What is harmful sleep longer than 9 hours and what position can prevent…

Health Tips

How much sleep each of us needs

The amount of sleep a person needs depends on many factors, including age:

  • infants aged 0-3 months need 14-17 hours a day;

  • infants aged 4-11 months 12-15 hours a day;

  • toddlers (ages 1-2) need about 11-14 hours a day;

  • preschool children (3-5 years old) need 10-13 hours a day;

  • school-age children (6-13 years old) should sleep 9-11 hours a day;

  • teenagers (14-17 years old) need about 8-10 hours a day.

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep, although some people may need 6 to 10 hours of sleep each day. Seniors (aged 65 and over) need 7-8 hours of sleep each day. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual.

The norm is different for everyone, and it will not work to sleep more than the body needs. But if the time devoted to sleep has become insufficient, then the reasons for this may be:

  • chronic stress;

  • depression;

  • breathing disorders during sleep (sleep apnea);

  • restless legs syndrome;

  • grinding teeth (bruxism);

  • taking medication;

  • some neurological problems;

  • heart diseases;

  • impaired glucose tolerance.

When to visit a somnologist

If the need for sleep has increased, especially if it has become more than 9 hours, it is necessary to contact a sleep disorder specialist, a somnologist, and undergo a specialized examination in a sleep laboratory.

If sleep has become more than 9 hours every night, its quality should be assessed. If it is bad, it can lead to the fact that a person will spend more time in bed. The body needs a deep restorative rest. If this does not happen within the recommended 8 hours, the body will instinctively try to extend the sleep period in order to get the required quality. Increased sleep time is associated with higher rates of death and disease.

Comfortable conditions for sleep: what are they

The optimal temperature for sleep is in the range of 16-19 degrees Celsius. This is due to changes in human body temperature, which changes during the day in accordance with circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythm is a biological process that repeats itself every 24 hours and regulates the sleep-wake cycle, contributing to sleepiness at night and concentration during the day. The internal biological clock promotes healthy sleep by causing fluctuations in sleepiness levels, melatonin levels and temperature regulation. If the regime is not violated, then in the evening, when drowsiness appears, the body temperature begins to gradually decrease and continues to fall all night, reaching a minimum at about 5 am. Then it gradually rises, preparing the body for awakening.

The temperature in the bedroom can significantly affect the quality of sleep. If the room is too hot, the time to fall asleep, the number and duration of night awakenings increase, the REM phase decreases – the state when dreams most often occur. REM sleep is characterized by an increase in breathing and heart rate. During this sleep state, the body has to work extra hard to regulate itself, so the high ambient temperature will only complicate its ability and most likely cause it to wake up. If you sleep in a hot room, then the next day you will be tormented by drowsiness, cognitive abilities will become reduced, and irritability will appear.

If it is not possible to maintain a constant temperature in the bedroom, and the room is too hot:

  • sleep in light pajamas made of breathable materials;

  • use a fan. An open window during the night does not provide the necessary temperature in the bedroom and may additionally be a source of noise;

  • before going to bed, take a hot bath or shower to enhance body heat transfer;

  • follow the regimen.

The healthiest sleeping position

Each person has their own preferred sleeping position. Forcibly trying to sleep in another can lead to problems falling asleep. The most common sleeping position is curled up on your side (fetal position). For the most part, this is a healthy sleeping position because it allows the spine to rest in its natural position. The fetal position may also help prevent Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s: Recent studies show that the brain is better at clearing out the waste that can lead to these neurological diseases when you sleep on your side rather than your back.

This position is also good for pregnant women. You should adhere to the position lying on the left side. This improves circulation in the growing baby and prevents pressure from the uterus on the liver.

Sleeping on your back is also common. However, some people snore in this position, which over time can lead to sleep apnea, a thickening of the carotid artery that supplies blood to the brain. Sleeping on your back can also lead to lower back pain. If this position is preferred, a wedge pillow can be used to avoid apnea and acid reflux, which can also be in the supine position and manifest as heartburn during sleep. Place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees. This will maintain the natural curve of the spine and may reduce the likelihood of back pain.

What did pillow manufacturers come up with?

Sleeping on your stomach is considered “cozy” but can lead to lower back and neck pain, as well as the formation of fine lines as your face is pressed against the pillow or mattress surface. It also increases the likelihood of tossing and turning more when trying to get comfortable on your stomach than in other positions. In this case, a hard pillow should be avoided. You can try putting a soft pillow under your forehead and sleeping facing the mattress instead of turning your head to the side. This will help keep your airways open.

A “smart” sleeping pillow is one that will make sleep as comfortable as possible. You can use pillows with a cooling effect and a built-in speaker to listen to relaxing music, but it is not worth turning it into a diagnostic device for assessing the quality of sleep, snoring, breathing during sleep, since incorrect interpretation of the readings can increase anxiety and worsen sleep.

Photo: Pexels.com

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