What You Need to Know About Sleep

sleepWhen it comes to talking about sleep, everyone has to know about it. Sleep is one of the important things in our life. The way our body gets charged during the night affects the way we are in the next day.

There are some important things to know such as the sleep cycle, the best color for sleep, and how many hours are ideal for sleep.

This page tries to sum up all the major information about sleep in order to get easily consumed. We may take references from others and put it here.

Sleep Cycle

Do you know when we sleep there is a cycle that occurs repeatedly in our brain exactly at the first time feeling sleepy until awakened? In which, each cycle contains some different stages that continuously alternate going through our night’s sleep until awaken.

The stages are broadly grouped as NREM and REM. NREM represents stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4. However, REM has no division.

NREM is Non-Rapid Eye Movement that indicates no eye motion if tracked by the EOG. Along with the second division, REM is Rapid Eye Movement which shows significant eye motion as the effect of dreaming.

So, when we are trying to fall asleep until dreaming, the sequence should be entering stage 1 firstly, then stage 2, stage 3, stage 4, go back to stage 3, stage 2, and then dreaming. In short, NREM is the first while REM is the second. That is also called as the first cycle of sleep.

sleep cycle

Simply, if they are converted to be a list, the steps during the first cycle sorted like this:

  1. Feels sleepy (Stage 1)
  2. Fall asleep, light sleep (Stage 2)
  3. Deep sleep (Stage 3)
  4. Deeper sleep (Stage 4)
  5. Deep sleep (Stage 3)
  6. Light sleep (Stage 2)
  7. Dreaming (REM)

The second cycle is uniquely no stage 1 presented (stage 1 is absence). It directly gets into stage 2, stage 3, stage 4, then get back to stage 3, stage 2, and then dreaming (REM).

The second cycle runs like the following list:

  1. Light sleep (Stage 2)
  2. Deep sleep (Stage 3)
  3. Deeper sleep (Stage 4)
  4. Deep sleep (Stage 3)
  5. Light sleep (Stage 2)
  6. Dreaming (REM)

Next with the third cycle that is similar to the preceding cycle but stage 4 disappears and REM lengthens as time goes on. By passing through to stage 2, stage 3, then stage 2 and dreaming, this third cycle seems shorter than the preceding cycle.

Color Affects Sleep Duration

The next thing you have to know is the color in your bedroom.

This is obviously interesting how the decoration could impact our sleep duration. It also means that we have a chance to get more sleep by only changing the decor.

However, this finding still remains some unanswered questions for us. We have to admit that this is not a final search. In hope, there is a follow-up more complete research about this in the future.

2013 Travelodge Study

A study in 2013 by Travelodge (a hotel booking website) successfully collected data from 2000 Britons about the effect of the decoration of their surrounding sleep. From this study, it’s found that the Britons who sleep in the blue bedroom get the longest time among the other colors. The blue presents as long as 7 hours and 52 minutes. The opposite is purple which ranks as the least with an average of 5 hours and 56 minutes.

The second position belongs to yellow with 7 hours and 40 minutes. The third belongs to green color, accounted for 7 hours and 36 minutes. The next color is silver that shows 7 hours and 33 minutes. Orange with 7 hours and 28 minutes representing the fifth rank.

Grey, brown, and purple are considered as the colors you should avoid if you don’t want to get less sleep.

Color List

  1. Blue: 7 hours and 52 minutes
  2. Yellow: 7 hours and 40 minutes
  3. Green: 7 hours and 36 minutes
  4. Silver: 7 hours and 33 minutes
  5. Orange: 7 hours and 28 minutes
  6. Grey: 6 hours and 12 minutes
  7. Brown: 6 hours and 5 minutes
  8. Purple: 5 hours and 56 minutes

However, there are questions remaining in our mind, how could the colors impact our sleep? How could be?

Blue is strongly related to calmness like an ocean. It triggers ganglion cells which are very sensitive to blue color in our retina part to send a message to the brain. The brain then sends a certain task to our body to reduce heart rate and blood pressure. This reduction is associated with the condition of your body where you are ready to enter the first stage of sleep.

Further, is it the same result between blue and purple? If people in the purple bedroom get the same result as the blue, it means that purple is the most effective color due to you need less time to get the same result.

In conclusion, so far, according to this study, color can affect our sleep especially our sleep time.

Good Sleep Duration

How many hours do we need for a good night’s sleep? In a short answer, it varies depending on your age, genetics, and activity. You need to conclude your own sleep duration through some experiments.

