The importance of sleeping and the harm of insomnia

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sleeping is important

In the reality of modern life, healthy sleep is rare. The problem may be due to the increasing percentage of obesity in the population, most hours spent on the Internet, staring at TV shows, video games and many other factors that distract us from a normal night’s rest.

Everything would be fine, but lack of sleep has a detrimental effect on the brain, slowing the rate of data transfer between cells. Moreover, poor sleep does not affect a person’s memory and perception of good. And generally, scientists say systemic sleep deprivation is no better than alcoholism or drug addiction.

Our brains consume about a quarter of the body’s energy reserves, but represent only 2 percent of our total body weight. How does it get the nutrients it needs?nutrients needed

According to the experts, sleep is directly involved in this. Thus, in 2017, a group of European researchers proved the link between full-blown sleep on the one hand and health, well-being and even attraction between men and women on the other. That is, the better you sleep at night, the better you look during the day.

And another interesting point.

US experts collected data on the country, interviewing over 74,000 adults. The aim of the researchers was to find out how healthy the average American sleeps, how many locals suffer from insomnia, and how it affects their daily lives. According to a study published in 2011, about 35% of adults in America can’t afford more than 7 hours of sleep at night, about 40% complain of daytime sleepiness and nearly 5% at least once fall asleep at work or while driving a car. These are statistics for 12 countries (last month’s data at the time of the survey).

The functions of snoozing

The main functions of sleep are as follows:Snoozing is good

  • A healthy sleep provides relaxation for the body.
  • Quality sleep is necessary for the proper processing and storage of information, in particular slow sleep facilitates the remembering, validation of the material studied, and rapid sleep regulates and implements subconscious patterns of events.
  • Sleep is a kind of response of the body to changes in light – morning, day / night, night.
  • Sleep helps restore immunity, including by activating T lymphocytes that fight colds and viral diseases.
  • Sleep is a favorable environment for the removal of toxic, waste products from the brain.

There is also the suggestion that during sleep, there is a repair (“repair”) of DNA that is inevitably damaged during the functioning of neurons. In addition, according to the visceral theory of sleep, during the night’s rest our central nervous system analyzes and regulates the functioning of the internal organs.

Sleep and hormonal balance

We will briefly dwell on the main points as a detailed review of the effect of sleep will focus briefly on the main points, as to thoroughly review the effect of sleep on hormonal levels in men or women, we will need to write a separate large article.

First, the most important thing to understand yes, lack of sleep can cause hormonal imbalances. This is especially true of athletes who use hormonal drugs, whether steroids, hormones or peptides, to achieve certain physical characteristics.

Second, according to one recent study conducted by the University of Chicago, reducing sleep time from 9 to 5 hours reduced testosterone levels by 10 – 20% from baseline. Note that this is not a one-off, but a systematic reduction of bedtime.

Third, the fact that poor sleep affects the secretion of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor in the human body is scientifically confirmed and is not in question. For an athlete, this is associated with weight loss and reduced strength and endurance, not to mention problems that can occur with ligaments, joints or bones.

The effects of sleep in training

You might think (and many tend to believe this) that even a sleepless night would be enough to dramatically reduce strength, speed and endurance. However, the results of official surveys do not support this assumption. At least not completely.

Specialists at Imam HomeinI International University did not initially discover a direct relationship between the quality of a night’s sleep and the power potential of men. But later, the same Iranian scientists discovered that lack of sleep adversely affected the reactions. A similar study was conducted at the Institute of Medical Forces and Civil Protection (USA). Local experts attracted several dozen healthy men to the experiment, half of whom were forced to exercise after 60 hours of wakefulness. In particular, the testers trained the forearms and legs. As a result: the group of sleep deprived men show the same fitness results as subjects who sleep at least 7 hours a day.

Nevertheless, an in-depth study of the same institute showed that “experimenting” with lack of sleep significantly reduces endurance (they can not be exercised as long as before) and increases fatigue (workouts look longer than usual).

In addition, today there is sufficient evidence to suggest that lack of sleep leads to an increased risk of injury when performing physical work. For example, adolescents, relaxing at night less than 6-8 hours, manage to injure themselves 1.5-2 times more often than their peers, who sleep from 8 to 10 hours.

And from our own experience we can say that after an inadequate sleep or in his absence, any physical activity is perceived as extremely tiring, and it becomes almost impossible to achieve full concentration in the fitness room. And because of the decrease in muscular endurance in the exercises, the last few repetitions are actually lost.

sleep disturbance is a problemConclusion: Although sleep disturbance does not have a pronounced effect on the effectiveness of training, its good quality has a positive effect on their safety.

This is also visible in numerous experiments by independent and government scholars from all over the world, from Iran to the United States.

So do not neglect the night’s rest if you want to gain muscle mass or burn excess fat for a short time and without consequences.

