What Makes You a Light or Heavy sleeper?

Heavy sleeper

Question: Light or Heavy sleeper. 

Even the tiniest sound might startle some individuals up in the middle of the night. The scream of a passing fire truck’s siren doesn’t disturb some people’s sleep.

The reason behind this, on the other hand, remains a mystery.

Even though many individuals claim to be either light sleepers or heavy sleepers, scientists have discovered that little is truly understood about why people respond differently to sounds and other stimuli during sleeping.

Several factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and undiagnosed sleep problems, may contribute. According to specific research, a person’s sleep patterns may also be affected by changes in brain wave activity during sleep.

It doesn’t matter where you fall on the spectrum, though: Your health is directly impacted by the amount and quality of sleep you receive.


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Everybody Should Have Light and Deep Sleep Cycles

Each night, you alternate between REM (rapid eye movement), which occurs roughly every 90 minutes, and NREM (non–rapid eye movement).

According to the National Institutes of Health, there are three phases of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM), the first of which is the most likely to wake you.

The first stage of sleep, known as light sleep, occurs between waking and falling asleep. Stage two of sleep is when your breathing and heart rate calm down, and your body temperature decreases, allowing you to slumber more profound.

Stage three of sleep (also known as “slow-wave sleep”) is the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep, in which breathing slows, muscles relax, and tissue development and repair occur.

According to the Sleep Foundation, your eyes will move quickly from side to side, and you will have brain activity that resembles that of a person who is awake rather than sleeping in REM sleep.

In this stage of sleep, the majority of people’s dreaming takes place, and memory consolidation takes place.

When it comes to the phases of sleep, the older we become, the less time we spend in the slow-wave or REM periods and more time in the lighter stages, a recent study found.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that the amount of time spent in light or deep sleep during a night varies significantly from person to person and night tonight.

It’s also possible that the quantity of deep sleep one receives isn’t connected to the overall amount of sleep that person gets at all. Sleeping eight hours per night may not provide the same slow-wave, deep sleep as sleeping for just six hours.

People’s subjective feelings about how deep they are sleeping may be in line with laboratory findings, says David Neubauer, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and associate director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center. “However, it doesn’t mean they’re the same thing.”

Heavy sleeper

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So, What Makes a Person a Restless Sleeper?

Previous studies have shown that sleep spindles, a kind of brain activity, may affect how individuals react to noise when they are asleep.

According to a study by the researchers, people who generated the most of these high-frequency sleep spindles were shown to be more likely to sleep despite loud sounds. However, more study is required to verify the findings.

Dr. Neubauer recommends that people who don’t feel refreshed because they believe they’re sleeping lightly look at the variables that could be preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep.

According to the Sleep Foundation, consuming alcohol too soon to bedtime or insignificant amounts may interrupt healthy and regular sleep cycles.

Dr. Neubauer recommends an in-lab or at-home sleep study to determine if a sleep disturbance is responsible for the patient’s symptoms.

A person’s due to breathing abnormalities in certain sleep disorders like obstructive sleep snoring, resulting in light sleep.

You may feel like you’re a light sleeper or wake up often because of noise from outside or other interruptions, but this does not indicate you’re not receiving the amount of sleep your body needs.

Heavy sleeper

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Eric Landsness, MD, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurology and sleep medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, says the most essential thing is that you wake up feeling refreshed, which is a solid indicator that you’re receiving the deep sleep you need.

A generalization about what makes some individuals light sleepers and others heavy sleepers is difficult, says Neubauer.

“It may be some form of heredity or it might be that certain individuals have a larger degree of arousal during a 24-hour cycle,” he explains.

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, there are several things you can manage. As Neubauer notes, “there are many concerns connected to lifestyle, drugs, alcohol, and caffeine that might diminish sleep.”

. It is possible that people aren’t getting enough sleep because of their decisions.

Heavy sleeper

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How to Sleep Deeper Irrespective of Your Slumber Style:

Irritability and memory loss are all signs that you aren’t receiving enough quality sleep; if you’re constantly falling asleep throughout the day, you may not be getting enough sleep.

Try these methods to reset your sleep pattern, or visit a doctor or a sleep specialist if these strategies are ineffective in resetting your sleep schedule.

The following may help you get a better night’s sleep:

  • Set a regular bedtime and a regular waking time. Even on the weekends, you should aim to avoid sleeping in and staying up late, advises Rajkumar Dasgupta, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at UCLA’s Keck School of Medicine and spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. To avoid exhaustion after a weekend of staying up late, try to go to bed early on Sunday night.
  • Maintain a stress-free state of mind throughout the day. According to the American Psychological Association, a lack of sleep is a sign of increased stress. According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Evidence in December 2018, research reveals that there may be an underlying biological basis for why pressure is more likely to impair certain people’s sleep.
  • Limit your use of alcoholic beverages in the hours leading up to your bedtime. Dr. Dasgupta believes it may help you fall asleep quickly, but it interferes with deep sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, drinking before night may disturb your sleep cycle since your liver enzymes digest alcohol.
  • You should turn off the television and remove any electronic gadgets from your bedroom. If you’re a light sleeper, Dr. Landsness recommends keeping your mobile phone out of the bedroom.
  • Before going to bed, limit your screen usage to 30 minutes each day. To get the most restful sleep, unplug for at least an hour before bed. Screen light disrupts sleep by preventing the release of melatonin, the hormone that tells the body it’s time to sleep. If you’re simply checking your email or watching a TV program, it’s more invigorating than relaxing and causes cognitive arousal, even if you’re only using a gadget.
  • Wearing an eye mask is a good idea. Light from the margins of your curtains will be blocked by this. When it comes to light pollution, “light sleepers” are more vulnerable. Landsness warns that a sliver of light from the streetlight outside might disrupt your sleep. According to research, wearing an eye mask may help individuals have more REM sleep and raise their melatonin levels.
  • Earplugs or noise-canceling earphones should be worn. Even if you have a window that picks up traffic noises from outside, this will help drown them out, adds Landsness. Alternatively, you may use a fan or a white-noise machine to assist you in falling asleep. According to research published in Frontiers in Neurology, these gadgets may help some individuals fall asleep more quickly in December 2017.
  • Be aware of what you consume before going to sleep. Avoid sugary foods, which may induce an increase in blood sugar, and avoid stimulants like coffee and nicotine. According to the Sleep Foundation, hot, acidic meals may trigger heartburn or acid reflux, disrupting sleep.

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