Good Sleep Habits are Vital to the Quality and Lenght of Life!
Sleep is undoubtedly one of the least known and most debated topics in medicine. The brain, which is a closed box, has an extraordinary way of working. The first question that comes to mind is why do living things sleep? A person spends a third of his life, about 25 years, asleep.
Scientific studies show that sleep is not only a resting process for the body and the brain, but also an extremely important and active process for health. Before discussing the very important effects and benefits of sleep, let's review the effects of insomnia. Lack of sleep for a day or two or constantly sleeping less than five hours a day has very significant, very harmful effects.
- Fatigue and drowsiness,
- Difficulty concentrating
- Perception disorders,
- Learning and memory disorders,
- Weakening in reflexes,
- In more advanced cases, hallucinations, that is, psychological disorders up to dreaming and paranoia,
If nothing is eaten for 5 days, nothing will happen, but 5 days of no sleep increases the risk of sudden death by 50%.
In cases of chronic insomnia, which means sleeping less than 7 to 8 hours a day, there are also long-term effects,
- Weakening of the immune system,
- Widespread inflammation in the body,
- Insulin Resistance,
Under normal conditions, with the darkening of the air, the brain begins to secrete a hormone called melatonin. This hormone creates drowsiness and tells the person to sleep. Along with sleep, a number of very complex biochemical changes occur in the brain.
Effects of Sleep on the Body:
1- Memory and Learning:
The brain records what is done, lived and learned during the day like a computer, classifies this information and creates memory, and deletes unnecessary information. Interesting scientific studies show that students who prepare for the exam are successful at the rate of sleep. In another study, from two groups of students, the first group was given a one-hour lesson at eight in the morning, an exam was given from this lesson 12 hours later at 8 pm, the second group of students was given the lesson at 8 pm, and the next day at 8 am, the exam was given. As a result of the study, it was seen that those who took classes in the evening and slept on it and took the exam the next day were 20 percent more successful. Sleeping has a very important role in increasing memory and learning ability.
Detailed reading:About Sleep's Role in Memory
2- Cleaning in the Brain:
Another very interesting event that occurs during sleep is that a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid covers the brain and performs a general cleaning at a certain stage of sleep. With this cleaning, it is understood that some toxins formed as a result of brain metabolism and especially a substance called Beta-amyloid are cleaned. Beta-amyloid is one of the most important causes of Alzheimer's disease. This cleaning done in the brain every night is extremely important for brain health.
Detailed reading:A Paravascular Pathway Facilitates CSF Flow Through the Brain Parenchyma and the Clearance of Interstitial Solutes, Including Amyloid β
Sleep Facilitates Clearance of Metabolites from the Brain: Glymphatic Function in Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases
3- Repair and Rejuvenation:
Another very interesting change that occurs during sleep is that the brain enters a repair and treatment process during this time. In a part of sleep called Delta sleep, Somatotropin, that is, the hormone called growth hormone or youth hormone, begins to be secreted from the brain. With the secretion of this hormone, a renewal and repair process begins within the cells. With the effect of somatotropin, inflammation is suppressed, there is a strengthening of the immune system, and most importantly, cell renewal occurs. This situation, maybe is hard to believe, but is reflected on the face of the person.
Detailed reading:How sleep deprivation can cause inflammation
Sleep Health: Reciprocal Regulation of Sleep and Innate Immunity
Beauty sleep: experimental study on the perceived health and attractiveness of sleep deprived people
Cues of Fatigue: Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Facial Appearance
The effect of sleep deprivation on objective and subjective measures of facial appearance
If the subject of sleep is to be summarized, one third of life is spent in sleep, this process is not only a resting process for the body and brain, but also an extremely important process for health. During sleep,
- What we experience during the day is recorded, organized,
- Memory and knowledge are created with our experiences and what we learn,
- Thanks to the cleaning in the brain, mental and psychological well-being occurs. Protects against neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's,
- Protects against obesity and insulin resistance,
- With the effect of somatotropin, the "youth hormone" secreted during sleep:
. Inflammation is suppressed,
. The immune system is strengthened,
. Cell renewal occurs in our brain and body, a healthy appearance is provided.
As you can see, sleep is a very important process for our health in all respects. Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep a day is one of the most important insurances of our health.
It's not appropriate to talk about sleep but not talk about naps or siesta. There is a tradition of taking a nap in the middle of the day in many countries and cultures of the world, especially the peoples of the Mediterranean Region and South America. Scientists demonstrate the extraordinary health benefits of short naps in the middle of the day. The best time to take a nap or siesta is between 13.30 and 15.00 in the afternoon, and it is recommended that this nap should not exceed 20 minutes.
Benefits of taking a nap in the middle of the day:
- Relieves fatigue,
- Increases attention and memory,
- Reduces stress level, calms down,
- Increases creativity,
- Balances blood pressure,
- Protects against cardiovascular diseases.
Detailed reading:Daytime Napping and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality: A Prospective Study and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis
Association of napping with incident cardiovascular events in a prospective cohort study
Napping: Do's and don'ts for healthy adults
Realizing the extraordinary benefits of siesta on mental activities, companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook encouraged their employees to sleep in the middle of the day and even developed special areas and capsules for this.
The importance of sleep, especially quality sleep, is very clear.
Habits to be acquired for good and quality sleep are:
- Getting used to going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day,
- Not eating after 8 pm,
- Not drinking coffee after 8 pm,
- Stopping all kinds of fluid intake 2 hours before going to bed,
- Avoiding using devices that give blue light such as television, computer and mobile phone one hour before going to bed,
- Switching to "relax mode" an hour before bedtime, putting aside the annoying issues, listening to light music, reading a book,
- Ensuring that the bed and pillow are comfortable and orthopedic,
- Replacing the window with soundproof glasses if the bedroom receives outside noise, if possible,
- Providing an absolute dark environment in the bedroom (Not having light-emitting devices in the bedroom),
- Bringing the temperature of the bedroom to around 20 degrees, which is the ideal sleep temperature (Extreme heat and cold disrupt sleep),
- Avoiding alcohol intake. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol disrupts sleep.
7 - 8 hours of quality sleep a day is extremely important for general health and longevity. With a quality sleep, an important protection can be provided against cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's and cancers. In addition to being healthy, looking beautiful will also be an important extra gain!
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