Sleep disorders are not uncommon in today's society and many people suffer from a deficiency due to sleep problems. You may also have noticed the negative effects of sleep deprivation a few times and have been less alert and have difficulty concentrating and performing at your best. In this article you will find out why restful and good sleep is so important to you and how you can influence your optimal sleep.
A third of life is spent sleeping. Your sleep quality is related to your physical condition and your mental performance. A sufficient night's sleep is therefore crucial for your performance during the day. Are you finally tired of having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning and feeling like you haven't turned a blind eye? We will now explain to you what the background to your sleep problems can be, why sleep is so important and how you can finally sleep better again.
Sleep Better: What is Sleep?
Sleep is a state of calm and vital for all people. When you lie down in your bed and sleep, you come into a changed state of consciousness. Your body is practically in stand-by mode. Your consciousness is switched off, but your brain is permanently active during sleep. Your organism can recuperate and relax in sleep, while it goes through active regeneration phases for your body and a muscle-building state is achieved. This phase of active regeneration also helps to process impressions, experiences and what has been learned and transfers them to long-term memory.1
Neurotransmitters act on different groups of nerve cells called neurons in the brain that control whether we are awake or asleep. The neurons in the brain stem that connect the brain to the spinal cord produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine that keep some parts of the brain active while awake. The neurons that signal us to fall asleep then switch off the signals that keep us awake.2
There are five stages of sleep, which are different in depth. These are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase. The first two phases are characterized by light sleep. Phases 3 and 4 can be combined and are deep sleep phases. The REM phase in which you dream is particularly important. A sleep cycle lasts about 90-110 minutes, of which you have several during the night. Several sleep phases are also passed through in a cycle.
It is best if you always wake up between two phases, as this will make it easier for you to get up. It has probably already happened to you that you have been woken up in the middle of a deep sleep phase and have felt exhausted.
Sleep Better: Restful Sleep and Its Benefits
It is important that you don't just sleep, but that your sleep is also of good quality. You benefit from improving various body functions
- willingness to learn
- Stress resistance
- better mood
- nice skin
In order for your nervous system to function properly, you need sleep to be awake and able to concentrate. When you are sleepy, it affects your memory and physical performance. Your organism has more energy through optimal recovery and ensures a better mood. Regeneration helps you to internalize new knowledge better and can also improve the complexion of your skin through optimal sleep.4
Some experts believe that sleep gives neurons the ability to repair themselves while awake. Without sleep, neurons can become so low in energy or contaminated with by-products of normal cell activity that they would malfunction. During sleep, the brain can also train important neural connections that could otherwise deteriorate due to inactivity.
Sleep helps you to save energy and other resources so that you are efficient in everyday life and your organism works. That is why sleep is also important for a healthy immune system and defenses.5 It is not for nothing that it is said: "Sleep is the best medicine!"
But it is not always so easy to go to bed in the evening and fall asleep quickly in the daily hustle. With a few tips, however, you can ensure that your body and mind come to rest before you go to sleep.
If you often have trouble falling asleep or you find it difficult to fall asleep, then you can DEEP SLEEP1 help with melatonin. It contains a composition of natural plant extracts such as hops, Passionflower and lemon balm, minerals such as zinc and magnesium in combination with the natural sleep hormone melatonin, which contributes to healthy sleep and shortens the time it takes to fall asleep.
Tips to sleep better: how biohackers prepare their sleep
The biohackers and ahead-Founders Philip and Johannes tell you on our YouTube Channelhow to optimize your sleep so that you can bring your full performance the next.
In summary, this means that you should do relaxed things before going to sleep, preferably avoid blue light so that your body should Melatonin forms and can prepare for sleep. It is for this helpful if you adjust your sleep rhythm and go to sleep at the same time every day and make your bedroom as dark as possible during your resting phase.
Use a special light alarm clock that prepares your body for waking up even before the doorbell rings. To have positive associations with your bed, it's best to avoid working or studying in it. Only drink enough that going to the bathroom doesn't wake you up at night. Also, consuming alcohol, coffee, or other caffeinated beverages, or eating large and sugary meals is not conducive to a good night's sleep. After all, your body should deal with regenerating itself during the night.
Why better sleep is particularly important for athletes
For those who want to achieve physical and mental performance, sleep is an even more important point. On Lack of sleep can lead to an increased feeling of hungerwhich can cause serious problems, especially in weight-class sports.6 In the case of a lack of sleep, lower leptin levels and an increased ghrelin level were measured. The two hormones are antagonists, with leptin suppressing appetite and ghrelin stimulating appetite.
Sleep quality appears to be the most susceptible of top athletes, especially before major competition events, during intensive training sessions and after long-distance travel to competitions. Many athletes suffer from the symptoms of insomnia, which can impair training or competitions, for example through fatigue or sleep-related fear of performance.8 Sports performance can therefore be negatively influenced by insufficient sleep. In the worst case, you are not focused or alert during your training, which increases your risk of injury.9
Sleep is therefore not only important to refuel your energy reserves and regenerate your muscles, but also to carry out your training in a focused manner.
The optimal length of sleep
The optimal sleep time is around 7-8 hours. A study from the University of Warwick found that the mortality rate increased by 6% in people who sleep less than 12 hours and by as much as 30% in people who sleep more than 9 hours.10
It was also observed that a variation of the DEC2 gene ensured that people could sleep up to 2 hours less than the average without any problems.
The question of the optimal length of sleep is therefore not easy to answer. In the case of athletes, for example, there may not be enough time to regenerate sufficiently. In a study with college basketball players, for example, improved athletic performance was achieved after 10 hours of sleep.11
Sleep Better: Causes and Symptoms of Lack of Sleep and Sleep Disorders
There are many different causes of lack of sleep and sleep disorders. Often it is due to worries and fears that can not get out of your head and lead to fatigue the next morning. But also stress The increasing demands in our modern way of life or work are causes of difficulty falling asleep and disturbance to sleep, often in combination with long periods of sitting and the use of electronic devices.
The Nation Sleep Foundation surveyed people about their insomnia. Almost half of the respondents suffered from occasional insomnia, 22% even (almost) daily. Within the work week, 15% said they slept less than six hours. 95% of those surveyed use electronic devices several times a week, one hour before going to bed. Artificial light can reduce the quality of sleep by passing through the retina and the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the pineal gland, from producing melatonin.12
The consequences of chronic lack of sleep are probably familiar to many and have already been experienced.
A lack of sleep causes more cortisol to be produced, which leads to more cytokines, which are pro-inflammatory. The immune system is weakened and you become more susceptible to colds and infections.13 White blood cells, which are roughly described as important in the defense against infections, are negatively affected. The concentration of C-reactive protein, which is a clue or marker for inflammation, also increases due to lack of sleep in the organism.14
In addition, lack of sleep increases systolic blood pressure and leads to hunger pangs for sugary and fatty foods.
Some people suffer from insomnia caused by nocturnal pauses in breathing (sleep apnea) or restless legs syndrome. But grinding your teeth and sleepwalking can also have an impact on the quality of sleep. When traveling by air to other time zones, jet lag brings the sleep-wake cycle out of balance and your sleep rhythm can be confused for a while.2
Chronic lack of sleep can lead to serious disorders
If the lack of sleep is permanent, the body can suffer more serious damage and possibly promote the following symptoms, e.g.
- Weight gain15
- Insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes16, 17
- mental illnesses such as depression18
- different forms of cardiovascular disease19
- premature aging
- memory loss