Dreamlike nights - 5 facts about sleep

The summer solstice is over, now the days are getting shorter and the nights longer. No reason to be sad: sleeping is so important. But do not fall asleep now, it will be exciting!
There are supposed to be people who only need four or five hours of sleep a night. After that, they are in top shape! Or at least they do so. From a health point of view, that is not enough. Our body needs longer rest periods for regeneration.

Why do we have to sleep ...

On average, people overslept a third of their lives. Wasted time? Not at all! We can not get it, but a lot happens in our body while we're asleep. Deep sleep and dream phases alternate about every 90 minutes. During deep sleep, our body continues to work diligently, like a computer updating programs in the background. It releases growth hormones for regeneration and activates the immune system so that defense cells can make short work of viruses and bacteria. That's why you should sleep a lot when you're sick.

In the dream phase, our brain processes the experiences of the day and empties quasi-short-term memory, which can then be used again the next day. But we also dream of completely bizarre things that have nothing to do with our daily work or private life. This will probably train areas of the brain that are under-challenged if we do not ride on unicorns daily or go chasing as private investigators. Without sleep, both our bodies and our brains lack urgently needed working time.

... and how much sleep do we need?

How long you should sleep depends on your age. The US National Sleep Foundation recommends 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day for a newborn baby (of course, not in one piece - of which parents of small screaming necks can sing a song). Elementary school children need nine to eleven hours sleep. Adults should sleep seven to nine hours a night. It does not take less than six hours, a few adults need up to ten hours a night.
It is true: not only too little sleep is bad. Those who are really fit after more than ten hours may suffer from restless sleep so that the body can not regenerate enough in eight hours and therefore requires more sleep. Researchers at Cambridge University have also found that people who sleep more than eight hours a night have a higher risk of stroke.

What happens if a person does not sleep anymore?

Under careful scientific observation, volunteers have been awake several times for up to ten days. But sleep deprivation is not without reason a torture method. The longer one stays without sleep, the more problems arise sinking body temperature, concentration and perception weaknesses, apathy and partial or total loss of cognitive and motor control. At the onset of the second night without sleep, reaction time and body control sink to a level as if one had 0.85 per thousand alcohol in the blood.

On the question of whether long-term lack of sleep kills, researchers are not quite agreed. It depends on the interpretation of the cause of death. In rare lethal familial insomnia, for example, the patient dies almost without sleep after around six to 30 months. The direct cause of death in these cases, however, is multiple organ failure.

 What disturbs our sleep?

Many people know it by now, but by no means everyone is sticking to it: the smartphone has to go out as long as possible before bedtime. The best you even impose a ban in the bedroom! The blue light of the display disturbs considerably when falling asleep. Our eyes signal to the brain that it should stay awake. Therefore, less melatonin is produced - just the hormone that controls our day-night rhythm and thus significantly contributes to quiet sleep. We are also mentally active when we write emails or update our social media profiles. And who is not relaxed, falls asleep worse.

Other sleep disturbers are alcohol and caffeine, therefore: Six hours before going to bed no more coffee! Also noises and too much light in the bedroom are contrary to a really restful sleep.

How do you sleep well?

Well, no use of mobile phones in the bedroom, we have already clarified that. In addition, the space in which the bed is placed should never be misappropriated, as space in one's own home permits. So work in the office and watch TV in the living room. Whoever sleeps at the same time - yes, even on weekends  - has a better chance of falling asleep quickly. In addition, the pillow and mattress should be comfortable and optimally support the head and body.

When it is still calm, dark and warm between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius, the best conditions are created for a deep, peaceful sleep. We wish you a good night!


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