A night of healthy sleep is the prerequisite for health, vitality and mental fitness. Those who sleep too little feel powerless and exhausted.
In addition to the daily food intake, a night of healthy sleep is one of the basic needs of man. But how exactly do we sleep? Which phases are there?
What happens in sleep?
A good third of our lives are spent in our sleep. The average sleep time that the body needs is about seven hours. This is not a fixed time, much more so that the duration varies individually. Those who feel rested and capable of performing well generally slept well.
Sleep is a change of activity and rest, but what happens during sleep?
- The body regulates its heat balance: If it is too warm, arms and legs look out from under the blanket. If it’s too cold, bring your arms and legs back under the covers.
- The changing body positions lead to regular pressure relief of the individual body parts and are thus an excellent prevention for decubitus.
- By alternately tensing and relaxing the muscles this is regularly stretched and relaxed. This prevents painful muscle tension.
- The feedback to the brain from the movements of the muscles, ligaments and joints and the contacts of the body surface through the regular changes in position ensures a safe feeling of the body.
- The body seals itself completely to the outside and deals with the repair work. He can now bring no performance to the outside. The immune system strengthens, food it digested.
- Our body replaces spent energy. Spent cells are exchanged and we store experiences so that we do not make a mistake twice, for example. Learned during the day consolidates itself.
- The immune system works while sleeping and protects the body from infections.
- The body consumes almost as many calories while sleeping as it does during the day.
Disadvantages of too little sleep:
- Too little sleep makes you ill
- Too little sleep shortens life
- Insufficient sleep limits mental capacity
The biological rhythm
An internal clock gives us our biological rhythm, through which we are active and efficient during the day, reaching and sleeping at night. This internal clock sets signals for day and night. Even after a forced postponement of the sleep time, it often comes through the internal clock to wake up in the morning. The recreational value of daytime sleep does not equal that of nighttime sleep. Our internal clock tells us when it’s time to sleep. It also sets the pace for the daily structure: The peak of our performance is above all in the time of 10.00 -12.00 o’clock in the morning. At 2:00 pm our body goes down and we experience the low lows after lunch.
The absolute power drop, however, we find in the night between 3:00 and 4:00 clock. If we are awake at this time, our perception is distorted, the ability to concentrate on the ground, we feel uncomfortable and our organism is extremely unstable and works highly ineffective.
Sleep consists of different phases and alternates between rest and activity. It is like a rollercoaster ride and is not a steady-state of rest.
Light sleep, light deep sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep, so the time of dreaming.
One night has 2 to 3 deep sleep phases in the first half of the night. These are interrupted by 4 to 5 dream sleep phases, which recur every 90 minutes and become longer as the night progresses. Towards morning there is only light sleep between the dream phases, from which we can wake up easily. Waking up during the night is completely normal. Often we can not remember it. An average sleeper wakes up about 28 times at night without being able to remember it.
Mobility while sleeping
To be able to sleep, we have to be totally relaxed. When we fall asleep, we barely move. Sometimes, like us at night, to change the pad pressure, or stretch an arm or leg out of the blanket to equalize the temperature. We usually do this before or after a dream sleep. In the dream sleep itself, we are completely motionless paralyzed. Even in deep sleep, we almost do not move at all. Our muscle tension decreases and the body compensates pressure only via micro-movements.
Does sleep change with age?
As you age, the sleep-wake cycle changes. He shifts forward. The result is that the elderly person gets tired earlier in the morning and tired in the evening. The nocturnal sleep duration of the elderly person is shorter because it is interrupted in comparison to that of younger people by more frequent and longer nocturnal wakefulness. By inserting a nap, however, the elderly man often comes to total sleep time as long as a younger man.
Quality of results
If residents (in nursing homes) sleep well and, above all, sleep well, there are advantages for the daily form:
- Better day shape
- More accessible to the therapeutic process …
- … thus less time for the nurses in nursing activities
- Less susceptible to further diseases