by Tyrone Williams
There are many demands on our time (work, family, errands), and we want to find time to relax. To make it all fit, sometimes we sacrifice sleep. However, sleep affects both physical and mental health. Therefore, it is essential for our well-being.
Of course, sleeping makes you feel rested every day. However, while one sleeps, both the mind and body turn off. During the night, internal organs and processes work hard.
"Sleep maintains all aspects of the body in one way or another: energy and molecular balance, alertness, intellectual function, and mood," when you are tired, you are not performing at your best. But on the other hand, sleep helps you think more clearly, have better reflexes, and focus better. "The reality is that when we look at someone who has rested well, that person is operating at a different level than those who try to stay with one or two hours of sleep a night."
Tired people tend to be less productive at work. They are more likely to suffer traffic accidents. Lack of sleep also influences mood, affecting how one interacts with others. Sleep deficits, over time, can even increase the risk of despair.
From research, lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, and infections. During the night, your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure rise and fall, which can be important for cardiovascular health. While you sleep, the body releases hormones that help repair cells and control the body's use of energy. These hormonal changes can affect your body weight.
The hours of sleep are essential to be able to charge batteries. Rest fills us with energy to be able to face the day. But it's not just about getting a good night's sleep; it's about having a good night's sleep. For this, they must be quiet hours of sleep, without nightmares, and followed.
For example, if sleep is achieved, but the person wakes up hours before their actual waking time, or if they wake up several times during the night, the sleep will not be as restful.
The consequences of not sleeping well can vary, causing stress, anxiety, tiredness, drowsiness, fatigue during the day, poor ability to concentrate, slow response, lack of reflexes, etc. Regarding when to sleep, although it is true that it should always be at the same time and that it should be at night, scientists and doctors increasingly agree to advise a short nap to reactivate our body and our brain. Of course, the nap (in adults) should be around half an hour.
Alterations That Interrupt Sleep
Nowadays, people do not sleep when they should; TV, the computer, or video games; are the new "dream vampires." That means they do not give up; they are sleepy, susceptible, or anxious about daily tasks.
Headaches, dizziness, excessive tiredness, etc., are the side effects of not sleeping well.
But many times, the problems we find when sleeping hide other pathologies or diseases that make the individual not fall asleep—for example, trauma, stress, nervousness, anxiety, difficulty or breathing problems, etc.
We are going to list some of the most common alterations that prevent us from having a good night's sleep:
• Respiratory problems
• Heart problems
• Noise (noise pollution)
• Muscle or skeletal pain
• Bad habits: exercising before bed, eating large dinners, drinking alcohol, tobacco, coffee, etc.
• Not being regular in the schedules: sleeping and getting up. A bad habit that makes the human body not adapt to these alterations.
Sleep Associated Diseases
There are diseases associated with sleep. Some hinder beneficial and correct sleep so that our body can be at total capacity.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder with low prevalence in the population. Only 0.02 to 0.16 percent of adults are affected. It affects both sexes equally.
It is characterized by access to sleep at any time in the affected person's daily life.
The patient with narcolepsy may have difficulty sleeping at night. But instead, throughout the day, he has acute drowsiness attacks, which make him fall asleep in any situation, which is why it is hazardous. In addition, muscular weakness, hallucinations, etc., are some symptoms that can also be suffered from this disease.
It is a stop of the respiratory signal while we sleep. Therefore, it is essential to detect it. For this, what is called the sleep test is done. If a person suffers from sleep apnea, it can cause headaches, pulmonary hypertension, heart problems, etc. Different treatments for this disease go through drugs, surgical operations, or a device that connects at night and helps clear the airways.
Insomnia is the difficulty that a person has in sleeping.
It can be of three types:
• The difficulty for a person to fall asleep.
• That a person wakes up several times throughout their sleep hours.
• That a person wakes up time before they had planned.
Insomnia, most of the time, is due to stress. Continued stress over time can cause severe or chronic insomnia. Several treatments help to end insomnia. For specific cases, drugs or medicines are prescribed. But the right thing to do is to conduct behavioral therapies and see what causes that nervousness that does not let us sleep. In addition, the patient must carry out "sleep hygiene," which we will see in the section on tips for a good night's sleep.
Nightmares have been the object of study, the plot of books and movies, and analysis for years and years. It is a sleep disorder that is more common in children between 4 and 12 years old and occurs during the REM phase of sleep (when there are images in the dream state and rapid eye movements). However, that does not mean that adults get rid of them.
It is a sleep disorder that stands out for "waking up" the motor activity of the individual. The person will be completely asleep but can walk and perform daily tasks, although his pupil is not seeing what is real. It is said to be more common in children and adolescents. But it can occur in anyone who has suffered from this problem in childhood. I do not know why it exists, and there is no effective treatment for the pain.
There are different treatments:
• Based on drugs or sedatives, sleeping pills.
• With relaxing infusions.
• With behavioral therapies. To achieve habits that make us fall asleep more easily.
Tips for a good night's sleep
Both sleeping too little and too much can be unhealthy. Experts recommend sleeping about ten hours in children and 7-8 hours in adults.
How should one sleep so that sleep is entirely comfortable? First, you must sleep without light, without noise, and in a comfortable bed.
Tips for getting a good night's sleep (and good sleep hygiene) are as follows:
• Not having dinner long before going to sleep. Light dinner.
• Always go to sleep at the same time. And also get up at the same time.
• Not having cold feet to sleep because it makes us not fall asleep. Let us remember the typical "hot water bottle" of the grandmothers, and it is not in vain that they are the wisest.
• Try to be in an environment that is neither cold nor very warm.
• Avoid noise and light.
• Before going to sleep, don't exercise vigorously, not be with video games or a computer. Also, avoid insects in the room.
• That clocks or clock noise are not nearby.
• Close the door to problems and ramblings.
• Do not smoke, drink alcohol or coffee before sleeping.
If you still can't sleep, take a relaxing infusion (linden, lemon balm, orange blossom).
If you have persistent sleep problems, please go to your doctor to confirm what this alteration is due to.
How you sleep shows your personality.
Different studies show your character by the way you sleep.
• Face up. It is usually from motivated people with a desire to improve and self-confidence.
• Face down. More emotionally unstable people. Very sensitive.
• Sideways. They say that sleeping on the left side shows concern for a change. Sleeping on the right side shows an authoritarian and robust character.
Good rest is essential for health. To keep each day safe and productive, ensure you sleep well regularly.
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