Sleep disorders and its prevention

Multiple forms of sleep disorders can be divided into two main categories: insomnia and hypersomnia (increased sleepiness) .

Insomnia manifests itself in different ways. There may be single sleepless nights, or rather nights, when a person could not sleep for a long time for some reason or another, or woke up very early and therefore feels completely unrefunded and overwhelmed in the morning. If this was the result of some kind of event that preceded sleep, or, conversely, if the night preceded some very exciting event, then sleep would usually be replaced by insomnia.

Probably, many of the readers ever spent such a night and became acquainted with a painful state when they want to sleep, but the dream “does not go”, but instead uninvited thoughts are crowding in their heads , which they cannot get rid of.

By the way, these chaotic thoughts are one of the characteristic and difficult sides of insomnia. People who suffer from it tell how far they go in their nightly reflections, in which sometimes a trifling event begins to acquire an incredible meaning, frightening with its possible consequences. A characteristic of this is the state of anxiety for a variety of reasons – for their loved ones, for their health, for their work, in a word, for all that is for a person in one degree or another expensive or meaningful.

Remembering in the daytime about their nightly experiences during insomnia, people themselves often wonder why they were so much worried about certain thoughts that came at night.

If bouts of insomnia are isolated cases, and even provoked crown or other significant events, these still do not mean that a person suffers from insomnia. But if this condition begins to repeat, “for no apparent reason,” then say nothing of chronic insomnia. Usually, in such cases, a person who goes to bed will get anxious: what if you cannot fall asleep again and have nightmares again ? And this anxiety itself becomes one of the factors supporting insomnia.

By the way, no statistics give a complete picture of the number of people suffering from insomnia. Doctors usually deal with already far gone cases when people become “unbearable” and they go for help. And how many people, not wanting to go to the doctors after the first bouts of insomnia, are trying on their own or on the advice of their relatives and friends to defeat it by resorting to sleeping pills!

Of course, if the attack of insomnia was a one-time, then this is not terrible. But if such cases begin to repeat, then it is necessary to consult a doctor.

Who is right?

Many insomnia sufferers are offended when, in response to their complaint that they haven’t slept most of the night away, some of their relatives or roommates say that it only seems to him and that he actually complains about insomnia man slept soundly as he witnessed. Such cases are sometimes encountered in sanatoriums, hotels, train compartments, etc. Usually, in response to such remarks, the “victim” indignantly and expressively speaks! “I assure you, I have not slept all night!”.

Is this so and who is right?

The correct answer to this question will help give the observations recently conducted by doctors.

People complained of insomnia were evening given pencils and notebooks with a request to make a mark in them at the time when they will not sleep or be awake. To the surprise of the doctors, the notebooks remained clean by the morning, although the patients insisted that they would wake up many times and hardly sleep. Apparently, the patients thought that they spent a sleepless night then, in fact, they were asleep, although, perhaps, not so deeply that this dream brought them rest.

Due to the fact that millions of people suffer from insomnia in our time, this phenomenon attracts the attention of a wide range of scientists, and the ability to objectively judge the state of sleepers with the help of various instruments made it possible to obtain new data on insomnia.

The word “insomnia” is involuntarily perceived by us in the literal sense, that is, as a lack of sleep. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes a person just wakes up many times during the night, as a result of which he feels sleepless in the morning, although on the whole the duration of sleep was sufficient. Since the time spent in the state of sleep is not felt, and the time without sleep (during waking periods) seems long, the person has the conviction that he has not slept most of the night.

Relatively recently, scientists conducted interesting observations on the characteristics of sleep well and sleeping poorly. By recording the brain’s electrical activity, electrocardiogram, respiration, temperature, and body movements in sleeping people throughout the night, it was found that people who complained of insomnia actually slept less than sleep well for only 30–45 minutes night, While well-asleep people fell asleep almost immediately, poorly asleep fell asleep only 15 minutes after they went to bed.

Normal sleep is characterized by a decrease in physiological functions, which we have already written about ( decrease in heart rate, decrease in blood pressure, muscle relaxation, decrease in body temperature). For poorly sleeping people, all this was less pronounced. In other words, their sleep was less deep.

It turned out that people suffering from insomnia disrupt the normal ratio of the duration of “slow” and “fast” sleep. If in healthy, well-sleeping people sleep with a fast electrical activity of the brain is about 25%, and sleep with a slow electrical activity is about 75% of its total duration, then in poorly sleeping people these ratios are sharply disturbed.

In other words, outwardly such people look asleep, but the quality of sleep they do not have is such as to provide the body with real rest and recuperation. Therefore, they lack sleep for various reasons. In some cases – a great loss of time for falling asleep, especially with frequent awakenings, in others – less deep sleep, in the third – lack of REM sleep, during which, as is commonly believed, poisonous products accumulated in the brain are destroyed, etc.

