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Career lions

Getting The Right Sleep

Getting The Right Sleep

Today’s blog is inspired by the book that I am currently reading: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Of which, btw, you can expect a review soon. We have covered sleep before on our blog. However, this blog is all about getting the right sleep. Why we need these different types of sleep and therefore why us #careerlions should be prioritizing this to perform at our bests.

The Different Kinds of Sleep

While we are awake, we constantly experience and pick up new information from our environment. Walker views our wake state as the time of reception. Sleep, on the other hand, is responsible for many essential skills for #careerlions, which include learning, memory, emotional stability, complex reasoning, or decision-making. Without these skills, you will be useless in the office. While we sleep, the information we received during the day is processed. However, the type of sleep that you get and in what quantity impacts the way the information is processed. Basically, there are the following kinds of sleep:

  • Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep

  • Non-REM (NREM) sleep  

During the night, there seems to be a battle between the two that are won and lost every 90 minutes.

Even though I knew that there were these two different types of sleep and that you needed them in certain quantities, the details still remained vague. As I am sure I am not alone, I will follow with the details of the different kinds. Subsequently, I will tell you about the detrimental effects of choosing internet browsing or late night Netflix’ing over sleep for instance.

Non-REM Sleep

We need NREM sleep in order to reflect on newly obtained knowledge and experiences. It is the sleep that selectively strengthens the ingredients needed to obtain new facts and skills. Besides saving memories, NREM sleep also has many mental and physical benefits. It helps the body to restore. This is also the moment that muscle building hormones are released. If you are keen on gaining lean muscle and losing fat, this is what you need.

There are four different NREM sleep stages. However, as adults, we should be getting in around 80% NREM sleep in total. It generally occurs at the beginning of the night. When you go to bed too late, you are risking a lack of NREM sleep in the end. Think of all the benefits next time you are browsing on your phone late or watching yet another episode. Is that series really worth it? I think exceptions can be granted for GOT, Homeland, or Suits, but be mindful!

REM Sleep

REM sleep is also referred to as our dream sleep. It is extremely valuable for us #careerlions. Strangely enough REM sleep helps you to both remember and forget! This sleep helps us remember details of important experiences, integrate them with our existing knowledge, and put things in perspective. It is your brain’s way of getting new insights and problem-solving abilities. On the contrary, it also helps us forget painful and emotionally charged memories. Softening the pain over time, spend in REM sleep of course.

Most of your REM sleep occurs during the last part of the night. 20% of your sleep should be REM sleep for adults. If you miss out on your late-morning hours, you are actually losing 60 to 90 percent of that night’s REM sleep. For me, it means that I hardly expect a creative day when I wake up early for a business trip. This is definitely could knowledge to take into account in your planning. Especially, when you really cannot avoid an early morning session. Believe, I would if I could.

Personally, I use my Fitbit to track my sleep. It provides me with insights into the amount and share of different sleep I get. It shows my average and the benchmark. This has already proven to be very useful for me. However, now I have to put my data analysis into practice. I must go to bed earlier! How about you? Do you keep track? Do these benefits convince you of ensuring that you get the right sleep? Share it with us and stay tuned for the review of Why We Sleep to come.

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