Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but is more easily reversed than the state of being comatose. Sleep occurs in repeating periods, in which the body alternates between two highly distinct modes known as non-REM and REM sleep. Although REM stands for “rapid eye movement”, this mode of sleep has many other aspects, including virtual paralysis of the body. A well-known feature of sleep is the dream, an experience typically recounted in narrative form, which resembles waking life while in progress, but which usually can later be distinguished as fantasy.
During sleep, most of the body’s systems are in an anabolic state, helping to restore the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems; these are vital processes that maintain mood, memory, and cognitive performance and plays a large role in the function of the endocrineand immune systems. The internal circadian clock promotes sleep daily at night. The diverse purposes and mechanisms of sleep are the subject of substantial ongoing research. The advent of artificial light has substantially altered sleep timing in industrialized countries.
Humans may suffer from various sleep disorders, including dyssomnias, such as insomnia, hypersomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea;parasomnias, such as sleepwalking and REM behavior disorder; bruxism; and circadian rhythm sleep disorders.
- 3Ideal duration
- 4Functions of sleep