Sleep Mentation

Definition - What does Sleep Mentation mean?

Sleep mentation refers to the formation of visual images and thought patterns that are byproducts of dream episodes occurring during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage cycles. Medical evidence advances the theory that REM sleep supports primary cognitive abilities that involve consolidating, integrating, and retaining information, regulating hormones, and mitigating stress factors. Sleep begins with non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and its successive phases (N1, N2, N3) followed by REM deep sleep patterns where massive concentration of bioelectric activity of the brain occurs.

WorkplaceTesting explains Sleep Mentation

Sleep deprivation is a common issue that often causes individuals to inadvertently forfeit REM deep sleep, compromising mental faculties that assist with concentration, stress management, and emotions/moods. Although REM sleep is of relatively short duration, it is beneficial to the integrity of circadian rhythm cycles where a deficiency of REM sleep patterns carry etiological implications including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and heart disease. Polarizing opinions over the health benefits of REM sleep remains controversial with inconclusive evidence suggesting that sleep mentation is symptomatic of depression or Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people suspect that sleep deprivation reflects the loss of the cumulative amount of sleep overnight, but research indicates that REM sleep cycles lend to the quality of sleep received. This phenomenon is observable by taking naps where the body falls into immediate REM sleep mode to compensate for sleepless occasions. Moreover, sleep mentation may serve a physiological function of arranging, preserving, and removing certain emotions, feelings, and thoughts.

An accumulation of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine may influence stress levels and its homeostatic response to external stimuli based on REM sleep pattern needs. However, chronic sleep disorders can disrupt circadian rhythms and concomitant REM deep sleep causing impaired cognition, lack of coordination, and poor motor reflexes. For instance, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder characterized by persistent breathing cessations, but a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device can help regulate oxygen intake, consequently promoting sleep. Sleep mentation is inherent of REM sleep patterns in configuring distinct memories, emotions, moods, perceptions, and thoughts. In the workplace, power naps can be an effective method for restoring energy, enhancing concentration, and fostering memory retention, key elements connected to REM deep sleep.

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