Unless you are a rarity, you are among the bulk of us who loves to sleep. Of course, there are animals who can make do with no sleep at all and therefore there are numerous theories on why humans need sleep. One reason ascribed is the removal of metabolic waste. Some scientists believe that we just sleep because we get sleepy. Sleep is vital for your body since that is the time when your body rejuvenates itself. While you are asleep, your sensory perceptions and voluntary muscles are inhibited or at rest. Sleep in humans happens happens in two states Rapid Eye Movement or REM and non-REM. Sleep occurs in ninety minute patterns alternating between REM and non-REM and building up to REM. During REM your pressure and heart rates are elevated and therefore experts believe that non-REM sleep is deeper.

If you have a device that can track your sleep (I use my Garmin Fenix HR3) it will break your sleep into light, deep and waking. Experts recommend that you try and get at least fifty percent of deep sleep and a minimum of seven hours or sleep tending to nine to be healthy. I know people have different sleep habits with many people tending to sleep late and wake up late. It is believed that the best window to fall asleep is between 8 pm and 12 pm and then depending on how many hours of sleep you are getting wake up accordingly. You need to find your own rhythm as there apparently really is a morning person and a night person.

To sleep well it is best to stick to a routine which means going to sleep at the same time everyday, eliminate as much light as you can, avoid exposing yourself to blue light before you go to sleep from television or other devices, create as comfortable an environment as you can include using aroma and also take a shower before you sleep. The best  way to fall asleep is to tire your body and therefore getting some form of physical exercise actually helps you sleep well. Also it helps to use a eye shade (the sort they give you on flights) and pillows since you loose the soles of your feed regulate body temperature. Unfortunately there is no science to catching up on your sleep over the weekend and therefore while your routine may include the Sunday nap, it does not really help your body in any meaningful way.

While I wait for science to learn more about sleep, I for one love my sleep and ensure that I get as much of it as  I can everyday.

PS: I updated this post based on feedback I received from Raja Sengupta. Thanks Raja for reading and your feedback. Greatly appreciate.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.