WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T GET ENOUGH SLEEP?
Many people don’t realize that sleep is one of the cornerstones of well-being, along with diet and exercise. We may be aware that regularly eating junk food and not exercising affects our physical and mental well-being, but we may not make the same connection with not getting enough deep sleep. Although this is an emerging field in research, with new discoveries being made all the time, it is known that sleep is closely linked to all the body’s physiological systems, and so when sleep is disrupted, it is inevitable that we don’t function at our best, emotionally, mentally, and physically. We have all experienced how we become more irritable and reactive when we are lacking sleep and there is usually a decline in mood as well. We are more likely to rate our mood negatively after one night of sleep deprivation. Our unique mp3 music downloads of sleep music delta waves available at this website, is made up by a wide variety of soft instrumental music, ambient sounds and soothing nature sounds, with a serene and calming composition. We incorporate delta brain waves to our free sleep music downloads to relax your mind and body, calming sounds that assist contemplation and brings inner peace and deep sleep.
Lack of sleep particularly affects basic attention and vigilance, the cornerstones for more complex thinking. The ability to maintain sustained attention is also critical in many industries where work involves monitoring, so poor sleep can have an impact on safety as well as performance. Most of us begin to experience slower reactions and responses after we have been awake for 16 hours, and this increases as wakefulness persists. Even restricting sleep by a couple of hours in a night can lead to significant lengthening of reaction times. If we sleep six hours a night for two weeks, our performance will be impaired to the same degree as if we had been awake for 48 hours non-stop. It also seems that slower response times are associated with greater activation of the default mode regions of the brain. Although the pre-frontal cortex appears to be particularly affected by sleep deprivation, the evidence does not show clearly how the brain’s executive functions are affected. It seems that some types of thinking are affected more than others by sleep deprivation: More creative, flexible, and innovative aspects are degraded particularly, as well as those that rely on emotional data. The pre-frontal cortex plays a role in emotional processing, inhibiting connections with the more primitive areas of the brain like the amygdala. If these connections are impaired, effective emotional processing will be too. Our ability to learn new things and remember them is essential for basic survival as well as performance. Sleep is crucial in preparing the brain to acquire new information before learning, and it also plays an essential role afterward, consolidating learning and integrating it into long-term memory banks, from where it can be retrieved when it is needed. If these two stages are disrupted by sleep deprivation, the development of new memories—and therefore learning—will be hindered. Next time you are studying for an exam, starting a new job, or learning a new skill, invest in your sleep before and after to help you get the most out of it.
“Sleep is the best medicine” is not an old wives’ tale. The proper functioning of the body’s immune system is compromised by poor sleep. Sleep music delta waves are powerful brainwaves used to naturally encourage a state of relaxation. Our free sleep music online mp3, that are only available for download at this site, can affect brain wave speed, inducing a brain activity comparable to a hypnotic or a meditative state. We combine delta waves with calming and healing music for a more pleasant auditory experience. A good night’s rest is essential when battling acute infection which can delay healing. There is an association between lack of sleep and an increase in spontaneous pain, as well as general physical discomfort, headaches, and muscle and stomach pain. With our carefully made sleep music delta waves we may solve sleep problems like insomnia and heal the body from illness and pain. Deep binaural beats will make you fall fast asleep and enjoy a deeper sleep all night long without any disruptions to your sleep cycle. People suffering from lack of sleep benefits greatly by playing free sleep music with calming delta waves in the background before bedtime to prepare the brain for deep sleep. Soothing delta waves are used not only to improve your sleep but also to improve your life outside the bedroom as well.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO WE NEED?
There is no “golden” number of hours that is the perfect amount of sleep, and subjective sleep quality (whether we feel we have had a good night’s sleep or not) is as significant as duration. Two people can sleep for a similar amount of time with similar periods of wakefulness, and yet perceive it very differently. In general, eight hours is usually quoted for adults; children and young adults will need more and the elderly less. However, mindfulness and meditation practice may be helpful in let go of particular expectations and of striving toward a particular goal, and instead helps us to be okay with the way things actually are, which makes it easier to fall asleep.
Try this to work out the number of hours’ sleep that is best for you:
STEP 1 Pay off any sleep debt by getting plenty of sleep. You may need to do this while you’re on vacation!
STEP 2 Using 7½ hours as a starting point, count back from the time you need to get up and make that your bedtime (factor in a short period of “falling- asleep time”).
