People spend one third of their day in sleep, and the quality of sleep is directly related to personal health and life issues. According to incomplete statistics, poor sleep quality can increase the probability of developing the following diseases.
Yes, dark circles, bags under the eyes, dark spots, dull complexion, dull skin, easy hair loss, fatigue, fatigue, sluggish response, decreased immunity, memory loss, dementia, etc. No wonder some people say: Women’s insomnia equals disfigurement, men’s insomnia equals unemployment, and elderly insomnia equals loss of life.
Insomnia or poor sleep quality is a well-known cause of sudden death. Sleep time is directly related to the length of life. 80% of those who sleep less than 4 hours per night are short-lived. As a result, many people buy various health products to supplement. As everyone knows, sometimes myocardial infarction or sudden death occurs at an unexpected moment. Medicine is not as good as food, and food is not as good as sleep. Sleep is the first major supplement in the world.
So the question is, how do you count yourself as having a healthy sleep?
1 healthy sleep
Good sleep, a balanced diet, and proper exercise are the three health standards recognized by the international community. You spend 1/3 of your life in sleep. Do you really understand it?
Sleep is not the simple end of the awake state, but an active process that relies on the regulation of the complex neural network structure of the brain, and is not controlled by subjective consciousness. Good sleep is an important part of promoting growth and development, improving immunity, alleviating fatigue, restoring function, consolidating memory, soothing mood, and prolonging life. It is an indispensable part of health.
The sleep of normal adults is divided into shallow sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep (rapid eye movement) according to the differences in EEG, electroencephalogram, and electromyography. Good sleep depends on the proportion and combination of these three sleep stages.
2 Secrets of Sleep: The Sleep Cycle
Sleep quality is determined by the sleep cycle process. There are two important components of the sleep cycle: slow-wave sleep (deep sleep) and REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep).
During slow-wave sleep, the body relaxes, its blood pressure drops, its breathing is more regular, and its brain is insensitive to external reactions. This is an extremely critical stage in repairing the body. During slow-wave sleep, the pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair. Researchers also believe that the body’s immune system is also repaired at this stage. If you are an athlete, slow wave sleep is even more critical. You may have heard that some professional athletes sleep 11-12 hours a night.
If slow wave sleep is in charge of the body, then rapid eye movement sleep is in charge of the spirit. The brain is relatively quiet during most sleep stages, but the brain becomes active during REM sleep. REM sleep is the stage in which the brain dreams and reorganizes information. At this stage, the brain erases irrelevant information, enhances memory by connecting the past 24 hours with previous experience, and promotes learning and nerve growth. At this time, body temperature rises, blood pressure rises, and heart rate increases. Usually, REM sleep occurs 3 to 5 times a night, and it is not long.
It is no exaggeration to say that no slow-wave sleep and REM sleep stages are sufficient to kill. Prolonged lack of sleep will make the body unable to repair itself, weaken the immune system, and make the brain groggy.
to sum up
Slow-wave sleep helps you recover, while REM sleep helps you recover. These sleep stages decrease with age, which means that sleep quality and self-repair ability also decline.
3How old is your age for sleep?
Sleep is very important to the health of the body, but it is not that the longer the sleep, the better. It is not exactly the same for each age group.
A few days ago, the General Office of the State Council issued the “Healthy China Action (2019-2030)”. In terms of work and rest, for the different age groups, the document specifies different lengths of sleep eligible. Among them, elementary school students sleep 10 hours a day; junior high school students 9 hours; high school students 8 hours; the average daily sleep time for adults is 7-8 hours.
Different age groups have their own time required for sleep. Too little sleep is easy to kill; too much sleep is easy to stroke. The figure below is the sleep time recommendations given by the National Sleep Foundation NSF to people of all ages based on research results. Look at your age. Have you got enough sleep?
The length of sleep is not directly proportional to the quality. Even if you sleep longer, you won’t be in a good state if you wake up lightly, or if you sleep heavily. The quality of sleep, in addition to deep sleep, is also related to the period of sleep. The same is 8 hours, the effect is completely different. What is the prime time for sleep? If you want good sleep quality, it is best to follow the body’s original schedule
Specialist of integrated traditional Chinese and western medicine sleep, vice chairman of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Committee of the Chinese Sleep Research Association, deputy director of the provincial famous Chinese medicine, Hangzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital also said that in fact, everyone’s sleep time is different, individuals vary greatly, quality More important than time, the most important thing is to maintain the regularity of life. However, you can still make a comparison by referring to the sleep time above.
4Average daily sleep time, have you reached the standard?
Babies under the age of 1 need the most sleep, about 16 hours a day. It is recommended to try to ensure that the baby’s sleep is complete at night, especially in the middle of the night, because the hormone secretion is the fastest in the middle of the night, which is an important period of baby’s growth and development.
