

Your baby may suffer from some sleep problems like snoring, trouble to breathe during sleep, stalling, and loud breathing during sleeping. If these problems are seen during your baby’s sleeping time, you should consult with your kid’s doctor to solve the problems by treatment.

Besides, you may be notified seeing your kid’s tiredness, sleepy or cranky during the daytime. Besides, you can observe your baby while he/she sleeps. And if you find the problem, tell a doctor without making any delay because this problem may cost you and your baby.

Teach him/her think positive

A baby’s first school or learning institution is his/her home. Parents should take extra care building his/her attitude toward the society and others. Negative thoughts not only hinder his/her natural growths but have a bad impact on his/her tender mind also. In this situation, as parents, you have to teach them to learn the positive aspects of life if your child is enough old to understand it. This is not for a newborn baby or those who are less than 6 years old.

Don’t play with your kid before bedtime

Babies love to play whether it is day or night. But you have to keep in your mind that your kid needs enough sleep along with physical activities. Especially, at night and before your kid’s bedtime, you should not play with him/her. Instead, you can persuade him/her that it is time for sleeping. Tell him/her to brush, wear night dress and get ready to go to bed. Also, try to convince him/her that he/she needs to wake up early to perform his/her regular activities. It is also seen that after playing for some time, your baby may get tired and want to sleep. But it is not for all. However, for their proper development, you, as parents, have to ensure your kid’s enough sleep.

Let your baby keep stress-free

Babies, when they start their school life, have a lot of tasks to perform at home and school as well. Sometimes, it is seen that his/her homework is not ready at all for the next day. Then a kid may not keep stress-free. And this stress hinders his/her sleeping. He/she wants to complete the task before going to bed. Otherwise, some parents create pressure on their baby to complete the task given by their teacher. But if it is found that his/her homework has not been completed yet, don’t abuse him/her. Instead, try to keep him/her relax at least before bedtime which is awesome for a kid to stay stress-free.

Keep it fears-free

Some babies get afraid seeing a small insect at night. In that case, you can play a great role convincing him/her that it is just an insect and you should not be afraid of it because you are stronger than it is. You can buy him/her a toy to work as a guard at night. You can also spray the bedroom properly with “monster spray” before your baby’s going to bed for sleeping.

Decorate its bedroom as a sleeping land

The decoration of a bedroom also plays an important role in sleeping at night. Keep the bedroom arranged and its color or paint should not be dazzling enough that tires your little one’s eyes. And, at night, when a night light turns on, the bedroom may look like a sleeping land where your baby can fall asleep easily and smoothly. Also, don’t hang fearful or very colorful wallpapers or art on the walls. If your baby wakes up in the midnight, seeing the picture on the wall hanging, he/she may get afraid and as a result, his/her sweet sleep may be hampered. Although it is not a must-have an aspect for a good sleep at night, you can do it too.

The bottom line

There are no parents in the world but want to keep their babies happy both mentally and physically. To keep your dear kid healthy, sound and strong, a sound and deep sleep at night as much as he/she needs are really important. If it is not ensured, your little one may suffer from many physical and mental disorders that can result in insomnia, sleepiness at daytime, loss of appetite and much more. And, your baby may not concentrate on any activities- academic or social. So, you can follow the above-mentioned tips to make a fall asleep at night and let him/her grow well by mentally as well as physically.