Sleep is an indispensable element of human existence - while sleeping, we spend about one-third of our lives. The basic issue that ensures health, which many people forget about, is taking care of the circadian rhythm and its appropriate regulation.
How important is sleep?
The mere presence of sleep does not condition our health. Both quality and length are crucial to maintain health and maintain proper body mass. The need for a person to sleep is on average 6 to 8 hours a day. Its shorter duration is associated with weight gain, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and mental disorders. The following article explains the effect of sleep deprivation on various aspects of our daily functioning.
Sleep is a physiological condition during which intensive regeneration of our body occurs.
The right amount of it affects the work of the brain, by stimulating cognitive and behavioral functions, and its insufficient duration significantly impairs the proper functioning of the mind.
During sleep, the information acquired during the day is transformed and the transformation of short-term to long-term memories takes place.
Sleep disorders affect:
• processing of thought processes,
• dysfunction of language functions,
• limiting rational decisions.
Adjustment of appetite
The wrong amount of sleep disregards the work of the leptin axis / ghrelin, which is responsible for the sensation of hunger and appetite.
People with disturbed circadian rhythms and sleep deficiencies are characterized by a decrease in leptin level (satiety hormone) by 18% and an increase in ghrelin (hunger hormone) by 28%, which significantly affects the feeling of satiety and hunger.
In the case of a diet with a negative caloric balance, it will be necessary to look after your sleep, which will positively affect the feeling of hunger and satiety, which will greatly facilitate perseverance on the reduction diet.
Sleep deficiencies lead to the formation of oxidative stress and stimulation of the synthesis of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α), which are naturally produced in the body's response to the presence of pathogens.
Their excess promotes the formation of visceral (visceral) fatty tissue, resulting in a large number of inflammatory states that impair the insulin sensitivity of tissues.
In addition, there is a negative effect of sleep deprivation on the level of Treg lymphocytes, i.e. "handbrake" of the immune system. Its deficiencies can very often be found in autoimmune diseases.
The easiest way to maintain the balance of the body is to stimulate Treg production, precisely for the right amount of sleep.
Importance for athletes
For athletes, sleep is a necessary part of regeneration after training, as well as preparation for the next training unit.
The right amount is extremely important for physically active people, because it affects both physiological and cognitive functions affecting exercise capacity.
Non-trivial significance also shows the efficiency of thinking, the endocrine system, as well as the metabolism, perception of pain and mood, which together can prominently affect the quality of training and the results achieved.
Principles of caring for proper sleep hygiene:
• Appropriate sleep length 7-8 hours - after training, the need for sleep can be extended by 1-2 hours.
• Ensuring that, for 2-3 hours before bedtime, reduce the exposure to blue light, which disturbs the production of the right amount of the sleep hormone - melatonin and disrupts the daily rhythm of secretion of cortisol - putting away the electronic tools.
• Stabilization of sleep hours - constant time of falling asleep and waking up.
• Elimination of electrical appliances from the bedroom, such as TV or Wi-Fi.
• Appropriate room temperature (18-20 ° C).
• Relaxation - ensuring silence and darkness.
• Do not eat directly before bedtime. You should eat dinner about 2 hours before sleeping. Consuming food in the bedtime is associated with a negative effect on the quality of sleep.
• Caring for the right menu, including a large supply of vegetables and fruits, cereals and nuts. The consumption of these products is significantly related to the quality and length of sleep. Especially from fruits, it is worth introducing cherries and kiwis, as they have been shown to have a positive effect on reducing the number of waking up at night. When composing a menu, attention should be paid to the supply of magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamins from group B.
Sleep is one of the basic elements positively affecting our functioning. Its role is huge in maintaining homeostasis of the body, ranging from cognitive functions to ending the regulation of hormone management. So before we start looking for other solutions and magical methods to improve our health, it is worth looking at what is happening in our bedroom.