Just as a balanced diet and exercise help maintain good health, so do long hours of healthy sleep combined with diet and exercise can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle easily.

The benefits of sleep lie in boost in natural immunity, reduced stress and anxiety, improved vitality and vigor, better sexual health and balance in female reproductive hormones

Sleeping less than this specified time can bring adverse health hazards. Sleep deprivation or insufficient sleep can profoundly impact our mental health and functioning of the brain.

Benefits of Sleep: Why Healthy Sleep is Important

Studies over the years have found that loss of sleep may lead to:

  1. Obesity

Less than 7 hours of sleep a night also affects your body mass index (BMI). It is correlated to obesity. Sleep plays a major part in healthy weight management. Studies have shown that if you sleep less, you risk obesity more.

  1. Diabetes

According to some studies, it was observed that at least 7 hours of sleep a night along with 30-40 minutes of regular exercise for at least 5 days a week can help you manage diabetes and help you control blood sugar easily. People who reported 5 hours or less sleep are more likely to have diabetes than people with more than 7 hours of sleep.

Sleeping 7 hours or more a night combined with half an hour of exercise each week  can help you manage diabetes naturally. It helps you control your blood sugar levels easily. People who sleep 5 hours or less are more likely to have diabetes than people with more than 7 hours of sleep.

  1. Heart disease

Less sleep also increases risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attack. It was found that people with 5 hours or less sleep are at 45% more risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attack. Additionally smokers were at even more risk of the same over those who had quit smoking.

  1. Stress and Anxiety

Sleep deprivation is also associated with mood disorders and adverse effects on behavior, concentration and regulation of emotion and attention. Less sleep especially has more impact on mood than on cognitive and motor function of the brain, as per the same research.

  1. Depression

Depression is very closely linked to sleep. According to various studies, it was found that people with insomnia are likely to be ten times more at risk of depression than people with 7 hours of more sleep a night. Also among people with depression, 75% have more trouble falling and staying asleep.

  1. Alcohol Addiction

A study conducted over 3000 high school students found out that inadequate sleep is associated with higher levels of mood disorder, behavioral issues and dependence on alcohol. Alcohol use may help you sleep initially but eventually leads to insomnia. One of the benefits of quitting alcohol in life is that it helps you get healthier sleep and also heal your liver damage.

This particular blog shares the varying stages of sleep, the time recommended for every person to sleep, how it can affect our life and mind and the associated risk factors of excessive sleep and sleep deprivation. And reaching the end, you can find some handy tips to enjoy good sleep. But first let’s introduce you to different stages of sleep.

The Different Stages of Sleep

Major categories of sleep are Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM)  sleep and Rapid Eye Movement( REM) sleep.

Sleeping in bed involves different stages from lighter to deeper layers going through such categories and such key phases are unfolded below:

  • NREM Stage 1

It is the first stage of sleep in which the individual prepares to lie down on the bed and transitions from an awake lying position to a sleeping position. For a few minutes, during this lighter stage of sleep, a person may be easily disturbed. Heart rate, breathing, eye movement, and brain waves all tend to slow down.

  • NREM Stage 2

A slightly deeper level of stage than NREM, in this stage, you will go into a little deeper into sleep. Our mind and body experience diminishing effects of brain waves. Body temperature and heat rate also tend to slow down. Scientist believe that it at this stage that our brain processes and organizes memory and information from the time we spent wake in the day. This stage accounts for 45 percent or the most of our sleep time.

  • NREM Stage 3

This is the deepest stage of sleep and most important as well. In this stage you fall in sleep so deep that even very loud sound or music can’t wake you up. Even if you wake up, you are in state of forgetfulness of up to 30 minutes. The brain waves slow down and it would be quite difficult to wake anyone up during this stage. Stage 3 Non-REM sleep is the most important stage of our sleep. It is in this stage that our body heals our injuries, repairs our cells and tissues, repairs our bones and muscles and boosts our immune system. Interestingly it also this stage when in which sleep walking, night terrors and bed wetting happens.

  • REM

It is the final stage of the sleep and wake cycle where the person begins dreaming. This phase of dreaming continues for the next 90 minutes and during this stage, dreams, nightmares and penile/clitoral tumescence happen. Also motor functions are disabled in this stage of sleep so that our body can’t enact our dream.

A person would slip through the stages of interrupted sleep into uninterrupted sleep and would experience a positive transformation in:  

  1. Their cognitive abilities,
  2. Muscle activities
  3. Digestive conditions
  4. Cardiovascular and respiratory system
  5. Detoxification of blood
  6. Healing of wounds and overcoming illnesses.

The sleep cycle consists of the following: the person progresses from stage 1 to stage 2, experiences stages 3 goes back to stage 2, and finally descends into the deepest REM sleep. Every time the person falls asleep, this cycle is repeated. In addition, several factors such as age, individual variances, and sleep quality, affect the sleep cycle.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Let’s understand how age determines the quantity and quality of sleep that each individual requires. Additionally, as per traditional wisdom of Ayurveda, an increase in the Vata and Pitta doshas can also exacerbate insomnia, which may result in a greater need for sleep.

How much sleep is required based on age:

  1. Infancy

Babies between the period of 4 months and 12 months would require a deep sleep of 12 to 16 hours and including the small naps.

  1.  Childhood stages:
  2. The ages of 1 to 2 years

Toddlers would be sleeping for around 11 to 12 hours per 24 hours every day.

  1. The ages of 3 to 5 years

Children in this kindergarten age group must sleep between the ranges of 13 to 15 hours per 24 hours every day. Children in the age group from the level of infancy till kindergarten stage will be required such recommended sleeping hours as state to gain rapid development of their body, bones and muscles. Such prescribed sleep hours for the children will aid in repairing of the tissues, boosting growth hormones and helping overcome the problems of illnesses.