Insomnia 8, in the full sense of the word, is when people do not sleep at all: some even get out of bed, try to do something, and only feel proper tiredness and go to bed again.

Thus, insomnia in individual people may have a different character. Depending on this, appropriate treatment is prescribed.

Prevention of sleep disorders

From all that was said above, it follows that the rhythm of sleep and wakefulness of an adult person is formed in early childhood. Newborn babies are almost round the clock. The upbringing of a child’s character and the formation of his regime begin literally from the first days of life. At home, nurseries and kindergartens, the child’s day regimen is constructed in such a way that the hours of sleep gradually approach the night, and the waking hours approach the daytime. This helps children eventually become involved in adult lifestyles.

It is very important in early childhood to teach children to fall asleep as quickly as possible, which is facilitated by bathing in a warm bath. Under such conditions, bedding itself becomes a conditioned-reflex factor contributing to sleep.

When a person lies, a whole stream of impulses from the nerve endings of the skin enters the higher parts of the central nervous system, in which irritation occurs when a large part of the body surface touches the bed. These irritations, repeating from day to day, become conditional stimuli causing sleep. The same conditional stimuli become darkness, silence, etc. But this happens only for those who from childhood used to fall asleep as soon as they lie down in bed: they have a conditioned reflex “to a lying position” fixed for a lifetime.

The situation is different for those who, from childhood, were used to lying in bed for a long time before falling asleep. Many parents, putting children to bed, read or tell fairy tales to them. However, the benefits of this are few. First, the impressions of the heard fairy tales often excite and sometimes for a long time prevent a child from falling asleep, disturbing him even in a dream. Secondly, this excludes the conditioned-reflex effect of lying in bed upon falling asleep. The same can be said about adults who have the habit of long reading in bed before bedtime.

Children should not be taught to lie in bed for a long time in the morning after they wake up. Whoever gets used to this, he subsequently really cannot immediately stand up and feels relaxed for a long time after waking up. It is necessary from early childhood to get used to get up immediately, as soon as I woke up: then conditioned reflexes are developed, contributing to the rapid appearance of tonus in the muscles, accompanied by a feeling of cheerfulness and concentration. The same is the morning exercises.

No less important condition for a healthy sleep is a strict sleep and wakefulness. When a person lies down for some time in a row to bed at the same time of day, conditioned reflexes are formed at a time, so ou easier to fall asleep.

One of the overwhelming factors is mental work at night, especially when a person “invigorates” himself by smoking, strong tea or coffee. Many people of intellectual labor love to work at night. Indeed, when the work carries away, it is so exciting that, glancing at the clock, you allow yourself to work for another hour or two. At the same time, sometimes the head works with amazing clarity, a lot of things can be done that have not been possible during the day. Being expressed in a sporting way, it comes as if “a second wind”, when a person works with full dedication, not noticing fatigue.

However, this work has its opposite, the shadow side. First, when after such a feverish, exciting night work a person goes to bed, he falls asleep several times before finally falling asleep and wakes up as a result of a strong over-excitement. Moreover, such alternations of sleep and waking up are often accompanied by unpleasant palpitations. Secondly, often after a night work, the next day a person feels sluggish, overwhelmed. Its performance has been drastically reduced, that is, the day is actually wasted. Therefore, in the interest of maintaining health, efficiency and greater productivity of labor, it is more expedient to abandon systematic night work, especially since its consequence is often severe insomnia, which is so well known to many intellectual workers.

No matter how trite, but, speaking about the prevention of violations, it is impossible not to mention its hygienic conditions. It is necessary to sleep in clean linen and in clean, not constraining the body clothes. The room before bedtime must be ventilated, especially if the room is stuffy, smoky.And, of course, you need to give up the bad habit of smoking the “last” cigarette, lying in bed. If possible, even in winter, you should sleep with the window open.

All these “recipes” are certainly not new. However, unfortunately, they are remembered only when they begin to suffer from insomnia, that is, when all preventive measures become ineffective.

One of the simplest means of restoring sleep is walking in the open air before going to bed. Women can recommend before going to bed a very pleasant activity – knitting. Knitting or crocheting is, to a certain extent, a creative work, but, unlike intellectual work, not exciting. On the contrary, the measured and monotonous movements of the fingers, the flickering of the spokes in the hands contribute to a general calm, improved mood and a certain detachment from daytime worries and anxieties, which is very important before going to bed.

In cases of deeper sleep disorders, you should consult a doctor. Do not self-medicate. We have already said that there are different phases of sleep. Depending on which phase suffers from insomnia, this or that medication is required. There are drugs that lengthen “quick sleep”, and there are drugs that shorten it. It is very important to choose what you need, so “as the incorrect use of sleeping pills can only lead to even greater sleep disorders.

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