Why insomnia occurs and how to learn to fall asleep quickly

Health Tips

How to fall asleep quickly? Working Tips

Why can’t you fall asleep quickly? As a rule, the process of falling asleep is hindered by excessive brain activity due to stress, the influence of external factors in the form of excessive consumption of caffeine, energy drinks, smoking, as well as an insufficient degree of accumulation of fatigue due to the presence of daytime sleep or a late morning rise.

In case of problems with falling asleep, effective methods can be:

  • The use of “white noise” – a monotonous sound that does not change its volume or intensity. It can be the sound of rain, the rustle of leaves, the sound of the surf, the murmur of the river, as well as an artificially created set of sounds that have the same frequency. “White noise” has a calming effect on the human nervous system, helps to relax and fall asleep quickly. You need to choose for yourself the noise that will really soothe. Often it is not recommended to change sounds, since each time the brain will perceive the sound as something new and incomprehensible, it will take time to get used to it.

  • Decrease in body temperature. Studies show that taking a warm bath (39.9-42.7) degrees Celsius 1-2 hours before bedtime helps you fall asleep faster and sleep better. Sleep and human body temperature are regulated by the internal circadian (biological) clock. Before going to bed, as a rule, the body temperature decreases and remains at a low level until half of the night. Then it rises sharply, which is a kind of alarm clock for the body that it’s time to wake up. The natural decrease in body temperature occurs approximately 2 hours before bedtime. Under stress, this mechanism can fail. If you take a hot bath, then the process itself will have a relaxing effect, and an increase in body temperature will increase heat transfer and reach the right level for falling asleep before going to bed.

  • Never force yourself to sleep.

Sleep is a passive process. Therefore, while in bed, you need to relax as much as possible, not think about the past day or plan for the future. If you can’t fall asleep for a long time, get up and get distracted by extraneous monotonous activities – reading, embroidery, knitting, crossword puzzles to relaxing music, tea with honey or chamomile, watching a series, melodrama or a film about nature. But you can not be distracted by social networks, watching news on the Web. It is necessary to return to bed when drowsiness appears.

Remember: if you do not feel like sleeping, you are unlikely to fall asleep quickly in a minute. Sleep will definitely come at the right time, as this is a natural need of the body, laid down by nature. If you follow the regime, go to bed and get up at the same time, limit stress before going to bed, then there will be no problems falling asleep.

Factors that develop insomnia

Predisposing include:

  • heredity;

  • biological factors (increased tone of the sympathetic nervous system, increased cortisol levels, a tendency to tachycardia, female gender);

  • psychological factors (increased anxiety, emotionality, personality traits);

  • social factors (shift and night work);

  • behavioral – habitual violation of sleep hygiene, alcohol abuse, smoking, low level of physical activity.

Provoking factors include any stressful event – the birth of a child and caring for him, an exacerbation of the disease, a flight to another time zone.

In the acute period, sleep disorders are directly related to the effects of stress, after its resolution, sleep can be restored. However, in the presence of predisposing factors, with a high intensity of stress, supporting factors appear, represented by manifestations of increased excitability of the nervous system:

  • increased sensitivity to stimuli;

  • fear of insomnia and its consequences, depression;

  • the formation of a long-term memory of nocturnal awakenings and generally poor sleep.

Incorrect behavior in bed – extraneous activities, disturbing thoughts about sleep, counting the time left for sleep, fear of insomnia, thoughts about disturbing tomorrow due to insomnia destroy the falling asleep reflex and cause the formation of a negative relationship between bed and sleep.

How much sleep do you really need

You need to sleep enough to wake up without an alarm clock and feel alert and well-rested. It is important not how much a person sleeps at night, but how he feels during the day. If you can easily concentrate, you are emotionally balanced, and you do not have to fight bouts of drowsiness all day, then you have slept enough.

Sleep duration is genetically determined and depends on age. Preschoolers under 5 years old are recommended to sleep 10-13 hours, school-age children under 13 years old from 9 to 11 hours a day.

Adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17 need to get 8-10 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Adults need 7-11 hours of sleep, and older people over 65 need 7-8 hours.

It is better to determine your sleep rate on vacation. First you need to remove the alarm. In the first week, sleep will be somewhat longer than necessary. Lack of sleep during working hours. From the second week, the norm of sleep will appear.

The best time to sleep

These are hours from 21-00 to 00-00. Until midnight, 1 hour of sleep counts as 2 hours, at which time the human nervous system rests. To verify this, you can conduct an experiment: go to bed at 21-00, and then wake up at 1-00 or 2-00 at night. You will feel like you are fully asleep.

At other times, the nervous system does not rest. And if you didn’t sleep at this time, then you can sleep at least 12 hours in a row, but the body will not rest. As a result, laziness, apathy, drowsiness will occur. It is acceptable to vary the time of going to bed depending on the lifestyle 1-2 hours later, but there should not be a big difference.

What are the dangers of sleepless nights

It is known that long-term chronic insomnia reduces labor productivity, increases the risk of injuries and traffic accidents, and leads to the development of many diseases. But few people think that one sleepless night, which, it would seem, subjectively does not manifest itself in any way, has serious consequences.

MRI studies show that after a sleepless night, activity in the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain, which are known to be responsible for decision making, memory, and problem solving, is markedly reduced. In a study of 10,000 employees of large American companies, it was shown that if a person goes to work without enough sleep, then the employer’s financial loss per year is $2,280 per person, which is several times higher than the cost of absence from work due to illness.

In 2016, American companies lost $411 billion due to worker sleep problems. In Russia, the situation is about the same.

Bad sleep hits the wallet. A sleepy person drinks more coffee, and also experiences a constant feeling of hunger due to increased levels of the hormone ghrelin. The brain requires carbohydrates, ideally sugar, provoking obesity. Headache and high blood pressure prompt medication. 2020 taught us how to save, consume more consciously and buy something really necessary and important. None of the smartest gadgets will improve sleep and make you sleep more if you do not include self-discipline. How specifically to improve the quality of sleep and finally start getting enough sleep?

  • do not drink tea and coffee 8 hours before bedtime;

  • go to bed before midnight, ideally at 22:00-23:00;

  • wake up at the same time, even on weekends;

  • get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep and do something distracting (reading, knitting, solving puzzles) until drowsiness sets in;

  • sleep in a cool room;

  • limit work issues, instant messengers, news viewing 2 hours before bedtime;

  • do not constantly drink sleeping pills – they do not provide natural sleep (!).

If, despite all the measures, you still do not get enough sleep, then it makes sense to conduct an examination. And the only objective method is polysomnography – the study of a patient’s sleep using specialized computer systems.

How sleep is studied by specialists

During the procedure, various indicators of the sleeping person are recorded: snoring, respiratory flow, respiratory movements of the abdominal wall and chest, peripheral blood oxygen saturation, body position, electroencephalogram, electrocardiogram, electromyogram, electrooculogram, leg movements, video recording of sleep.

As a rule, the study is carried out in the most comfortable conditions: a separate room isolated from external noise with a suitable temperature and humidity, a comfortable bed with the ability to choose a pillow suitable for a particular patient.

The study can be carried out on small children (starting from an early age), and the elderly, and pregnant women. It will allow you to determine the structure of sleep, movement disorders, respiratory disorders, the relationship between various parameters and stages of sleep. Polysomnography also allows you to accurately determine whether sleep disturbance (insomnia, daytime sleepiness) is primary, or whether it is caused by other pathologies – sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, and others.

Photo: Pexels.com

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