The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
What is a dream? Well to dream you first need to go to sleep which is not always an easy task for some of us. In fact, it is thought that at least 30% of the population suffers from sleep problems (known as insomnia). I’m not a doctor or a sleep therapist so sleep and dreams are as much a mystery to me as they probably are for a lot of people.
There are at least 5 stages of sleep. Stage 1 through 4 is commonly known as Non-Rem sleep. These stages go from light sleep to deeper sleep with stage 5 known as R.E.M sleep (rapid eye movement). The professionals believe each of us moves up and down through these stages of sleep as the night goes by.
REM sleep is where we do most of our dreaming with each dream lasting up to 15 / 20 minutes. R.E.M sleep its self takes up about 20% of the overall sleep period. It’s a common belief that we should get a least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night when the fact is studies show that people range between 4 to 10 hours plus each night.
On whole from birth, the length of the sleep period gets less and less as we age. The lower figure of the two is usually found in the elderly. Apparently, as we get older we need less sleep. There are other reasons for sleeping badly such as high levels of stress and anxiety making going to sleep increasingly difficult, medication you may be taking on a regular basis, If you are elderly or pregnant your sleep may be disrupted by needing the loo a least once during the night.
All in all no matter who you are we all need to get sleep one way or another. For those people who take sleeping pills be aware that they are of limited use and should be used with caution. If you do take prescribed medicines to sleep then you may find your doctor switching you between medications to try and avoid your body becoming used to a particular drug. You can find information about such drugs at Mind.org.uk who have an A to Z of different types of sleeping pills.