Sleep occupies a significant part of our lives, so it is of interest to scientists from all over the world. It is studied by anthropologists, sociologists, neurologists, psychologists and other specialists. They know how sleep affects our health and how much sleep we need to be productive and feel great.
Sleep therapy, or why we need to sleep
Sleep is a special state, a certain physiological process, when there are no obvious reactions to what is happening around and brain activity is reduced.
During sleep, certain hormones are produced in the body, the process of tissue regeneration is underway, strength is restored. When a person has a chronic lack of sleep, ordinary tasks seem difficult and impossible to him. He cannot concentrate, his attention is scattered.
When we sleep, the brain “filters” the information that came in during the day. Memory is corrected: the “extra” is forgotten, and the important goes into long-term memory. This is how memories are formed, concentration of attention and the ability to perceive information increase.
Due to lack of sleep, some parts of the brain begin to work worse. Neuronal processes in the parietal zone are inhibited, so the reaction rate slows down. A person has difficulty making decisions, cannot clearly formulate his thought. Chronic fatigue and lack of sleep can lead to a lot of health problems.
Daytime habits that sabotage sleep
Our habits affect sleep — scientists have proven this fact. To restore strength overnight and feel alert and active in the morning, you need to reconsider your daily schedule. What habits will need to be eradicated?
You spend a lot of time on the Internet
This is perhaps one of the most common habits that sabotages sleep. When a person spends the whole day on social networks, checking email and keeping track of news and events, his brain gets a lot of work.
Scientists conducted an interesting experiment in which 653 people took part. His results showed that the more time a person spends on gadgets, the more disturbing and restless his sleep.
Nicotine, which is contained in cigarettes, stimulates the nervous system and negatively affects the functioning of all organs. It knocks down the internal clock of the body and provokes insomnia. At night, without nicotine, a person feels insecure, he wants to get a new “dose”.
Studies have shown that smoking several times increases the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea!
Use a lot of light sources in the evening
Light helps to wake up and cheer up, so in the morning additional sources will be appropriate. And in the evening it is better to dim the lights and make a pleasant twilight. You can turn on nightlights or use a weak light bulb. Bright light “awakens” activity and interferes with sleep.
At night and before 4 am, melanin is produced — a hormone that protects against stress and colds. If sleep is disturbed, this process slows down.
Abuse carbonated drinks and coffee
Scientists have conducted numerous studies and proved that coffee and soda affect metabolic processes. The subjects who abused these drinks during the day slept for 5–6 hours. And people who limited their use got better sleep — their sleep lasted 7–8 hours.
Lead a sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is a problem for many modern people. They work at a computer, travel by car and communicate on social networks. By evening, moral fatigue appears, anxiety grows — this disrupts sleep. Lack of physical activity leads to passivity, apathy and insomnia.
Be sure to add sports to your life! It has a beneficial effect on health, is the prevention of many ailments.
Love chocolate before bed
Dark chocolate contains a large amount of caffeine, which has a stimulating effect on the body. Therefore, indulge yourself with this delicacy in the morning and give it up in the evening. Then chocolate will not interfere with your healthy sleep.
Sleep under a warm blanket
Heat and dry air can cause insomnia. Scientists say that during sleep the room should be slightly cool. Therefore, be sure to ventilate the room and in the warm season, cover yourself with a cozy, but thinner blanket.
Elena Turlina, psychologist
People know that sleep is very important for health and well-being, but not everyone can organize their lives in such a way that they do not experience chronic fatigue. Stress during the day, worries and negative emotions make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Certain habits of people negatively affect the quality of sleep.
First of all, forget about meals before bed. Fatty, spicy foods, smoked meats and sweets are especially harmful. Even if you manage to fall asleep, in the morning you will feel tired and overwhelmed.
Get rid of the habit of analyzing your life before bed. This will lead to a stream of thoughts, worries and doubts that will prevent you from falling asleep. It is better to take a walk — this way you will be distracted from worries and make up for the lack of oxygen.
Drink a glass of cherry juice a few hours before bedtime. It contains a “precursor” of melatonin, so the duration of sleep increases.
Then give your body a light aerobic exercise or do yoga. Lie on your back, stretch your arms along the body with palms up. Spread your legs slightly apart, do not bend at the knees. Close your eyes and relax all the muscles in turn, starting with the foot.
How to calm your mind before bed?
Often, a round dance of thoughts interferes with sleep. Simple tricks will help to distract from experiences and reflections.
Visualization helps a lot. Imagine yourself in the atmosphere that gives you peace, and do auto-training. Try to convince yourself that all emotions have remained in the passing day, your eyelids are getting heavy, you are falling asleep. The more detailed the picture and the more convincing your internal monologue, the faster you will fall asleep.
Another effective technique is mental immersion in your own breath. Inhale through your nose and count to 4, then hold your breath for 6–7 seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth. While doing the exercise, concentrate completely on your breathing and try not to think about anything.
Healthy sleep: valuable life hacks
Experts advise developing certain rituals that will help the body tune in to sleep.
Before you go to bed, think over tomorrow and make a plan. This will help you stop thinking about current tasks and get distracted from business.
Read books before bed. Choose calm, positive themes and steer clear of action movies and dramas.
Spend the evening in a relaxed atmosphere, communicate with loved ones, watch good films. Meditation calms well — 10 minutes is enough to put your thoughts in order.
To prevent insomnia from becoming your constant companion, review your habits and daily routine, introduce new rituals — then your sleep will be strong and healthy.