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The Gachon Herald
The greatest medicine for the weary mindThe perfect sleep
Jeon Jong-Min  |  jongmin1701@naver.com
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Updated : 2020.12.07  23:36:35
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 As technology advances (such as the emergence of smartphones), people can spend time at night just like in the day, increasing night activities and accessing electronic device screens until late at night. As a result, lifestyles have changed and have caused many people to suffer from light fatigue and even severe illness. To help correct these bad habits, this article will explore the concepts of REM sleep and non-REM sleep, which are necessary to set the right sleeping hours. This article will also try to find out what kind of disease we can get if we do not have enough sleep and ways to get a good night's sleep that most of us did not know.
<REM sleep and non-REM sleep>
 Sleep can be divided by REM sleep and non-REM sleep. REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement Sleep) is the state of the eyes moving fast during a sleep while the brain is awake. REM sleep accounts for about 80 percent of the total sleep at newborn babies, which changes to about 20-25 percent as they become adults. Most of the cases in which we often remember our dreams is REM sleep. On the contrary, non-REM sleep is a deep sleep condition that both the brain and body sleep. To wake up refreshed, we should take much of non-REM sleep because the body and brain can recover only when this condition is reached. The sleep cycle is repeated about once every 90 minutes. At this repetitive cycle, waking up at the end of the REM sleep can ensure that we have the most refreshing morning.
 How much should we sleep for good health? Experts advise sleeping seven to eight hours a day for adults. If you sleep less than six hours per day, this can increase the risk of developing various diseases. The next paragraph introduces some of the problems that may arise because of a lack of sleep time.
<Problems that arise because of lack of sleep>
1. High blood pressure
 Lack of sleep causes blood pressure to rise, causing the heart to operate more than necessary, increasing the risk of developing hypertension.
2. Decreased concentration
 Fatigue makes the brain strain, and this leads to poor concentration due to the inability to perform normal cognitive processes.
3. Overweight
 If you do not get enough sleep, you will eat more because of the increased production of ghrelin, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel hungry. And the metabolism also slows down, resulting in fat and excess calories.
4. Immunity weakening
 As physical fatigue builds up, it reduces the production of antibodies that prevent viruses and bacteria, thus reducing immunity.
5. Emotional Problems Due to Stress
 Lack of sleep lowers hormones that promote happiness and instead increases the production of substances that cause negative emotions, causing stress to build up and various emotional problems such as depression and bipolar disorder.
6. Muscle weakness
 Our bodies enter a state of relaxation to regenerate the used muscles during the day while sleeping. At the same time, lack of sleep can lead to severe physical strain as growth hormones are secreted to increase muscle mass.
 Besides the above, there are numerous problems caused by a lack of sleep. So, what are the ways to sleep well to prevent problems? Let us find out what we may not know or have misconceptions about.
<The way to Sleep Well>
1. Analyzing sleep patterns to find the right sleep
 As explained before, waking at the time at the end of REM sleep cycle can be most refreshing. To find your best wake time, it is good to use smartphone apps or alarms before going to bed to find the best time.
2. Keeping the best temperature for a good night's sleep
  We usually think that we should be warm enough to get a good sleep. But this is not true. Contrary to common knowledge, the best sleeping condition is when the body temperature drops by 0.3 degrees from normal temperature. So, if you sleep at a hot place, you cannot sleep well. Eating high-calorie foods before going to bed, taking a hot shower before going to bed, and using goose feathers or duck down blankets also increase body temperature, so it is better not to do so. The best room temperature for a good night's sleep is 17-18 degrees in winter and 25 degrees in summer. In addition, the temperature inside the blanket is good when the temperature is at 33 degrees Celsius and humidity 50 percent, regardless of the season.
3. Take moderate exercise
 Exercise can create more synergy for taking rest. Sleep is to rest various metabolic systems that was used while exercising. Therefore, moderate exercise is good for sleep. However, exercising too late will wake your brain up and disturb sleep, so it is recommended that you exercise mainly before dinner.
 Cervantes, the author of Don Quijote, is said to have left a famous saying: "Sleep is the best medicine for a tired mind." Like this, sleep is an important means of healing our bodies and minds. I think the easiest habit to change for your health is "sleeping" as you live in a busy life. I hope this article will help you sleep better than before, even if you sleep for the same length of time.
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