As you know, sleep is the most impor­tant part of human life. This is a com­plex phys­i­o­log­i­cal state dur­ing which the work of the ana­lyz­ers (sense organs) is sus­pend­ed. At the same time, the brain con­tin­ues to func­tion, pro­cess­ing the infor­ma­tion received dur­ing the day.

Human sleep: phases

Human sleep: phases

There are sev­er­al phas­es of sleep, each of which has a cer­tain dura­tion. The total­i­ty of all phas­es is called a cycle. The dura­tion of one cycle is, on aver­age, nine­ty min­utes. Nor­mal­ly, five cycles of sleep should go through a night.

The first phase is the most super­fi­cial human sleep. It only lasts five or ten min­utes. At this time, mela­tonin, the sleep hor­mone, begins to active­ly stand out.

The sec­ond phase is slow sleep. Dur­ing this longest phase, cer­tain hor­mones are pro­duced, in par­tic­u­lar cor­ti­sol, the stress hor­mone.

The third phase is REM or REM sleep. At this time, a per­son sees dreams, and his eye­balls are mov­ing rapid­ly. This phase is most favor­able for wak­ing up. Its dura­tion can be dif­fer­ent for every­one. It will be short for those who do not have sleep prob­lems. Or, on the con­trary, long in peo­ple who do not sleep well at night. In the lat­ter case, its dura­tion can be two-thirds of the cycle. After a phase of non-REM sleep, a per­son may wake up, get out of bed, walk around the apart­ment, suf­fer­ing from insom­nia, and then fall asleep again.

What to do before bed?

To ensure a healthy, rest­ful sleep, you should prop­er­ly pre­pare for sleep and cre­ate the right envi­ron­ment.

It is bet­ter if the bed­room is used exclu­sive­ly for its intend­ed pur­pose. It should not have a TV, com­put­er, tape recorder, radio, loud­ly tick­ing clock and oth­er sim­i­lar devices.

The room should be qui­et and dark. If light from the street enters the room at night (lantern, full moon, adver­tis­ing sign, etc.), you can hang dark cur­tains or blinds made of opaque mate­r­i­al on the win­dow. The light enter­ing the room at night caus­es the release of hor­mones, which pre­vents a per­son from falling asleep nor­mal­ly. At the same time, the pro­duc­tion of mela­tonin decreas­es or stops alto­geth­er.

Before going to bed, it is rec­om­mend­ed to prop­er­ly ven­ti­late the room. The opti­mal tem­per­a­ture for sleep is eigh­teen to twen­ty degrees. If nec­es­sary, you can cov­er your­self with a blan­ket. It is worth remem­ber­ing that it is bet­ter to sleep in a cold room under a blan­ket than in a stuffy one, but with­out it. The bed should always be dry, clean and fresh.

You can take a show­er an hour or an hour and a half before bed­time. Dur­ing evap­o­ra­tion, the water gives off heat, and the body tem­per­a­ture drops slight­ly, which favor­ably affects falling asleep. In addi­tion, before going to bed, you can put a rub­ber heat­ing pad between your legs. This con­tributes to the expan­sion of the ves­sels of the low­er extrem­i­ties, caus­ing fur­ther heat trans­fer.

Before going to bed, it is impor­tant that noth­ing irri­tates the ana­lyz­ers. Oth­er­wise, nerve impuls­es will enter the brain, which in turn will per­ceive and process them. Thus, a per­son deprives him­self of the chance to fall asleep nor­mal­ly.

If you wake up ear­ly (for exam­ple, in the mid­dle of the night) and have no sleep, you should not turn on the TV, get out of bed, etc. In oth­er words, you do not need to involve the sens­es in the work. After wak­ing up at night, it is bet­ter to close your eye­lids and try to fall asleep again, enter­ing the phase of slow sleep.

Sleep medications

Sleep medications

To nor­mal­ize sleep, there are two groups of drugs. The first group includes anti­his­t­a­mines of the first class — block­ers of H1-his­t­a­mine recep­tors. These are sim­ple and safe med­i­cines that can be tak­en occa­sion­al­ly to make it eas­i­er to fall asleep and improve the qual­i­ty of a per­son­’s sleep.

They usu­al­ly do not have a with­draw­al syn­drome and they can be used dur­ing preg­nan­cy, includ­ing nau­sea, vom­it­ing in preg­nant women, dur­ing an air­plane flight, etc. In the world, such drugs are avail­able with­out a pre­scrip­tion and in the pro­to­col for treat­ing insom­nia are not includ­ed. Although in Rus­sia they are sold by pre­scrip­tion.

If you have seri­ous prob­lems with sleep, you need to con­sult a doc­tor who will help you find a cure for insom­nia. So, if there are prob­lems with falling asleep, ben­zo­di­azepine recep­tor antag­o­nists or mela­tonin recep­tor ago­nists can be used. In the case when the patient is con­cerned about con­stant awak­en­ings (poor qual­i­ty of sleep, ear­ly awak­en­ings), the doc­tor may pre­scribe sleep­ing pills or mild anti­de­pres­sants. If the prob­lem is “com­bined”, it is pos­si­ble to take drugs from the group of imi­da­zopy­ridines — zolpi­dem.

Sleep Products

Inter­est­ing­ly, dark ripe cher­ries are one of the few foods that con­tain pure mela­tonin. Yes, it is mela­tonin, and not even the pre­cur­sors or inter­me­di­ate forms of this impor­tant hor­mone. For peo­ple who have trou­ble falling asleep, cher­ries will come in handy. How­ev­er, to achieve the result, you need to eat a fair­ly large dose of the prod­uct — four hun­dred grams. Alter­na­tive­ly, you can make con­cen­trat­ed cher­ry juice.

Tryp­to­phan is known to be present in wal­nuts. This is one of the eight essen­tial amino acids, which is fur­ther trans­formed into sero­tonin through com­plex trans­for­ma­tions in the body. And sero­tonin, in turn, is con­vert­ed to mela­tonin. There­fore, before going to bed, you can eat a hand­ful — thir­ty grams (about five pieces) of peeled wal­nuts.

Not so long ago, for­eign sci­en­tists con­duct­ed an exper­i­ment. A large group of sub­jects who had prob­lems falling asleep were asked to con­sume two kiwi fruit a few hours before bed­time. In the course of the study, it turned out that the del­i­ca­cy of this exot­ic fruit improves falling asleep by thir­ty per­cent.

The thing is that kiwi con­tains a fair­ly large amount of sero­tonin, which, with the onset of dark­ness, is con­vert­ed in the body into mela­tonin. And a suf­fi­cient amount of mela­tonin, as you know, makes a person’s sleep qual­i­ty and allows him to be in the deep sleep phase for the required time with­out wak­ing up.

It is worth not­ing that helper prod­ucts should not be used just before bed­time, but at least two hours before bed­time, and prefer­ably three. The list­ed prod­ucts can also be includ­ed in the din­ner.

Take the test

Fight­ing Fatigue

Many peo­ple think that they know every­thing about the caus­es of their own fatigue and are also doing every­thing to over­come it. Try to sin­cere­ly answer these sim­ple ques­tions and check whether there real­ly are no secrets for you in your own fatigue …

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