We all know that we should be sleeping more… but did you know that sleep deprivation can increase your risk of getting diabetes?
We’ve all been there at some point or another – tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position in which to drift off. Whether you’re a chronic night owl or you’re just having a short period of restless nights, there are ways of catching some zz’s without relying on medication.
Even the deepest sleeper will find their sleep patterns affected by shift work. The irregular hours along with the unusual day and night routines mean that trying to get sleep can be a very tricky prospect. This is made even worse in the summer when days are longer as the light can disturb and disrupt sleep.
Got a major decision to make?
Is your head full of noise?
Feeling stressed out about a particular issue?
Well, science says you should sleep on it. That’s right. It’s not just an old wives’ tale. Getting into bed and switching your brain off is the fastest and best way to help clear your head to make those decisions in the morning.
Why is this?
Think a few nights of tossing and turning aren’t enough to have an impact on your body? Think again. Unless you are getting the recommended 7-9 hours sleep per night then you could be putting your body into a sleep-deprived state, which means that all the effort you put into exercise and diet may end up being worthless.
Associated with the deepest levels of sleep, delta waves are something of an enigma. First identified in the 1900s neurophysicist William Grey Walter, who was inspired by Hans Berger’s electroencephalograph, or EEG machine which enabled the study of the brain during sleep. Walter constructed his own version of this machine with additional capabilities and ended up detecting the various brain waves observed during sleep.
During the awake stage, small and fast beta waves are produced. As the brain slows down for sleep it produces alpha waves until eventually, once in deep sleep, the brain produces delta waves.
Delta waves operate at a frequency range of between 0-4Hz, which is super slow. It is during this stage that the brain is fully unconscious, which makes delta waves tricky to study as no one can remember what happens during this part of the sleep cycle.
So, what are their benefits?