STEP 3 Begin going to bed at that time for at least a week or, better still, ten days, and notice whether you begin waking up just before your alarm.
If after ten days you still need the alarm, go to bed a little earlier and continue until you find the right duration for you. If you have the flexibility to get up at any time, another option is to go to bed at the same time each night and notice when you wake up naturally, without any outside interference. Doing this over a period of a couple weeks will allow you to determine how much sleep you personally need. The test is sleeping for a particular length of time and waking naturally (without an alarm) feeling refreshed, without needing any stimulants such as caffeine. However, you may want to have an alarm clock set as a back-up! A really effective yet simple way to fall quickly asleep is to play our free sleep music mp3 downloads. Powerful delta waves with calming and healing music should at least make you de-stress and unwind. We only use the most soothing instrumental sounds like piano, flute and guitar music, and beautiful nature sounds like ocean waves, bird and rain sounds to enhance body and mind relaxation. Our high quality mp3 downloads of sleep music delta waves are quite therapeutic and will improve your well-being and overall health.
We spend about a quarter to a third of our lives asleep, but just because we are not awake doesn’t mean that time is unproductive. The physiological changes that occur when we are asleep determine how well we feel and perform when we are awake. It’s often said that diet, exercise, and sleep are the three foundational pillars to good health and well-being. While many of us understand the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet and of keeping fit, we are perhaps less familiar with how important sleep is. We’ve all experienced the effects of too little sleep: what it means for our mood, focus, and concentration, and also how it affects us physically—we have less energy, and feel tired and groggy. However, the importance of sleep and the consequences of being sleep-deprived go beyond this. Sleep influences all the major systems in our body, and those systems in turn influence our sleep. Insufficient sleep can disrupt bodily functions that affect how we think and behave, and how we think and behave can disrupt our sleep. Therefore, problems with sleeping can quickly become a vicious cycle. Deep sleep meditation music is an effective but simple therapeutic treatment to make you fall fast asleep and to stay asleep the whole night, this has been recommended by medical and health professionals for more than 30 years, more about how to use and download free music online mp3 down below.
At its simplest, sleep plays an important role in: Creating a healthy immune system, repairing muscle, consolidating learning and memory, regulating growth and appetite through the release of certain hormones and regulating mood and emotion. Sufficient sleep is essential to our well-being, both physically and emotionally, so it is not surprising that when we are deprived of it we feel the impact in all areas of our life. There is plenty of evidence that poor-quality or too little sleep can have serious consequences for our physical and mental health. Research on sleep usually measures objective and/or subjective sleep quality, and there is an important distinction between the two: Objective sleep quality is assessed in laboratory conditions to determine the duration, efficiency, minimal broken sleep, and proper cycling through the different stages of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Subjective sleep quality is our perception of how easily we fall asleep and whether it feels as if we had enough to feel rested throughout the day. Problems with either can be debilitating, but the difference is significant in that, while it may be difficult to significantly improve sleep objectively for physiological reasons, we can change our perception of our sleep and its quality, and thereby our relationship with it. If we don’t feel depleted by our experience, we are much more likely to view it neutrally or even favorably. This is where practicing sleep meditation may be particularly helpful, since with meditation we never “tackle” a problem in order to fix it. Instead, as we learn to accept it, our perception of the difficulty changes and it becomes less of a problem for us. However, we must practice sleep meditation to allow this to happen—we can’t just tell ourselves to accept something. Acceptance arises from a raft of things coming together.
Sleep meditation music is a simple yet effective way to help you fall asleep and sink into a deep sleep with the help of soothing delta brain waves. Powerful delta waves help to quiet an overactive mind. Sounds to help you rest during the daytime and unwind during the night. Good music for sleeping consists of soothing sound waves over a wide frequency range, that is often mixed with soft instrumental music or atmospheric ambient music to encourage deep sleep. The most common thing that interfere with a good night’s sleep is anxiety, the right type of music or sound can change this and improve the overall sleep quality. People with complete sleep deprivation like those who suffer from insomnia might be helped by the right type of music for sleeping. Some prefer soft music for relaxation or meditation to treat anxiety or relieve depression when one is feeling down and hopeless. Others prefer sleep meditation music to stimulate lucid dreaming, some with insomnia play relaxing background music during bedtime to help them relax both body and mind which improves the chance of falling asleep, a safer and cheaper alternative than sleep inducing medication. Improve your sleep quality today download free music online mp3 and sleep through the whole night without any disturbances with our unique sleep meditation music with delta waves. Music specially made for deep relaxation and an uninterrupted sleep cycle.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SLEEP?
