The periodic alternation of wakefulness and sleep is one of the phenomena of the daily rhythm of biological processes. There is no doubt that sleep is rest, but at the same time it is also a function of the body. Currently, sleep is considered as a form of manifestation of active brain activity. The brain, like other organs, does not know rest. For the central nervous system, sleep is a very necessary period of work, the violation of which has devastating consequences. For example, a person did not sleep for 16 hours. First, he developed fatigue, loss of initiative, dull feelings, short-term disorders of consciousness and hallucinations, and then serious symptoms of a mental disorder. Chronic lack of sleep can ultimately cause peptic ulcer, eczema, impotence, etc. It is possible to prolong the day due to sleep only at the cost of health.
Sleeping people, sleep and dreams are constantly studied. When studying the biocurrents of the brain, it was found that sleep consists of 2 periodically alternating phases: slow and fast sleep. These names correspond to the frequencies of oscillations of biocurrents. Let the reader not be surprised if he meets other terms, since slow sleep has 14, and fast sleep has 22 names! When a person falls asleep, wakefulness goes into sleep gradually. First comes a slow sleep, constantly deepening. 45–90 min after falling asleep, the REM sleep phase begins, lasting from several minutes to half an hour, which is characterized by bioelectrical activity and rapid eye movements, to some extent similar to the waking period. Most people then see their first dream. During the night, slow and fast dreams change 4-6 times. Slow sleep takes 75–80%, fast sleep 20–25%. Slow sleep is deeper in the first half of the night. Toward morning, its phases become shorter, and sleep more shallow. At the same time, the phases of REM and dreams are lengthening.
REM sleep is a natural phenomenon that reflects the mental activity of the brain during sleep. Some argue that they never have dreams. In fact, each person dreams several times during the night. A premature baby dreams almost all the time. It is established that the fetus is always in the world of dreams before birth. In the dreams of the fetus, of course, there are no pictures, because he has not yet seen anything, but the activity of his brain is similar to that observed during dreams. After 45 years, the proportion of dreams decreases slightly, and in the elderly, it takes about 13% of sleep time.
Most people remember the last dream in the morning, but even this can be forgotten before awakening. An analysis of 10 thousand dreams showed that in 24% of cases, dream events occurred on the premises, most often in a living room, less often in the kitchen, etc. People are active in dreams. They run, walk, swim, dance, etc. Practically, such statistics do not say anything about dreams, since they depend on age, gender, lifestyle, etc. (However, it is plausible that women see women primarily in their dreams, and men are men ^. It would be nice if lovers take this into account, hoping to see him or her in a dream.
About 60% of dreams are visual – graphic. They are less often associated with hearing and touch, and very rarely with smell. According to researchers, approximately 16% of people see color dreams, and 19% have unpleasant dreams. The reasons for terrible dreams and nightmares are as follows: overstrain, an alarmingly past day, overload of the digestive organs, unventilated room. However, in dreams you can see the horrors experienced, heard and read once.
The dreams of a healthy person are realistic, and in most cases he himself remains passive in relation to what is happening. Usually, dreams are episodes of events in life that may seem long forgotten and cause nervous stress. Dreams can reflect dreams, penetrate the future of a person anxiously awaiting something. Some scholars argue that dreams can be “ordered.” If all thoughts before sleep are concentrated on what is desired, then it can also be completed in a dream.
The effect on dreams can also have irritations coming from the external environment and the body itself. The noise causes a dream in a picture of a racing train or a working bulldozer, etc. The fantasy of dreams has no limits. Dreams seem to protect the dream – they do not allow external stimuli to wake the sleeping person, but include him in the chain of events that occur in the dream. If the sleeping person is in danger of physical destruction, he will surely wake up. Feeling of hunger, thirst, sexual arousal, overflow of the bladder or intestines cause dreams with the image of meeting these needs.
Slow sleep is probably characterized by mental activity similar to thinking and remembering. Often this is due to thoughts before falling asleep. Sometimes there are dreams. By the way, they talk in a dream during a slow sleep.
