Sleep for life or life for sleep
If every day you spend in the hope of generating a brilliant idea, but it never happens then we have a solution for you. Elias Howe said that the invention of a sewing machine was associated with a nightmare, in which he was attacked by cannibals armed with spears in the shape of a sewing needle, which he subsequently invented. So we go to bed and prepare to see something magical. But seriously, do we understand how much sleep is important for our body? Do we know how much should we sleep? Or maybe not to sleep at all? These and many other questions will be answered in our today's article.
There are many opinions on how much a person needs to sleep in order to be in a good mood, radiate beauty and health, perform and over fulfil all preplanned things for the day. Which of them are true, and which result from the conversation in the minibus "I heard that you need to sleep ...". Let us turn to science. Professor of Psychiatry Daniel Kripke conducted a lot of researches on sleep and concluded: "People who sleep from 6.5 to 7.5 hours a day, live longer. They are more productive and happy. And excessive sleep can even be harmful to health. And you can feel worse by sleeping 8.5 hours than if you slept through 5 ".
However, you shouldn’t be proud of sleeping only 4 hours a day too.
The conducted researches concerning influence of a dream on the person allow us to make the following conclusions:
1.Lack of sleep leads to violations of focus. Indeed, a person who has slept for 4 hours can be as attentive as someone who slept 7 hours. The problem is different. From time to time, we can lose focus during some task, and that’s there the hours spent on sleep pay off. If a person slept enough, then when he starts to lose focus, his brain easily returns attention back, but the brain of a sleepy person doesn’t cope with this task at all.
2.Lack of sleep leads to increase in appetite. Recent studies of brain activity conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Uppsala (Sweden) showed that in fully healthy men with normal weight appetite increases after just one sleepless night: in the morning they feel hungrier than usual. The authors of the study suggested that increased intake of food can in this case serve as a mean of combating the stress experienced by a sleep deprived person. In addition, with regular lack of sleep, the taste preferences of a person change in the direction of greater consumption of meat, carbohydrates and fats, while fruits and vegetables are practically absent in the diet.
3.A healthy sleep greatly improves creativity. For example, in a dream, unexpected decisions are being made about problems that a person has been struggling with for a long time, or ideas that did not seem to have existed before come on the way in the form of a dream.
Indeed, studies have shown that a mutation in the DEC2 gene allows some people to fully sleep during four hours of sleep at night. There were no side effects on the body from such a short sleep in them. However, you are unlikely to belong to this group of people. Those who were lucky enough to get enough sleep within a few hours, are no more than 5%.
Yet you should remember that each organism is unique, and only you know how much time it takes for you to sleep well. If you are used to sleeping 9 hours, try reducing your sleep time to 7.5 and analyze your condition for a week or two. The same applies to those who say "I’ll sleep enough in another life." Take enough time to sleep. Fear to oversleep everything and not to manage to do the planned things - quite understandable, but still try it out, maybe after you get enough sleep you’ll manage to do so much more.
What factors should be considered when planning the duration of sleep?
There are phases of fast and slow sleep:
- During the fast sleep phase, the brain analyzes the information received during the day. Awakening in the phase of fast sleep ensures perfect well-being.
- During the slow sleep phase, the cerebral cortex is inactive, awakening in the phase of slow sleep will have a very negative effect on person’s well-being.
Alternating, the phases of fast and slow sleep form cycles. The first cycle has a duration of 90-100 minutes. On average, with a full healthy dream, there are five complete cycles.
To avoid waking up in the slow phase, you must try to program the duration of sleep for a number of hours, a multiple of 1.5. Not only it’s important how long a healthy dream lasts, but also the multiplicity of its duration 1.5.
Is daytime sleep useful?
If you feel that your body needs a little rest in the afternoon, do not refuse it. The main rule - to sleep less than 25 minutes, and best of all - 15. This is also associated with the phases of sleep. The worst thing you can do is to go to a deep sleep, and then wake up in the middle of its cycle, in which case you will feel much worse than before you sleep! Install an application that analyzes sleep - it will wake you up when it's most useful for you.
Analysis of daily biorhythms of a person shows that the most natural time for daytime sleep is between 14:00 and 16:00. Sleep in the second half of the day is more conducive to the recovery of the body, and a small rest around noon increases creative potential.
How to ensure the most comfortable conditions for sleep?