Until the early 20th century, when we became able to measure brain activity with electroencephalogram (EEG) rays, it was believed that during sleep the brain shut down and rested from the activity of the day. However, the reality is very different, and in fact the brain can be more active when we are asleep than when we are awake. Whether we are awake or asleep depends on activity in specific areas of the brain. The part of the brain that promotes wakefulness also inhibits the part that promotes sleep activity, and vice versa. The shift between the different areas is caused by internal factors such as the circadian rhythm and the release of hormones, and is usually self-regulating. The drive to sleep increases the longer we are awake, and as we sleep it abates so that it is near zero when we wake. Sleep, or more officially the sleep cycle, is made up of different stages of REM and n-REM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. Each cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is repeated three to six times each night. However, this cycle may be disrupted by stimulants such as coffee, nicotine, and alcohol, as well as by medical conditions and sleep deprivation. We usually spend about 75 percent of the night in n-REM and 25 percent in REM sleep. Each of the different stages is as important as the others, and it is believed that the right balance of all the stages is crucial for restful and restorative sleep, which promotes learning, memory, and growth processes such as cell formation and repair, and regulates mood and the ability to concentrate. The first cycle begins with a period of n-REM.
REM sleep usually occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep. It recurs every 90 minutes or so, and lasts longer as the night progresses. There is intense brain activity similar to when we are awake. This is when we are most likely to dream. During REM sleep, breathing is faster, shallower, and more irregular. The heart rate and blood pressure increase, and the eyes often dart back and forth, causing the eyelids to flicker. Body temperature drops to its lowest point. Although the brain is awake, the body is paralyzed—a safety measure preventing us from acting out our dreams and perhaps causing injury. It is thought that memories and learning are consolidated during REM sleep, that the body’s brain chemistry is restored to a natural balance, and that mood is regulated.
Hormones play an important role in regulating our sleepiness or wakefulness. During the various stages of sleep, some hormones are secreted and/or released and others are inhibited or reduced. These often determine how the body functions, for example suppressing appetite. When our sleep is disrupted, therefore, the hormones are unable to function as they should, and that can have a negative impact on our health and well-being. For instance, diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin, and insufficient sleep increases the risk of diabetes. However, those who sleep longer than 9 hours also seem to be at a greater risk of diabetes, so, where insulin is concerned, it seems to be the right balance of sleep that may be significant.
High levels of stress hormones and anxiety disrupt the sleep of millions of people worldwide. Tossing and turning in bed and over thinking keeps many of us up all night. Listening to deep sleep meditation music at night time will have a great effect on your overall health. As an example, instead of sweating and worrying in bed your attention is no longer on those intrusive thoughts that keep your mind active, but instead calmed by the soothing sound of sleep meditation music. Music for sleeping has the ability to affect you in a number of positive ways, it encourages better sleep patterns for people with sleep problems and it also encourages mind body relaxation. Listening to your favorite tune or relaxing music on a regular basis has shown to reduce unhealthy levels of stress. Patients suffering from insomnia, anxiety and depression had a positive response to the auditory music therapy, it positively altered the patients’ mood and well-being. You can at this site download free music online mp3 for relaxation, meditation and sleep.
Mindfulness meditation is intentionally paying attention to your experience as it arises, without judging it. Most of the time what we experience just feels like a big blob. However, when we start paying attention we realize that our experience is multi- layered: It is made up of inner and outer experiences, and strands within them. Our inner experience consists of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations; our outer experience is made up of the environment, behavior, and actions (our own and those of other people). All these arise individually and simultaneously, and interact with and influence one another. How we pay attention is crucial. We want to notice whatever is arising without judging it, and actively cultivate attitudes of kindness and gentleness to what we notice. When we start practicing mindfulness meditation, the first thing we often notice is how judgmental we are— judging situations, others, and, of course, ourselves. It is easy to fall into the trap of judging ourselves for being so judgmental! However, there is a difference between judging and discerning, and there is nothing wrong with having preferences. We can cultivate the quality of mindfulness meditation through practicing meditation, both formal (a regular practice that might include sitting practice, movement—yoga, walking, tai chi, qiqong—or a body scan) and informal, when we pay attention to what we are doing while we are doing it as we go about our day. Both types of practice are valuable and support each other. More about mindfulness meditation down below.
