Sleeping like a baby is an expression you might have too often heard from people who can doze off as soon as their body hits the bed, but for those who need to count hundreds of sheep before finally getting the rest they need, sleeping like a baby is a foreign concept.
The Sleep Cycle
Each person has their sleep patter; however, all these patterns adhere to one standard cycle, which starts with light sleep. At this stage, there is a slowing down of your muscle activity as you drift in and out of consciousness. This is when your eyes get droopy, but you can still easily get woken up by a slight noise. This stage is typically followed by the preparation to a deep sleep where your brain and heart slows down. A significant decrease in your body temperature can also be observed at this stage.
Once you have hit deep sleep, which is the third stage, waking up can be a nightmare for you. At this point, getting woken up may lead to headache and a general feeling of annoyance. Going back to sleep might be a bit hard as you must go through the first two stages again. You typically stay at this stage for a couple of minutes before heading to the REM sleep, which is the stage where you start to dream. REM sleep is the last stage and is where rapid eye movement can be observed.
I Cannot Sleep!
For some people, falling asleep is not that easy and, sometimes, counting sheep does not do the trick. Recent studies, however, have shown that our body responds to certain sounds that allow us to relax and go to sleep. This phenomenon is known as ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridien Response.
Imagine laying down on your sofa bed in the cool Singapore night and listening to the sound of crumpling of paper; this is how ASMR is like. For several people, the sound of the paper sends a wave of tingling sensation that emanates from the crown of the head down to the neck and shoulders. The sensation is similar to very mild electric currents running through your skin. Now, this is where it gets a bit tricky – not all people respond to the same stimuli. For some, it could be the crinkling of paper, while, for some, it could be the sound of hair being brushed. This means you have to go through several triggers before you find the right one for you.
This is Something New!
Although most people think that the concept of ASMR is something new, it is not. It has been around for quite some time, although it has only started getting traction lately due to several studies extolling its virtues when it comes to putting people to sleep. It also helped that a lot of ASMR videos have recently popped up across the Internet – anything from people writing on magazines, to artists eating crunchy food in front of a very sensitive microphone. You have to keep in mind, though, that not everyone can experience ASMR. Currently, studies have not shown why some people respond to ASMR while others don’t.