From a scientific point of view, sleep is a complex process that is characterized by a reduced reaction to the outside world. There are four phases (stages) of sleep, each of which has a certain duration. The total duration of all four phases is about one and a half hours. Normally, five such cycles should pass per night.
Human sleep: the first phase
The first phase is a person’s superficial sleep. Its duration is only five to ten minutes. At this time, in the body, or rather in the pineal gland — the pineal gland of the brain, the sleep hormone — melatonin, which, by and large, helps a person to fall asleep, begins to be actively produced.
After falling asleep, the hypothalamus, a special part of the brain, reacts to a slowing of the pulse, breathing rate and can send impulses to the muscles, which is often manifested by a sharp twitching of the legs in a dream. According to one of the many hypotheses, the viability of the organism is thus tested.
By the way, if a person who has just fallen asleep is awakened, he may not understand that he has already fallen asleep, since the brain has not yet fallen into a deep sleep.
What can not be done before bed?
To ensure healthy sleep, it is important, among other things, to create the right environment. It is better if the bedroom is designed exclusively for sleeping. If possible, it should not have a TV, radio, computer, tape recorder, loudly ticking alarm clock, etc.
Twenty to thirty minutes before going to bed, it is advisable to ventilate the sleeping area to a comfortable temperature by opening the window. It is worth remembering that it is much better to sleep in a cool place, covered with a blanket, than in a stuffy room, but without a blanket. It is not recommended to “sit” on a tablet, mobile phone, etc. immediately before going to bed, as this has an exciting effect on the nervous system and may affect the quality of sleep.
You should go to bed at about the same time. The best option is twenty-two thirty. It is in the interval from twenty-three in the evening to one in the morning that important hormones are produced in the body — norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, which are neurotransmitters.
While falling asleep, the room should be sufficiently darkened. If any source of light (advertising sign, etc.) penetrates into the room from the street, blind curtains can be used. Any flashes of light (from a TV, computer, mobile phone, etc.) during the first phase of sleep can lead to the cessation of melatonin synthesis. As a result, the person may wake up frequently.
People who prefer to fall asleep with the TV on are making a big mistake. Moreover, even the indicator on the TV panel that lights up when the TV is turned off can affect the quality of sleep. A full sleep of a person lasts six to eight hours.
Second phase of sleep
The duration of the second phase is twenty to thirty minutes. During this period, all metabolic processes slow down, body temperature drops by half a degree, and sometimes by a whole degree.
By the way, the quality of a person’s sleep is also affected by the air temperature in the room. If the room is too cold or vice versa hot, this can cause frequent waking up. It is believed that the optimal temperature during sleep should be between eighteen and twenty-two degrees. Therefore, you can experiment and choose the most comfortable temperature for yourself.
Third phase: hormone production
The third phase of sleep lasts about twenty minutes. At this time, when all processes have already slowed down, the body mobilizes energy to prepare for awakening. The stress hormone cortisol begins to be actively produced. This leads to an increase in blood sugar and blood pressure, which is especially dangerous for hypertensive patients.
Since blood pressure rises and blood coagulation increases in parallel, a stroke (thromboembolic or ischemic) or myocardial infarction can occur.
To avoid sad consequences and calmly survive the third phase of sleep, which is normally repeated five times a night, people with hypertension should take medication before bed to stabilize pressure. It is important that the drug taken has an effect throughout the night. Doctors advise some hypertensive patients to leave medicines on the table in front of the bed at night so that they are at hand if necessary.
In addition, before going to bed, it is recommended to drink a glass of water to slightly lower the viscosity (thickness) of the blood. Flooding the body is also desirable for those who like to wrap themselves in warm blankets at night, which leads to increased sweating and can cause dehydration.
The final fourth (REM) phase of sleep is also called REM sleep or REM sleep. It is characterized by deep sleep, but the brain is active, and the eyeballs move quickly, and the person can dream. This phase is considered the best for waking up. As a rule, at this time a person easily wakes up, feels well-rested, full of energy and ready for productive work.
By the way, since the muscles continue to be in a relaxed state, a dreamer trying to get away from a chase in a dream cannot run fast.
How to wake up correctly?
REM sleep is the most favorable for morning awakening, allowing a person to wake up alert and rested. With constant observance of the sleep regimen, the habit of getting up at the right time will be developed to automatism.
Many people after waking up like to soak up in bed and take a nap for at least another five to ten minutes. However, this is not recommended, as the body can enter the first phase of slow sleep. As a result, in the future, throughout the day, a feeling of weakness, drowsiness, etc. may persist. Therefore, you should not waste time. You should immediately get out of bed.
It is undesirable to use an alarm clock to wake up. It’s better to just train yourself to wake up in REM sleep. Sharp irritants at this time are absolutely useless.
To date, on sale you can find special alarm clocks-gadgets that analyze the movement of a person during the night and wake him up precisely in the REM phase of sleep. Therefore, for those who cannot do without the use of an alarm clock, such devices will be very useful.
Regular healthy sleep will allow you to wake up not only refreshed and rested, but also in general increase the life expectancy of a person.