Sleep special – tips for sleeping longer and better

Getting enough sleep can reduce the risk of diseases and disorders such as high blood lipids, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and fatigue syndrome. For growing children and adolescents, sleep is very important as it is when growth hormone is produced.

Sleep is needed, not only to reduce your stress. You need sleep for your whole body to recover and process impressions. During sleep, the body unwinds, blood pressure drops, heart rate and body temperature go down, breathing becomes less frequent and muscles relax.

In parts of the brain, activity decreases. At the same time, memories are stored and new knowledge and impressions are processed. When you sleep, your body’s immune system is activated and important hormones are produced. It also reduces the production of stress hormones. You could say that when you sleep a full night, your body gets a full service.

How do I know if I am sleeping enough?

Adults usually need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep per day. But it varies from person to person. It also varies depending on your sleep efficiency, i.e. how much deep sleep you have had. As long as you feel alert and function well during the day, you are getting enough sleep.

Sleep is divided into so-called sleep cycles of about 90 minutes. During a sleep cycle, sleep alternates between different sleep phases:

  • Insomnia phase – shallow sleep and you are easily awakened.
  • Bass sleep – the so-called normal sleep.
  • Deep sleep – in this phase the body recovers and rebuilds itself. The brain works more slowly and the production of stress hormones is reduced. During deep sleep, your muscles relax and you are difficult to wake up. If you are woken up in this phase, you may feel confused and it takes time to feel awake.
  • REM sleep – REM stands for rapid eye movement. During this sleep phase, the brain processes and stores memories and experiences.

Good to fall asleep around the same time every night

Bass sleep and deep sleep recur regularly during the night along with periods of dream sleep. At the beginning of the night, sleep is dominated by deep sleep. After that, the periods of deep sleep become shorter and the periods of dream sleep longer. For your body and brain to recover properly, you need to get enough deep sleep. It is easiest to sleep and get deep sleep when the body’s internal clock is set to night and the body’s metabolism is low. So make sure you have a regular bedtime routine.

Screen time in the evening makes it harder to fall asleep

Stop looking at screens 2 hours before you go to sleep. Why? When it gets dark and you go to bed, the levels of the sleep hormone melatonin increase. Exposure to the blue light from monitors negatively affects melatonin production and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. By stopping looking at screens at least 2 hours before going to sleep, you give your body the chance to increase melatonin. You can dim the lights, take a hot shower and cultivate a regular evening routine to help your body get into sleep mode.

"Tired minds don´t plan well. Sleep first, plan later"

Walter Reisch

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