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How Quality of Sleep Affects Physical and Mental Health


1. REM

Also known as ‘Rapid Eye Movement’, during REM sleep one’s eyes move around rapidly in a range of directions, but no visual images are sent to the brain. Usually, REM sleep happens 90 minutes after one falls asleep. It is when people start having dreams, since the brain is in an active state. REM is a very important part of human development because it stimulates the areas of the brain that are associated with learning and the production of proteins.

2. Non-REM sleep

There are 3 stages of non-REM sleep

  • Stage one: The eyes are closed, but it is easy to wake one up

  • Stage two: The person is in light sleep. Heart rate slows down and body temperature drops. The body is ready for a deep sleep.

  • Stage three: It is the deep sleep stage. During this period, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bones and muscles, and strengthens the immune system.


Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling irritable and exhausted in the short-term, but it can also have serious long-term health consequences as well. Moreover, it leads to changes in mental health, but mental health conditions can also worsen problems with sleep.

1. Worsen stress: When people have a low quality of sleep, they are more likely to have a bad mood that following day, which would then increase their stress level.

2. Leads to depression: Sleep issues may contribute to the development of depression through changes in the function of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Sleep disruptions can affect the body’s stress system, disrupting circadian rhythms and increasing vulnerability for depression.

3. Causes anxiety: Anxiety is frequently connected to sleeping problems. Excess worry and fear make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.


1. Unable to concentrate on one’s work at daytime: Take school performance as an example. If a student does not get quality sleep on one night, he/she has a higher chance of sleeping during class, which then they might miss important part of a lesson and thus lead to undesirable academic results.

2. High blood pressure/ diabetes/ heart attack/ stroke: Sleep helps your body control hormones needed to regulate stress and metabolism. Over time, a lack of sleep could cause swings in hormones, leading to high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.

3. Affect appearance (obesity): Sleep loss creates a hormone imbalance in the body that promotes overeating and weight gain. Leptin and ghrelin are hormones that regulate appetite, and when you aren't getting sufficient sleep, the production of these hormones is altered in a way that creates increased feelings of hunger, so a person may eat more than usual and this leads to obesity long-term.


  • Put away phone and tablet 1 hours before bedtime (keep our minds away from social media)

  • Keep a consistent wake time (wake up at the same time everyday, including weekends)

  • Do some relaxing activities before bedtime (taking a bath, reading a book)

  • Consult a doctor is necessary (get sleep pills with doctor’s permission)

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