Currently, there are many hypotheses about sleep problems and its phases. Opinions are different. One of them claims that the body needs sleep to process information. During the day, a large amount of information is accumulated in the brain related to short-term random access memory. During sleep, this information is analyzed. Everything you need is stored in long-term memory. That part of the information that a person does not need or may be harmful to him is erased as unnecessary sound recording from a magnetic tape. Thus the saying is justified: “the morning is wiser than the evening.” Sleep is a good way to get rid of anxiety, anxiety or mental confusion.
APPROXIMATELY EIGHT HOURS.
Children should go to bed before everyone else. It has always been so, although every young generation protests violently against this. Even schoolchildren are sometimes difficult to convince that they need to get enough sleep by the beginning of classes the next day, otherwise they will not be able to properly concentrate on the first lessons. Mothers complaining about the nervousness of their children should consider whether their children are sleeping enough. On average, a 7-year-old child should sleep 12 hours; 9-year-old – 11 hours; 11-year-old – 10 hours; 13 years – 9 1 / 2 hours and 15-year-old child – 9 hours.
The sleep requirement of the “average” adult is approximately 8 hours per day. At the age of 20 to 50, it decreases slightly, and then starts to increase again, for example, a 60-year-old sleeps about 2.4% more than a 20-year-old. Consequently, the belief that older people need less sleep is untenable. It must be added that middle-aged men generally sleep more than women of the same age: 50-year-olds require an average of 20 minutes more sleep; 70-year-olds – for 50 minutes per day. In reality, sleep and its duration are extremely individual. Legends say that the classics of literature by I.V. Goethe and Fr. Schiller, the luminaries of medicine N. Bekhterev, R. Virkhov and the famous Napoleon allegedly slept 4-5 hours a day, and the king of inventors T. Edison only 2-3 hours. It is doubtful that this was so. Maybe at night they really slept little, but they made up for lost time during the day. In general, it can be argued that the need for sleep is different – from 6 to 10 hours.
What about sleep lasting 10-12 hours? If this is not caused by a recent infectious disease (flu, etc.), anemia, functional disorders of the nervous system or other diseases that the doctor will establish, then everything is in order! However, with such a long dream, the day becomes short. In this case, you can reduce sleep time by 1/2 hour and monitor your well-being for 2-3 weeks. If working capacity, vitality and well-being are maintained, then the sleep time should be reduced by another 72 hours. So, the duration of sleep can be gradually brought up to 8-9 hours.
A group of scientists expressed the opinion that the need for slow sleep is the same for everyone, and in fast it is associated with personality traits. People who have enough short sleep, in most cases, adapt well, tend to ignore psychological problems, have a light cheerful character and are happy with their sleep and life in general. Persons in need of a prolonged sleep often find themselves in a state of psychological or social conflict, they have more diverse interests, they are a bit melancholy, and sometimes they regard the dream as an opportunity to escape from reality.
The duration and quality of sleep depends on human activities during the day. In this case, the ratio of mental and physical stress is very significant. Physical labor contributes to fast falling asleep and quiet deep sleep.
No less important is the nature of the experiences during wakefulness. Quietly past day creates the prerequisites for normal sleep. Any deviations (intense experiences and a poor day of experiences, etc.) from the usual rhythm of life disturb sleep. Of particular importance are emotions. And of course, we must be optimistic about the events of the day. You can and should be happy with everyday, ordinary little things. This is far from simple, but in principle it is still possible. A happy person always falls asleep calmly. In the morning, waking up, a person should feel rested, fresh.
The best time to sleep is night. It is advisable to “fulfill” the daily norm of sleep immediately. Artificial lighting gave a person the opportunity to create a rhythm of sleep and wakefulness, regardless of the natural change of day and night. Night work has negative aspects, but it is still not dangerous. Existing studies have shown that shift work, at least, does not disturb sleep. If a person is sick or is in a state of pre-illness, then a change in the rhythm of sleep that has developed during evolution greatly complicates his condition.
