People like me can sleep through a whole hurricane while some wake up at the drop of a pin. Sleep is enough of a mystery scientifically and it gets more complicated since everyone’s sleep is different. Let’s get more into what a light sleeper experiences.
Like any other function of the body, sleep is also an elaborate process. Our bodies experience REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep alternatively every 90 minutes or so. Non-REM sleep consists of three stages itself as well. Stage 1 consists of a light sleep where the body and brain go into full relaxation mode. Your temperature drops, muscles relax and brainwaves start to slow down. The next stage is just these processes continuing further. And the last stage, known as the slow-wave sleep, that is where deep sleep occurs. this amount of time you spend in this stage determines how rejuvenated and fresh you will feel during the day.
Now that you understand the basics of sleep, let’s get understand what makes a light sleeper. The more time you spend in the first two stages, the more likely you are to wake up as these are the light stages of sleep. And someone who spends more time in the third sleep is more likely to be a heavy sleeper.
Consider watching this video to know how to manage sleep disorders.
Other than the stages of sleep, your intensity of sleep also depends on something called sleep spindle activity. It’s a weird name for a relatively simple thing. Sleep spindles are a unique type of brainwaves that occur during stage 2 of sleep. These waves are fast and oscillatory. One study shows that a greater sleep spindle activity leads to a heaver sleep and lowers the chances of you waking up due to external noises.
A light sleep may also be the result of an undiagnosed sleep disorder and a bad sleep routine. Even genetics play a part in this. It’s not easy to determine why some people are light sleepers but if the poor quality of your sleep interrupts your daily life, then its best to see a doctor.
Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can lower the quality of someone’s sleep dramatically. There are many types of sleep disorders that affect your sleep, insomnia being one of the most common ones. These disorders can reduce sleep spindle activity and the amount of time you spend in stage 3, both of which make you light sleeper.
To achieve the best sleep of your life, here are some tips you should follow. Exercising at least three hours before your bedtime can help you deplete the right amount of energy so that it’s easier to fall asleep. Secondly, setting a fixed bedtime is very necessary. Your body needs a schedule to follow so stick to one time! after getting into bed, try to do something relaxing instead of stimulating such as reading a book, writing your journal or simply meditating. Basically, you need to have a fixed schedule for whatever you choose to do. It can be hard to do that when you’re used to pulling all-nighters or binge-watching several seasons of a show, but taking small steps can help achieve the same sleep like sleeping beauty.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!