Your eyes may be closed, but your body is quite busy at night. This is what happens to your body, and the way in which it responds when you do not sleep enough.
No matter how vital or whether that presentation this morning, no matter how crucial is the annual review of this afternoon or how exciting is that appointment tonight (and what will happen next); the most important thing you do today (and every day of your life) will sleep. Yes, that is important.
The quality and duration of your nighttime sleep determines the quality and length of your life. It sounds crazy: a third of our lives is spent sleeping.
But these times are anything but unproductive. During sleep, our bodies repair muscles, consolidate memories and release hormones and chemicals that regulate everything from energy to the appetite. “We are not slaves rather than chemical processes,” says Dr. W.
Christopher Winter, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center. They determine everything from good health to the very poor health; if you reduce its duration, chances are you’re predisposing to the second option.
The following explains what makes these chemical processes in your body, since you sleep until you wake up, and how they respond when you reduce its duration.
To get up
By the time you wake up in the morning, your body starts to produce a chemical called adenosine, winter says. It builds up during the day and bedtime arrival, begins to take effect. Meanwhile, your levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (which are neurotransmitters) fluctuate to keep you energized throughout the day and help you relax at night.
As the sun sets, the pineal gland in your brain increases levels of the hormone melatonin in your body, indicating that sleep is near, according to winter.
Also, at this time, levels of the stress hormone cortisol should be at its lowest point, unless you’re worried about a meeting the next day.
Finally, once you close your eyes at night, a group of brain nuclei regulate changing awake asleep, according to winter. Your hippocampus, which is responsible for making new memories, goes out and start to sleep.
If you wake up right now: people with insomnia are at risk 10 times more likely to develop depression and have 17 times higher levels of anxiety than those without insomnia, defined as difficulty falling asleep or sleeping.
For example, if you wake up during this phase because of a loud noise or the feeling that you’re falling, you probably will not feel like you’ve slept, as the first stage of sleep is very light.
Just so you know, that feeling of falling, or “kick” as it is called in the film Inception, is quite common and is caused by a sudden muscle contraction called myoclonic spasm.
Rest better: to fall asleep easier, practice healthy sleep habits.
That means you should not use computers, tablets or TV in your bedroom.
Your lights can trick your brain into thinking it is daytime and affect your very significant levels of melatonin, says winter.
Keep your room cool, between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, to help your body temperature is reduced, which helps induce sleep; anyway, your body temperature drops slightly as you doze.
If you fancy a midnight snack, eat almonds, a banana or very classic glass of milk (no, do not have to heat it). All these foods have chemicals that promote relaxation and help you fall asleep more easily, says winter. Likewise, remember that while alcohol may help you fall asleep (losing knowledge, rather), you will not help keep the dream: in a 2011 study by the Health, University of Michigan researchers found that because alcohol vigil throughout the night.
Quick information about naps: they can help you recharge your batteries at noon, but make them last about 20-30 minutes.
No more. Otherwise, you run the risk of falling into deeper stages of sleep, which will make you wake up even more morose, says Winter.
Do not worry if you feel you need some sleep at 3 pm Naps are for good reason: our natural circadian rhythms us become sleepy at night and mid-afternoon. Some sleep can increase your body’s levels of cortisol, which makes you feel more alert and can even help you restore your immune system, which can be significantly affected by fatigue.
You spend a quarter of the night in deep sleep stage, especially during your first few hours in bed. During this phase, your highest level of consciousness and experience the deep, restful sleep, says Dr. Scott Field, sleep expert, pulmonary and critical care of North Shore University Health System.
During deep sleep, breathing slows, muscles relax, blood pressure decreases, the blood supply to the muscles increases, growth and tissue repair occurs (that is why the quality of sleep is especially important if you are recovering from exercise) and body recovers much needed energy.
If you wake up now: your body will “overdrive” pumping stress hormone cortisol to help you stay awake and alert, despite your depleted levels of adenosine, says Winter. Thank him for the hormone your ability to stay alert at work, even after working all night. Some people even work better with a few hours of quality sleep to eight hours of no sleep, according to winter. “We kept artificially active,” he says.
In addition, caffeine directly blocks the effects of adenosine mounting on your body throughout the day. Between cortisol and caffeine, wait a few nerves. While a night you do much damage, over time, high levels of cortisol can cause weight gain, hypertension and heart disease, winter says.
Rest better, no matter how tired you are, never ingest caffeine in the afternoon. You can stay in the system for up to 12 hours.
While you may have enough adenosine on your system to stay asleep despite caffeine, even the smallest drop in the levels of adenosine to experience in the early hours of sleep can be enough to let the caffeine to take effect and you wake up middle of the night, according to winter.
