What Happens When We Sleep

Sleep is an extraordinary piece of machinery that researchers are just starting to understand.

If neuroscientists begin to reveal the secrets of our nights, they are still far from having unraveled all of dreams’ mysteries. Because the mechanics that punctuate our nocturnal rest are really complex.

Our sleep consists of several cycles of ninety minutes on average. If we do not go to sleep at the first signs of fatigue (yawning, heavy eyelids), we miss the first cycle and will have to wait for the next.

Like a traveler who stays on the platform until the next train. Each cycle is divided into several stages (light, deep, REM sleep) which have specific functions.

Slow light sleep: the most fragile

Ah! This delicious moment when we fall asleep.!

For a few minutes already, our thoughts have been appeased. Throughout the day, our brain activity gradually released molecules such as serotonin and adenosine that cause sleep. After a while, their accumulation makes us fall into the arms of Morpheus.

At the same time, the decrease in brightness signals to our internal clock, located in the hypothalamus, that it is time to go to bed. This signal lowers our internal temperature and triggers the secretion of melatonin. This hormone which will be produced throughout the night makes us want to sleep in an irrepressible way.

But beware! At this point, the slightest external stimulus – a slamming door or a ray of light – can still wake us up easily. If nothing disturbs us, our brain activity progressively decreases and our muscles relax. Breathing becomes calmer.

In a few minutes, we reach stage 1: it’s official, we sleep. Ten minutes later, we slip into stage 2, during which sleep is less light even if it remains fragile. The electrical waves emitted by the brain are a little slower still. The level of cortisol – the stress hormone – decreases. Heart rate and blood pressure drop. This phase accounts for about 50% of all night’s sleep.

Slow deep sleep: crucial for memory

When we reach stage 3, we are in deep sleep.

So much so that a person awakened during this phase remains completely dazed during the first seconds. This period lasts between ten and twenty minutes per cycle. Heart pressure and muscle activity are at their lowest level.

This is when we rest the most.

Our brain is also idling and yet … This is a key time for memorization. The connections between neurons multiply in order to fix in memory knowledge and memories.

It is also during this phase that the secretion of growth hormone reaches its climax. Deep sleep accounts for 20-25% of total sleep time, and is mainly concentrated during the first part of the night.

Paradoxical sleep: the time of dreams

Under our closed eyelids, our eyes move in all directions, while the rest of our body is inert, as if paralyzed. This is why it is called REM, which stands for Rapid Eye Movements.

Conversely, the respiratory rate and the pulse increase.

An electroencephalogram would reveal that our brain activity is at its peak. As intensely, if not more, than during awakening. And yet … we are sleeping!

According to scientists, memorization of motor skills (learning to ride a bike for example) would take place mainly during this stage. Some studies also show that it stimulates creativity.

So if you have a dream of wild horses full of amazing adventures, this could be happening during REM sleep.

If dreams can occur throughout the cycle, it is during REM sleep that they are the longest and most complex, without anyone really knowing why.

Shorter at the start of the night, this phase gradually lengthens over cycles and occupies between 20 and 25% of our sleep time.

Sweet wake up

REM sleep is followed by micro-awakenings of which we are rarely aware.

Scientists think that these, in the middle of the night, may help us to ensure that “everything is fine” by increasing our vigilance. At the end of the last cycle, when the day begins to break, the light acts like a bugle in our brain even when we have our eyes closed, and warns our biological clock that it is time to press the switch ” awakening ”.

After a good night’s sleep, the concentration of adenosine and melatonin, the molecules of sleep, is at its lowest. While that of cortisol goes up. These two signals promote our awakening, now imminent. It’s off for a new day.

SEO, Definition and Benefits for Online Businesses

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process wherein it affects the visibility of a website or web pages in different search engines. 

SEO is a method of acquiring traffic from free, organic, editorial or natural search results from major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search results display content, videos or local listings based on its relevancy to the users. One thing to be noted is it does not involve any payment at all.

SEO evaluates how search engines work, what do people search for, the actual keywords people use when searching, and the preferred search engine of the target market. SEO involves customizing the content, HTML, and other associated website design to boost its relevance to a certain set of keywords and to remove hindrances to the indexing activities of search engines.

SEO Advantages for Every Business

On this day and age every business aims to rank on Google and join other companies that use the Internet as their medium for advertising their business. It has become a need for businesses to invest in SEO especially now that people are using their PCs, tablets, and mobile phones for searching and buying their needs and wants.

SEO is a modernized marketing strategy that helps businesses build brand awareness online. A strong online presence aids in building trust in search engine and among potential customers. Below are the major benefits of using a SEO strategy in your business:

Brings more clients, making customers stay

This is one of the main reasons why businesses today get SEO services. Having an SEO-optimized website helps in bringing more clients, doubling the number as fast as it can as compared to those that don’t apply this digital marketing strategy.

Perhaps, SEO is the most affordable and efficient marketing strategy today especially when almost all businesses are clamoring their way online. SEO can help you make your website more visible to those actively looking for your service or product.

Builds credibility and trust

With SEO strategies, SEO helps establishing a solid foundation for your website with faster navigation and effective user experience. It aids in making your website discoverable in the major search engines like Google. Aside from the effective user experience, building credibility in the search engines involves several factors and they are:

  • Positive user behavior
  • High quality backlink profiles
  • Optimized on-page site and content

But keep in mind that establishing trust and credibility is not a process you can achieve overnight. It takes time, effort, and commitment. Moreover, your brand or website should provide valuable and quality product/services so that customers can start putting their trust in you.

Provides continuous Flow of free high quality traffic

According to official sources, Google received over 2.2 trillion searches for the whole year of 2013. With SEO, your website can tap the most popular and most used search engine, Google. You can get a continuous flow of targeted and free traffic. Free traffic mostly comes from SEO strategies involving link building, lead generation, and content generation.

Offers a long-term marketing strategy

The changes the SEO brings to your online business will be noticeable and quantifiable. The changes can be seen within the first year of executing the SEO strategies.

It also guarantees long-lasting results that extend beyond quick and temporary boosts in search engine rankings. Digital marketing evolves just like the traditional one, so it’s recommended to follow trends and changes. Implementing the required changes will improve from basic SEO to best practices, enhancing the user experience for potential customers.

Helps to achieve better conversion rates

If your website is SEO-optimized, it will load faster and visitors will be able to surf quickly. The website will load properly in almost all type of devices including smartphones and tablets.

The websites that are optimized properly are easy to read and the quick navigation always grabs and holds the attention of visitors. If they stay longer on your SEO-optimized website, it is likely that they can become your loyal subscribers, customers, or returning visitors.