Healthy sleep is a universal means to relax, get a charge of vivacity. Proper organization of sleep directly affects performance, well-being and health in general. If a person does not get enough sleep, then weakness and drowsiness will not take long, followed by poor health, decreased concentration, mood swings and even depression. How to properly organize sleep, why is it important to go to bed today in order to wake up tomorrow?
Optimal sleep time
The required sleep time is determined by many parameters: age, gender, health status, workload, and so on. The maximum sleep time is observed in newborns — up to 20 hours a day. With the onset of old age, the need decreases enough for 5–6 hours. For the adult population, the need for sleep is 7–10 hours.
All these figures turn out to be averages, because they do not take into account many factors that will affect the duration of sleep and its quality. In adulthood, it is necessary to focus on lifestyle, health status and even gender. It is believed that women need to sleep an hour more, which can be explained by the peculiarities of the nervous system.
Even diet can affect how long you sleep, how well you fall asleep, and how quickly you fall asleep. People who prefer light meals fall asleep faster and sleep better. For lovers of fatty, spicy, salty, marinades, especially before bedtime, problems with its qualitative and quantitative characteristics are more characteristic.
Sleep and depression — where is the connection?
Often you can hear from doctors — “you need to go to bed today, and wake up tomorrow.” The best sleep time starts from 22:00 to 6–8 in the morning. How can this be explained? work and hormone production. During sleep, between 00:00 and 05:00, the body actively produces the hormone melatonin, the main regulator of circadian rhythms.
In the power of this hormone is the regulation of the endocrine system, blood pressure, sleep frequency (fast and slow phases). With its sufficient development, the emotional, intellectual sphere of activity is normalized. The hormone has an antioxidant effect and even slows down the aging process, which is why it is often called the “hormone of youth.”
With a sufficient amount of melatonin, the content of the hormone of happiness (serotonin) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, increase. Accordingly, with insufficient production of the hormone, the concentration of these biologically important substances is significantly reduced, which is one of the key mechanisms for the formation of depression. In order for depression not to occur, and the concentration of melatonin in the blood to be sufficient, it is necessary not only to go to bed on time, but also to follow some rules.
Rules for dealing with depression
Literally two centuries ago, our ancestors strictly followed biological rhythms. Dawn meant the beginning of the working day, and as soon as sunset came, it was time for sleep and rest. Staying awake until midnight and even more until morning was unacceptable. Today, most people live outside of the biological clock. Sleep time is reduced to a minimum, and some professions and work schedules even mean working at night and resting during the day. It is these circumstances that can explain the prevalence of depression and the general deterioration in the well-being of patients in large metropolitan areas.
Melatonin is practically not produced during daytime and even morning sleep, when it is light outside. Interferes with its development and artificial lighting. Therefore, those who like to sleep with nightlights, to the sound of the TV, need to give up their addiction.
Doctors around the world have formulated basic recommendations to normalize melatonin levels and prevent depression. And the main emphasis is on the normalization of the daily routine. Waking up early, going to bed before midnight, and sleeping for 6 to 8 hours is recommended as a prevention of depression. After returning to a normal schedule, many patients notice improvements in their well-being and mental balance within a few days.
Diet will also help boost melatonin production by focusing on foods high in essential amino acids, such as nuts, meat, fish, and dairy products. Only after consultation with a specialist can drugs that increase the production of melatonin be prescribed.
Weakness and drowsiness will go away if …
Not only depression can develop in the absence of normal sleep, but also weakness and drowsiness. In the fight against these unpleasant conditions, when the concentration of attention, intellectual activity falls, doctors place special emphasis on observing the regime of the day, sleep and wakefulness.
Sleep should start and end at about the same time. And for the implementation of the plan, it is necessary to strictly follow the schedule. In just a few days, falling asleep will be easy and carried out at the same time. Needless to say, weakness and drowsiness will be removed as if by hand.
But there are critics of this recommendation. Not everyone can follow the schedule, which is associated with some life circumstances — work, household chores. Needless to say, mothers of newborn babies often suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, weakness and drowsiness, which can develop into depression.
Based on this, for proper sleep and prevention of the consequences of insufficient melatonin production, you need to choose your own schedule and do everything so that sleep comes today and awakening comes tomorrow.
What can I do to get sleep faster?
During sleep, the brain continues to work actively and processes all the information received during the day. As a result of this process, a long-term memory is formed, due to additional connections in nerve cells. Daytime sleep is half as effective as nighttime sleep. Of course, after a daytime sleep, weakness and drowsiness will pass, but still not completely. What’s more, daytime naps keep you at risk for developing depression.
To facilitate falling asleep and normalize sleep, you must follow certain rules:
do not sleep during the day;
surrender to the arms of Morpheus only in a good mood;
the bed is just for sleeping. You should not watch TV, read books, surf the Internet in it, but you can dream up;
it is forbidden to use stimulating and stimulating drinks at night — energy drinks, coffee, alcohol;
some elaborate ritual will also help you fall asleep — for example, a bath with herbs, a walk before going to bed.
By following these simple rules, sleep and wakefulness will quickly improve and you will feel good again, and you can forget about weakness and drowsiness for a long time.
Sound and full sleep is a guarantee of health, and a guarantee of excellent health, success in work and even beauty. It is believed that in the absence of sufficient sleep, hair turns gray much earlier, a person ages, and the risk of early impotence in men increases. Take care of your health and boldly give yourself into the arms of Morpheus, sweet dreams.