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What happens when we sleep?

The Science of Sleep

We all know how important rest is and the struggle we can face without it. So, what happens when we sleep and why do we need it?

Sleep is incredibly important as it helps the brain to function properly. Without it, we are unable to properly process what we’re told and remember things we learned throughout the day. This is why it can be hard to focus on what would usually be fairly straight forward.

Bad or little sleep can lead to many different complications. Some are physical, such as seizures, high blood pressure and increased likelihood of illness and infection. It can also increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

Despite knowing all of the factors that are associated with lack of sleep, I was interested to find out what actually happens when we slumber. So, with that in mind, I went away and did some research of my own.

So, What Did I Find?

Sleep is regulated by our circadian rhythm (also known as our body clock). It responds to light cues and ramps up the production of melatonin – a natural hormone known as the ‘sleep hormone’ which tells our body it’s night time. Once the sun starts to go down and we are exposed to less light, melatonin is released into the bloodstream and as levels begin to rise, we start to feel sleepy. (This definitely makes me feel less guilty about feeling so sluggish in wintertime!)

When we sleep, we experience a four-stage cycle. These cycles are often repeated 3-4 times during the night, depending on how good of a sleep we get.

Stage One

This stage is the transition between being awake and falling asleep once we get comfortable, close our eyes and begin to relax. This usually lasts about 5-10 minutes.

Stage Two

This is when our heart rate and breathing begins to slow down, body temperature drops and our muscles may twitch. This stage is still fairly light and the brain produces sudden increases in brain wave frequency known as sleep spindles.

Stage Three

This is known as the “delta” stage of sleep due to the delta slow brain waves which take place. It is at this particular stage in sleep that the most growth hormone is produced to service bones, muscles and repair the body. At this point, it becomes a little harder for us to be awakened because we become less responsive to outside stimuli. 

Stage Four

Stage four is known as REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), the deepest stage of sleep which we usually enter about 90 minutes after initially falling asleep. This is the stage where the brain is most active, the eyes dart back and forth and breathing becomes fast and shallow. It’s also when our dreams take place. Chemicals that are released within the body render it temporarily paralyzed so that we don’t act them out in our sleep. Each REM stage can last up to an hour and an average adult has five to six a night.

ARK Skincare’s Brand-New Night Treatments

After some extensive research into the science of sleep over the past two years, ARK skincare has recently released two new night treatments. Each is packed full of active ingredients that help to aid the body’s natural repair process when we sleep, allowing us to wake up feeling rested and glowing. You can find more information about these here.

Sources

This informative video from The Economist explains each stage of sleep in detail which you can watch here 

NHS - How To Beat Insomnia

Product Focus: ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

How do you keep your hands soft and supple? - A good hand cream!

Without mentioning what is going on right now, it's easy to say that we're all adamant about washing our hands a lot more. While this is extremely important, it's very easy to let your hands get dry, especially in the cold weather. So, as a gift from us to you, we're adding in a free hand cream to every order placed over £5. 

To help you to understand what makes this product a multi-award winning staple in our range, we thought we would share the ingredients that make it up, what they do and how they benefit the skin. 

Raspberry Seed Oil

Raspberry seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids such as omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9. It also contains high levels of vitamin E making it the perfect lipid choice for daily protection as it provides protection and moisture retention for the skin. 

     Shea Butter & Cocoa Butter     

Shea butter melts at skin temperature, helping to moisturise the skin as it easily absorbed without leaving the skin feeling sticky. It is well-known for overcoming dry, irritated and sensitized skin and cocoa butter can help to improve elasticity. 

   Kiwi & Avocado Oil 

Kiwi oil helps to maintain moisture in the skin and prevent drying and scaling. It can also help aid in the relief of itchy, scaly, irritated skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. The fatty acids within avocado oil have excellent moisturising properties that help regenerate and rejuvenate the skin. 

 Grapeseed Oil 

 Grapeseed Oil is rich in both Omega 6 and vitamin E, which helps to moisturise the skin and give it the ability to bounce back. It is easily absorbed by the skin and leaves it feeling soft and silky. This oil also contains a powerful antioxidant ingredient called proanthocyanidin. This antioxidant may even out skin tone when it’s used on your skin consistently.

              

Red Algae

Red algae is known for its amazing skin benefits including increasing moisture, moisture retention and promoting smooth skin. It also has the ability to block UV rays, protecting the skin against pigmentation, sun damage, and dark spots. It has also been clinically proven to prevent wrinkles. 

        

Blackcurrant Seed Oil 

A rich natural source of Vitamin C, Blackcurrant Seed Oil is a powerful antioxidant-rich plant oil that contains therapeutic properties, making it a wonderful healing oil for inflammation. The oil's high antioxidant content helps to protect skin cells from free radical damage which can be caused by the environment. 

Press & Awards

Click here to shop and claim your free hand cream now!

Cruelty Free Skincare

ARK Skincare has never, and will never test on animals. We manufacture in England and are registered on the EU Portal for registration of cosmetics, CPNP - Cosmetic Product Notification Portal which adheres to all EU rulings. The ban on animal testing of cosmetic products in the EU came into effect in September 2004. it has been illegal to test cosmetic product on animals in the EU since that time. In the UK testing of cosmetic products was banned in 1997 after a voluntary initiative by the industry. The ban on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients in the EU came into effect in 2013. it has been illegal to test cosmetic ingredients since then. 
We are a relatively young, independent owned company and not linked to any other companies who test on animals. 
We often get asked, "What about the China debate?" Our answer is; we are not sold in any Chinese stores. We do ship worldwide from our web site and from other beauty web sites but this is via a "cross boarder" arrangement which means our products do not have to go through local tests and are definitely not tested on animals. We would not undertake any business activity which forces us to test our products
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