Depending on the daily individual rhythm of the body’s functions, some fall asleep and wake up early, while others go late and walk limp for a long time. The individual rhythm of sleep * and wakefulness is useful to keep in mind when organizing professional work. The working time of the individual should fall on the period of maximum activity.
PREPARATION FOR SLEEP.
A tired person can sleep in any setting. However, experience suggests that sleep is better when simple hygiene practices are followed. The most suitable for sleeping is a quiet and dark room with an air temperature of 14 to 17 ° C.
The sleeper moves to eliminate stagnation of blood in any organ or to find the best body position for muscle relaxation. Movement can also be caused by a dream, awakening, etc. Anxiously sleeping in a strange place, in a strange bed. A survey of hotel residents (with their consent) showed that no one was lying without movement for more than 40 minutes, 60% of those who slept changed their position after 25 minutes, and 40% after 5-10 minutes. Those who often move during sleep should sleep longer in order to get enough sleep. In underwear that is worn during the day, you should not sleep.
It is good if already in childhood or adolescence a stereotype of activity is established that precedes sleep, but it is not too late for adults to think about it. Sleep disorders most often occur in those who do not follow sleep hygiene, which contributes to falling asleep. It is impossible to give recommendations equally valid for all. Some air the room, and then go to wash. Others are used to falling asleep in complete silence and darkness. Someone likes to talk a little before going to bed, someone to listen to a quietly playing radio. One falls asleep best lying on his stomach, the other on his right side, etc. The options are endless. A different habit may seem strange even to an outsider. Thomas Mann, for example, took Valerian in the evenings, Charles Dickens moved the hotel bed along the pocket compass from north to south.
For a good fall asleep, the constant time for going to bed is certainly important. This contributes to the development of a solid rhythm of sleep and wakefulness. Of course, nothing will happen if sometimes in connection with a visit to the theater or guests, during a trip, etc., the usual time to fall asleep is violated. However, this should not be done too often.
Before going to bed, you need to brush your teeth. For many, a quarter or half an hour is added to this for cosmetics. Hardening procedures should not be carried out – cold water can completely disturb sleep. However, hygienists in many countries recommend doing light gymnastics or taking a walk before going to bed. Most of us do not find time for this or we are just too lazy to go out, but this recommendation is worth considering. A slow walk in the fresh air calms.
Many read in bed before going to bed. Maybe this reminds them of a fairy tale from childhood, maybe only late in the evening find time for a book? Can be read also for relaxation, release from daytime mental stress? It happens that they specifically look for boring publications in order to fall asleep faster. We always read while lying down, although we know that hygienists do not approve of this. But let us think a little about our eyes and delight the current or future doctor – we will read with enough light (150-200 lux), and let it fall not in the eyes, but on the book!
Before going to bed, it is not recommended to eat, because during sleep, digestion is sluggish (the digestive organs work on rest), and a full stomach can interfere with breathing and even heart activity. The harder it is to digest food, the longer there must be a break between eating and sleeping.
• 1-2 hours – tea, juices, broth, rice, soft-boiled egg.
• 2-3 hours – boiled fish and poultry, scrambled eggs, potatoes, cauliflower, spinach, rolls, milk;
• 3-4 hours – boiled beef and ham, fried veal or poultry, carrots, bread;
• 4-5 hours – roast beef, ham, herring.
It interferes with sleep and heavy drinking, forcing to get up at night. It is better to refrain from strong coffee and tea, which excite the nervous system, late at night. True, there are people on whom coffee acts soothingly and even asleep. But everyone should know this for himself.
IF YOU ARE NOT SLEEPING
Difficulty falling asleep, superficial intermittent sleep, premature awakening, and other sleep disturbances are currently quite common. Women are more unhappy with sleep more often than men. There are also practically healthy people who generally sleep well, temporary violations of falling asleep: they go to bed, but sleep does not come.
