5 scientific evidence that you need to sleep at night
Sleep is necessary for a normal healthy life – everyone knows that. You can eat the healthiest food and not get out of the gym, but if you do not get enough sleep all the time, all efforts will go down the drain.
1. Our ancient ancestors set asleep more time because their daily rhythm depended on the rising and setting of the sun. Today we have an artificial light that allows us to prolong the period of wakefulness and, therefore, reduce the time of sleep. And although the requirements in a dream for each organism are individual, many experts insist that healthy sleep should last about nine hours a day. Recent studies have shown that the majority of insomnia sufferers do something stimulating brain activity one hour before sleep: 90% watch television, 33% work on the computer and 43% do something about the housework.
2. Lack of sleep most seriously affects hormones that control metabolism, appetite, mood, ability to concentrate, etc. Research has shown that among those who sleep less than six hours a day, there are more smokers who drink heavily non-athletic and obese. Curiously, the same can be said about people who regularly sleep more than nine hours a day. Specialists from the Medical College of the University of London found that lack of sleep and its surplus doubled the risk of death.
Scientists have long known about the connection between lack of sleep and cardiovascular diseases, although they cannot explain why sleep is so bad. Recent studies have revealed the dependence of sleep overload on depression and low socioeconomic status, but this issue needs further study.
3. Cryptochromes are the ancient squirrels that are found in all plants and animals on our planet. These substances, which “live” mainly in the eyes and on the skin, are sensitive to all shades of blue that appear in nature at dawn or dusk, and therefore are very important for our daily cycle. With the help of these substances, our bodies are able to recognize sunlight with their eyes closed.
Have you ever wondered where the blind know when – the day, and when – the night? Cryptochromes determine that sunlight has stopped flowing and give a signal to the epiphysis to convert serotonin, which kept you awake all day into melatonin, thanks to which you can have a good rest at night.
As soon as morning comes, the formation of serotonin will increase, and melanin will decrease, and you will be ready for a new day. That is why doctors so often prescribe as an antidepressant drugs SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; approx. Mixstuff.ru). All that a person needs to overcome depression is to have a good sleep.
4. The active use of artificial light led to a disruption of the natural rhythm of serotonin-melatonin production, which has developed over thousands of years. The production of melatonin is suppressed by light and resumes with the onset of darkness, so the longer you sit up in the evenings, the more negative it affects your physical and mental condition.
Studies have shown that premature aging is related to reduced melatonin levels during sleep. Melatonin is associated with our ability to learn and work memory. It can be beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s disease. It is a powerful antioxidant that can protect DNA from free radical damage and prevent the development of certain forms of cancer.
Recent studies have shown that workers whose daily cycle is constantly disrupted due to working on night shifts are at risk of cancer. So if you have to work at night, try to at least arrange for night shifts to alternate with day shifts every month.
And before you go to the pharmacy to buy preparations containing melatonin, please note that although these supplements may help for a while, in the long run they will cause your body to gradually produce even less melatonin.
Nothing, absolutely nothing can replace healthy sleep.
5. Studies have shown that hormonal disorders are associated with a violation of the deep sleep phase. That is, ultimately, it is not so much the amount of sleep that is important as its quality.
Superficial sleep increases the level of cortisol – a stress hormone. In moderation, it is useful, but if its level is too high, it becomes dangerous.
High levels of cortisol lead to lower testosterone levels, weakened immune systems, loss of muscle mass, and high blood pressure. In addition, a surplus of cortisol contributes to weight gain, especially in the abdomen, and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Cortisol reduces the formation of serotonin, and the lack of serotonin can be increased by taking carbohydrates (sugar and starch).