THE ORIGINS OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
The recent popularity of mindfulness meditation may lead you to think that it is something new, but it is quite the opposite. Mindfulness is a quality within us all, but it can be cultivated consciously through meditation, and this has been practiced for thousands of years. The secular form of mindfulness meditation that we discuss here came to the West more than 30 years ago and was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Hospital as a way of helping patients with chronic medical conditions learn to live with them. Since then its use has spread, and adapted mindfulness-based approaches are being used for medical disorders such as depression, anxiety, addiction, cancer, and pain, among many others, as well as in mainstream contexts such as schools, prisons, government, the workplace, and the sports arena. One reason that it has been accepted into such a diverse range of areas is the strong evidence for its efficacy. This is growing all the time, particularly in new areas, and mindfulness and sleep is one of those.
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION PRACTICE
When we practice mindfulness meditation, we are focusing our attention on something in particular (such as the breath, physical sensations, sounds, or thoughts) for a certain amount of time. The regularity of the practice is more important than the duration, so try to do it a few times a week if you can’t do it every day. It is better to sit for a shorter time, perhaps 5 minutes to begin with, and build it up, rather than struggle to sit for 30 minutes and feel that you have failed. When we meditate, our mind will wander sooner rather than later, and at some point we notice that. This is a moment of pure awareness—we are in the present moment and we know that we are thinking. We acknowledge that we are “thinking” and bring our attention back to the focus, whatever that is. If we practice mindfulness meditation regularly, we end up doing this thousands of times. Every time we bring the attention back we are practicing letting go of a distraction, encouraging the unconscious mind to notice mind-wandering (which is why it is important not to beat ourselves up about it), practicing deliberately placing our attention where we want it to be, and cultivating attitudes of kindness, gentleness, curiosity, patience, letting go, acceptance, and non-striving. Therefore every time we exercise this muscle of awareness, we lay down new neural pathways in the brain: We change our brain and the way it works. Much of our day-to-day stress is caused by trying to control our experience, and particularly by things not being as we would like them to be, and the same thing happens at night if we are not sleeping as we think we should. When we practice mindfulness meditation regularly, we notice how our experience is always changing. We become more comfortable with change and realize that we can’t control our experience. When we struggle with not sleeping, we can get into a vicious cycle of trying to control all the elements that may influence sleep; but actually, this undermines it. As we meditate, every state of mind will arise at some point: physical discomfort, boredom, restlessness, irritation, calm, peace, ease … Learning to explore these different states “on the mat” in a safe environment gives us the opportunity to practice being with them. Through noticing how they manifest in the body and how we habitually react to them, and through meeting them, we learn a different way to respond to them. Thus, when the same states of mind arise in everyday life, we are already familiar with them. There is also an important element of showing up to practice. If we establish a regular mindfulness meditation practice (maybe just 10–15 minutes a day), we do it regardless of whether we are in the mood. This is important: It cultivates a willingness to be with whatever shows up, however we are, and it can be helpful when we experience a bout of insomnia or face unexpected events. We often find it easier to pay attention to our experience if we make a specific time to do so, without any distractions, and setting aside a time to meditate allows this.
HOW DOES MINDFULNESS HELP?
According to Mindful Nation UK, mindfulness meditation training teaches people to become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, and body sensations, as well as being less reactive and judgmental toward them. They start recognizing thoughts as mental events rather than facts, and discover ways of dealing with automatic reactions to stress. They also become able to notice pleasant events and enjoy them, and develop a greater overall attitude of unconditional kindness, both toward themselves and others. The result of this is that they respond to their own experience, and to events in their lives and the people around them, in a healthier and more compassionate way. Whatever brings us to mindfulness meditation—anxiety, pain, sleeplessness, or something else—we never actually try to “fix” that particular problem. Instead, we learn to relate to our “suffering”—whether physical or psychological—in a different way. Forcing ourselves to fall asleep (or resisting being awake) is a non-starter. Learning how to move from a place of resisting or not wanting our experience to one of allowing it to be (since it’s already here) is at the heart of mindfulness meditation practice. Paradoxically, by letting go of the need to fall asleep you may find that your sleep improves. Regardless of this, however, acceptance involves letting go of the mental struggle that can be so exhausting, and therefore you may feel less tired even if you are not actually sleeping more.