How much sleep you need, how to fall asleep quickly and why insomnia occurs - we talk about the phases and importance of sleep.
The three main tasks of sleep
Have you ever thought that the average person spends a third of their life sleeping? Sleep is the key to health. At this time, a number of important hormones are produced, tissue regeneration and energy replenishment occur.
Sleep has three main functions:
1. The most important is recovery. The brain is cleared of toxins, accumulated metabolic waste products (an overabundance of them leads to neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease).
2. Formation of a healthy metabolism. Numerous medical studies have proven that if you sleep less than eight hours a night, energy begins to be burned from carbohydrates and protein, and not from fat. This leads to negative consequences - weight gain and loss of muscle mass. Also, lack of sleep threatens to increase insulin in the blood, which is fraught with the development of diabetes and heart disease.
3. Strengthening long-term memory. Short-term (or interrupted) sleep interferes with the ability to form memories, both physical and emotional.
How much sleep do you need per day?
Sleep is a special state of consciousness and a physiological process that is characterized by a slow reaction to the outside world and specific brain activity. It includes two phases - slow and fast.
Non-REM sleep occurs immediately after falling asleep and lasts about 90 minutes. The body relaxes, the eyes are still, you are resting.
REM sleep follows slow sleep and lasts 10-20 minutes. The body temperature and pressure rise. The body is immobilized. Eyeballs make circular movements under closed eyelids. The brain is actively working - we see dreams.
These two phases alternate with each other. With a long healthy sleep, a person goes through five complete cycles. Slow-wave sleep is gradually reduced, and fast sleep increases (from 5 minutes to an hour).
Scientists have proven that it is desirable for a healthy adult to sleep for about eight hours: 5 cycles of 100 minutes each (5x100/60=8).
Sleep also depends on age. The younger, the more time is needed for tissue growth and recovery. Newborn babies sleep more than half of the day, and older people need much less time.
What is the danger of lack of sleep?
This table shows average data. But we must not forget about the individual characteristics of each organism. How do you figure out how much sleep you need? The answer is simple - only by experience. It is important to feel your body and in no case to allow regular lack of sleep, which can lead to very bad consequences.
1. Deterioration of memory, attention, coordination and speech. According to statistics, every fifth accident occurs due to lack of sleep.
2. Weakening of immunity. During sleep, the immune system synthesizes cytokines.
3. Overeating. Lack of sleep releases ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
4. Lack of proper sleep is a catalyst for the formation of bad habits: a person is looking for external stimulants (caffeine, nicotine).
5. The development of diseases of the heart and blood vessels, diabetes.
It is worth adding that a sleepy person simply looks bad - the complexion suffers, bruises form under the eyes.
How to deal with insomnia and why does it appear?
Many people suffer from insomnia throughout their lives, a sleep disorder characterized by reduced quality and/or duration. The reasons can be very diverse. Most often it is:
1. Stress, depression (problems in personal life or at work).
2. Failure to comply with the sleep regimen. It is important to try to go to bed and get up at the same time.
3. Shift work disrupts sleep cycles.
4. Various medicines. The composition may contain components that lead to insomnia.
5. Environment (hot, stuffy, light, noisy).
Insomnia is dangerous for the development of chronic diseases (especially those associated with the nervous system), increased irritability and depression.
In most cases, you can get rid of insomnia on your own by finding and eliminating its causes. It is important to understand your lifestyle, nutrition and psychological state. Establish a sleep schedule, distance yourself from external problems, take a warm drink before bed.
But if it is not possible to find / eliminate the causes and stabilize sleep, then you should seek the help of doctors.
Is daytime sleep good?
The stereotype that naps are exclusively for young children is not true. A short rest from 13.00 to 16.00 improves memory (transfers information from the short to the long term), stimulates creativity and learning, helps the body resist stress and improves mood.
Ideally, take a nap for 10-20 minutes (you will go through two stages of slow wave sleep and feel rested). After 30-60 minutes of daytime sleep, you will feel overwhelmed. But 90 minutes is a full cycle, it will help you wake up easily and experience a surge of strength.