Something we can all appreciate is a good nights sleep. When your young, you believe that naps are just making you miss out on all the fun. As you get older, you realize that being able to squeeze in a day time nap is like winning the lottery. (okay, not really, but close!)
Your body has 4 stages of sleep, they are:
Stage 1- Your body teeters between alert and asleep.
Stage 2- Your body temperature cools down and your oblivious to your surroundings.
Stage 3 & 4- This is when your body sends you into deeper levels of sleep. Your breathing slows, blood pressure drops and your muscles relax.
You then move into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep for anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes at a time. This is why the best time increment for people napping differs so much. Make sure you don't sleep too long-it can leave you more tired than before.
In REM sleep, your brain is awake, but you are unaware of your surroundings & you re experiencing your most vivid dreams.
Your sleeping style also says a lot about you (and your health)
Stomach- If you prefer to be lying nearly face down, you're likely to be a perfectionist who is compulsive, persistent and goal oriented. These qualities are great for your career, but they don't do your body any favors. Sleeping on your stomach can twist your neck into awkward positions and put more pressure on your spine-which leads to more difficulty breathing. It's recommended you slowly introduce yourself into sleeping in the fetal position with one pillow between your knees and another behind your back.
Back- Staring straight up into the ceiling can signal an adventurous, confident and receptive personality. Sleeping on your back also keeps pressure off your jaw which is crucial for people who suffer from T.M.J. but back sleeping can trigger unwanted stress on your airway-this is bad for snorers.
Side- 73% of women and 50% of men say they sleep on their side. Most curl up into a semi-fetal position with their knees slightly bent. Side sleepers tend to be compromising and appeasing while people who sleep on their side in a full fetal position are said to be introspective and intense.
Health wise, sleeping on either side helps with snoring and keeps your stomach active throughout the night allowing you to digest food and ease hearthburn.
Just some information to make sure your getting the most outta your night's sleep!
Source: Women's Health Magazine, March 2011