Expert com­ment

Iri­na Khvin­gia, clin­i­cal neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist, peri­na­tal psy­chol­o­gist

How much should a per­son sleep? A baby up to three months, most­ly sleeps, inter­rupt­ed by food. A child of preschool and school age should sleep at least 10 hours. In ado­les­cence, sleep time is reduced to 9 hours, or even less. An adult needs at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

Since seri­ous sci­en­tif­ic research on this top­ic has not yet been car­ried out, these are aver­age indi­ca­tors, the rest is on an indi­vid­ual basis. There is no sin­gle con­clu­sion about the dura­tion of sleep, but doc­tors and sci­en­tists are unan­i­mous that lack of sleep neg­a­tive­ly affects the qual­i­ty of life and human health. There are two def­i­n­i­tions — a per­son­’s need for sleep and the body’s need for it. As prac­tice shows, these are two dif­fer­ent con­cepts. Some­one believes that it is enough for him to sleep, for exam­ple, 7 hours a day, while this time can be crit­i­cal­ly short for the body.

At the age of 18–20 to 30–40 years, the peak of a per­son­’s activ­i­ty occurs when he simul­ta­ne­ous­ly stud­ies, works, has fun, leads an active lifestyle or brings up small chil­dren. There­fore, time for sleep is allo­cat­ed accord­ing to the resid­ual prin­ci­ple, it hap­pens that no more than 3–4 hours a day. How­ev­er, this time for prop­er rest and recov­ery of the body is cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly not enough. Chron­ic lack of sleep accu­mu­lates. Even if a per­son does not expe­ri­ence dis­com­fort and chron­ic fatigue dur­ing this peri­od of his life, then lat­er the lack of sleep will nec­es­sar­i­ly affect health not in the best way. Neg­a­tive con­se­quences are inevitable.

If the auto­nom­ic ner­vous sys­tem is ini­tial­ly healthy and strong, then the con­se­quences of pro­longed lack of sleep can only make them­selves felt by retire­ment age. This mech­a­nism can be com­pared with the work of bat­ter­ies — soon­er or lat­er they become unus­able. Those who have a weak­er auto­nom­ic ner­vous sys­tem, due to pro­longed lack of sleep, already after 30 years begin to feel much worse. Sud­den­ly, dis­eases arise, ear­ly ris­es are dif­fi­cult, con­cen­tra­tion of atten­tion and work­ing capac­i­ty decrease, con­stant fatigue and lethar­gy tor­ment, var­i­ous dis­or­ders appear.

The need for sleep of an adult in the peri­od after 40–45 years is still the same as before — 8 hours a day. At this age, a cer­tain bag­gage of dis­eases has already been accu­mu­lat­ed, in most cas­es, car­dio­vas­cu­lar. If so, then a per­son needs more time to sleep, oth­er­wise the body will have nowhere to take new resources for recov­ery. The more active you are dur­ing this peri­od of life in any area — whether it be work, per­son­al life, hob­bies, sports or all togeth­er, the more time you need to sleep. Even with addi­tion­al resources to restore the body. There is a need for day­time sleep. Espe­cial­ly if you suf­fer from insom­nia at night.

As a rule, it wor­ries the elder­ly after 60 years. They accu­mu­late var­i­ous dis­eases that dis­turb their sleep, and also, they are tor­ment­ed by psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­com­fort from less demand, from the fact that they can no longer real­ize them­selves in a pro­fes­sion or in oth­er use­ful fields. This is of par­tic­u­lar con­cern to women. Senior cit­i­zens sleep less. How­ev­er, in the body of an elder­ly per­son, the need for more sleep increas­es. Old­er peo­ple, like chil­dren, need to sleep at least 10 hours a day.

