As The New York Times put it recently, “Sleep is the new bottled water” – free, but packaged as a luxury.
From a full seven/eight-hour sleep everyday to a five-hour (at most) sleep every Monday to Friday and make it eight on the weekend. My sleep habit has changed after graduated from high schools.
After watching a video of TED-ed below, I recently made a small research about sleep and these made me aware of how important sleep is.
We spend one-third of our lives asleep.
“A good eight hours” is our gold standard. But, sometimes people have misunderstanding about sleep. As the video said, sleep is not lost time, or just a way of rest when all important work is done. Instead, it’s a critical function during which our body balances and regulates its vital systems, affecting respiration and regulating everything from circulating to growth and immune response. What goes on in our brain while we sleep is an intensively active period of restructuring. That’s crucial for how memory works. That’s why Shai Marcu called it “Sleep to remember, remember to sleep”.
But much like the human body itself, there is no perfect formula for sleep. If you’re insterested in researches about sleep, Kinfolk made a summary on How to Sleep: A Short Guide. I found it worth to read.
A hack to sleep.
Talking about sleep, I have a new way to have a good night’s sleep. Binaural Beats. Have you ever heard of it? Some of you may have.
A binaural beat is an auditory illusion perceived when two different pure-tone sine waves, both with frequencies lower than 1500 Hz and less than 40 Hz difference between them. This beat is not only useful for sleep. There are many kinds of binaural beats and benefits. Based on research, the first noticeable benefit people experience is stress relief, feeling of calm, centred, and optimistic.
Scientists discovered that our alertness is linked to the dominant frequency of brainwaves. If you’re feeling alert and focused, your brainwaves are in the beta frequency, while if you’re feeling relaxed, they are in the alpha state. To sleep, brainwave frequency needs to drop to a slow delta. For your information, our brains enter into several different states during the day with each of these states generating its own unique frequencies. These are:
- Beta (13-40 Hz) – Active, alert, and focused
- Alpha (8-12 Hz) – Relaxed, calm, and creative
- Theta (4-8 Hz) – Drowsy, light sleep, and dreams
- Delta (less than 4 Hz) – Deep sleep
So by inducing a new lower frequency with binaural beats, our brains begin to lower its own frequency to match this new frequency. However, as I read some articles against binaural beats, we should be picky in choosing binaural beat sound that we want to listen. I recommend to read the reviews or make a little research first about the sound you’re going to listen. Below is the sound that works on me to sleep.