In the previous section, we have just talked about the bedroom color that affects sleep duration. That’s really awesome. Blue appears to be the longest time by 7 hours and 52 minutes (8 hours approximately). And purple causes the sleepers slumber for 5 hours and 56 minutes (6 hours) on average.

However, how many hours actually do we need to get a night of healthy sleep? Is it 8 hours? Whereas, is it bad to take only 6 hours of sleeping? We are better off revealing the answer.

#1: Age

So, there are some ranges of sleep duration based on age that is recommended by The National Sleep Foundation.

  • 14 to 17 hours for Newborns (0 – 3 months)
  • 12 to 15 hours for Infants (4 – 11 months)
  • 11 to 14 hours for Toddlers (1 – 2 years)
  • 10 to 13 hours for Preschoolers (3 – 5 years)
  • 9 to 11 hours for School-aged Children (6 – 13 years)
  • 8 to 10 hours for Teenagers (14 – 17 years)
  • 7 to 9 hours for Young Adults and Adults (18 – 64 years)
  • 7 to 8 hours for Older Adults (65 more years)

Being that said, no exact amount of sleep time is definitely advised. It depends on your age.

#2: Genetic

Genes also play a key role in determining your sleep needs. Have you ever seen people that sleep only 4 hours but their bodies function well the following day? Gene might be to blame for that thing.

Do you remember Olivia Farnsworth who can stay awake for three days and nights without sleeping? Also, she can’t feel the pain when she got hit by a car. Further, she never feels hungry. The doctors said that chromosome 6 deletion in her cells causes her to be such like that. Based on this fact, there’s a real association between genetic and sleep.

The same news comes to these two people a mother and her daughter who able to sleep less than normal people. It’s in a 2009 news reported by Science.

Ying-Hui Fu (a Professor in Neurology Department of University California San Fransisco School of Medicine) and her colleagues finally found the reason. The cause lies in the gene mutation of DEC2. DEC2 itself is a gene that is responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle. It affects human sleep duration as well. This mutation lets them sleep in a shorter time, 6.25 hours on average, without getting any sleep deprivation. If compared to other family members that need 8 hours, thus reduction seems very significant.

Not getting satisfied, Ying-Hui Fu then created an experiment to confirm whether it works on her animal subject. Nicely, she found that DEC2 mutation works equally to mice. The mice sleep an hour less than normal mice. Also, Ying-Hui examined the DEC2 mutation in fruit flies which result in they sleep 2 hours less than normal fruit flies.

#3: Activity

You also need to consider your activity to assess your sleep time. While after a hard activity body might drop, more sleep can definitely recover your body. Just compare your sleep time between the days with exercise and without. You would find yourself so tired when you exercise. So, when you are tired, you need to sleep more.

Interestingly, Mariah Carrey is one singer that needs 12 hours of sleep to prepare herself especially to sing as she wants to be. Imagine that a singer that doesn’t need to perform like an athlete needs half of the day to sleep. How about you?

Apart from that, Footballer like M. Essien needs extremely 14 hours of sleep if he wants to gain his best performance. Whenever he’s going to face a big match, he will be sleeping for long hours. He said that long sleep gives him more energy he needs for the match. Also, long sleep gives him calmness which is important for concentration to play the ball as he wants on the field.

Assessing your Preference Sleep Time

Assessing your sleep time is actually easy. We have taken factors such as age, gene, and activity into account. Now, it remains the last touch to apply. By doing this easy experiment for some weeks you could clearly recognize your best sleep time.

alarm clock

Simply, try to sleep without an alarm clock. Let you sleep until you wake up by yourself. Count the hours you take. Do it for weeks. Summarize it. Now you have a note that guides you how many hours of sleep you need nightly.

You might see a different duration in some days. Back again to check out your activity. Make a note if you do this then you need X hours. If you do this, you need Y hours. You are how long you sleep.

Back again to calculate it by considering your age, then discovering your body (gene), and finally paying attention to your activity. Afterward, you need to make a final conclusion by some experiments that will show you exactly the duration you need for a good night’s sleep.

That being said, you are what you know how many hours you need to sleep. Paying attention to sleep is essentially the same as paying attention to your diet. That’s only about the shape that differentiates them.


That’s some about sleep. There are sleep cycles you have to know. Now, you should get the idea in which stage you are dreaming. In addition, according to some findings from Travelodge, colors impact the sleep duration. Moreover, the gene, ages and activity also play an important role when determining our sleep duration.

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