I recently discovered the joys and perils of being able to track my sleep. Among the skills that I have been gifted, being able to sleep is one of them. However, as I learn, the quantity and quality of sleep that you get varies from day to day and this has a impact on your overall health. When you sleep, your body behaves differently physiologically. Your brain pumps more spinal fluid effectively washing your brain. Your heart rates slows down and your breathing becomes more consistent and your muscles relax and heal. This entire process literally is a pick me up and rejuvenates your body.

An average human needs at least six hours of sleep and getting eight is better. You typically go through fives stages of sleep

Stage One or light sleep where you can be easily woken up. Stage Two when your muscles relax, your heart slows down and your body is preparing to go into deep sleep. Stage Three and Four when your brain waves slow down and you are in deep sleep. Stage Five when your heart rate, breathing and eye movement all speed up and your brain becomes more active processing the information absorbed during the day. This is also known as REM or Rapid Eye Movement.

This cycle is repeated about five times on average. There are several factors that affect the way you sleep including your body position, what you wear, the amount of light that your eyes detect, caffeine and stress. Getting more than fifty percent deep sleep is essential for a healthy and long life. And oh yes, there is nothing like sleeping too much, so sleep to your hearts content, your body will thank you for it.