Severe sleep disorders result in death, almost always painful death. Harvard professors, in the person of assistant professor of neurology Patrick Fuller (Patrick Fuller), has developed a list of definitive advice for those who are determined to avoid such a fate. True, have to make an effort and work on your habits.
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Wake up at the same time every day, including weekends
Are you having a hard time waking up because you have difficulty falling asleep or vice versa? Many people force themselves to go to bed all week in order to jump up at 7 am to work, and on Saturday they lie around until 11 o’clock in order to drive themselves into the bedchamber with alcohol or sleeping pills on Sunday and tear their eyes again by 7:00 Monday. This is not a sleep schedule, not a routine of wakefulness and rest cycles, but a mockery of them.
Allowing ourselves to take an extra half hour or hour as a reward, we thereby change the setting of the sleep mechanism, shift the boundaries of the cycle. And then we are surprised that insomnia allegedly overtook us from scratch. Fuller recommends taking control of the situation and sticking to the same sleep routine at all times. And if circumstances interfere, at least wake up at a stable time.
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Afternoon coffee is a disservice
It takes up to 6 hours for the body to fully absorb the stimulating substances in caffeine, and if you are not lucky with genetics, then even longer. Thanks to this, a mug of coffee sets the mood for most of the working day in the morning, but it also drives us into an insidious trap in the afternoon. Avoiding it is obviously not difficult – if you have enough willpower to walk past a coffee maker or street vending machine all afternoon.
Fuller personally, although he loves the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, prefers a radical solution. He drinks his favorite drink only at afternoon tea, and the rest of the time he is content with tasteless, but healthy green tea.
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Physical education in the mornings and evenings
At least 20, but better than 30 minutes of physical exercise to your taste in the morning and evening hours – prevention of the lion’s share of ailments that persecute a modern person. And at the same time, a way to improve the quality of sleep, this relationship can be traced quite clearly. The only condition will be not to load the muscles and the cardiovascular system just before bedtime – the excited body is reluctant to fall asleep.
Tormenting yourself in the gym is perhaps not necessary. Jogging, going up and down stairs several times, having sex – such loads are considered useful not only at Harvard. Plus, if you make it a habit, you will have fewer complaints about your own figure, and it’s easy for a happy person to fall asleep.
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Spontaneous insomnia from alcohol addiction
A glass of beer or wine, like a tempting elixir, helps us relax for no reason and go to sleep with a satisfied grin. And then a resourceful person draws in and finds himself in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling above the bed. The effect of the potion is over and the deceived organism returns to its original state. Not getting enough sleep, because it was not a dream, but a forgetfulness, a reaction to alcohol. If you increase the number of glasses, it will last longer and through simple experiments you can make it so that the awakening coincides with the time you need. But at first it is expensive, and then it also hurts because of the heap of health problems that has appeared.
Drinking before bed, according to the US National Institutes of Health, is a surefire way to minimize REM sleep to the point of uselessness. It is generally accepted that she is responsible for the recovery processes in the body – an alcoholic prevents his body from healing itself. Like coffee, alcohol should be consumed in moderation and no later than lunchtime. Of course, if your goal is to get enough sleep, and not rock the party all night.
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Sleep Mood Programming
Fuller’s wife considers him an eccentric – hubby begins to reduce the brightness of the lighting in the apartment an hour before bedtime. Does not turn off the lamps, getting into bed with the tablet, but smoothly minimizes the light emission, simulating the sunset. Our DNA and reflexes have been formed under such conditions for millions of years, and with electric lighting at the flip of a switch, a person lives at most a hundred years. Why go against your nature?
It is easy for Fuller, he has long been accustomed to going to bed at 21:30 and waking up at 5:30. But what about those who are perniciously addicted to evening serials, TV shows and the Internet? But at the very beginning of the article, we hinted that the coveted prize is not easy to give.
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Mascara screen, turn off the gadget
At least 1 hour before bed, as the professor does, who puts down his iPhone and begins the ritual of gradually dimming the lights in his bedroom. It’s all about blue light and the hormone melanin – they are incompatible with each other. The daily increase in the concentration of melanin is the factor that makes us fall asleep, but with bright flashes, its production stops. Modern electronic devices are the enemies of healthy sleep, they emit in shades of blue. Fortunately, there are already startups that offer scheduled color correction of the picture on the smartphone screen. It remains to learn how to use them.
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Happy sleep temperature
According to updated data, our bodies like to rest when the surrounding space is heated to no higher than 20ºC. Below 16 degrees, they are also uncomfortable, while it is worth considering that during sleep, the body itself cools down by about 1 degree. So it saves its own energy, which again becomes in demand immediately after awakening. This prudence of the body often plays a cruel joke when a person cannot understand whether it is more comfortable for him to lie under a blanket or without it. No need to play with the air conditioner remote control – stick out your leg, let it serve as a radiator to remove excess heat.
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Choose the darkest place
A small paradox – the darker the surroundings, the deeper the sleep, but it is in the pitch darkness that each flash of light is perceived many times brighter and more painful. In order not to wake up from the accidental turning on of the smartphone screen or incomprehensible flickering outside the window, choose protected corners. And then there’s a fun but proven method – sleep masks.
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The bedroom is not a place to eat
Another professor, literary Preobrazhensky, advised not to slaughter rabbits in the bathroom instead of the operating room and to eat only in the dining room. About the latter, Fuller completely agrees with him – the crumbs from the meal on the bed will be a great addition to sleep. This is reflected in historical documents, “The Princess and the Pea” is called. The increased concentration of food in the sleeping area attracts insects, and if you are not afraid to wake up from the touch of an affectionate cockroach paw, this does not mean that you will not catch an allergy due to dust mites. In the end, to eat at night – to provoke heartburn, cellulite and heavy thoughts about ruined health.
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The concept of “lights out” is sacred
Everything is simple and rational – if you want to wake up at a certain time, then you need to fall asleep at a strictly allotted hour. Stoically overcoming his own cowardice and craving for entertainment and secondary tasks. Fuller complains that his wife teases him as an “old man” for the habit of going to bed at a time when life outside the window is still very boiling. But on the other hand, he always gets a good sleep, unlike her.
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Do not scold yourself, but look for a way out
Strict, meticulous adherence to any schedule leads to neuroses. Including the desire to sleep on schedule for good purposes. It didn’t work out today – it’s not a disaster, but a reason to take a break and then try again. This is how the great-wise Patrick Fuller describes it:
“I feel happy when I lay down and woke up on time. But if the day is not so hot and the schedule is violated, tomorrow I will not be a self-confident hero, full of energy. That’s all. I will be tempted to return to the old rhythm – it’s like driving on the sidewalk, from which you sometimes go to the roadway to get around a puddle. “