WHAT IS SLEEP
AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Article Read Duration 4 min read

Sleep is a state of altered consciousness and reduced interactions with our surroundings. During sleep we alternate between REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep comprises 4 distinct phases with different characteristics. Sleep is a restorative process in which both body and brain undergo repair. It also has a “detox” effect. Good sleep is essential to memory function, wound healing, immune function and how hormones operate in our bodies. It is especially vital to the proper growth, general health and wellbeing of children. Childhood skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis can interfere with sleep and require specific eczema-prone skincare to soothe itching and promote restful sleep.

WHAT EXACTLY IS SLEEP?

For most of us, the answer would appear fairly simple. It’s when you doze off and are unaware of your surroundings for a period of time. After a while, you wake up, hopefully feeling energised and refreshed. In more scientific terms, sleep is a recurring state of altered consciousness and reduced interactions with our surroundings in which our bodies’ sensory functions and voluntary muscles are inhibited.

The precise processes at work in the brain and the rest of the body during sleep are complex and still being researched today. Read on for an overview of what happens during sleep, and why those hours of rest are quite so important, for adults and particularly in children.

WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF SLEEP?

As we sleep, we cycle between two distinct kinds of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. It all starts with non-REM sleep, which is made up of 4 distinct stages.:

  • The first is an in-between phase between waking and sleeping
  • The second is light sleep, in which your heart rate and breathing are regulated and your body temperature drops
  • The third and fourth stages are deep sleep
  • We then cycle into REM sleep, characterised by rapid eye movements behind closed lids. During this phase, our brain waves are actually quite similar to those we have while awake. Our breathing rate increases, and our muscles are temporarily paralysed as we dream. We usually cycle through these two types of sleep four or five times a night. This pattern of sleep is true for both adults and children.

WHY IS SLEEP SO IMPORTANT?

Sleep is a crucial restorative proces

As we sleep, both the body and the brain undergo restoration and repair. During sleep, the body is able to heal itself and remove metabolic waste products that build up during periods of activity.1 This is particularly true of the brain, where toxins such as reactive oxygen species are “flushed out” at a faster rate during sleep compared with wakefulness.2 In both cases, the “detox effect” of sleep is thought to be due to the reduced rate of body metabolism, allowing restorative processes to take over.

The brain remains quite active during sleep, and quality sleep has been shown to be essential for the laying down and consolidation of new memories3. Beyond detoxifying the body, sleep is also a period of growth and repair. Anabolic (growth-promoting) hormones such as human growth hormone are preferentially secreted during sleep. This is thought to be the reason why sleep is essential for proper wound healing4. New functions of sleep are being discovered all the time, for example it is now known to have a vital effect on maintaining the immune system and the way hormones function in our bodies.5

WHY SLEEP IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT
FOR KIDS

Sleep is essential to children’s health and development

Sleep is essential to the health and wellbeing of both adults and children, but the latter are especially dependent on quality rest and longer sleeping hours. Click HERE for information on the recommended sleeping times for children of different ages

Studies have shown that kids who regularly get enough quality sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression. Since growth hormone is preferentially secreted during sleep, chronic (long-term) sleep deprivation can interfere with children’s growth too.

Click HERE to find out more about sleep’s overall impact on health and quality of life



ATOPIC ECZEMA-PRONE SKIN:
A TOP CAUSE OF SLEEP LOSS IN CHILDREN

Atopic dermatitis can interfere with children’s sleep

If your child has atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema), this is not to be overlooked as a potential cause for sleep disruption. 90% of children with atopic eczema-prone skin itch and scratch during the night, causing them to lose a full hour’s sleep each night. Part of their bedtime routine should include suitable atopic-prone skincare products such as LIPIKAR Syndet AP+ at bathtime followed by a rich emollient like LIPIKAR Baume AP+ before bed. These simple steps can reduce scratching by half and set your child up for a restful night… and a much perkier morning after!

Click HERE to read more about Children with ezcema and sleep problems

And HERE for details of a clinical study on how eczema-prone skincare can improve sleep quality and overall quality of life

1 Raymond Cespuglio, Damien Colas, & Sabine Gautier-Sauvigné, "Energy Processes Underlying the Sleep Wake Cycle"; Chapter 1 in Parmeggiani & Velluti (2005).
2 "Brain may flush out toxins during sleep". National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014.
3 https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
4 Gümüştekín K, Seven B, Karabulut N, Aktaş O, Gürsan N, Aslan S, Keleş M, Varoglu E, Dane S (2004). "Effects of sleep deprivation, nicotine, and selenium on wound healing in rats". International Journal of Neuroscience. 114 (11): 1433–1442. doi:10.1080/00207450490509168. PMID 15636354.
5 "Sleep-wake cycle: its physiology and impact on health" (PDF). National Sleep Foundation. 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2017.

TRUE
OR FALSE

ECZEMA FLARE-UPS CAN
BE TRIGGERED BY STRESS.

TRUE

We can’t explain why,but experts have acknowledged that emotions, shock and stress can play asignificant role in triggering eczema flare-ups. However, atopic dermatitis is also known to be a genetic disorder. If stress is a trigger for you, look into stress management techniques such as mindfulness.
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CAN DIET
AGGRAVATE ECZEMA?

TRUE

Certain foods can actas eczema triggers and cause flare-ups. If you think food may be an aggravatingfactor for eczema in you or your child, see a doctor as they can run bloodtests and skin prick tests to see if you are allergic to different foods (the usualsuspects are peanuts, milk, soy, wheat,fish and egg).
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ATOPIC DERMATITIS
DISAPPEARS OVER TIME.

TRUE

Depending onthe child, atopic dermatitis can last between a few months or years. Half ofchildren with atopic eczema as babies are cured by the age of five. In some cases, atopic eczema persists into adulthood, but this is impossible to predict. Thereis no definitive cure for eczema, but it can be managed with the right treatment.
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ATOPIC DERMATITIS
CAN BE CONTAGIOUS.

FALSE

Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a genetic disease and is in no way contagious. The treatment for atopic dermatitis symptoms is based on soap substitutes, emollients and topical corticosteroids.
Learn More

WE ALSO HAVE
A RANGE FOR THAT

LIPIKAR is Europe’s #1 bodycare and hygiene range,  with products suitable for the whole family, from newborns to seniors. 

OUR SAFETY
COMMITMENTS

Safety standards beyond international cosmetics regulations.

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100% PRODUCTS
ALLERGY TESTED

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One Prerequisite = Zero Allergic reactions
If we detect a single case, we go back to the labs and reformulate
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JUST THE ESSENTIAL,
AT THE RIGHT ACTIVE DOSE

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Developed in collaboration with dermatologist and toxicologist, our products contain only the necessary ingredients, at the right active dose.
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TESTED
ON VERY SENSITIVE
 SKIN

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Our products' tolerance is verified on the most sensitive skin: reactive, allergic, acne-prone, atopic, damaged or weakened by cancer treatments.
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FORMULA PROTECTION
OVER TIME

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We select the most protective packaging associated with only the necessary preservatives, to guarantee intact tolerance and efficacy over time.