The importance of sleep for the human body
Man is an animal of the day. This is evidenced by an indisputable fact - we hardly see in the dark. Nyctalopia (the ability to see in almost total darkness) is owned by only one ten thousandth of all mankind. In addition, the development of some necessary and irreplaceable trace elements (for example, vitamin D, responsible for normal growth and mental balance) is produced in the body only with the assistance of sunlight. In the course of evolution, the heart, lungs, and digestive system were trained to react to day and night in a strictly defined order. What happens to us at night in total darkness?
Particularly sensitive to the change of time of dayendocrine system. For example, the pancreas is actively producing insulin in the daytime, and at night - a hormone that promotes rest and sleep - somatostatin. If you stay awake at night for a long time, and sleep during the day, hormone production will be partially rebuilt. But only partially. Therefore, the quality of daytime sleep (as well as nighttime absorption of nutrients) will be worse not only in terms of external parameters (light, noise), but also in terms of biochemical parameters.
The main "sleepy" hormones were identified by scientistsrecently. In the 70s, Americans discovered the substance melatonin, secreted by the brain in order to immerse the body in a dream. Only in the late 90's they discovered the antithesis of melatonin - orexin, responsible for wakefulness and a healthy sense of hunger, and even learned to block it with medication in case of a serious malfunction in the rhythm of sleep-wakefulness.
As for melatonin, in recent yearscontinues to amaze researchers. It turns out that besides sedatives it also has antioxidant, anti-aging properties, and besides, it strengthens the immune system and even fights against cancer cells! Fascinated for centuries, the formula "sleep - and everything will pass" is, as it turned out, based on the health-improving effect of melatonin. The content of this miracle hormone in the blood varies depending on the time of day - at night its concentration increases 4-6 times, reaching a peak between midnight and three o'clock in the morning.
The group of "domestic sleeping pills", producedour internal laboratory, close the hormone serotonin and amino acid tryptophan, involved in many vital internal processes. Their deficiency can seriously affect the quality of sleep.
Fortunately, there is a whole hit list of products,containing melatonin and tryptophan and promoting the production of serotonin. Everyone knows the recommendation of dieticians (do not eat after 18.00, if you want to keep slender forms) is based on the knowledge of biorhythms. Beginning at six o'clock in the evening for 4 hours the digestive process slows down, so that after 22.00 it will practically stop until seven in the morning, when the time comes for maximum activity of the stomach, and then for the pancreas. But, if you can not sleep, it's not a crime to replace the hypnotic recommended by a good doctor with a natural product. It is even more far-sighted to regularly include in the evening meal something from this list:
Bananas. They are called even "sleeping pills in the skin." Stimulate the production of serotonin and melatonin, contain potassium, as well as magnesium, which helps to stabilize the mood and relax the muscles.
Milk. A successful union of tryptophan and calcium, which helps the brain tryptophan assimilate. For many children, warm milk with honey is the ideal sleeping pills. So why not take an example from them?
Meat of turkey, almonds and pine nuts, whole grain bread. Products are leaders in the content of tryptophan, and baked potatoes absorb substances that interfere with the assimilation and processing of this essential amino acid.
A small amount of glucose (in the form of honey or jam) will help to block the excess of orexin, preventing us from disconnecting and falling asleep. Just do not get carried away! A large amount of sweet is perceived by the brain as a signal to a new cycle of active activity!
Work in a dream.
Experts recommend especially carefullyrefer to the behavior of the body at night: frequent night trips to the toilet can signal an evolving kidney failure, and recurring nocturnal pains in any part of the body (even if in the afternoon you do not remember them) before any diagnostician will indicate the need to seek medical advice from a doctor .
In the afternoon, the brain has too many distractions: noise, light, intense mental or physical activity. At night, absolutely special conditions are created. The organs of perception are translated into a passive state in order to provide two important functions: the brain's "revision" of the condition of all internal organs and the purification of the organism. Palpitation slows down, blood pressure decreases (if for some reason this does not happen, the transition to sleep becomes difficult), digestive activity is approaching zero. What is at this time working in full force?
