Few people realize that sleep deficit can be a serious threat to their health and well-being. Lack of sleep and not having quality sleep each night can lead to a weakened immune system, bad skin, poor memory, loss of concentration and high blood pressure.

“Sleep comes from the brain, is a product of the brain, and benefits the brain,” says Allan Hobson, famed Harvard Medical School sleep researcher. Indeed, restful sleep is the ultimate rejuvenation elixir and leads to improved physical performance and greater emotional stability.

Ideally, we equate a good night’s rest with total relaxation. But behind closed eyelids, there is a great deal going on. While we sleep, our body’s organs regenerate and repair themselves. It’s also the time when your mind lays down its memories and processes the information gathered during the day.

Sleep is actually a dynamic process with three distinct and necessary cycles. Each night we cycle through these stages of sleep ranging from light sleep to deep sleep and finally, to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A complete cycle consists of REM and non REM cycles that alternate every 90 to 110 minutes and is repeated four to six times per night. REM sleep helps in mental consolidation while non REM helps in cell growth, physical repair and rebuilding.

The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During that period, our pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair our body. The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type.

To be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. We may find that upon waking up to an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, we are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if we have slept for less than 5 hours, our body is in a complete physical mess (lack of non-REM sleep), we are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and we tend to fall sick easily.

So get a good night’s sleep, every night. Try Rilax, a natural sleep aid, to improve your sleep quality.