Your body goes first phase of rapid eye movement after about 90 minutes after falling asleep, but do not spend most of REM until late, says Field. That’s because your first entry into the phase lasts only 30 seconds. Then it fades and after 90 minutes starts again, each time with a longer duration. For six hours of sleep, REM get 20 minutes every 90 minutes, says Field.
Dreams occur during REM sleep and keep the brain busy. “What makes our brain while dreaming against what he does when we are awake is very similar,” winter said. The analysis rarely can determine if a brain is awake or in REM sleep, he says. Contrary to popular belief, your body does not move during sleep, says Field.
An amino acid in the brain, called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), also helps to disable most of the brain stem, which controls muscle movement. So when you dream you play tennis, for example, do not move your arm. Your body actually freezes your muscles during REM sleep. Being inactive, they may suffer loss of muscle tone.
Do not worry unless you sleep for five weeks in a row, you will not notice the difference. The only thing that moves is your eyes, hence the name (REM – Rapid Eye Movement – Rapid Eye Movement).
Sleepwalking, sleep talking, “attack the refrigerator,” however, most often it occurs during the stage of “deep sleep”, so it can be very difficult to wake people trance and when you succeed, you have no idea what’s going on.
While the exact cause is unknown, the condition occurs when the actions of your body are not deleted as provided by other neurological mechanisms due to genetic or environmental factors, or even lack of physical maturity (sleepwalking occurs more frequently during childhood).
However, if sleepwalking occurs during REM sleep (around 0.5% of the population suffers), it is a symptom of REM behavior disorder (RBD, for its acronym in English). Often medications such as clonazepam, melatonin, and pramipexole are used to relax muscles and prevent sleepwalking or night terrors.
Sleep deprivation, alcohol and other sleep disorders can increase RBD. Avoid them as much as possible if you are prone to wander the halls at night, winter says.
If you wake up now: You can expect a 15.5% lower level of the hormone leptin, which promotes satiety, and 14.9% more of the hormone ghrelin, which increases your hunger factor, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine. Together result in an insatiable belly.
It’s no wonder that a 2012 study at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota found that people who sleep six hours and 40 minutes eat an average of 549 more calories a day than those who scored the recommended eight hours. Moreover, lack of sleep can also lower levels of anti-inflammatory hormone adiponectin, especially Caucasian women, which is linked to metabolic imbalances, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
Adults who sleep six hours or less per night are 50% more likely to be obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Diseases. And less than seven hours of sleep causes a risk 1.7 to 4.4 times greater for cardiovascular disease, according to a 2008 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Rest better, you’re awake likely that the alarm is activated earlier than you’d like, as anyone can attest to the fact that it is very difficult to wake REM sleep early in the morning. The solution is simple: go to bed earlier. Your time is important to keep constantly get up and just adjust your bedtime to always have enough adenosine in your body for sleep at night, says winter.
Almost everything that gave you dream happens in reverse to help you wake up. Levels of adenosine, serotonin, norepinephrine and decrease melatonin says Winter. Increases dopamine. Since your body produces cortisol continuously overnight, after eight hours, you can wake up immediately at the first sound of your alarm.
If you wake up now: you should feel rested and your levels of leptin and ghrelin should be suitable, according to winter.
Rest better, even if your body is rested, staying in bed is always tempting. Light can help. Open the curtains and takes at least 15 minutes of sunlight to help reset your internal body clock and remove any excess melatonin. However, do not postpone the alarm, warns winter. You will not have enough uninterrupted sleep to get any benefit and probably feel more tired when you manage to finally stand out of bed.
More than eight hours
Sleep more than eight hours a night may be beneficial (or a sign of a serious health problem) depending on how long we are talking about.
If you wake up now: if you can sleep nine hours a night, you could overcome genetic dispositions of weight gain, according to a study of 2012 twins Sleep Medicine Center at the University of Washington. However, sleep more than nine hours a night has been linked to obesity, diabetes, headaches and heart disease, says winter.
Rest better: all these lines sound a tall order? Most importantly, listen to your body, winter says. Next time you’re on vacation for a long time, lie down when you start to feel tired and wake up without an alarm. Do this for several days and detects the number of hours they slept each night.
That is the amount of sleep you need each day to stay healthy, he says. Now, if you’re practicing healthy sleep habits and still you’re sleeping 10, 11 or 12 hours a night, see your doctor.
Depression and a variety of medications or sleep damages (such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome), may cause excessive sleepiness. No matter how tired you feel, do not try to “replace” the dream. It seriously affect your sleep schedules. Even after a day long sleep, your body will have less time to accumulate adenosine and prepare for bed.