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Restorative Sleep Doesn't Have to Be the Impossible Dream

By HERWriter
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Insomnia related image Photo: Getty Images

The notion of restorative sleep may sound like a fairy tale. Just go to bed and let yourself be restored in ways that the greatest specialists, the most expensive drugs and the biggest effort cannot duplicate.

Go to sleep and be renewed.

Sounds too good to be true. And, you know what that usually means.

And of course, it's entirely possible that your experience doesn't support this concept. Maybe what you're most familiar with is that "oh no" feeling upon awakening, that feeling that you're no more refreshed after sleeping than you were before you went to bed.

But that has nothing to do with restorative sleep. What it has to do with, is sleep deprivation.

You can't get restorative sleep by trying to be an efficiency expert. You can't get down and get to it and then get up again and feel anything remotely like restored.

No sir. You're going to have to linger in that bed. You're going to have to spend quantity time to create quality time. You're going to have to let things go for more hours at a time than you may be comfortable with.

But ... restoration. Gosh, that sounds good. Consider the possibility that it may be worth the inconvenience and all that indulgent lolling about in bed.

It's time to show some respect to the sleep process. You may look like you're not doing anything, lying there asleep. But the truth is, your body is working like gangbusters.

It's working like the pit crew that gets the old race car souped up and amped up and ready to roar again. It'll just take more time about it to get it right.

So what is this Holy Grail of Sleep?

Restorative sleep is mostly deep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During deep sleep, your body is busy repairing your muscles and tissues, building up your immune system and creating a store of energy.

During REM sleep, your brain is processing all the information it took in that day. It's building up its store of neurotransmitters, creating neural connections and reinforcing memory. Emotions are processed during this stage of sleep and newly learned skills and abilities are nailed down.

You can't scrimp on this thing.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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