Adequate and high-quality sleep is vital for maintaining health, but most of the people do not get enough sleep to fully rest the body and nervous system. Many people experience insomnia, and two-thirds of patients with chronic pain have serious sleep problems (including as a result of side effects of medications). But often people are not even aware that their own actions, such as sitting at the computer or using the phone before bed, disturb their sleep and affect memory. The microclimate of the bedroom plays a significant role — temperature, the level of shading and noise. Even those who know how to sleep soundly sometimes just don’t get enough sleep. People due to work and household chores force themselves to go to bed later and get up earlier. How to get back sleep and maintain health?
Why is sleep so important?
People with chronic sleep deprivation who sleep six hours or less per night are at higher risk of viral infections, obesity, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and pain. In addition, REM sleep is important, a stage accompanied by rapid eye movements and dreams. Getting enough sleep is critical to improving memory, learning, and emotional stability. Sleep deprivation leads to rapid fatigue, reduced attention and concentration, and therefore a reduced risk of accidents and injuries. In addition, long-term and quality sleep is important for long-term life expectancy.
Causes of poor sleep: drugs, stimulants
Many people can improve the length and quality of their sleep by avoiding certain stimulants and medications. Caffeine has a half-life of six to eight hours. This means that a person may have caffeine in the blood before going to bed if you drink a cup of coffee not in the morning, but in the late afternoon. Of course, a small cup of coffee at lunchtime may not be enough to disrupt sleep at night. But the more coffee a person drinks and the later they consume it, the more likely it is to disrupt a night’s sleep. Eating a lot before bed directs the energy of the body into the process of digesting food, and sleep can be disturbed. Smoking can also affect sleep. According to a 2008 study, smokers were shown to spend far less time in deep sleep than non-smokers.
Medications can also affect sleep: excessive alcohol consumption, most antidepressants and beta-blockers disrupt sleep patterns, especially they affect the fast phase of it. Oddly enough, sleeping pills also suppress REM sleep: they have been found to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep by just 15 minutes and increase total sleep time by just 20 minutes. The reason why a person feels better is that sleeping pills affect memory, so people simply forget that they did not sleep well.
Memory impairment and absent-mindedness
Scientists have proven that chronic sleep deprivation negatively affects brain function and memory, especially short-term memory. People who are constantly sleep deprived are more likely to forget where they put their keys, lose their phones, are more distracted during the day, and often forget important details and relevant information. Even if the duration of sleep is quite sufficient, but the sleep is intermittent, superficial or restless, this also disrupts memory and concentration, the brain simply cannot fully rest, being distracted by signals from the body and the environment during such sleep.
It is no less harmful to carry with you to bed the experiences of the past day. Many people go to bed thinking about what they will do the next day, so the brain focuses on problems, ideas, and remembering information, rather than rest.
The role of temperature and environment
For a good sleep, you need comfort and convenience, too high air temperature and its dryness can disrupt the process of falling asleep and the quality of sleep. At night, the brain needs
oxygen and coolness to work in “rest” mode. Therefore, it is important to keep your bedroom cool and dark. The temperature of the human body follows nature with the lowest temperature recorded before dawn. Violation of body temperature is associated with melatonin levels, with the lowest numbers found during REM sleep. When it’s too hot at night, it interferes with sleep.
How to organize a good night’s rest
Almost everyone knows how a good night’s rest can affect the activity of the whole next day. It is important not only to allocate the recommended 7–8 hours for a night’s rest, but also to do everything so that the quality of sleep is also as high as possible. There are a number of simple recommendations that you can start applying tonight.
Avoid electronic devices. In the evening, turn off your mobile phone (you can use the good old alarm clock instead) and avoid TV and computer screens two to three hours before bedtime. The blue flickering light from them can interfere with the production of melatonin, which controls circadian rhythms. In addition, these devices overexcite the brain, preventing it from gradually relaxing in the evening.
The bedroom is only for sleep and love comforts. You should not watch TV and communicate in social networks while lying in bed, you should not work in the bedroom. Be sure to use this room only for sleep and intimacy. You need to get rid of the TV if it is in the bedroom, remove other distractions and not let your pets sleep on the bed and in the bedroom.
mindful relaxation. Take the time to unwind before bed and prepare your mind and body for rest. A relaxing bath or warm shower, a soothing cup of herbal tea, or just relaxing on the couch will set you up for sleep.
Regime compliance. It may seem tempting to sleep until noon on the weekends, but in fact, a person complicates everything for himself, confusing his body and brain. You need to go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day. Research shows that consistent sleep and wake times may also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Refusal of coffee and alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with a cup of coffee to start your day, but caffeine during the day can affect your ability to fall asleep in the evening. Be sure to avoid caffeine with food and drinks after 2:00 pm. Alcohol can cause drowsiness, but this does not lead to restorative sleep, but to the active work of the body to combat toxicosis.