Sleep is the time allotted for daily recuperation and proper rest of the body at night. Sleepless nights are something that almost every adult has to face with a certain frequency. Some people simply cannot fall asleep, others are forced to work at night, and still others spend their nights in entertainment and fun. Regardless of why it is precisely the time of night’s sleep that is missed or significantly reduced, it is important to remember that this will not affect health in the best way.
Adequate sleep is a vital need for our brain. With a lack of sleep or a complete lack of sleep, a person can, it would seem, for no reason, increase pressure, increase heart rate, appear profuse sweating, and even increase body temperature. In addition, in the absence of proper sleep, disturbances in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract can develop. Exacerbation of chronic diseases, decreased immunity, bad mood, “unhealthy” complexion — not the whole list of what people who do not pay due attention to rest can expect. In other words, there are many problems due to the lack of proper sleep, and the only way to avoid them is to get enough sleep!
How much sleep do you need for a good rest?
The norm of sleep is a rather conditional concept. After all, the optimal number of hours for a good rest is determined by how much the body of a particular person needs in order to restore strength. You need to sleep in such a way that when you wake up, a person feels completely rested and alert. Thus, the norm of sleep for an adult can be from 6 to 12 hours. It is generally accepted that the optimal time for a full sleep is 7–8 hours. It is also believed that the need for sleep decreases with age. If the time of night rest for a child should be 10–14 hours, depending on age, then 5–6 hours may be enough for an elderly person to fully recuperate.
In order to appreciate the importance of good sleep for health, one should understand what exactly happens to our body while we “walk” through the realm of Morpheus. And so, at this time:
- the pulse slows down by about 5–10 beats / min;
- the spine relaxes and straightens;
- the sense of smell is dulled at times;
- the pancreas stops producing digestive enzymes;
- rest the eyes.
But even without “night workers” in our body during sleep we can not do. While we sleep, the brain is actively functioning, processing all the information received during the day. And even the skin during sleep actively renews its cells and synthesizes collagen.
Healthy sleep: what violations prevent it?
Sleep disorders are very diverse, and there are a lot of reasons why they develop. Difficulties with falling asleep in a healthy person can occur against the background of stress, climate change, evening overeating, etc. After sleeping during the day or spending a sleepless night the night before, a person may also experience temporary sleep disturbances. More global sleep problems can cause various diseases. Apnea is quite common. During sleep, when the body relaxes, a person cannot independently control the process of inhaling and exhaling air, therefore, respiratory arrest syndrome is of particular danger to him. Every time a person cannot breathe air during sleep, he wakes up, respectively, a good rest for the body becomes inaccessible.
In addition to sleep apnea, sleep disorders can also be caused by excess weight, diabetes, and various diseases of the cardiovascular system. Bad habits, in particular smoking and alcohol abuse, are also fraught with lack of sleep. Prolonged smoking leads to a decrease in the elasticity of the bronchi and the loss of their ability to fully perform their function. So, during sleep in smokers, the concentration of oxygen in the blood is lowered, so even a fairly long night’s rest does not allow the body to restore its strength.
Polysomnography can be used to assess the quality of sleep and prevent sleep deprivation and therefore the health problems it causes. This is a special technique that allows you to determine not only the presence, but also the cause of sleep disorders.
Prevention of sleep disorders: how to get enough sleep?
Most sleep problems are not associated with any disease. That is why the prevention of sleep disorders may consist in the correction of lifestyle, nutrition and daily routine. Many people, not tied to a rigid work schedule and not burdened with other chores, prefer to sleep during the day, and then wonder why they have trouble sleeping at night. That is why for the prevention of sleep problems, first of all, it is necessary to learn how to correctly distribute the time of wakefulness and rest.
So that the body can relax in a dream to the maximum, and you have no problems falling asleep, give up:
- evening overeating and eating heavy meals less than 3–4 hours before bedtime;
- hard work, solving complex problems, disputes and quarrels before going to bed;
- physical activity less than 3–4 hours before when you usually fall asleep;
- drinking tea and coffee, smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages.
Prevention of problems with falling asleep and restoring strength at night in the absence of any diseases can be performed without prior consultation with a doctor and give positive results quite quickly.
In addition, in order to quickly fall asleep and have a good rest at night, it is necessary to ventilate the bedroom every evening and monitor the microclimate in the room. It is a mistake to think that, wrapped in a warm blanket literally to the very nose, you can fall asleep faster and “sweeter”. The air in the bedroom should be fresh and cool. So, the optimal temperature for a room where an adult sleeps is 18–20 ° C. At the same time, experts say that blankets also play an important role in the quality of a night’s sleep. But they must be selected taking into account the time of year and the temperature in the room, because both overheating and hypothermia do not contribute to proper rest during sleep.