Dream about healthy sleep? What tips are the best for it? How long should you sleep? You’ll find out everything about sleeping hours and sleeping disorder here!
Lack of sleep and disordered sleeping cycle are harmful for health, and also productivity. Well, you've heard this a lot of times. But will you feel that your skills have deteriorated? The answer will be no.
In 2004 an interesting experiment was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, in Philadelphia, which proves it. 48 adults participated in that study of sleep deprivation. For two weeks their sleep was reduced to four, six or eight hours. Others did not sleep for two days.
All this time, the condition of the subjects (with the exception of hours set aside for sleep) was tested in a laboratory every two hours, checking cognition and reaction time. Also, the participants were asked how they assess their condition, as far as they felt sleepy.
Why six hours of sleep is not enough
We should mention that the subjects who slept for eight hours a day, had the best performance of cognitive processes. People, who slept for four hours a day, began having worse brain skills day-by-day.
And those, who had slept for six hours, retained mental capacity at a high level until about the tenth day of the experiment. Only in the last few days, the subjects completed the test as bad as people deprived of sleep at all. It turns out that, sleeping for six hours is as bad as not sleeping at all.
One of the most impressive results of the study - that people did not feel sleepy after their six hours dream. They did not even know how their results had already deteriorated.
People deprived of sleep, felt more and more sleepy, and talked about it. At the end of the experiment they wished to sleep two times more than at the beginning. But after six hours of sleep the subjects felt a little sleepy. Although their cognitive performance was not much different from the ones without any sleep.
This finding raises an important question: how people cope with lack of sleep, if they do not even realize what it is?
We do not know how much we sleep actually
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University of Chicago study found that people often overestimate the same amount of sleep as underestimating it. Other research has shown that people overestimate their sleep time by an average of 0.8 hours.
So if you think that you have slept seven hours it is very possible that you are actually rested for only six hours.
It turns out that none can say exactly how much he sleeps and which sleeping time is enough. Almost everyone believes that he sleeps more than it actually is.
Determining how much you sleep is not as easy as it seems. But there are some common tips that will definitely help you to sleep better:
- Go to the bed at the same time.
- Do not use the gadgets for half an hour before bedtime.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Add physical activity during the day.
- Another tip, which is less common: to sleep better is that you need to lose weight. According to the website National Sleep Foundation, there is a direct connection between insomnia and obesity.
- Other causes of sleep disorder are the physical and mental problems. Even stress and a bad mood can have a negative impact on sleep.
Yes, calculate the lack of sleep is a difficult task. But you can try to increase the quantity and quality and, as a result, improve your productivity.
6 hours sleep - is this normal?
Traditionally, the norm is 8 hours night's sleep. However, every adult person has its own ‘dosage’: someone needs five hours, someone feels fine after a ten-hour rest. Competent approach, taking into account biological rhythms of physiology, helps to reduce the daily need for sleep for 10-20%.
Less is better. What determines the quality of sleep?
Experts are unanimous: a full sleep is only possible in the dark. The optimum is from 4.6 to 21 hours, with one hour before midnight, which is equal to two hours after. No less important are other factors:
- Lifestyle (regular schedule) - sleep schedule should not depend on the day of the week. The extra hour in the morning - this is the maximum that you can afford on your day off;
- Diet (healthy food) - in the digestion of heavy foods the body compensates for the cost of a longer rest (sleep). Late ‘heavy’ dinner can significantly increase the duration of sleep and make it uneasy;
- Information and emotional field - the state of stress interfere with falling asleep and the worries make ‘surface sleeping’;
- Sleep phase - the restoration of physiological resources occurs in the deep sleep phase. Brain activity is minimal, the temperature is lowered;
- The hormone melatonin, which is created with a lack of light. The more you have it - the more sleepiness you’ll get.
- The optimal duration of sleep can be determined empirically: the norm is the number of sleeping hours required by the body during the second week off. Waking up is necessary during fast sleep. To catch it, you need to rearrange the alarm clock at intervals of 5-10 minutes during the week. The time when you are most easy to wake up, is the desired phase.
How to get enough sleep in six hours: the secrets of maintaining the vitality
If you want to sleep less and get enough sleep, you need to focus on the quality of a night's rest and fight with daytime sleepiness. Use all the resources:
- Fresh air: a short walk before going to bed, use the ventilator at night, the daily exercise at lunchtime can help to saturate the cells with oxygen;
- Exercise: morning exercise, small fast sport minutes during the work day, evening jogging or going to the pool will support brain activity;
- Water balance: drink plenty of fluids;
- Lack of artificial ‘promoters’: caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, energy drinks can bring down natural settings of the body;
- Sunlight: bright light destroys melatonin and returns vitality to the body.
