Healthy sleep is one of the main components of a healthy lifestyle, along with proper nutrition and sufficient physical activity. Unfortunately, not all people sleep enough today — some come home late from work or after extra classes or meetings, others are busy taking care of children, others are too addicted to computer games or browsing the Internet. Lack of sleep negatively affects the overall physical condition and performance.
The importance of sleep for human health
It is no coincidence that lack of sleep is used as torture. It is easier to subdue a sleepy person to his will and force him to fulfill the necessary conditions. If, due to circumstances, sleep time is shortened, then performance inevitably worsens, concentration drops. Existing in such a regime for several years can lead to severe physical and mental illness.
The main criterion for the usefulness of sleep is its continuity. When a person sleeps, at this time his brain is freed from the information accumulated during the day, saving the necessary and eliminating the unnecessary. Such an amazing phenomenon as dreams is a projection of a person’s thoughts and impressions received during the day. But they have not been studied well enough and cannot be considered for predicting the future, as many tend to think.
Trouble falling asleep or interrupted sleep as a result of stressful situations does not contribute to a quality night’s rest. After it, a person feels tired and overwhelmed, which also negatively affects his ability to work productively and concentrate. To be collected and attentive, a person needs not only enough sleep, but also a comfortable air temperature in the room, and the correct organization of the sleeping place, and the environment.
Sleep deprivation and its consequences
There are a lot of reasons for lack of sleep in modern people. Teenagers like to play computer games or communicate on social networks until late, sometimes they sit down for lessons late. Some students also enjoy playing computer games, meeting friends, or studying for exams at night. Adult working people may sleep little due to overtime. Well, there is no need to talk about the chronic lack of sleep of mothers of small children — some do not sleep well until 4–5 years old.
There are clear recommendations about sleep time. For example, preschool children need to sleep 10–13 hours a day, schoolchildren — 9–10, adults — from 7 to 9 hours. But in fact, many adult working people sleep 6 hours or less.
Lack of sleep leads to many serious diseases. When a person sleeps little, his metabolism worsens. As a result, the body requires more energy and gets it from sweets and carbohydrates. In addition, a person may develop such bad habits as night overeating. People who are prone to it eat not the most useful foods — pastries, chocolate. The energy obtained from them is stored in the form of fat. Therefore, nighttime overeating is a direct path to diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
In sleep deprived people, the immune system also suffers. Its function is to protect the body from harmful external influences. Even one sleepless night a week contributes to a significant decrease in immunity. And if a person sleeps less than 4–5 hours for a long time, then he will often get sick with colds and infectious diseases.
Prolonged lack of sleep also negatively affects the functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems. When a person sleeps little, he becomes more irritable, nervous, excitable. Not only physical, but also mental health suffers — diseases such as depression or all kinds of neuroses can develop.
If a person cares about his health, then he should take care of acquiring good habits. And one of them is to go to bed and get up at the same time.
Healthy sleep is one of the best habits
All people would like to get enough hours of sleep, but unfortunately for many this remains a pipe dream. Someone sleeps little due to life circumstances, while someone is hindered by bad habits — long-term viewing of TV, movies or correspondence on social networks. Even if a person is unable to influence circumstances, he can try to sleep better and more.
How to start falling asleep on time and get good sleep:
- It is recommended to drink a glass of milk or chamomile tea at night. In no case should you “lull yourself” with alcoholic beverages — they have only a short-term relaxing effect and cause addiction;
- take a relaxing bath, you can with a decoction of chamomile or valerian root. While taking a bath, it is also useful to listen to relaxing music or inhale the aroma of oils;
- it is advisable to give up such a bad habit as watching TV late in the evening or at night. A person who is in the same room with the TV turned on falls asleep badly and often wakes up. The same applies to the habit of browsing the Internet and chatting on social networks. Some people find reading books to help them sleep;
- to sleep soundly, you can take a little walk. A walk will free the brain from unnecessary thoughts that have accumulated during the day. It is especially pleasant to walk in the park or on the embankment;
- if a person is good at the art of meditation or practices yoga, then a few simple asanas will also help to distract from unnecessary thoughts and fall asleep soundly.
Particular attention should also be paid to the preparation of the bed. The mattress should not be too hard or too soft. The same goes for pillows. The duvet should be chosen according to the weather conditions, because too low or too high temperatures do not allow you to sleep well. It is also important to maintain the air temperature in the room at 18–20 degrees.
Since the habit of going to bed at the same time is one of the main components of a healthy lifestyle, it is necessary to do everything possible to fall asleep better and wake up alert and active.