“Time is our most valuable resource. Spending it on sleep is a mistake!”, say supporters of polyphasic sleep. They break the night’s rest into several small intervals, reducing the total duration of dreams and staying awake up to 20–22 hours.
Adepts of intermittent sleep claim that they not only get enough sleep (which is hard to believe), but are also full of vigor and strength. But polyphasic sleep also has many opponents who warn that such a schedule will sooner or later undermine health.
So how much sleep do you need and what to do if you can’t get enough sleep, says Healthyinfo.
How much sleep do you need?
A healthy person needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. At the same time, the younger the person, the more hours of rest he needs. For example, newborns up to three months are shown 14–17 hours of sleep per day, and adults over 65 years old — about 7–8 hours. Such data was presented National Sleep Foundation.
But what do these hours of sleep give the body? And what awaits those who neglect them for the sake of their desires?
Sleep deprivation impairs the functioning of organs and systems. In scientific experiments, it was found that with a lack of sleep, inhibition of neural processes is observed, which reduces the reaction rate. According to statistics, every fifth traffic accident occurs due to the fact that the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
Scientists note that an inadequate night’s rest is fraught with a decrease in the cognitive functions of the body, a decline in strength and loss of efficiency, the formation of bad habits, a decrease in immunity, and a deterioration in mental and physical health.
And one study showed that lack of sleep leads to premature aging of the body. A person who sleeps little looks older and works poorly.
That’s why you should aim to get the recommended number of hours of sleep each night!
Did you know?
People who experience sleep disorders are more likely to become depressed.
Why do we wake up in the middle of the night?
There is also a reverse situation, a person would be happy to sleep well, but he does not succeed. Hundreds of ways to fall asleep as soon as possible have been studied, the methods of special services have been adopted, but things are still there.
And if you still manage to fall asleep, then sooner or later it happens — a sudden awakening.
According to a study published in the journal sleeping medicine, about a third of adults wake up in the middle of the night at least three times a week. However, 40% of them find it incredibly difficult to fall asleep again.
What makes us wake up in the middle of the night? Healthyinfo names 8 main reasons.
1. The room is too cold, hot, noisy or light
“How easily you wake up, reacting to the next stimulus, depends on what phase of sleep your body was in,” says the doctor of sleep medicine. Rita Auad. When you sleep, your body cycles through several phases of sleep. The first stage is the easiest. It is at this moment that the headlights of a passing car, illuminating your window, or some other factor, can wake you up.”
What to do? Take care of this in advance! The room should be dark, cool and quiet. For better rest, you can use earplugs and a sleep mask, a fan and other devices that give comfort.
2. You are very anxious about something.
“Anxiety can be the factor that wakes you up at night,” says MD, MD. Okeke-Igbokwe. Sleep disturbances are a common symptom of an anxiety disorder. You may also note symptoms such as heart palpitations or nightmares. Some people have nighttime panic attacks.”
What to do? Meditation and relaxation techniques, yoga, deep breathing exercises can alleviate unpleasant symptoms. A doctor may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as anti-anxiety medications.
3. The bladder does not allow to wait for the morning
Research published in an authoritative publication International Neurology Journal, showed that of 856 adults surveyed, about 23% of women and 29% of men are familiar with nocturia, a condition in which a person gets up to go to the toilet at least once a night.
According to experts Cleveland Clinic, the causes of this phenomenon may be the use of large amounts of fluid before bedtime, urinary tract infections, overactive bladder. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes and high blood sugar can also contribute to nocturia.
What to do? If reducing the amount of fluid before bed does not solve the problem, you should consult a doctor to find out the exact cause of awakenings.
4. You have sleep apnea
If a person suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night to catch their breath, sleep apnea may be the cause. With this disorder, breathing can be very slow or even stop for a period of time.
What to do? To diagnose sleep apnea, the doctor may ask the patient to monitor sleep using a special device that monitors the respiratory rate. Depending on the results obtained, the causes of the disorder are established and ways to solve the problem are outlined.
5. You are sensitive to caffeine.
Some people have the CYP1A2 gene, which makes them more sensitive to caffeine. “If you’re one of them, you’d be better off not eating with him in the afternoon line-up,” says the ER doctor. Michael Zelinski. But even healthy people who do not have sensitivity to caffeine, one must exercise a sense of proportion in relation to this brain stimulant.
What to do? Control your intake of caffeinated foods. Abuse of this substance can cause restless, interrupted sleep, cause nightmares, or contribute to insomnia.
6. You have an overactive thyroid
“This gland controls the functioning of several other organs,” says MD, internist Alex Gaffney Adams. — If it is hyperactive, in this case they speak of a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism — the gland produces more than the hormone thyroxine is needed. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism are heart palpitations, restlessness, tremors, excessive sweating.”
What to do? Consult a doctor to determine the level of hormones and make the correct diagnosis. If the doctor detects hyperthyroidism, appropriate appointments will be made.
7. You ate right before bed or skipped dinner altogether.
“If you eat shortly before bed, it can make it difficult to fall asleep. One cause could be acid reflux, where stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and causes heartburn, says sleep MD. Rita Awad. — On the other hand, long breaks between meals can also provoke insomnia. Or a rumbling empty stomach can wake you up at night.”
What to do? Establish proper nutrition. If necessary, see a doctor for treatment of eating disorders.
8. You drank several glasses of wine.
In many cases, alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, but it’s also the culprit behind interrupted sleep. Some experts note that drinking alcohol lengthens the first phase of sleep — the one when waking up is easiest.
What to do? If you’re having trouble sleeping, you need to pay attention to the amount of alcohol you’re drinking. Doctor Alex Gaffney Adams recommends that you stop drinking alcohol at least three hours before bed to give your body a chance to process it.
Better yet, avoid alcohol altogether. In a healthy body healthy mind! Good dreams!
Michael Zelinsky, ER doctor
Good sleep not only refreshes you, it is the key to good health. An ideal night’s sleep is one in which you sleep soundly for about seven to eight hours. But the “correct meaning” for each person is different and may vary.
For example, in my practice I met a patient who slept 6 hours a day and felt great. More sleep he did not need, and even was undesirable.
To determine the optimal amount of sleep for you, ask yourself how do you feel when you wake up?
But it’s not just the quantity that matters. Quality is an equally important factor. Waking up in the middle of the night, even once, limits the amount of time you spend in deep and REM sleep, preventing your body from fully relaxing and resting. In addition, nocturnal awakenings increase the concentration of the hormone cortisol in the blood, which is a marker of stress. Therefore, it is very important to get enough sleep every day.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, look for the “root of the problem”! If necessary, the doctor will tell you how to deal with it.
The Prevalence of Nocturia and Nocturnal Polyuria: Can New Cutoff Values Be Suggested According to Age and Sex? / Zumrutbas AE, Bozkurt AI, Alkis O., et al // Int Neurourol J. - 2016