 

Dream and fat burning

fat burningFew people know, but most of the fat is not burned during the day during the buddating, but at night when rest. During sleep, the human body actively consumes calories (about 70 kilocalories for a person weighing about 70 kilograms), most of which come from landfill for fat. In addition, the growth hormone, which has the highest and predictable peak secretion, occurring right at night, is a powerful natural fat burner.

Again, we turn to the results of the official surveys. The experiment, initiated by specialists from the University of Chicago, involved 10 men and overweight women. They were divided into 2 groups, suggesting a strict diet (caloric deficit) and sleep respectively 5.5 and 8.5 hours. As a result, it was found that the representatives of the first group showed less fat burning (55 percent) and increased muscle loss (60% percent). Thus, scientists came to the conclusion that a healthy sleep is a necessary condition for quality weight loss.

Similar correlation was observed in other experiments. For example, in a study conducted by the National Center for Health and medicine local specialists managed to establish the relationship between lack of sleep and the accumulation of fat in humans.

There is also evidence showing the ability of a bad dream to increase the body’s insulin resistance (to type 2 diabetes, which again leads to weight gain).

In addition

Many sleep scientists recommend sleeping without clothes. They determine this by the fact that when one sleeps naked, first, it helps burn calories and, second, allows you to recover more efficiently. In addition, the ability to improve sex life and reduce the risk of diabetes or the likelihood of infection is prescribed for sleeping without clothes. The last two points are still conjecture (since they have not received final confirmation). The 100% true fact is the dependence of sleep quality on the diet: in particular, excessive consumption of sugary or fatty foods during the day has trouble falling asleep at night. The existence of such dependence, US researchers confirmed in 2016

Read on: Specialists at King’s College in London have concluded that a regular lack of sleep increases a person’s tendency to overeat and eat junk food. The results of the study of British scientists can be found in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In short, the experts analyzed 11 scientific labor, the total number of participants in which was 172 people.

In all these studies, calories intake is investigated and compared during the day after normal or interrupted sleep.

What’s the score?

It is evident that men and women suffering from infighting consume on average more calories (compared to those subjects who normally get enough sleep).

The authors of the study believe that the lack of sleep negatively affects the circadian rhythms and this leads to a decrease in the secretion of leptin (a hormone responsible for the feeling of satiety) and increased secretion of ghrelin (a hormone responsible for the feeling of hunger). In terms of unhealthy food: in men and women who do not sleep, scientists observe an addiction to low-protein foods and high fat content.

How much sleep doze do you need?

We all have different needs for sleep. The optimal duration of daily sleep is an individual indicator that depends on both physical and psychological factors. If averages are given, the US National Fund for Sleep Problems recommends: For babies 1-3 months, at least 14-17 hours of sleep; children from 3 to 5 years – at least 10 – 13 hours of sleep, children from 6 to 13 years – at least 9 – 11 hours of sleep, adolescents from 14 to 17 years – at least 8 – 10 hours of sleep, adults over 18 – at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep. Moreover, in the elderly there is a reverse tendency. That is, the older we get, the longer we have to sleep to fully recover. Regardless of the circumstances and events in your life, never neglect a night’s rest for the sake of other pursuits or interests!

Note: For the sake of the experiment, during your next vacation, try to wake up not on your alarm clock, but on your own, for as long as you want. But at the same time, lie down at the same time so as not to disturb the schedule. Otherwise, you will not be able to easily return to working days.

Want to know what will happen during this experiment?

In the beginning, you will sleep much longer than usual (even more than is required). This is due to the fact that in working environments – 5 working days + 2 days off, most older men and women are faced with sleep deprivation. So at the beginning of the vacation your body will try to compensate for its deficiency (and probably in excess). And later the situation will improve – sleep time is normal. This, by the way, will allow you to determine the optimal length of a night’s rest for yourself.

The effects of chronic insomnia

insomniaThis is not just about mild discomfort, such as reduced concentration and headaches, but about the real consequences of a systematic sleep disturbance.

Experts from the University of Arizona argue that chronic insomnia (for several years) increases the risk of premature death by more than 50%. In addition, in this case, the level of inflammation in the blood increases, which can provoke depression, obesity, dementia, diabetes mellitus, heart disease and even cancer. On what is based such a strong statement? The group analysis and the official research in the last half century. Several experiments on this topic showed in patients with insomnia an increase in mortality and pronounced inflammation of the blood, a marker for which is a C-reactive protein.

People with chronic insomnia are much more likely to die from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Moreover, it has nothing to do with gender, age, intake of drugs (sleeping pills) and any other factors. That is, the main pest here is precisely the prolonged sleep disturbance.

A similar opinion is shared by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO scientists analyzed the statistics for Novosibirsk, after having researched the data of more than 600 men and came to the conclusion that chronic insomnia is also dangerous for the health of the cardiovascular system or respiratory system, as well as smoking.

Note: The age of men in the World Health Organization’s sample ranges from 25 to 64 years, while before sleeping problems none of them suffered from heart or lung diseases. Just How to improve the quality of the dream?

