How to get enough sleep if you only have 6 hours

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Many peo­ple face the prob­lem of insom­nia — the inabil­i­ty to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morn­ing at the right time. At the same time, the per­son feels over­whelmed and tired, as if he had not slept at all. Lack of sleep weak­ens the immune sys­tem, weak­ens the ner­vous sys­tem and can pro­voke car­dio­vas­cu­lar and neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases. But in order to delve into the top­ic of sleep, you first need to under­stand its phas­es. Yegor Safry­gin, direc­tor of the mar­ket­ing depart­ment “Med­i­cine” of the AlfaS­trakho­vanie Group, will tell about this.

Sleep phases

Sleep can be divid­ed into fast and slow. REM sleep is called the Rapid Eye Move­ment (REM) phase. This phase is char­ac­ter­ized by increased activ­i­ty of the brain, an accel­er­at­ed rhythm of the heart and breath­ing, an increase in blood pres­sure, while the per­son­’s eyes move quick­ly, and twitch­ing of the limbs is also pos­si­ble. It is in this phase that we see the most vivid and mem­o­rable dreams. The phase of REM sleep lasts 10–20 min­utes, then it is replaced by phas­es of slow sleep, dur­ing the night such cycles are repeat­ed 4–5 times. There are four phas­es of non-REM sleep.

    The first phase is a light nap. This is the initial stage of sleep, which can be found when falling asleep in transport or in front of the TV screen. At this time, the brain continues to work quite actively.
    The second phase is falling asleep. During this phase, small bursts of brain activity are recorded. Activity, heart rate and breathing slow down. It is easy to wake a person at this time.
    The third phase is transitional. Sleep is deep and is characterized by a delta rhythm up to 50% of the time.
    The fourth phase is deep sleep. The most important phase of sleep, during which the body recuperates, the heart rate becomes slower, brain activity and body temperature decrease. The phase lasts 20–30 minutes, dreams are possible. Sleepwalking attacks occur in this phase.

The deep sleep phase in the first cycle is the largest, and with each new cycle, the REM sleep phase increas­es. The more deep sleep, the high­er the like­li­hood that a per­son will get enough sleep and wake up refreshed.

After a hard day at work, some peo­ple can roll over from side to side for hours, dream­ing of falling asleep quick­ly. Sleep can be dis­turbed not only due to stress, but also due to var­i­ous dis­eases, active phys­i­cal activ­i­ty in the after­noon, part­ner snor­ing, extra­ne­ous noise from the street. If the state of anx­i­ety does not leave, you can drink “sleepy decoc­tion” before going to bed — this is a phar­ma­cy col­lec­tion of sooth­ing herbs. They will help facil­i­tate the process of falling asleep with­out caus­ing addic­tion and dis­turb­ing the rhythm of sleep. It is also believed that a glass of warm milk with hon­ey will help to go to Mor­pheus faster. If “sim­ple” reme­dies do not help, you need to con­tact a spe­cial­ized med­ical spe­cial­ist — a som­nol­o­gist. You should def­i­nite­ly not post­pone the vis­it if you under­stand that the sleep dis­or­der has become chron­ic.

Total upset

Stress­ful sit­u­a­tions, neu­ro­sis, depres­sion and oth­er unpleas­ant phe­nom­e­na can cause var­i­ous sleep dis­or­ders. Such dis­or­ders include dif­fi­cul­ty falling asleep, when you want to sleep only until the moment when a per­son is in bed, and then the dream “takes off like a dream”, fre­quent night awak­en­ings, after which it is impos­si­ble to fall asleep for sev­er­al hours, obses­sive recur­ring dreams. Also, sleep dis­or­ders include dif­fi­cul­ties with awak­en­ing (post­som­nic dis­or­ders) — decreased per­for­mance in the morn­ing, day­time sleepi­ness, a feel­ing of “bro­ken­ness”. A sep­a­rate line in sleep dis­or­ders is the syn­drome of “sleep apnea”. This is a sit­u­a­tion with peri­od­ic slow­ing of breath­ing dur­ing sleep until it stops com­plete­ly (apnea).

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Even if the sleep dis­or­der can­not be called chron­ic, each of us, for sure, at least once faced with a sit­u­a­tion where even after a 10-hour stay in bed, the cher­ished feel­ing of cheer­ful­ness does not come. The thing is that the point is not in the num­ber of hours of sleep, but in its qual­i­ty. What do you need to do to get enough sleep in six hours?

Healthy sleep rules

    Follow a sleep schedule. This means that if you wake up every weekday at seven in the morning, then it is advisable to do the same on weekends. Sleep can be extended by up to an hour. You also need to go to bed at the same time. It is important to consider that it is better to wake up in REM sleep. To determine it, you can try to rearrange the alarm for 10–30 minutes during the week or refer to special tables.
    Maintain physical activity throughout the day. For example, do exercises. At the same time, the exercises should be complete — it is necessary to increase the body temperature in order to improve brain activity and performance. Do not neglect the contrast shower after charging. Physical exercise is a good stress reliever and helps the body relieve tension and relax, so you can take a walk during your lunch break, and visit the pool or gym after work. However, it must be remembered that heavy physical activity just before bedtime can cause insomnia — increased physical activity should end at 10 pm. To reduce body temperature, you need to take a shower.
    Drink more water. We are talking about high-quality clean water, and not just about liquids (tea, soda or coffee). There are different opinions about how much water should be consumed per day, but one thing is clear: it should not be allowed to become scarce. If the body did not have enough water during wakefulness, it will also experience stress during sleep.
    Minimize the use of nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and energy drinks. The ideal condition would be a complete rejection of such drinks and cigarettes. If a person drinks coffee every day to cheer up, then over time his body loses the ability to independently rebuild, relax and activate at the right time. It is also undesirable to eat heavy meals just before bedtime, because in this case the body will spend energy on digestion.
    Organize good lighting in the workplace. Daylight would be ideal. If this is not possible, then the workplace should simply be as illuminated as possible. Light destroys the hormone melatonin, so you want to sleep less.
    Rest after lunch. If you really want to take a nap after dinner, then you should not ignore this desire. 15–20 minutes is enough to rest and recover in REM sleep.
    Ventilate the bedroom before going to bed. This simple action will help create optimal conditions for relaxation. Body temperature at night should be lower than during the day. It is also advisable to avoid watching the news or movies late in the evening, because this can increase brain activity and thus delay the process of complete relaxation. Put your gadgets aside, unless it’s a “smart alarm clock” that tracks your sleep phases.

These rules will real­ly work if you fol­low them all togeth­er, and not selec­tive­ly and from time to time. Of course, every­one should find the best option and adapt the rules as much as pos­si­ble for them­selves. Most like­ly, it will not be easy to start fol­low­ing them right away, but over time it will become a habit, and then six hours of sleep will no longer seem like the lot of the Spar­tans.

By Yraa

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