Mistakes when falling asleep often begin in childhood. The child should fall asleep as soon as he lies down in bed. As a result, a conditioned reflex to falling asleep appears, which is not lost even in adulthood. Therefore, telling a fairy tale to a child (essentially not letting him fall asleep) is wrong, since in this case the concept of “going to bed (to bed)” is not associated with falling asleep, and therefore certain difficulties arise. Another thing with a lullaby is its monotony lulls.
Children should not be allowed to lie in bed after waking up. Anyone who was accustomed in childhood to immediately get up and vigorously take up the matter will learn this habit for life.
The sleep of a healthy person is most often disturbed by thoughts, in most cases related to recent events, troubles. Some mistake, unpleasant news that arose over trifles, a quarrel, someone’s unjust remark or harsh criticism – and now in the silence of the night, sad thoughts do not let you fall asleep. The struggle for sleep begins. A person tries to fall asleep while lying on his back, stomach, one and the other side. It seems to be dozing off, but then again awake. He stretches, bends, looks for a comfortable place for his hands, but a calm sleep does not come. The clock is ticking relentlessly.
What they don’t do: they drink hot beer, eat boiled onions, suck sugar and force themselves to think about some kind of black color things (for example, velvet), consider the sheep jumping out of the barn, and when they reach the number 15 794, they notice that it has come time to go to work again. If any of these procedures are constantly used, then this can bring benefits. In any case, it is worth trying everything before asking for help with medicines.
A good remedy for insomnia is honey. 1 – 1 1 /2 hours before bedtime drink 3 / 4 cup warm water in which it is dissolved a tablespoon of honey. You can drink a concentrated solution of sugar. To do this, take 2-3 tablespoons sugar 3 / 4 cup water. A warm general or foot bath also contributes to falling asleep if you go to bed immediately afterwards.
If troubles prevent you from sleeping, then a conversation with another person, a joint discussion of disturbing problems, especially if the interlocutor, the comforter is the spouse, can calm you down. People close to each other should not forget about this kind of moral support. When the grief is divided, then the dream will come faster.
Sleepless watches are worse tolerated alone. It was established that in this case it is useful to get out of bed, write on paper what you somehow did not succeed, but would love to say or do, and that it will be surely said or done tomorrow with pleasure. Whether the writing is worth the day does not matter. The main thing is that at least part of the internal voltage will be transferred to the paper.
There are people who know how to use self-hypnosis: they relax the muscles of the face and limbs, breathe calmly, and mentally inspire themselves with calm and faith in the best. All attention is focused on verbal-suggestive suggestion. A person accustomed to auto-suggestion quickly makes himself fall asleep.
Due to sleep disturbance, humanity swallows thousands of tons of sleeping pills and sedatives every year. In addition to tablets, they also use other medical methods. Their effectiveness is undeniable, but only in skilled hands. Each case of sleep disturbance requires a competent analysis, examination of the patient, the study of his illness and lifestyle. For example, sleep disturbance in elderly people (insomnia at night and drowsiness during the day or a superficial sleep, after which a person seems to have not slept at all) often indicates cerebral circulation insufficiency, usually caused by sclerosis.
Attempts to cure serious sleep disorders themselves, at your own peril and risk, are usually futile. The use of tablets at one’s own discretion is sometimes completely deplorable. Therefore, be careful! It is wiser to avoid any health disorders or sleep disorders than to treat them.
The snoring of another person can seriously interfere with sleep. It should be noted right away that snoring should not be blamed for continuous snoring from evening to morning. That would be unfair. Most people snore when they are very tired physically, but sometimes this can be due to the anatomical features of the upper respiratory tract.
In order not to snore, you need to take care of the good condition of the upper respiratory tract. They tried to treat snoring arising in the upper part of the pharynx surgically (they removed the tonsils and tongue), but did not succeed. To some extent, the use of drugs that tone the body helps, hardening and physical education. Such a means has long been known: it is necessary to wake the snoring or change the position of his body (in some positions the snoring stops), but, unfortunately, this gives only a temporary result. Sometimes there is nothing left to do but plug your ears or put the snorer to sleep in a separate room.