A modern person does not fill up the 8 hours required for health. Instead, the average adult sleeps around 6 hours or less.
Medical experts recommend using the 10–3‑2–1 method in order to learn how to get enough sleep and feel much more alert. Unfortunately or fortunately, this approach is not quite suitable for people who love coffee, watch movies before bed and eat at night. But everything is fixable, any habit can be changed.
Causes of sleep deprivation
The speed of life and the fast pace of everyday life are the most obvious reasons that a person does not get enough sleep. The habit of “sitting on phones” and other gadgets before going to bed makes us sacrifice our health. Here are other related reasons:
- low physical activity;
An approach called “10–3‑2–1” helps to rebuild and improve sleep. Because productivity, positive mood and perseverance depend on healthy and high-quality sleep.
Coffee 10 hours before bed
According to the method proposed by doctors, the use of coffee and caffeinated drinks should be minimized. The last dose should be 10 hours before going to bed.
This is how long it takes the body to completely eliminate caffeine, which has an invigorating effect. As a result, falling asleep even by 23:00 can be very difficult. The stimulant slows down the stage of deep sleep and in the morning the person feels tired.
Caffeine intake no later than 13:00–14:00 improves cognitive function and prevents complications associated with difficulty falling asleep and poor sleep quality.
Snack until 20:00
The second factor included in the 10–3‑2–1 formula is that the last meal should be no later than 20:00 hours, or 3 hours before bedtime. People who like to eat at night or even drink a glass of alcoholic drink are unlikely to fall asleep well.
Eating late before bed can lead to cramps or acid reflux. Such urges provoke the digestive system to nocturnal activity.
Experts say that the fasting window before going to bed has a beneficial effect on the body. At the same time, the stomach is not empty, but not full either. And falling into a deep sleep phase will be much easier.
There is another opinion: that if you drink a glass of wine shortly before bedtime, you can fall asleep soundly and almost instantly. Yes it is. But the dream of such a person will be different. The deep sleep phase will shift or disappear altogether. A person can wake up at night also because of a full bladder. Other cons of a late dinner are:
- excess weight;
- bloating and heaviness;
- constipation/diarrhea or both;
- lack of energy;
- lack of concentration.
Work until 21:00
According to the 10–3‑2–1 theory, at least two hours before a night’s sleep, the brain should begin to rest. At this time, experts recommend avoiding activities that irritate the nervous system. These include:
- work at the computer;
- reading email;
- telephone calls and conversations;
- thinking about problems or planning for the day ahead.
In order not to keep in mind all the information necessary for life and work, experts advise keeping a notebook. You can write down important work moments, household notes or reminders, etc. in it. This is how we help the brain unload and not think about everything, especially at night. This approach will allow you to quickly fall asleep in the evening and sleep well.
Excessive strain on the eyes, brain and other organs and parts of the body leads to chronic stress. Constant anxiety and a state of eternal race increases the risk of developing diseases of the cardiovascular system. In addition, jumps in blood pressure and the appearance of other diseases are observed.
In a state of stress or an endless thought process, it is very difficult to fall asleep. Therefore, those patients who most often complain of restless sleep often have a history of chronic stress or depression.
Watching movies only until 22:00
With the development of modern technologies, a person spends more and more time with gadgets. Phones, computers, tablets, headphones — these and other devices surround us every day. Moreover, many new professions are associated with activities that involve working with these devices.
Scientists and doctors say that electronics and technology disrupt the natural biological rhythms of a person. When the sun rises in the morning, the stress hormone cortisol is produced in the body. At this time, a person feels as vigorous and filled with vitality as possible.
And in the evening, when the sun sets and gets darker, melatonin is secreted in the body, a hormone that causes a feeling of drowsiness.
Numerous facts prove that watching TV shows and movies before bedtime, using a phone, tablet and other bright screen interfere with the production of melatonin. As a result, single, and then regular, sleep disturbances appear:
- it is difficult for a person to fall asleep;
- sleep becomes not deep;
- feeling broken in the morning;
- there is not enough energy and strength even for the most elementary actions;
- develop diseases and disorders of the organs and systems of the body.
Having the habit of “sticking” on the phone or tablet before going to bed, a person will sooner or later face health problems.
In addition to the fact that experts recommend not using devices 2 hours before bedtime, they insist on reducing other light sources. 2–3 hours before going to bed, it is better to turn off the main light of the chandelier or lamp and turn on the nightlights. The retina of the eye, which perceives a bright stream of light, is irritated and the production of melatonin decreases. Hormone deficiency in the body can lead to more than just sleep problems. It also affects:
- weight gain;
- decreased libido;
- difficulties with conceiving a child;
- aging rate;
- formation of insulin resistance;
- the risk of developing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
The key to health and longevity is high-quality, full sleep. Use the 10–3‑2–1 system and be healthy!
MedAboutMe also recommends reading How to Improve Sleep: Simple Ways for healthy lifestyle steps and rituals to help you sleep better.