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Alain Guillot Show

Dec 12, 2019

For the last decade, we have seen an explosion of interest in sleep. Scientists have found that sleep is crucial, and most of us aren't getting enough.

In today's 24/7 society, natural sleep patterns are under threat. Many of us don't realize that our daily routines interfere with our natural sleeping patterns, and this to a great detriment to our health, happiness, and productivity.

On the other hand, if we can optimize our sleeping patterns,  we can improve our performance, health, and wellbeing.

Dr. Sophie Bostock, as a scientist and founder of The Sleep Scientist, aims to make the latest sleep science more accessible.

When she is not sleeping, eating, climbing, swimming or windsurfing, she is giving talks at Tedx and Talks@Google, and many other corporations or government agencies.

What happens when we sleep?

There are four stages of sleep: Non-REM (NREM) sleep (Stages 1, 2 & 3) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Periods of wakefulness occur before and intermittently throughout the various sleep stages or as one shift sleeping position.

Stage 1 is the lightest stage of NREM sleep. Often defined by the presence of slow eye movements, this drowsy sleep stage can be easily disrupted causing awakenings or arousals. This stage lasts about 10-15 minutes. The muscles relax and brain wave activity begins to slow from that of awake.

Stage 2 occurs for longer periods than Stage 1. This could be about 20 to 30 minutes. Your heart rate slows down and your brain becomes more active.

Stage 3 is most often found next in the progression. This restorative stage does where we get growth hormones and we learn the most.

REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, where we do most of our dreaming.

The whole sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes.

Why sleeping is good for your health? People who get at least 7 hours of sleep have lower levels of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive decline (Alzheimer's disease). Also, people who sleep well get into fewer car accidents.

Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn, Twitter.