The average person needs around 8 hours of sleep a night. But 30% of American adults say they sleep less than 7 hours.
But is the amount of sleep you get the only thing that can affect how tired you are?
We look at what sleep and rest really mean, and the differences between rest vs sleep.
Rest vs Sleep
Rest means a break of work or movement in order to sleep, relax, or recover strength. When it comes to sleep, however, there is a little more to it. In order to get a restful sleep, you should consider a healthy sleep cycle and healthy sleep habits to help you sleep through the night.
Simply closing or resting your eyes does have its benefits though. A short period of rest with your eyes closed can help to calm us down, reduce stress, and allow our body as well as our mind to take a break.
Whilst this can improve both our mood, mental capacity, and motivation, it is only within the deeper stages of sleep that you gain the necessary rest to boost your body and mind day to day.
Proper sleep also provides hormonal and psychological benefits as well as allowing our bodies to heal during this restful period.
Healthy Sleep Cycles
It was once believed that when we went to sleep, our minds and bodies would simply shut down and regenerate. However, our brains are a lot more active than you might think during our sleeping hours. They go through various stages of activity, which we call cycles.
The first 2 stages of sleep are light and you can be easily woken. Stages three and four are the beginning of deeper sleep. Our brain waves become slower and it becomes harder to be woken up by ambient noises or movement.
This is when the important benefits of sleep happen, like regaining energy, stimulating growth, development, and strengthening of your immune system.
The final stage is REM which stands for Rapid Eye Movement. This occurs around an hour and a half after falling asleep and can last up to an hour with several REM cycles per night. REM is important for memory and learning, it’s when we dream and process information from the day.
Not reaching the final stages of your sleep cycle or waking up before a full cycle has finished can make you feel more tired than if you hadn’t slept at all!
If you struggle to get to sleep or stay that way, there are simple things you can do to help.
Try and keep a routine, with the same times to go to bed and to wake up. Creating a peaceful and calming environment can also help, somewhere quiet and dark, and not too hot or cold.
Being active and eating well can also impact your sleep, so take care of yourself! You could even consider these sleeping supplements; nylon.com has a review of some on their website.
Sleep Through the Night!
Now you know the difference between rest vs sleep! It’s important to reach the deep sleep stages of your cycle so use our tips for a better night’s sleep.
Find more great articles on our site and share your own sleeping tips with us in the comments below.