The speed and psychological stress of the modern world, not to mention the problems of ecology and technological progress, have caused us to sleep less. According to research by the World Health Organization, whereas in the 40s the average daily sleep duration was 7 hours 49 minutes, today the figure is 6 hours 49 minutes for the UK, 6 hours 31 minutes for the United States and just 6 hours 22 minutes for Japan. That is, in general, we lack 6-8 hours’ sleep per week, which is a whole good night’s sleep.
Furthermore, it has been established that sleep interruption often occurs during the third phase of NREM sleep, when the following processes should happen: detoxification of the brain, getting rid of peptides that cause diseases of such an important organ, and the transformation of short-term memory into long-term memory.
In addition, during healthy sleep, blood glucose and insulin levels are regulated, blood pressure normalizes and all cell regeneration processes take place. However, that doesn’t mean a long sleep on the weekend will help us catch up on all the time we lost mid-week. In fact, too much sleep may be far more dangerous than lack of sleep.
The body gets used to a certain rhythm during a week and the system upset often makes you feel even more battered after lying in for long. That feeling suggests that you woke up in the middle of a cycle.
Ideal for an adult, according to scientists, is the balance of 16-hour activity and 8-hour sleep. However, for each person this indicator may vary somewhat depending on their physiology.
Tips for upping your sleep
- Try to schedule your day avoiding “stressful” situations resulting in a considerable lack of sleep or an excess of it.
- Before bed: take a hot bath, do a series of relaxing asanas or breathing practices.
- Don’t overdo the caffeine, strong tea and alcohol, because the less stimulants you take, the sooner you will fall asleep.
- Put away your electronic devices one hour before going to bed. Screen light misleads the brain causing the production of the sleep hormone melatonin to slow down.
- Try to sleep under a weighted blanket. The sensation of “grounding” helps stabilize the heart rate and lower cortisol levels.
- If you cannot fall asleep quickly, do a monotonous activity like reading a book, folding clothes, or wiping dishes dry.