General Practice 2022

Why do we need to sleep well?

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Why do we need to sleep well?
Why do we need to sleep well?

It is very important to sleep because it is during sleep that the body recovers energy, optimizes metabolism and regulates the function of hormones that are essential for the functioning of the body, such as growth hormone.

While we sleep, memory consolidation occurs, allowing for better learning and performance at school and at work. In addition, it is mainly during sleep that the body's tissues are repaired, facilitating wound healing, muscle recovery and strengthening the immune system.

In this way, a good night's sleep is recommended to prevent serious diseases such as anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's and premature aging. However, to get regular sleep, it is recommended to adopt some habits such as always sleeping at the same time, avoiding leaving the TV on and keeping a dark environment.Check out our tips on what to do to sleep well.

What happens if you don't sleep well

The lack of adequate rest, especially when several nights of sleep are lost or when it is routine to sleep little, causes problems such as:

  • Decreased memory and learning;
  • Mood changes;
  • Risk of developing psychiatric illnesses such as depression and anxiety;
  • Increased inflammation in the body;
  • Increased risk of accidents due to decreased ability to react quickly;
  • Delay the growth and development of the body;
  • Weakening of the immune system;
  • Changes in glucose processing and, as a consequence, weight gain and diabetes;
  • Gastrointestinal disorders.

In addition, poor sleep is also linked to an increased risk of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. People who sleep less than 6 hours a day are almost 5 times more likely to have a stroke.

How long should sleep last

It is not recommended to sleep less than 6 hours a day. However, the amount of adequate sleep per day varies from person to person due to several factors, one of which is age, as shown in the following table:

Age Sleep Time
0 to 3 months 14 to 17 hours
4 to 11 months 12 to 15 hours
1 to 2 years 11 to 14 hours
3 to 5 years 10 to 13 hours
6 to 13 years 9 to 11 o'clock
14 to 17 years old 8 to 10 hours
18 to 64 years 7 to 9 hours
65 years and over 7 to 8 hours

These hours of sleep are necessary to maintain physical and mental he alth, and it is important to remember that people who suffer from chronic insomnia are at greater risk of having diseases linked to brain malfunction, such as dementia and memory loss. See 7 Tricks to Effortlessly Improve Memory.

See what time to wake up or go to sleep for a good night's sleep using the calculator below:

Because little naps aren't enough

Taking small naps during the day, or sleeping a few hours at night, are not enough to maintain good he alth, as sleep needs to go through 5 stages:

  • Phase 1: lasts about 15 minutes and is characterized by the process of falling asleep, when the muscles begin to relax and the brain is not yet completely turned off, so the person can easily wake up to a stimulus;
  • Phase 2: is the lightest sleep phase, when your heart and breathing rate slows down and your body temperature starts to drop. Lasts about 10 to 20 minutes;
  • Stage 3: the body begins to go into deep sleep, metabolism slows down and all organs function more slowly. It is at this stage that the greatest amount of growth hormone is produced;;
  • Phase 4: is the deep sleep phase, when the body really begins to replenish energy, restore cell he alth and produce growth hormones;
  • REM phase: in this phase dreams occur and the brain retains important information received during the day and eliminates memory considered unnecessary.

Thus, dreaming is an important indicator that the memory is working well, and when a night's sleep is interrupted in half, it is likely that the following night will also be troubled, as the body cannot follow correctly. the stages of sleep.

Strategies for better sleep

To sleep better, you should avoid drinking coffee and consuming products with caffeine after 5 pm, such as green tea, cola and chocolate, as caffeine prevents tiredness signals from reaching the brain, indicating that it is bedtime.

In addition, you should have a routine for going to bed and getting up, respecting work and rest times, and creating a calm and dark environment at bedtime, as this stimulates the production of the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for the arrival of sleep. In some cases of sleep disorders, it may be necessary to take melatonin capsules to help you sleep better.

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