Why you need to sleep 8 hours and where did this figure come from, is it harmful to stay awake at night, but getting enough sleep on weekends is the most relevant and comprehensive guide on how to sleep and get enough sleep, for players and all people.
Note: This article is based on a 2 hour open source lecture. на YouTube from neurologist, somnologist Elena Tsareva.
The negative effects of unhealthy sleep
Sleep is one of the most important components in the life of any person. We spend a third of our lives in sleep. At the same time, insomnia is an occupational disease of the players. Each of us caught ourselves thinking that we can sacrifice an extra hour or two of sleep for the sake of a sweet game. But not getting enough sleep over long distances has negative consequences.
One sleepless night seems to pass unnoticed… And even in the first half of the day you can feel cheerfulness, inspiration, despite the fact that the night did not sleep. Stress allows you to mobilize strength and cope with the first half of the day. But it also increases anxiety and appetite. Moreover, the appetite wakes up closer to the night for unhealthy foods: sweet and starchy foods. Weight gain while maintaining sleepless nights will be present. So, if you want to lose weight, you need to sleep well.
Sleep affects immunity. The body responds less well to the effects of the virus. This is relevant in the current environment.
Sleep affects reaction. A study was conducted that compared the response of drivers with lack of sleep to those with alcohol intoxication. The reaction of the driver without sleep for 17 hours is comparable to the reaction of the driver with 0.5 ppm of alcohol in the blood (like drinking 2 glasses of vodka). A driver’s reaction without sleep for 21 hours is comparable to that of a driver with 0.8 ppm of blood alcohol. In this state, thinking abilities, self-control decrease, a person feels imprudent.
So the problem is serious. Sleep deprivation causes irritability and anger, depression and decreased motivation, loss of control, skipping exercise, and even build-up of stress with a cumulative effect.
Insomnia is an occupational disease of a poker player
Why you need to sleep 8 hours, and where did this figure come from
Research has shown that if we sleep for 8 hours, that sleep duration is most often correlated with maximum levels of well-being and the feeling of being a happy person. This is the only reason why we are striving for this figure. But you can feel happy with less sleep. This is the norm.
How to know if you have a chronic sleep deficit and can you get enough sleep on weekends
A deficit of 8 hours of sleep is called chronic. For example, let’s say you didn’t get enough sleep for two hours every day from Monday to Thursday (you slept 6 hours instead of the standard 8). You have accumulated a deficit of 8 o’clock. Therefore, on Friday you must definitely go to bed and sleep longer than usual.
The habit of getting enough sleep on weekends is a desire to make up for a sleep deficit in a week. In fact, only 30% of the deficit can be restored at the expense of the landfill. Therefore, it is much more important to maintain a sleep schedule. Replenishing sleep deficits during the day does not fully mitigate the effects.
Getting enough sleep on weekends is bad. It is optimal to go to bed and get up at the same time. If, for example, you wake up at 9 am on weekdays, and at 11 am on weekends (this phenomenon is called social jet lag), then you will need 3 days to restore normal sleep mode (a day for every hour). This is comparable to a jet lag to a different time zone. For example, the time difference between Moscow and Las Vegas is 11 hours. It will take you 11 days to adjust to the new time zone.
For every hour of sleep, a day is needed to adapt.
What to do if you have a sleep deficit?
Get up (this is how the body will fix the regime), do something (for example, have breakfast) and only then go to sleep. So you will save biorhythms and fill the deficit.
If you feel sleepy during the day, sleep. Moreover, you need to sleep no more than 45 minutes. Sleeping more will put you into a deeper sleep phase, from which it is more difficult to wake up. Sleep inertia will increase, a feeling of fatigue and headache appear.
Use a sleep diary to track your sleep quality. With its help, you can track the influence of various factors on sleep. It should be kept for at least two weeks (including weekends) for the data to be most objective.
What is healthy sleep
The criteria for healthy sleep are simple:
Criterion # 1: 15 minutes to fall asleep and get up
This is due to the effect of “sleep inertia”, when immediately after waking up your mind is confused. At this time, the body temperature, blood pressure, pulse rise so much that you can start doing something. This “stirring up” takes up to 15 minutes. Sleep inertia is reduced if you have bright lights in your room, wash your face with cold water, and drink coffee.
