Deep sleep, blissful rest — oh, how sweet it is to sleep well! But some people have problems with this. How to help yourself fall asleep quickly and rest until the morning? There are some tricks for this.
Sleep and health
What does sleep do to the body?
Sleep is a state during which the body relaxes as much as possible, its reaction to the outside world is reduced to a minimum. Sleep is vital because it helps the body perform many tasks. In particular:
- it provides adaptation of the body to the cyclic change in illumination (change of day and night),
- during it rest, regeneration and recuperation take place,
- in a dream, the processing and assimilation of information received by the brain takes place (for example, fixing the studied material, etc.),
- during sleep, variants of expected events are subconsciously modeled,
- According to research, in a state of sleep, a person is able to recall forgotten information,
- in a dream, immunity is restored, lymphocytes are activated that protect the body from viral diseases,
- in this state, toxic waste products are excreted from the body.
Sleep does not come immediately. It is preceded by a state of drowsiness, which occurs as a result of a decrease in brain activity. Sleepiness is characterized by the following manifestations:
- lowering the level of awareness of what is happening,
- decreased sensitivity of the organs of perception,
- decrease in heart rate,
- slow breathing,
- decreased secretion of glands.
How much sleep does a person need
Without sleep, full health is unthinkable. It is believed that it should last at least 8 hours. But this is an average. In fact, it depends on many things: age, health status, profession, lifestyle, degree of stress, living conditions, noise, etc. Sometimes an adult needs 12 hours to recover from hard work, worries, sleepless hours. But with pathologies of sleep, its duration can vary from several minutes to several days.
As you know, children sleep more than adults. A newborn baby stays in this state for 18 hours a day. With age, this time decreases and by adolescence, the duration of sleep gradually comes to the 8‑hour norm.
It is widely believed that resting before midnight is healthier than after it, so doctors recommend going to bed no later than 10 pm. Recently, various scientists have conducted research on this subject. The results of some experiments did not show much difference between sleep coming before 12 at night and after this time (assuming the same duration). However, according to other studies, the best time for a night’s rest is still between 22:00 and 6:00 in the morning.
Why is sleep deprivation dangerous?
When a person is deliberately deprived of sleep (for example, during interrogations, torture), it is very hard to bear. If this happens for a long time, the consciousness becomes confused, the person involuntarily turns off. Further sleep deprivation is fraught with serious health consequences.
How to deal with lack of sleep during the work week and then a long sleep at the weekend — how harmful is it? In Sweden, research has been done on this sleep pattern. Scientists have found that it does not have much effect on health. However, American researchers refute these conclusions. According to their data, those who did not get enough sleep during the week, and then “gained” sleep on weekends, blood tests were worse than those who slept at least 7–8 hours all day. This was especially true for cholesterol levels.
I must say that over the years, the quality of sleep deteriorates. Older people sleep worse, wake up more often and then cannot fall asleep for a long time. They cannot fall into a deep sleep, which gives a complete recovery of the body. This negatively affects the ability of the brain to regenerate.
Medications: benefit or harm?
Doctors have repeatedly warned that sleep medications that a person takes without a doctor’s prescription can be dangerous. Firstly, with prolonged use, the body adapts to them and an increase in the dose is required. Secondly, these drugs are addictive, and subsequently dependent on them.
As early as the beginning of the 20th century, morphine and opium were prescribed as sleeping pills. However, at present, the use of these drugs as sleeping pills is prohibited, as they cause drug addiction and are included in the list of drugs whose circulation is strictly controlled.
Rules for falling asleep quickly
The American scientist R. Budzin recommends adhering to the rules he developed for falling asleep quickly. Here they are:
- the bed should be associated with fast falling asleep, for this it is necessary to develop a conditioned reflex,
- you need to use the bed only for sleeping (do not lie in it at other times),
- if you can’t sleep, don’t stay in bed and get up after 10 minutes,
- you need to develop the habit of getting up in the morning always at the same time, using an alarm clock for this,
- you can’t sleep during the day.
For quick falling asleep and deep rest, doctors recommend not to eat too much at night. You can eat no later than two hours before going to bed. In the evening, kefir, yogurt, light cookies (crackers), apples, etc. are best absorbed. To fall asleep quickly, there should not be either a strong feeling of hunger or overeating.
Getting ready for a night out
To help yourself fall asleep, there are different techniques. If you have trouble falling asleep, try these and you will find a method that works for you:
- A glass of warm milk at night helps to fall asleep (it is possible with honey). The temperature of the milk should not be hot, but warm enough.
- A warm shower with a gentle jet has a relaxing effect.
- A hot foot bath works the same way. It “diverts” the blood from the head, and also relieves leg fatigue.
- Before going to bed, you can take a small amount of motherwort tincture (1/2 teaspoon of the tincture with a little water). Motherwort calms the nervous system and normalizes the heart rhythm.
- Quiet, meditative music produces a calming effect (make yourself an audio selection).
- Lying in bed, count to ten, then again to ten, and so on until you fall asleep. If you get confused, return to the account again. Monotonous counting leads to falling asleep.
- Another trick is to focus your attention on your feet. Repeat: my feet are heavy and hot, my feet are heavy and hot, my feet are heavy and hot, etc. This causes blood to drain from the brain, which causes sleep.
Sleep and beauty
The famous Italian film actress Sophia Loren says: “The main thing for my beauty is a good sleep. For me, it is very important, it is not a pity for time. I need to sleep 9–10 hours.”
Indeed, female beauty needs a good rest. However, according to doctors, sleeping more than 10 hours is not necessary and even harmful. For the body, a regular 8‑hour sleep is enough. But reducing this rate below 6 hours is unfavorable for health, since the body will not be deeply and fully restored. This will affect the appearance.
During a good night’s rest, blood circulation improves, skin cells are restored. But if this does not happen, skin tone decreases, wrinkles appear, complexion worsens, beauty suffers. One of the adverse effects of insufficient sleep is the dilation of blood vessels under the eyes, which manifests itself in the form of dark circles.
Before going to bed, it is necessary to cleanse the skin of the face and apply a nourishing or moisturizing cream on it — this helps to relax the skin cells.
Lack of sleep negatively affects not only the condition of the skin, but also the shine of the eyes, the beauty of the hair, etc. If a person does not get enough sleep, his gastrointestinal tract does not work well, swelling of the abdomen, gases, and constipation appear. The consequence of this is a bad complexion, bad breath and other phenomena that cause discomfort.