It is often said that one third of our life is spent sleeping. But what is often unsaid is the fact that this one-third determines how the remaining two-third of our life is.
Sleep deprivation takes a toll not only on the individual’s health but also on the profits of corporates. According to the findings released by National Sleep Foundation, USA, the number of people who suffer from chronic sleep disorder has been estimated at 40 million in USA. Further, the estimated cost to U.S. employers in lost productivity due to sleep loss issues stands at $ 18 billion. The physiological effects of sleep deprivation range from depression to obesity and high blood pressure.
It is mostly acknowledged that an adult requires around 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. A sound sleep energises our body and prepares us for the day ahead. During sleep, our muscles are repaired, memory consolidated and hormones regulating growth and appetite are released. The efficiency of our sleep depends on the quality and quantity of our sleeping hours.
Meditation sessions improve the quality of sleep and reduce the total sleep time… This has been scientifically proved by Prashant Kaul and others of the Kentucky University after their studies on novice and experienced meditators.
Depression and other mood disorders are considered to be some of the prime reasons for insomnia and other sleep disorders. These mood disorders, in turn, are linked with the low levels of serotonin in the brain. Meditation is found to increase serotonin production in the brain leading to better moods, which in turn, leads to better sleep.
Our brains have five distinct brain wave frequencies, with beta waves predominant during our waking hours. The first stage of sleep is characterized by the dominance of theta waves. Studies on meditators have revealed that theta waves are abundant in the frontal and middle parts of the meditators’ brain during meditation. So for the sleep deprived, meditation is an easier way to increase theta waves in their brains and attain sleep like relaxation.