Experts from Michigan University have discovered that sleep significantly enhances human resistance to external stimuli and can be used to effectively counteract impulse behaviour. Most adult men and women should sleep 7-9 hours a day to maintain good self-esteem and good health. But it’s easier said than done. At the beginning of the article, we have already quoted U.S. statistics that show how important the problem is with insomnia.

In the CIS countries, from Belarus to Kazakhstan, the situation is not better. For example, it is estimated that at least 30 million Russians suffer from sleep disturbances, whether transient or chronic insomnia.

Today the most common way to treat (or stop) the insomnia is taking sleeping pills. These are mostly benzodiazepines. However, they can not be called the best way to restore sleep, since all sleeping pills, even relatively mild, have a wide list of side effects, including:

  • DepressionDepression
  • Increased risk of infection.
  • Increased risk of developing tumors.
  • Nightmares, hallucinations.
  • Amnesia (weakening or ruining memory).

So, taking sleeping pills for the first time when you have trouble sleeping is not a good idea. Potentially, they (sleep pills) in themselves can lead to much more serious consequences than the mere disruption of sleep. Fortunately, there are many other ways in which you can safely improve the hygiene and quality of sleep.

And before you go to bed, avoid bright light sources, because they can reduce the production of melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep-the wakefulness of the body).

First, with a predisposition to insomnia, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol should be avoided. We all know that caffeine and nicotine by their nature are quite potent stimulants, but not everyone knows that alcohol could disrupt sleep. Alcohol can help you fall asleep at a certain point, but after a few hours it usually starts to act as a stimulant, so it is possible to wake up at night and thus disrupt your dream.

Second, make a full-fledged dream a priority event in your daily schedule, like nutrition or strength workouts for example. As a minimum, you need to worry about creating a favorable environment for sleep. Let your bedroom be dark, quiet and cool, which contributes to falling asleep.

And before you go to bed, avoid bright light sources, because they can reduce the production of melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep-the wakefulness of the body).

Third, do not watch TV, don’t sit in front of the computer and do not stick on your phone or tablet at least an hour before bedtime. Why does this have to be so? They are artificial sources of light that emit a “blue glow” that interferes with the production of melatonin. This was proven by Israeli scientists (even two hours before the computer or in front of the TV are sufficient to disrupt sleep, attention and biological rhythms).

Fourth, you need to relax before bedtime. This should make you a habit. For example, you can read a book or listen to some light music. Breathing exercises and a warm shower or bath also work well. But what is better to refuse before resting at night, are stressful conversations (and other annoying activities). Leave the conversation with your soul mate, relatives or friends.

Fifth, don’t concentrate on the time you’re trying to sleep. On the contrary, it acts as a source of stress, which is accompanied by the excretion of cortisol. Most likely, you will only delay sleep indefinitely. In bed you need to relax and not count every minute with the thoughts “when I’m already asleep there, I get up after” N “hours.”

Sixth, sleep, such as eating or strength training, should be performed at the same hours. That is, you need to debug your biological clock. If you learn to lie down and wake up at the same time, insomnia will never be a problem for you. Of course, when there are no external adverse factors, such as psychological or physical stress. And the last thing – do not exercise immediately before going to bed. Your workout should be completed as a minimum 1.5 – 3 hours before the rest of the night so that blood cortisol and body temperature can return to normal. Otherwise you will not have full sleep (you will not be able to sleep long or wake up in the middle of the night). Note that we are talking specifically about strength training. Light stretching exercises, on the contrary, not only do not aggravate, but also improve the quality of sleep.

Further

Are there quite safe drugs or supplements to improve sleep quality? Has. However, they are not many (and even very few, if we consider only those drugs that are available on the domestic market). In the first position it is the hormone melatonin mentioned above in the text. It is available as a self-medication, located in various sports supplements (in the second case, pay attention to the concentration of the hormone, as it may be too low to have at least some beneficial effect). Typically, melatonin is taken 30-40 minutes before bedtime at a dose of 3-6 mg.

The second option is GABA (or gamma-aminobutyric acid). It is an amino acid that causes relaxation of the body and contributes to immersion in sleep. Its effectiveness as a sleeping pill is actually confirmed by research, which is a undeniable plus. When taking a dietary supplement with GABA, on the one hand you will be able to fall asleep more quickly, on the other, increase the duration of sleep. It is suitable for those men and women who face premature awakening. The average single dose of gamma-aminobutyric acid is 500-1000 mg (not more than 2-4 g).

This is everything, as specifically with the list of medicines, and with the list of recommendations.

In conclusion

You should even now have understood how much sleep affects not only the well-being and human health but also its results in bodybuilding. After all, full sleep is an integral part of effective recovery, without which it is impossible to progress in the accumulation of muscle mass or the burning of excess fat. To get the most out of your workouts, you should approach this question with the utmost seriousness.

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We wish you a positive shopping and a successful workout!