Sleep Science is an increasingly fascinating area of study, with sleep specialists attempting to uncover the mysteries surrounding sleep and its effects on our health. As we sleep, the body keeps moving between the circles of Non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and REM sleep. For example, REM sleep helps facilitate critical physical and psychological processes such as memory formation. Circadian rhythms, or “body clocks,” are also studied within Sleep Science. As Sleep Science continues to evolve and holds much promise for how sleep can benefit us in terms of overall health, it’s easy to see why this field of study is growing popular.
Our bodies are truly incredible in that they have sleep built-in controls. Rather than relying on our alarms to tell us when to sleep and wake up, sleep specialists believe that a 24-hour circadian rhythm determines our sleep cycle. This internal clock tells us when we should be sleeping and regulates the two main cycles, REM sleep and non-REM sleep. These two phases of sleep contribute to hormone balance, mental clarity, and overall health, making sleep specialists believe it’s essential to get the right amount of sleep.
Our sleep cycle is incredibly complex, but it boils down to one simple fact: our genes largely dictate it. Sleep specialists suggest that for a healthy sleep-wake cycle, our bodies need to be in tune with their circadian rhythms, which refer to the sleep-wake cycles regulated by gene expression. Surprisingly, our sleep clock can be read like a book thanks to genomics science: sleep specialists now use genetic data to determine why some people require nine hours sleep while others still feel refreshed after just four. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to sleep and genetics – understanding more about how our genes affect sleep is an exciting frontier that could pave the way to better health!