Criterion # 2: Duration from 4 to 12 hours per day
The duration of sleep is determined individually. There are people who get enough sleep in 4 hours (lucky ones). It makes no difference whether you sleep from 22:00 to 06:00 (as Baba Vanga bequeathed) or from 02:00 to 10:00. The value of sleep is the same at different times. It is important to go to bed and wake up at the same time.
Criterion # 3: No awakening (including going to the toilet)
If you are awakening, you need to think about why this is happening to you.
Criterion # 4: No daytime sleep
Draws you to sleep during the day? This means that the quality or duration of the night’s sleep is affected. You can sleep no more than 45 minutes a day if you are tired, but this should not become a habit.
It is also necessary to exclude the following diseases that affect the quality of sleep:
|Disease affecting sleep||How to diagnose|
|Anxiety and depression||At the psychiatrist|
|Thyroid dysfunction||Blood test|
|Iron deficiency||Blood test|
|Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes||Blood glucose test and HOMA index|
|Cardiovascular diseases||At the cardiologist|
|Pathology of the kidneys and genitourinary system||At the nephrologist, urologist|
How to sleep well: 10 tips from the global sleep Society
The most important rule of sleep is regularity. (fixing the time of awakening and falling asleep). 2-3 hours before bedtime is the “golden period”, free from irritants. This applies to food, drink, and exercise. Anything that can somehow affect sleep should be safely removed 2 hours before sleep.
2 hours before bedtime, intense physical activity should be stopped: they increase your heart rate and blood pressure, which prevents you from falling asleep. But here are some life hacks: workouts from 14:00 to 17:00 help you get up earlier – this is advice for owls. And working out after 5:00 pm helps you fall asleep later – this is a tip for early risers.
Eliminate all bad habits that affect sleep… No alcohol, nicotine or other harmful substances.
Caffeine no later than 6 hours before bedtime… Moreover, caffeine is found not only in coffee, but also in tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate, matcha (a type of tea), energy drinks, tonics, as well as guarana, sports supplements and vitamins. Caffeine reaches its effect in 30 minutes. The duration of the withdrawal of caffeine from the body is on average 6 hours. Caffeine also interferes with the absorption of iron, thereby contributing to the development of chronic insomnia.
The bedroom should be quiet, dark, fresh (install a carbon dioxide sensor in the bedroom), cool (21-23 degrees). The colder the better. This is because the body reaches its minimum temperature during sleep.
The bed should be comfortable… You should not be hot, and you should not be pulled off the blanket. Each person has a 70 cm bed. If less, sleep may be disturbed.
The mattress, pillow and blanket should be comfortable. If you travel frequently, it is helpful to take your pillow with you. Recently, it has been recommended to buy a heavy blanket. This reduces anxiety. The heavier the blanket, the calmer it is to fall asleep under it. To calm a person down, you need to hug him.
You need to sleep on your side… So the products of cell decay are excreted faster. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the right or on the left. There is a myth that one cannot sleep on the left side (it pinches the heart). Not true, the rib cage protects the internal organs equally well on either side. You can sleep on your back if you don’t snore. And sleeping on the stomach is harmful, since the withdrawal of cell decay stops. And orthopedists advise not to sleep on your stomach: the neck will hurt, it is harmful for muscles and blood vessels.
Eliminate allergens… The bedroom should have nothing but a bed. Allergens can include carpets, plants, animals. If you rarely change bed linen, do not change pillows, blankets and mattresses, these are also allergens. They need to be ventilated, disinfected or, if we are talking about pillows, changed once a year, as dust mites can cause allergies.
Life hacks how to restore sleep: habits and melatonin
To get regular sleep, you need to develop a habit.
The rule is 15 minutes. It is not necessary to stay in bed without sleep for more than 15 minutes. Don’t force yourself to fall asleep. You don’t have to do anything in the bedroom other than sleep (and love).
Light and sleep are incompatible. Turn on the lights when you don’t want to sleep. And turn it off when you want to sleep. By the way, the most physiological alarm clocks are those that wake up with the help of light.
Melatonin… Life hack for owls: if you want to fall asleep faster, activate the production of melatonin tablets. Short melatonins are available over the counter. They should be taken in bed with the lights off just before bed. There is no dose dependence on melatonin (there is no point in taking more than 2 mg). And it has been proven safe to take melatonin for six years every night.
If your sleep is disturbed more than 3 times a week for 3 months and you have not been able to improve it with these tips, contact your sleep doctor.