Children between 1 and 3 years of age must ensure 12 hours of sleep each night, and they need to make up for another 2 to 3 hours of sleep during the day.
It is necessary for children 4 to 12 years old to sleep for 10-12 hours a day. The specific sleep time can be determined according to the child’s specific schedule. It is recommended to form some “little hints” before bedtime to remind children “it is time to sleep”, such as washing faces, brushing teeth, bedtime stories, making beds, adjusting lighting to create a sleeping environment, etc., to cultivate good sleep hygiene habits.
13 to 29-year-olds usually need to sleep for about 8 hours. It is recommended to work regularly to avoid staying up late and sleep late, so as to avoid the lack of sleep, too long, irregular rest and disturb the human biological clock, resulting in loss of energy, memory loss, and lack of concentration.
Adults between 30 and 60 years of age usually need to sleep for about 7 hours. If you have sleep problems at this age, you can start with the sleeping environment and sleep hygiene behaviors, and perform self-examination and self-repair.
Old people over 60 years of age can meet daily needs by sleeping 6-7 hours.
5 ways to make your sleep more efficient
Form regular sleep
Try to get more sun during the day and adjust your sleep through natural light. Use less or no electronic products before going to bed, such as gray products for mobile phones, iPads, and TVs. Wearables can help you understand your sleep rhythm and rules. Although there are various bracelets or smart watches now, there are not many reliable ones, the data is very distorted, and the sleep time is basically recorded. Although there are sleep apps like sleep cycle, sleepbetter, and Sleep ++, it is still a bit inconvenient to use.
Personally recommend Apple Watch + AutoSleep, which can achieve automatic recording, and the accuracy of the data is better, but wearing the Apple Watch while sleeping is a bit uncomfortable. The highest quality sleep period is 2-3 am. Don’t go to sleep after sunrise, it will disrupt the biological clock.
To understand your own sleep types, there are owls, larks and intermediate classes. Different sleep types will differ by about 2 hours. Actually most people know their type of sleep. Don’t be addicted to coffee. Do not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. If you want to form a regular sleep, don’t sleep late on weekends. Plan your trip and arrange things according to your personal habits. Learn to respect the other half of your sleep pattern. Adapt to it and change less.
- 90 minutes of sleep
Sleep is a 90-minute cycle, and sleep works best when it is a multiple of 90 minutes. The time to fall asleep can be selected automatically, but the time to fall asleep depends on when you wake up.
It’s okay to sleep poorly one night, but don’t get enough sleep for three consecutive nights. The consequences will form a cumulative effect, which will make you try to achieve more than four days a week to get the ideal sleep time. 35 sleep cycles per week works best, 28-30 can work, no matter how little, you will be too tired.
- Ritual before and after sleep
You can read some articles about rituals before and after bed, and you can read some. These rituals can get you to sleep faster or wake up faster. Do not look at your phone immediately after getting up. Taking a warm water bath in the morning can make you quickly wake up and refreshed. Don’t put all your miscellaneous things in your bedroom. Organizing it will also make it easier for you to fall asleep.
- Daytime naps
When you lack a sleep cycle at night, you can use 1-3 pm to replenish, either 30 minutes or 90 minutes, these two periods of sleep can restore your energy. You can also use meditation or mindfulness to refresh your energy and take a break every 90 minutes to keep your focus longer.
- Sleep suit
The best sleeping position is the fetal position, lying on the side of the non-main body. That is, the left-handed sleeps to the right, and the right-handed sleeps to the left.
You have to test your mattress to understand what kind of mattress is better for you. Instead of buying overly expensive mattresses, consider buying mattresses that change frequently. The temperature during sleep is important, a little lower than the current temperature can make you fall asleep faster.
When buying a bed, buy as much as you can, as long as it fits. Spend more money on bedding and buy hypoallergenic materials. It is recommended to use artificial bedding or 300 pieces of Egyptian cotton, and it is best to remove mites regularly. I have bought many different pillows from hundreds to thousands. The water pillows currently used can automatically adjust the hardness and make my cervical spine very comfortable.
- Sleeping environment
Empty your room. The best case is to put only the things necessary for sleep, repair and rest in the room. This is difficult to achieve in China. Basically, the wardrobe will be placed in the bedroom. The curtains need to be able to block external light so they don’t interfere with your sleep. It ’s a reminder that these curtains are thick and expensive. My bedroom curtains cost a lot of money. I exceeded my budget at the time and now I think it ’s worth it.
Keep your bedroom clean, avoid anything that can stimulate your brain, and give you a sense of security. Don’t put your phone in the bedroom, especially not by your side. The room temperature is ideally between 16-18 degrees Celsius. Try to keep the temperature in the bedroom lower than other rooms.