  1. The ages of 6 to 12 years

In this primary age group, children must get the opportunity to sleep for a minimum of 9 hours and 12 hours at maximum levels per 24 hours every day. Children would be attaining growth and development of brain nerves. So, such recommended hours of sleep will help the children improve their brain capacity and ability to think and take action. It will help in their academic performance to achieve maximum scores plus attain healthy development.

  1. The ages of 13 to 18 years

An individual in the age group of 13 to 18 years would be requiring 8 hours to 10 hours of sleep combining afternoon and night. It is because he or she has to go through several physiological changes involving the release of growth and sex hormones. 

  1. Adulthood

Every adult including elderly individuals in the age group from 20 years of age up to 60 and above would require the optimum balance of hormones of reproduction and insulin levels. A minimum of 7 hours up to 8 to 9 hours of sleep is a way to help in reducing stress hormones and fighting illnesses and infections. Such sleeping time is suitable for heightening the brain nerve development and boosting thinking abilities.

The Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep

There are multiple benefits that one can gain with sufficient sleep as per their aging process and metabolic conditions

Let’s talk about the key benefits of a good sleep:

  1. Improved Brain Function

High-quality sleep will remove the blockage from the brain nerves and refine the memory power. It would enable the person to think and make decisions appropriately. He or she would find it easy to solve any problem and be able to gain excellent learning potency.

  1. Elevates Mood and Emotional Wellness

Sense of freshness you will feel after you wake up from long hours of sleep. It will positively uplift your emotions and boost enormous amounts of energy. It will reduce the mood swings and help you gain control over your anger. It will improve your overall mental ability.

  1. Boosts Physical Health Immunity

Getting enough sleep will stop increasing further weariness. It will regulate your immune system. It will activate digestive hormones and stimulate fats into energy. It will help stop cravings for extra food and thus control excess hunger. In this way, it will let you gain control over your obesity.

  1. Enhanced Physical Endurance

It will enable physical potency and stamina. He or she will no longer feel weak. It will aid in the repair of the muscles, growth and development with regular physical exercise. One would be able to excel in athletics and sports activities from regular sleep for long periods. It will enhance your reflexes and thus prevent you from undergoing any injury or accident.

  1. Minimizes Mental illnesses

Lack of sleep gives rise to the cortisol hormone ( stress ) and a person dwells in depression and anxiety. Enough sleep will strengthen your mind to deal with psychological challenges and so will heighten your mental power.  It will boost psychological well-being and thus make you capable of making decisions.

  1. A Boost in efficiency at the highest level in academics, career development and professional fields

Sufficient sleep will refine the brain’s nerves, and memory power and enable you to make decisions appropriately. It will surely give a boost to creative thinking and performance in fields related to performing arts. Long hours of sleep will enable anyone to be innovative and come out with progressive and unique ideas for solving academic and professional problems.

  1. Influence Arousal, Libido and Sex Life

Sleep and sex share a complex relationship. Better sleep leads to better sex and better sex leads to better sleep. Both reduce stress and anxiety, elevates mood and builds confidence leading to a happy life. When mind is well rested, vital organs in body function more efficiently. Better sleep stimulates production of hormones such as testosterone, dopamine, estrogen etc. which enhances sex power and relieves symptoms of ED. Better sleep also boost energy, strength and stamina and power which leads to boost in overall sex performance and intimacy.

Risk Factors Of Inadequate Sleep

You may either experience the risk conditions during sleep deprivation or the stage of excessive sleep. Sleep deprivation is the lack of sleep which is known to be insomnia. Even dozing off to sleep for long periods may pose several health risks.

Risk conditions concerning sleep deprivation

  1. Accumulation of unhealthy fats in the body.
  2. High levels of insulin tolerance lead to high blood sugar and hormonal imbalances.
  3. Indigestion of food leads to diarrhea and gut disorders.
  4. Causing psychological imbalances and that includes depression and anxiety.
  5. Muscular stress and blurry vision.

You can face such health risks during excessive sleep.

Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

A good quality of sleep entirely depends on cultivating excellent sleep habits and optimizing the sleep schedule.

  1. Setting up an appropriate bedtime schedule and waking up time.
  2. Before you go to bed, turn out the lights in your room for fifteen minutes. If you have returned from working the night shift, try covering the windows with curtains to block out the sun’s rays.
  3. Before going to sleep, you can lie down by keeping a pillow at the back and try to read any detective novel, or spiritual book or listen to any romantic or trance music. It will increase the melatonin production.
  4. Do not keep any gadgets in running condition before going to sleep. Avoid keeping electronic gadgets like smartphones, laptops, etc in charging conditions. Otherwise, the blue light emitted by such gadgets will surely disturb your eyes and mind and interrupt your sleep. 
  5. You can engage in relaxing exercises like deep breathing exercises or pranayama and meditation. It will raise your body’s oxygen levels and help you relax your muscles.
  6.  Stay away from any stimulants right before bed. It could be coffee, tea, chocolate, or any other addictive substance like nicotine or alcohol enhanced with caffeine.
  7. Drink Ayurvedic Kadha which is made from dalchini, tulsi, black pepper, ginger, and saunth. It will calm the nerves in your brain, strengthen your spine, lessen pain throughout your body, and assist you in getting a good night’s sleep without causing any negative side effects. 15 minutes before bed, finish drinking it.


This blog discusses sleep stages, recommended sleep times, and their impact on life and mental health. It highlights risk factors for excessive sleep and sleep deprivation and provides tips for improving sleep quality. Sleep helps balance hormones, and reduce obesity, stress, and cardiovascular disorders. Instead of using artificial pills, individuals should be innovative in their sleep and wake-up schedules and eliminate bad habits for better sleep quality.