Which is beneficial sleep or rest
Sleep better: tips for a restful night
We oversleep a third of our lives. Scientifically, it is not yet fully understood why we have to sleep at all. What is certain, however, is that our body needs sleep in order to regenerate and to form new cells. Sleep is important for memory and strengthens our immune system. Bad or too short sleep can therefore have a negative impact on our health - especially if the sleep disorders occur frequently.
VIDEO: The sleepless republic (44 min)
These tips will help you fall asleep
Small changes in everyday life are often enough to be able to sleep better. Sleep doctors speak of "sleep hygiene".
- The sleeping temperature should be around 18 degrees.
- Fresh air through an open window ensures better sleep.
- It should be as dark as possible in the room, because the sleep hormone melatonin is released in the dark. Whether the moon has an influence on sleep is scientifically controversial. But one should at least shut out its light.
- Looking at the alarm clock again and again at night makes you nervous. It is best to turn the alarm clock over.
- Get everything that reminds you of work out of the bedroom.
- Don't watch exciting movies in the late evening.
- Warm milk with honey helps children as a nightcap. The amount of the sleep-promoting substance L-tryptophan is actually too low for adults. But it calms you down and milk with honey can promote sleep.
- Sleep and nerve teas also have a calming effect, for example with valerian, lemon balm, passion flower or lavender.
- Avoid exercising right before bed. That pushes the circulation up too much. Three hours in advance, on the other hand, exercise or exercise helps to make the bed feel comfortable.
- Some notes and pens on the bed can help against circling thoughts to write something down so that it is out of your head.
- Yoga, autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation or relaxation CDs help well to calm down internally. There are various courses on offer.
How long do we have to sleep?
Everyone has an individual need for sleep. While some people only need around four to five hours of sleep a night, others need eight or nine. Politicians or managers sometimes brag about how little sleep they need. But sleep researchers warn: When you are rested, you make more sensible decisions.
What do you know about sleep?
What percentage of the workforce sleep poorly? What sleeping temperature do experts recommend? Test your knowledge about sleep in our quiz! quiz
The need for sleep changes over the course of life: Babies sleep a lot. Children need around ten to twelve hours to be fit and able to concentrate during the day. Adults need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep, seniors a little less. However, in old age it is more likely that the quality of sleep declines than the need for sleep: Older people often compensate for a shorter night's sleep with naps during the day.
According to experts, the optimal length of sleep is achieved when a person is able to perform during the day without being tired. A temporary lack of sleep can be compensated by simply sleeping longer afterwards. However, it is not possible to sleep early.
Correct power napping
In Asia it is normal to lie on your ear at noon, with us you would be looked at crookedly if you were to take a nap in the office. So-called power naps can be real energy suppliers. They give body and mind time to relax and regenerate and increase concentration and performance. The nap should not last longer than half an hour, because otherwise the body falls into the deep sleep phase and it becomes more and more difficult to get up.
When is sleep restful?
Our sleep follows a certain cycle: Different sleep phases alternate again and again.
- Fall asleep: It is a transitional state between being awake and sleeping. The body slowly comes to rest, breathing and pulse become more even, the muscles relax.
- Light sleep: In this phase we can still be woken up relatively easily. But breathing is already regular, muscle tension continues to decrease, breathing and heartbeat slow down.
- Deep sleep: Now we can no longer be awakened so easily, the heartbeat slows down, blood pressure and body temperature drop. The body can regenerate best during this sleep phase.
- Dream sleep or REM sleep: The brain is very active during this sleep phase, we are difficult to wake up, our muscles are paralyzed, which is probably due to deep relaxation. Blood pressure and heart rate increase. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement - the rapid eye movements in this dream phase. REM sleep seems to primarily serve the recovery of the nervous system and the psyche.
For a really restful sleep, all phases have to be run through several times a night. A complete sleep cycle with all sleep phases takes 70 to 110 minutes. The REM sleep phases lengthen up to an hour over the course of a night, while the deep sleep phases become shorter. We wake up several times an hour, but in most cases we cannot remember it. By the way, we can dream in any of the sleep phases - but most of all in the dream or REM phase.
Do cell phones or tablets disturb sleep by the bed?
Reading, watching films, checking e-mails or using social media - for many, media use is normal in bed. But the smartphone or tablet by the bed could have a negative impact on our sleep, researchers suspect. Exciting content can stir things up and don't let us relax. But the light from the screens could also be the culprit. Blue light suppresses the formation of the sleep hormone melatonin, including blue screen light. The closer the display is to the eyes, the more short-wave light is registered. Take a quick look at the screen, it doesn't matter. But if you read for a long time, for example, you will have less restful sleep, say some experts. Many tablets and smartphones can be set to warmer colors (night shift function) and the brightness can be minimized. So far there are no studies on this. When in doubt, it is better to take a classic book.
What helps against snoring?
Among those over 60, 40 percent of women and even 60 percent of men snore. The market for anti-snoring agents is therefore large.
- Although nasal patches are cheap, they cannot eliminate snoring, but at most reduce it. Snoring does not arise in the nose, but in the soft palate, tongue and throat area.
- Chin restraints are supposed to prevent snorers from sleeping with their mouths open, but this is usually not enough as a single measure. Supine avoidance systems are designed to prevent snorers from lying on their back, as this is the position that snores most of the time. But long-time snorers snore in all positions, so a strapped-on pillow that prevents the supine position helps.
- Mobile phone apps can monitor all movements while sleeping. If the snorer turns around, the mobile phone sounds the alarm.
- Breathing masks are for severe cases. Anyone who pauses breathing while sleeping could suffer from sleep apnea. The health insurance company will then cover the cost of a mask.
- Last option: an operation. Tongue pacemakers stimulate the tongue, which lifts up and the airway remains clear. Breathing pauses can be reduced in this way. The method is relatively new; there are no long-term studies yet.
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Know more - live better | 03/26/2020 | 22:00 O'clock
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