1.Ventilate the room well before going to bed, even in winter (in winter it isn’t necessary to leave the window open, let's do it without fanaticism). The temperature above 22°C is not comfortable and won’t facilitate falling asleep. Best if it’s within 20°C.
2.Pay attention to the mattress. It should be convenient and tough enough. However, the body should not be aching in the morning, if the body aches, the bed is too stiff.
3.Sleep is better in a minimal amount of clothes or naked. Pajamas should only be made from natural fabrics, do not restrain movement and don’t be tight to the body.
4.Bed linens also should be exclusively made of quality materials such as cotton or linen.
5.Sleeping in the fetal position is the most correct option. In this position, a person gives complete relaxation and rest to his spine. Sleep on the side is considered the most comfortable under the following conditions:
- The head and spine are on the same line that the mattress and a pillow should provide.
- It is necessary to put a pillow or blanket between the legs, which will completely relax the muscles of the pelvic girdle and lower limbs.
- Don’t put your hand under your head - this can worsen the blood supply of blood vessels. As a result, you’ll have a headache and some unpleasant sensations in the humeral section in the morning.
6.You should better sleep in total darkness. Melatonin - a hormone responsible for the cycle of sleep and wakefulness, is produced in the pineal gland only under the condition of absolute darkness. Melatonin lowers blood pressure, body temperature and blood glucose, shortly, does everything to provide the body a calm, deep sleep.
7.How to provide yourself with a healthy sleep, if you as always have lots of things to do and there is a thousand thoughts in your head? Compliance mode. A pledge of sound sleep and well-being the next morning – the gold rule is "early to bed, early to wake". Did you notice that a late bedtime sleep provokes a long insomnia? The fault is fatigue and overexcitation, and excitement is nothing but the initial stage of fatigue. Doctors-somnologists say that it is better to go to bed before 22:00. Well, why get up early tomorrow, read here.
8.Don’t overeat or starve for the night. Try not to throw on food 4 hours before bedtime (even if you just returned from work, alas). For dinner, it’s worth to refrain from heavy meals, which won’t allow the body to relax during sleep. An advice not to drink coffee and alcohol in the evening, although is obvious, but still worth mentioning. But don’t fall asleep under the lullaby of a rumbling stomach, you should plan for evening meals in advance.
9.Lay your smartphone aside. Human's body was forming when of all light-sources were only sun, moon and sometimes fire. Gadgets produce special type of light that can disrupt human's biology. Over time these disturbances of melatonin - hormone that can only be produces in full darkness, can cause a real danger. Moreover blue light (with a wave length 450-480 nm) causes sense of alertness and affect our biological clock.
10.Fall asleep only with good thoughts. Leave all the worries in the outgoing day, but if it doesn’t work, postpone them at least for tomorrow, there will surely still be the time for them, believe me. And before going to bed think only of the good and the pleasant things.
The time is already after midnight, and you’re still wide awake? Here are a couple of ways to overcome insomnia:
1.Before going to bed, it is useful to meditate for at least 5 minutes. If you do not know any special technique of meditation, just watch your quiet breathing. Thoughts, most likely, will continue the attack and this is normal. You are a human being and you can’t help yourself but think. Don’t be angry with yourself or with them - give them space for a second. Recognize their presence. And then quietly let go and go back to watching the breath.
2.Medicinal herbs (lemon balm, lime, chamomile, valerian, motherwort, etc.) poses relaxing effect, creating a favorable background for fast falling asleep. The broth can be used not only inside, but also added to water when taking an evening bath - this method of application often has a more pronounced effect.
3.4 - 7 - 8 Breathe in with your nose for four seconds, then hold the breath for seven seconds and slowly exhale through the mouth in eight seconds. Thanks to this breath, the level of adrenaline will decrease, and the pulse will slow down. And concentration on breathing will distract from any thoughts.
4.Resort to yoga, namely to shavasana - the posture and technique of deep relaxation. During this technique, the human body occupies a horizontal position, in which it needs to completely relax. After that, direct your attention to the areas of the body one by one, beginning with the forehead and ending with the tips of the toes, alternately relaxing them. During the practice of this posture, the muscles relax from the stress that pestered them throughout the day. Consciousness also relieves the ballast of thoughts that seek to disturb it. Discard the ballast of thoughts, is there a more cherished dream?
To sum it up: we build a sleep mode, set up an alarm clocks for early in the morning, allow ourselves to exhale and not to think about the past day. Sweet Dreams!