The first dimension of sleep is the obvious length of it. For some reason we often forget the second dimension which is the depth or the quality of our sleep.
This explains why someone can sleep for a long time and still be tired, having insufficient sleep in term of depth and quality.
On the other hand, someone can have a very restorative short sleep if this one is sufficient in depth and quality. We need to consider sleep in term of surface area (2 dimensions), not in term of length (1 dimension).
The quality of sleep is a very important criteria and yet little known by most of us and therefore neglected. It is linked to the internal organization of our sleep. It is simply the harmonious flow of our different sleep cycles (usually 4 to 6 per night) and each of the phases (5) within each cycle, that makes the quality of our sleep.
In order to have quality sleep, these cycles and phases must take place at a certain determined order,duration, cadence and proportion. If only one of these factors is missing, we will have bad sleep, even if it is sufficient in quantity.
A lot of insomniac people seek in vain to increase the duration of their sleep without realising that deepening it (which is generally easier) would actually solve their problem.
Insomnia is mainly the consequence of a failure to respect our inner clock and its very complex mechanic. Disturbed rhythms lead to insomnia and in the long run have a physical and psychological impact on the individual.
Watch out for sleeping pills (especially barbiturates). They are not at all the solution contrary to a wrong common belief where one imagines to have slept more deeply and therefore wake up drowsy. In fact, these pills disturb and shorten phase 4 of very deep sleep with its famous Delta brain waves and phase 5 of the REM and paradoxical sleep (where dreams occur).
It is indeed possible, with sleeping pills, to have a generous sleep in terms of quantity, but it is a sleep of very poor quality much less regenerative on the physical and psychological level.
After 20 years in health care, perfecting the Art of Healing and exploring stress management, life optimization and self-improvement tools, David has founded Life Forces. A company specialized in burn out prevention, chronic stress release and optimal body and mind living. Our mission is to bring people back in touch with their optimal mind and body health. We have developed innovative and unique training programs for participants to integrate life changing tools to self manage their stress and regenerate themselves, find back their inner power and bring home these tools to enjoy a continuous regenerative routine. We teach and share how to sustain a strong and healthy life foundation so that people can pursue their life dreams and life projects.
Originally published at medium.com