Sleep - is the third part of the human life and is an extremely important function of the body because it is during sleep that we regain our energy and restore our body after a busy day filled with physical and mental stress. Exchange body processes slowdown in sleep, muscle tone and activity of the nervous system is decreased. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov noted that your dreams are not just a resting state of your body, but are an active part of your body which is characterised by a special form of brain activity when information is processed and analysis is done. This helps to restore your mental abilities, working abilities so lack of sleep is a natural concern to us, however, this is not the only function of the body that sleeping affects.
All day we spend making decisions in our professional tasks, care for children but we always want to have 1-2 hours to ourselves so that is why we ‘borrow’ these hours from our sleeps at night, not even suspecting that the results can be damaging and result in extra weight gains. People who sleep less than 6 hours have a 35% more chance of gaining 5 kilograms of excess weight, and those that sleep more than 9 hours have a 25% higher chance of gaining weight compared to those who sleep within the normal hours range (8 hours). Why does this happen? Fat cells produce the hormone leptin, which tells the body how much potential energy it has retained. Leptin is created at night when a person is asleep. Lack of sleep disrupts the release of this hormone. The body does not understand how much energy it has accumulated so accumulates fat instead of burning it.
In addition, lack of sleep has serious side effects on the heart. 5 hours of sleep a day doubles the risk of coronary heart disease and can cause a heart attack. Every minute of sleep makes your sympathetic nervous system rest which is responsible for the release of hormones during situations of stress. ‘Hormonal changes can raise blood pressure, increase heart rate and disrupt glucose metabolism – the main causes of cardiovascular diseases’ – explains an MD from Harvard Medical School, Sanjay Patel.
That is why it is also important to monitor the quality of sleep. Getting enough sleep contributes to success in personal and professional life. Agree, it is unlikely you will hear a ‘Yes!’ if you yawn during an interview or fall asleep in the movie theatre whilst on a date with a girl you fancy.
Here are a few golden rules to improving your quality of sleep:
1. Stick to a routine. Fall asleep and wake up at the same time in accordance with your internal biological clock. Use special tracker apps to study the characteristics of your sleep.
2. Create favourable conditions for sleep. The optimum temperature in the bedroom should be 18-21 ºС. Ventilate the room at night. Draw the curtains so that the outside street lights do not interfere with your sleep. If you don’t sleep alone, talk to your partner and discuss which factors affect your sleep and create a comfortable environment for both.
3. Buy a comfortable mattress, pillows and clothes for sleeping. Change your bedding as often as possible. Do not let pets into your bed.
4. Take a walk or meditate before bedtime.
5. Do not go to sleep on an empty stomach, but do not overeat. No coffee and alcohol before sleep.
6. Use the bedroom only for sleeping and for sex. Do not watch TV in bed, don’t use laptops, tablets and smartphones. The light from these screens suppress melatonin production and decrease the quality of sleep.
7. Give up all the ‘digital noise’ at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Instead of scrolling through social networks, browsing emails and watching videos – read a book.
8. Do not put your phone or the watch under your pillow. Your alarm clock will wake you up if you can’t do so yourself. You do not need to monitor how much you’ve slept and how much you still have left to sleep.
At the American Conference ENDO 2015, after a careful research was
conducted, doctors argued that only as little as half an hour of less sleep
during a week for a year increases the risk of obesity by 17%, whilst
longer-term lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity to 72%. Sleep duration
affects the quality of human life. Sleep cannot be neglected or abused or taken
for granted – it was given to us by nature to appreciate!