Dealing with the after-dinner sleepiness is also possible - enough to make a siesta for 15-20 minutes. More sleep is not recommended, because the body will begin to enter the phase of deep sleep. Forced awakening in this phase will bring a feeling of lethargy and weakness for the rest of the day.
Turning on the ‘economical sleep’ mode, keep in mind that these recommendations will only work in the complex.
Healthy sleep. What is it?
Let's start with an interesting fact, which was established by scientists: people, who sleep at night for the same amount of hours, live longer than those whose sleep duration varies. The same experts have noticed that lack of sleep contributes to the development of diseases of the cardiovascular system. The body is subjected to be ‘worn and torn’, changes occur even at the level of biochemical reactions.
Let's see what kind of advice given by experts, can help us to ensure that our dream has become healthy.
- Needed mode. If you want to get maximum benefit and minimum harm, you need to go to bed and also get up at the same time. When this mode is broken, our biological clock switches off biorhythms. It must be said that even at the weekend sleep and wakefulness should not change. Let's look at small children who do not care, holiday or everyday - they get up around the same time. Let us take them as an example.
- The duration of sleep. Scientists have responded to a question about how much you need to sleep: an average sleep time should be 7-8 hours. However, healthy sleep is an uninterrupted sleep. You should have useful sleep for 6 hours than 8 hours, but with awakenings. Therefore, the scientists are expanding the boundaries of healthy sleep: an adult needs (for normal functioning) sleep for 6 to 8 hours a day.
- Do not lie in bed after waking up. There is a danger to go back to sleep. In addition, the body has to get used to information that the day begins after waking up at a set time. It will become the norm for you very quickly.
- Avoid exciting atmosphere for 1 hour before bedtime. Prepare your body for sleep, eliminating the fussy action, active physical exercise at least 1 hour before bedtime.
- Before going to bed have relaxing treatments. Let it become a tradition, especially for those who have troubles with falling asleep. Make a ‘ceremony’ before going to sleep, during which you use what helps you to relax. If the person had been active and did not calm down and went to bed, he could toss and turn from side to side in a bed for a long time.
- Try not to sleep during the day. This can lead to problems getting to sleep at night.
- Create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom. There is no place for the TV and the computer in this room. The mattress on the bed and the pillow should provide comfort and fit orthopedic standards. The bed should be associated with sleep, so it is strictly impossible to watch television, eat or read there. Be sure to ventilate the room before going to bed. Oxygen contributes to the rapid fall asleep and healthy sleep.
- Good sleep means a well spent day. Spend the daytime actively, do not neglect exercise and fresh air.
- Avoid eating before going to bed. Last time it is recommended to eat no later than 2 hours before bedtime. And the dinner should not be abundant.
- Smoking, drinking coffee and alcohol (before the sleeping time) hinder healthy sleep. Discard it in favor of health.
The lack of sleep is dangerous
So, we found out that a person needs to sleep 6-8 hours a day. Now let us see the consequences of lack of sleep - disturbance of sleep duration. If a nap is included in our system, we can face the dangerous phenomenon of chronic lack of sleep. The habits of many people today include short sleep during the week. Over the weekend, the man supposedly compensates the lack of sleep and sleeps for 12-13 hours of the day. Alas, it not only makes up for lost, but also worsens the picture. This phenomenon doctors have called ‘sleeping bulimia’.
The consequences of lack of sleep:
- decreased immunity;
- decreased performance, concentration, memory;
- cardiovascular diseases;
- obesity (body, as if in defense, is trying to make up for the lack of energy due to the excess calories);
- men get the decreased testosterone levels by 30% (the belly starts to grow even in lean men, there is a risk of inflammation of the prostate gland);
- increased levels of the stress hormone - cortisol;
- depression and insomnia can appear;
The biggest risk of sleep deprivation is a violation of normal biological rhythms of the body. During the day each organ and system has its own periods of activity and rest. Inside the body there are different chemical reactions, which are also dependent on biorhythms. Violation of sleep, waking and rest periods result in very serious internal disturbances caused by desynchronosis. Unfortunately, the list of disturbances, which can be a consequence of lack of sleep, is not limited to the above.
Up to a certain time a person can cope with lack of sleep, by changing his lifestyle. But over time, a chronic lack of sleep can lead to sleep disturbances, which he would not handle to treat himself. So take care of such important part of our lives and sleep well!
- READ ALSO: What are sleep cycles?