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  • Writer's pictureDr K. G. D. Mawji BM MSc.

Lockdown has disturbed my sleep, Doctor!

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

One of the earliest functions of the body to suffer distruption, during stressful situations like lockdown, is sleep function. We experience sleep deprivation.

Sleep is vitally important in healing of our body and restoring of mind. Average sleep time is 8 hours.

Here, shown below, is our sleep cycle phases.

Sleep cycles repeats thorough stage 1 to stage 5 at least 5 times in an 8 hour sleep.

Recent research indicates that REM sleep (stage 5) is necessary for processing new information, i.e. learning. Early in life we spend about 50% of our sleep in REM. But from about the age of 10 we stabilize at about 25%.

When we are sleep deprived, e.g. in lockdown, we spend more time in non-REM, verifying our body’s need to “reboot”. This also means less time spent in stage 5, leading to irritability and emotional problems.

In pictures below, I try and explain how to beat the lockdown sleep problems.

One of the beverages, Coffee, blocks Adenosine receptors (adenosine is needed to calm our brain neurones) which keeps us awake.

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