A person spends a third of his life in a dream. And this does not mean that wasting time on vacation is wasting it. On the contrary, sleep can be the best medicine in the treatment of many diseases. But how to fix it? What to do if even an 8-hour sleep does not bring you strength? This was told by Tatyana Karavaeva, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Chief Researcher of the Department of Treatment of Borderline Mental Disorders and Psychotherapy, Vice President of the Russian Psychotherapeutic Association.
Less sleep for a month
Alexander Menshikov, SPB.AIF.RU: Tatiana Arturovna, how can a person understand that he really has sleep problems?
Tatyana Karavaeva: There is a large classification of sleep disorders. For example, insomnia is a violation of falling asleep, nocturnal or early awakening. There is narcolepsy, sleepwalking, sleep epilepsy … The list of diseases is quite large. Most often, people are faced with what is scientifically called insomnia. This is a violation of falling asleep, frequent awakening and sleep without a sense of rest upon awakening. If such signs appear at least 3 times a week for three weeks, then there are problems with sleep.
- Is insomnia, insomnia a problem only for modern people?
- No, people have always had problems with sleep. After all, sleep is a complex phenomenon with difficult regulation. But over the past hundred years, sleep problems have become more common. This is influenced by many factors. A high pace of life, multitasking … A modern person is often in a state of tension, he has to solve many problems, he often finds himself in difficult situations, experiences anxiety, anxiety, dissatisfaction. With the modern rhythm of life, the sleep-wake cycle is disrupted for many. That is, due to the large amount of work, it is not possible to go to bed at the same time. With the advent of electricity, sleep began to be disrupted more often. Gadgets, flickering screens have an exciting effect on the brain, which also affects falling asleep.
In the old days, people tied their rhythm of life to the sun. They went to bed with his entry, woke up as soon as dawn. Now this schedule is knocked down, the night sleep is shorter and it turns out that we sleep a month less than our ancestor slept 100 years ago. What the consequences of this will be is not yet clear.
- There is information on the Internet that a person used to sleep differently. Supposedly at night they woke up for a couple of hours, did some business, read, sewed, then went back to bed.
- It is a myth. How to work with a splinter? It burns very quickly. And there weren't many literate people to read at night.
- Has the culture of sleep changed in any way over the past centuries?
- No, but we also lived in different conditions. In the villages, they slept with the cattle - the body temperature of the animal is higher, it warmed. The richer people insulated their beds with hot water bottles. And a naked girl was laid in the master's bed.
We slept at night - until noon, as now, no one was lying in bed. There is nothing special to do in the dark - so we were guided by the sun. By the way, it is useful for a modern person as well. Somnologists recommend going to bed and waking up on different days - that is, staying in bed until midnight.
Do not repeat for Ronaldo
- Is bad sleep really dangerous?
- In addition to impairing memory and concentration, it affects the function of many organs. During sleep, the body's activity is adjusted, and insomnia can lead to a decrease in immunity (after all, at a certain phase of sleep, the body is engaged in restoring the immune system), it also affects the heart, lungs …
- Are there any sleep standards? Not less than 8 hours, not more than 12 …
- No, it's individual. Everyone has chronobiorhythms. They are genetically programmed.Therefore, there are people who sleep enough for 4-6 hours, medium sleep - 6-8 hours and long sleepers - they need to sleep more, up to 12 hours.
Moreover, the number of hours does not in any way affect the intellectual or creative abilities of a person. We know the example of Leonardo da Vinci or Napoleon, who slept 3-5 hours a day. Or Einstein, who needed at least 12.
In general, during the night there are up to five changes of cycles (stages of slow and rapid sleep), each cycle lasts 1.5 hours - it is desirable to sleep in multiples of this period. That is 6 hours, 7.5 hours, 9 hours. There are even special tools - for example, an alarm clock that counts the phases of sleep. And if you put it on at 7 in the morning, and the phase of slow sleep ended at 6.50, the device will wake you up at this time - so that you feel better.
- They say that somnologists have developed special rules for sleeping for Cristiano Ronaldo. He sleeps for an hour and a half 5 times a day. He has special resting postures and must adhere to them.
- It seems there is more PR in this story. These are non-physiological things. But even if there is such a sleep strategy, I do not think that everyone should repeat it. Moreover, daytime sleep is not an obligatory thing for everyone. There is nothing wrong with it, but only if the person feels good.
- Is there really no good sleeping position? Or harmful? For example, sleeping on your left side is really contraindicated?
- Indeed, it is believed that this is not the most useful position. In this position, the vessels suffer, and this is dangerous for the heart. Especially those with a lot of weight. By the way, they still need to fight snoring. Sleep apnea is a very harmful condition: there is a delay in breathing, less oxygen enters the brain. As for nightwear, whether or not to use a sleep mask is individual.
- Still, what should be an ideal dream?
- It is believed that it is necessary to sleep a sufficient amount of time without waking up. Exceptions are going to the bathroom or if you are woken up by a loud noise.
- And dreams? Is it normal to see them?
- Sleep is divided into deep and REM sleep phases. REM sleep is the dreaming phase. And dreaming is absolutely normal. Some people may not remember them, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Scientists conducted an experiment: they turned off the phase of REM sleep in animals when they saw dreams. After a while, the animal died. This shows that dreams are an obligatory component, it is accompanied by high brain activity, on which vital processes depend.
But at the same time, obsessive, unpleasant recurring dreams are not the norm. Most likely these are experiences and processing of traumatic events. Even if a person is distracted during the day and does not remember them, during REM sleep, our body reproduces them. Such dreams can be a manifestation of PTSD. He is not treated by a somnologist, you need to consult a psychotherapist.
- How to achieve perfect, healthy sleep?
- There is such a thing as sleep hygiene. By observing it, you can achieve a lot. But, I emphasize, this only works for patients whose sleep problems are not associated with concomitant or other diseases. You need to observe them not for a month or two, but regularly. Only then will there be an effect.
Sleep normalization is promoted by:
- Sleep in a dark room. When exposed to light, the body does not produce the hormone melatonin. And he is responsible for many processes in the body - this is the maintenance of immunity, the fight against oncology, with aging …
- Observe the rhythm of sleep and wakefulness. The person should go to bed and get up at the same time. There should be no difference: weekdays, weekends or holidays. So, if on weekdays you do not get enough sleep, and on holidays you are trying to make up for lost time, this is a violation of the rhythm and there is no benefit.
- Motor mode: you can't run or dance before going to bed. Only calm walks. Eating fatty foods less than 4 hours before bedtime is contraindicated. The rule also applies to activating drinks.
- You need to provide emotional peace. Avoid strong mental stress before bedtime, strong feelings, quarrels.
- The bed should only be used for sleeping. No work and no TV watching. Gadgets should be removed before bed, too.
- The room should not be too cold or hot. It is better to sleep in complete silence or white noise - for example, quiet monotonous music.