How­ev­er, every third adult expe­ri­ences reg­u­lar sleep prob­lems, which neg­a­tive­ly affects well-being, work­ing capac­i­ty and health in gen­er­al. Often the cause of insom­nia is somat­ic dis­eases, when a per­son can­not fall asleep against the back­ground of pain or con­stant­ly wakes up. Anoth­er rea­son is the side effect of drugs, espe­cial­ly those intend­ed for the treat­ment of neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases. In addi­tion, insom­nia is pos­si­ble against the back­ground of stress. By the way, joy­ful emo­tions, excite­ment, eupho­ria can also deprive a per­son of sleep along with neg­a­tive emo­tion­al expe­ri­ences. Insom­nia can occur due to a vio­la­tion of the adap­tive func­tion of the auto­nom­ic ner­vous sys­tem. In a word, there can be many rea­sons.

Insom­nia is one of the symp­toms of inter­nal dis­com­fort, and there are many ways to com­bat it, includ­ing med­ica­tion. The fight against insom­nia must nec­es­sar­i­ly begin with deter­min­ing the cause of its occur­rence. Only a com­pe­tent spe­cial­ist will be able to deter­mine how acute this con­di­tion is, and what con­se­quences it can lead to. You should not self-pre­scribe med­ica­tions for your­self, because. they can make things worse. How­ev­er, if the cause of insom­nia is psy­cho­log­i­cal, there is no point in giv­ing up drugs either. It is impor­tant to remem­ber that any psy­chophar­ma­col­o­gy only affects the symp­tom, not the cause. As soon as you stop tak­ing the drug, insom­nia will return again, because. psy­chotrop­ic drugs do not treat the cause of sleep dis­tur­bance.

Of course, insom­nia is short-term, for exam­ple, on the eve of excit­ing events, impor­tant nego­ti­a­tions, a long-await­ed cel­e­bra­tion, dur­ing a peri­od of acute emo­tion­al expe­ri­ences of unex­pect­ed life cir­cum­stances. Then tak­ing sleep­ing pills is jus­ti­fied, at least you can sleep. If sleep dis­or­ders con­tin­ue after the anx­i­ety has passed, it is nec­es­sary to vis­it a spe­cial­ist who will con­duct a com­pe­tent diag­no­sis and iden­ti­fy the cause of insom­nia.

Prop­er orga­ni­za­tion of the bed and the room can help to over­come insom­nia. The sleep­ing place and bed linen should be com­fort­able, select­ed indi­vid­u­al­ly. The bed­room should be dark, qui­et and cool, and any sources of sound and light should be removed. Before going to bed, the room must be ven­ti­lat­ed, but it is impor­tant to pre­vent hypother­mia, espe­cial­ly the hands and feet — they must remain warm.

Over­ly sen­si­tive and col­or-recep­tive peo­ple need to think in advance in what col­ors the bed­room will be ren­o­vat­ed. If the inte­ri­or is rich in bright col­ors, the room is filled with shiny objects, then the human body may react with insom­nia. This does not threat­en peo­ple with a healthy ner­vous sys­tem — they adapt to any col­or scheme, and will sleep sound­ly.

Many peo­ple like to click on the TV remote con­trol and study social media feeds for the com­ing dream — it’s not worth it. The less we watch TV and surf the Inter­net before bed, the less like­ly it is to over­load the brain, and hence insom­nia.

Breath­ing exer­cis­es are anoth­er way to relax and try to sleep. The res­pi­ra­to­ry organs are a pow­er­ful tool in the fight for sound sleep. Slow deep breath, hold­ing the breath for sev­en to eight sec­onds, and then a smooth exha­la­tion through the mouth for eight sec­onds. A few min­utes of this tech­nique can help you fall asleep even in the most hope­less sit­u­a­tions.

In addi­tion, you can use self-mas­sage. There are sev­er­al points on the hands, mas­sag­ing which, you can quick­ly relax and fall asleep. There are many sim­i­lar psy­cho­log­i­cal tech­niques, the main thing is to find one that helps, every­thing is indi­vid­ual. For some, med­i­ta­tive calm music may help.

It is impor­tant to remem­ber one gen­er­al rule — a per­son should fall asleep and wake up on dif­fer­ent days. That is, you need to go to bed before 12 o’clock at night. Oth­er­wise, overex­ci­ta­tion occurs, and exces­sive brain activ­i­ty will not allow the body to ful­ly relax.


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