A lot of people fall asleep at night as soon as there head touched the pillows and don't wake up until after the alarm clock goes off the following morning. However, the privilege of being able to fall asleep easily when one goes to bed is not quite as common. There are those who have difficulty falling or staying asleep, conditions that result in feeling of drowsiness and lack of energy the next day. Although all of us have unique sleep pattern and it changes from time to time, our need for sleep doesn't. just life proper diet and exercise, sleep is very significant in maintaining our good health. Sleep Debt The question is: does the body have to make up for the loss of adequate sleep during the night? The body does not forget lack of sleep. Instead, our body reacts to sleep deprivation by producing too much compound that accumulates in the blood called "adenosine," Adenosine is believed to be a big part on why feel the lack of energy and drowsiness when we didn't get enough time of sleep. Not getting enough sleep will keep adenosine levels too high as the body fights against prolonged periods of wakefulness, which makes one drowsy the next day, signifying sleep debt. Conversely, during sleep, the body breaks adenosine down. Medical findings suggests that for maximum health and function, the average adult should get at least seven hours of sleep regularly but many of us seem to not reach that goal. Irritability and fatigue are all signs of sleep debt. And as this debt piles up, so is the health consequences, putting an individual at an increasing risk of many diseases. If you are among them, you have to know that lack of sleep distrupt hormones that control appetite and it will result to daytime fatime and it often causes sugar cravings while discouraging our body of physical activity. Thus a sleep- deprived person is likely to gain weight. Research Findings about Sleeping While earlier findings about afternoon naps claiming that it reduce the risk of heart attack, newer studies have shown the exact contrary: an inverse relationship between taking short naps and heart attacks. The amount of sleep a person needs increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Eventually, the body will demand that the debt be repaid, which can be accomplished by taking short naps. Not Just for Infants While studies has shown that napping is a good way to relieve tiredness, it still has stigma associated with it. There are those who believe that napping indicates laziness, and that napping is only for infants, children, the sick and the elderly. The reality is, the public may still need to be informed about the benefits of napping because sleeping during the day isn't just for babies and the elderly; it can be beneficial to people of all ages (sharpens the senses, increases motor performance, increases productivity). A study showed that napping is clearly beneficial to someone who isn't getting enough sleep at night, especially workers doing long-haul work. The "How to" of Napping When do we need to take a nap? One might consider making time for a nap when feeling unexpected sleepiness and exhaustion, when losing sleep due to a long work shift, or staying up late for a special occasion or event. To get the most out of a nap, following this simple tips might be of help. 1. It is advisable to keep naps short, say for only about 10-30 minutes. The longer the nap, the more likely you may feel groggy afterwards. 2. The perfect time for a nap is usually around 2 to 3 in the mid- afternoon. This is the time of the day when one may experience sleepiness after lunch. 3. To establish a relaxing environment, napping in a dark, noiseless place with a comfortable room temperature and few distractions is ideal. 4. Rather than blunt awakenings, giving one's self time to gently wake up before you resume in your activities, particularly those that require quick or sharp reflexes, prevents mental disorientation. It is also important to note that naps that exceed 50 minutes can have the opposite effect, allowing one to get into very deep sleep, with the result of awaking groggy and confused. Sleep researchers also agree that anyone who wants to benefit from a nap should make sure not to lie down too close to bedtime. Doing so can mess up the "circadian rhythm" the body's internal clock. Sweet Naps Sleep deprivation can make it difficult to cope with daily activities and deprive the body of the feeling of comfort. Naps, on the other hand, can be curative, allowing the body to reacquire the composure bothered by long wakefulness. As sleep debt is repaid , our body is more likely to restore the correct sleep pattern. And so, reacquiring those lost hours of sleep and following the call of one's needs for rest can help improve mental and physical capabilities that come from being well rested. After all, it is still best to keep in mind that getting enough sleep at night on a daily basis is the best way to stay alert, focused and feel at one's best to face the challenges of everyday.