"How to quickly fall asleep in one minute?" - this question is periodically asked by each of us. For example, tomorrow is a busy day - you want to go to bed early and fall asleep as soon as possible, but sleep, as luck would have it, does not go. All this threatens with lethargy and weakness in the morning and during the day. What to do to get enough sleep, how many hours are actually enough for recovery, than the threat of long-term sleep disturbances? We discussed these and other issues with an expert.
Tatyana Alekseevna Surnenkova Head of the Center for Somnology of the Clinical Diagnostic Center "MEDSI" in Krasnaya Presnya, doctor-somnologist of the highest qualification category, doctor of functional diagnostics of the highest category
How to fall asleep quickly? Working tips
Why can't you fall asleep quickly? As a rule, the process of falling asleep is hampered by excessive brain activity against a background of stress, the influence of external factors in the form of excessive consumption of caffeine, energy drinks, smoking, as well as an insufficient degree of accumulation of fatigue due to the presence of daytime sleep or late morning waking up.
For trouble falling asleep, effective methods include:
The use of "white noise" - a monotonous sound that does not change its volume or intensity. It can be the noise of rain, rustling of leaves, the sound of the surf, the murmur of a river, as well as an artificially created set of sounds that have the same frequency. "White noise" has a calming effect on the human nervous system, helps to relax and fall asleep quickly. You need to choose for yourself the noise that will really calm you down. It is not recommended to change sounds often, since each time the brain will perceive the sound as something new and incomprehensible, it will take time to get used to it.
Decreased body temperature. Studies show that taking a warm bath (39.9-42.7) degrees Celsius 1-2 hours before bed can help you fall asleep faster and get better sleep. Sleep and body temperature are regulated by the internal circadian (biological) clock. Before going to bed, as a rule, the body temperature drops and remains low until half of the night. Then it rises sharply, which is a kind of alarm clock for the body that it's time to wake up. A natural drop in body temperature occurs approximately 2 hours before bedtime. Under stress, this mechanism can malfunction. If you take a hot bath, the process itself will have a relaxing effect, and an increase in body temperature will increase heat transfer and, before going to bed, will reach the desired level for falling asleep.
Never force yourself to sleep.
Sleep is a passive process. Therefore, while in bed, you need to relax as much as possible, not think about the past day or plan for the future. If you cannot fall asleep for a long time, get up and be distracted by extraneous monotonous activities - reading, embroidery, knitting, crosswords with relaxing music, tea with honey or chamomile, watching a TV series, melodrama or a film about nature. But you can't be distracted by social networks, watching news on the Web. It is necessary to return to bed when drowsiness appears.
Remember: if you do not feel like sleeping, you will hardly be able to fall asleep quickly in a minute. Sleep will surely come at the right time, since this is a natural need of the body, laid down by nature. If you follow the regime, go to bed and get up at the same time, limit stress before going to bed, then there will be no problems with falling asleep.
Factors that develop insomnia
The predisposing ones include:
- biological factors (increased tone of the sympathetic nervous system, increased cortisol levels, tendency to tachycardia, female sex);
- psychological factors (increased anxiety, emotionality, personality traits);
- social factors (shift and night work);
- behavioral - habitual disturbance of sleep hygiene, alcohol abuse, smoking, low level of physical activity.
The provoking factors include any stressful event - the birth of a child and caring for him, exacerbation of the disease, flight to another time zone.
In the acute period, sleep disturbances are directly related to the effects of stress; after its resolution, sleep can be restored. However, in the presence of predisposing factors, with a high intensity of stress, supportive factors appear, represented by manifestations of increased excitability of the nervous system:
- hypersensitivity to stimuli;
- fear of insomnia and its consequences, depression;
- the formation of long-term memory of night awakenings and generally bad sleep.
Inappropriate behavior in bed - extraneous activity, anxious thoughts about sleep, counting the time left for sleep, fear of insomnia, thoughts of disrupting tomorrow due to insomnia destroy the reflex to fall asleep and cause the formation of a negative connection between bed and sleep.