Kidneys are almost the main "night" organ. This is explained even by the position of the body during sleep: when we lie, the blood flows more actively into the zone of the lower back, and hence to the kidneys. At this time, they are the most important function: to process and remove from the body all unnecessary substances. But not only. With proper functioning of the kidneys, blood pressure and even calcium formation (and, hence, the state of the entire bone system) are linked: at night the kidneys actively excrete the hormone calcitamin, strengthening the skeleton and helping to overcome the effects of daytime stress. In order not to aggravate the burden on the kidneys, excessive (especially evening) consumption of salt should be avoided, much less a combination of salt and liquid. Otherwise, in an attempt to cope with this cocktail, the excretory system will require help from the heart, which inevitably leads to sleep failure. You will immediately feel trouble falling asleep, often get up at night.
I want to sleep.
An excellent and truly healing sleep can be characterized by three indicators:
• the process of falling asleep - fast and easy;
• there are no intermediate nocturnal awakenings;
• Wake in the morning - free and easy with the desire to move and actively think.
Unfortunately, almost 90% of adult urbanresidents "does not hold out" to the ideal for one or several items at once. The main reasons for this: a huge flow of information, increased noise background, overwork and stress, abuse of exciting substances. The most harmful factors are:
The use of substances containing caffeine. It suppresses the braking system, and the brain can not switch itself off.
Late Internet Sessions. Long-term work on the computer (especially insearch system) makes it difficult for the organism to go to sleep. This is due to the fact that the brain receives an additional dose of information, which it has to process. The receptors of perception are irritated, and the person remains in the active phase longer.
Alcohol. It is peculiar to block the wholea number of substances that are simply necessary for their normal exchange. This provokes a more frequent awakening. Alcohol interferes with the normal course and alternation of all phases of sleep, suppressing the normal cycle of brain activity.
How to bring the dream closer to the ideal?
It is very useful to create and strictly observea ritual preceding a dream: a brief walk in a quiet place, a shower or a bath of comfortable temperature, a warm drink, self-massage of feet, reading a pleasant book. Repeating the selected action from evening to evening, we help the body to develop a reflex of falling asleep and easier to go to sleep. In the room for sleep, there must be enough oxygen - otherwise the heart will not be able to go to a slowed-down night mode. Do not forget about 15-30 minutes airing the bedroom before going to bed, even in the winter cold.
Constantly wake up "broken"? If you get up on an alarm clock, experiment with the awakening time within 40 minutes forward or backward. Perhaps, the bell rings at the height of the "slow sleep" phase, and the best time for awakening is right after the end of the dream phase.
Take care of noise insulation: even if you are accustomed to noise, the brain continues to perceive it as an irritating and threatening factor and can not focus only on the internal processes taking place in the body, as it should be in the norm.
Sleep in the arm.
What are dreams and what are they for? There is still no exact answer. Only in the last 50-70 years, sleep specialists (psychotherapists, psychiatrists, neurophysiologists, somnologists) have come close to understanding this phenomenon. The fact is that dreams are the brightest and shortest part of the whole process of sleep. It lasts no more than 40 minutes from the usual eight hours. Dreams do not talk about internal disorders, contrary to popular belief. The only purpose of the dream is to process the information received during the active day, make it accessible, safe for the mind. This processing takes place only during the paradoxical - or the dream - phase and is triggered by a special substance called acetylcholine, coming from the posterior part of the brain. Access to external signals at this time is practically blocked (sensitivity to sounds is minimal, temperature differences and vibration are not felt). All the efforts of the body are focused on internal processes. However, scientists do not know exactly which "honor" information will be processed by the brain. In the sphere of attention may be the "daily remnant" of recent events, memories from childhood or even hereditary information, which, according to one of the founders of somnology, the French explorer M. Jouvet, comes to us during dreams. But only attempts to get from the dreams any information about the past or the future - is not justified. It does not make sense. A person can not remember all sleep (even if he is sure of the opposite), and the interpretation of the interpreter is doubly and even triply distorted.
Day as night.
Do not neglect the great meaning of sleep forhuman body. The consequences of life against the biorhythms are far from rosy: the risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus increases. Therefore, doctors strongly advise: even if the objective circumstances of life and work require night vigils, it is not recommended to adhere to such a regime for longer than three to four years. During this time, the body is fairly worn out (even if you do not think so). At the first opportunity should return to day life.