Sleep in a person’s life plays one of the most important roles. But, unfortunately, many neglect it, preferring work or entertainment. It has long been scientifically proven that sleep deprivation cannot be made up for by anything else, as it has a big impact on performance, health, and more.
How much does a person need to sleep?
Probably, everyone asked this question. An experiment was specially conducted to answer it: 48 people were collected who did not have any pronounced health deviations and who regularly slept for 7-8 hours a day. They were divided into 4 groups: the first 12 were forbidden to sleep 3 days, the other 12 were allowed to sleep 4 hours, the third group 6 hours, and the last group slept 8 hours a day. The last three groups had to hold out with this regimen for 2 weeks. During this experiment, the participants and their physical condition were observed.
As a result of the experiment, people who continued to sleep for 8 hours did not notice any deviations. While in people sleeping for 6-4 hours a day, health noticeably worsened, namely reaction, memory and cognitive functions. If we examine the results in more detail, it was noticeable that the rates of people sleeping for 4 hours differed markedly for the worse, even from the group of people who spent 6 hours sleeping. People who slept for 6 hours periodically fell asleep during the day, and after a two-week experiment, their health indicators became the same as for people who did not sleep for 3 days.
During this experiment, 2 important conclusions were made:
- lack of sleep has an accumulative property, that is, the more often we sleep less than the prescribed time, the more the need for sleep increases.
- we don’t notice how our health worsens when we do not get enough sleep, so it seems to us that everything is in order, but in fact it is not.
Summing up, we note that a person on average needs to be given sleep from 7 to 7 and a half hours a day. To achieve high productivity throughout the day, this time can be extended up to 9 hours. There is no such phase of sleep when it is better to fall asleep. The most correct way is to choose a certain mode for yourself and try to stick to it. But there is such a thing as sleep cycles. You can calculate them, but it will not bring much benefit.
Calculation of sleep cycles
In total, there are 2 phases of sleep: fast, which lasts about 20 minutes, and slow, lasting about 2 hours. Throughout the time you sleep, these phases are constantly alternating. First, a person plunges into the phase of slow sleep, and then it changes to the phase of REM sleep. And so the whole process proceeds. So if there is a need to calculate the phases of sleep, then it is not so difficult to do, although the result will not be as accurate, since the intervals may vary slightly.
There are many different special calculators to help you calculate your sleep cycles. But all this can be done independently. This is usually necessary when you want to calculate the time when it will be easiest to wake up. For example, if you went to bed at 23:00, it will be easiest to wake up the next time:
- 01:20 (2 hours 20 minutes of sleep);
- 03:40 (4 hours 40 minutes of sleep);
- 06:00 (7 hours of sleep);
- 08:20 (9 hours 20 minutes of sleep);
- 10:40 (11 hours 40 minutes of sleep);
- 13:00 (14 hours of sleep).
How to fall asleep faster?
But in order for such calculations to be accurate, it is advisable to fall asleep quickly, which is not always possible. In order to make the process of falling into sleep easier, it is necessary to observe some rules that are relevant for both adults and children.
- Firstly, it is extremely important to observe the regimen, as the body gets used to the time when you usually go to bed. But for its observance it is necessary to wake up earlier. In order to make this easier, you can calculate the phases of sleep when it is better to wake up.
- The best sleeping pill is an active day. If you worked a lot during the day, then by the evening you will definitely be put to sleep.
- Overeating is often an obstacle to falling asleep quickly, so it is better to avoid large portions at bedtime.
- Walking in the fresh air before going to bed is a very good option to relax, which will also help to fall asleep faster.
Unusual sleep patterns
- The cycle of the superman. This mode is a rather unusual distribution of time: sleep should take 20 minutes every 4 hours. Total it turns out that you need to sleep 6 times a day. According to the impressions of people who tried to do this, such a routine affects the body positively, namely, health improves, more energy and strength appear, moreover, there are bright dreams. But with this mode, it is extremely important to strictly monitor the time and not miss a single sleep break. The main minus follows from here: such a specific regimen can interfere, since it is not always possible to put off all things and go to bed.
- Biphasic cycle. It is not much different from the usual, but still it is more effective. Its essence follows from the name: dividing sleep twice a day, namely 4-4.5 hours at night and a couple of hours during the day. Switching to this mode will be quite difficult for those who are not used to it. But many schoolchildren and students actively use such a schedule, because due to daytime sleep, energy is added, and time is spent a little less.
Slow Sleep Phase
During this phase, the body relaxes completely, breathing becomes slower, the brain loses sensitivity to external stimuli, which makes waking up more difficult. This phase is of great importance for the whole organism, since it is during this period of time that the cells are renewed and restored due to the production of the hormone, which is responsible for tissue growth and muscle renewal. There is also the fact that it is at this time that the immune system is restored. If we generalize all knowledge, we can conclude that the slow phase of sleep is extremely important precisely for the physical state of the body.
REM sleep phase
The fast sleep phase has a different meaning. During it, the brain activates and begins to sort information, due to which a person sees dreams. At this time, extra information is forgotten, as a result of which the memory performance improves. Also, the experience gained over the past 24 hours seems to be combined with the existing one, which means that training is facilitated and neural connections are even strengthened. This phase of sleep usually occurs 3 to 5 times per night for a short period of time. During it, an increase in temperature, blood pressure and increased heart rate is noted. Thus, a certain phase of sleep, when it is better to sleep, does not exist. Both cycles at the same level are important and necessary for the body, and not one of them should be neglected. Similarly, there is no definite phase of sleep when it is better to go to bed and wake up. In any case, the basis of a healthy sleep is compliance with the regimen, from which the body itself will know when it is time to sleep. To do this, it is not at all necessary to calculate your sleep cycles. You can only calculate them for your own interest.
The effect of age on sleep
Based on both the experience of people and scientific statements, you can make sure that the older the person, the more difficult it is for him to fall asleep. This phenomenon even has a name - sleep delay. In addition, there is also a reduction in time for sleep phases.
Calculating a child’s sleep cycles is not so difficult, but it should be borne in mind that the proportion of REM sleep decreases with age. A child’s deep sleep is much stronger than in adults. At this time, children may not react to any external factors. Deep sleep lasts about 20 minutes. At this time, the body restores strength and replenishes the energy spent. Deep sleep takes the most time in the first half of the night. In the second half, predominantly fast or shallow sleep is noted.
The easiest way to wake up is given at the end at the end of the REM sleep phase, but it is not always possible to calculate this time exactly. Therefore, to make your life easier, just find the motivation to wake up early in the morning. It’s not necessary to get up immediately after you wake up. Probably, every person likes to wallow in the morning, and there is no need to deny yourself this. At this time, you can lie down and think about something good, for example, about the people you love. You can also do breathing exercises. Just take a few deep breaths. This will help oxygenate the brain. Another useful morning ritual is a glass of clean water. This actually carries a lot of benefits, since with this you activate the metabolism and make up for the lack of fluid in the body.