How much sleep do you really need
You need to sleep enough to wake up without an alarm clock and feel refreshed and slept. It is not important how much a person sleeps at night, but how he feels during the day. If you find it easy to concentrate, you are emotionally balanced, and you do not have to struggle with bouts of sleepiness all day, then you have slept enough.
Sleep duration is genetically determined and depends on age. Preschoolers under 5 years old are recommended to sleep 10-13 hours, school-age children under 13 years old from 9 to 11 hours a day.
Teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 need to get regular 8-10 hours of sleep. Adults need 7-11 hours of sleep, and older people over 65 - 7-8 hours.
It is better to determine your sleep rate on vacation. First you need to remove the alarm. In the first week, sleep will be slightly longer than necessary. Lack of sleep during working hours affects. From the second week, the sleep rate will appear.
The best time to sleep
These hours are from 21-00 to 00-00. Until midnight, 1 hour of sleep is counted as 2 hours, at which time the human nervous system rests. To verify this, you can conduct an experiment: go to bed at 21-00, and then wake up at 1-00 or 2-00 at night. You will feel like you have completely slept.
At other times, the nervous system does not rest. And if you did not sleep at this time, then you can sleep at least 12 hours in a row, but the body will not rest. As a result, there will be laziness, apathy, drowsiness. Variations in the time of going to bed, depending on the lifestyle, are allowed 1-2 hours later, but there should not be much difference.
Than sleepless nights threaten
It is known that long-term chronic insomnia reduces labor productivity, increases the risk of injury and road traffic accidents, and leads to the development of many diseases. But few people think that already one sleepless night, which, it would seem, subjectively does not manifest itself in any way, has serious consequences.
Studies using MRI show that after a sleepless night, activity in the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain, which are known to be responsible for decision-making, memory and problem solving, is markedly reduced. In a study of 10,000 employees of large American companies, it was shown that if a person does not get enough sleep to work, then the monetary damage to the employer per year is $ 2,280 per person, which is several times higher than the cost of being absent from the workplace due to illness.
In 2016, U. S. companies lost $ 411 billion to workers' sleep problems. In Russia, the situation is about the same.
Bad sleep hits your wallet. A person who does not get enough sleep drinks more coffee, and also experiences a constant feeling of hunger due to an increased level of the hormone ghrelin. The brain requires carbohydrates, ideally sugar, causing obesity. Headache and high blood pressure prompt medication. The year 2020 taught us how to save money, consume more consciously and buy something really necessary and important. None of the smartest gadgets will improve sleep or make you sleep more without self-discipline. How exactly can you improve your sleep quality and start getting enough sleep?
- do not drink tea and coffee 8 hours before bedtime;
- go to bed before midnight, ideally at 22: 00-23: 00;
- wake up at the same time, even on weekends;
- Getting out of bed if you can't fall asleep and do something distracting (reading, knitting, puzzles) until sleepiness sets in.
- sleep in a cool room;
- limit work issues, instant messengers, viewing news 2 hours before bedtime;
- do not drink sleeping pills all the time - they do not provide natural sleep (!).
If, despite all measures, you still do not get enough sleep, then it makes sense to conduct a survey. And the only objective method is polysomnography - a study of the patient's sleep using specialized computer systems.
How sleep is researched by experts
During the procedure, various indicators of a sleeping person are recorded: snoring, respiratory flow, respiratory movements of the abdominal wall and chest, saturation of peripheral blood with oxygen, body position, electroencephalogram, electrocardiogram, electromyogram, electrooculogram, leg movements, sleep video recording.
As a rule, the study is carried out in the most comfortable conditions: a separate room isolated from external noise with a suitable temperature and humidity, a comfortable bed with the ability to choose a pillow that suits a particular patient.
The study can be carried out for young children (from an early age), and for the elderly and pregnant women. It will allow you to determine the structure of sleep, movement disorders, breathing disorders, the relationship of various parameters and stages of sleep. Also, polysomnography allows you to accurately determine whether sleep disturbance (insomnia, daytime sleepiness) is primary, or is it caused by other pathologies - sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome and others.