How to get enough sleep every day, not occasionally

Modern life is quite intense, and often a person sacrifices sleep in order to have time to complete all his tasks. Unfortunately, this is very harmful to health, because sleep is as important for a person as proper nutrition and physical activity. Even a small deficiency can negatively impact your mood, energy, mental acuity, and ability to cope with stress. But how long should proper sleep last: 6, 7 or 9 hours?

Sleep is much more than just a time to rest the body and mind. In fact, while we sleep, our body works hard. During this time, muscles that received microdamage during the day are restored, the immune system is strengthened, and metabolism is regulated. In addition, night's rest is extremely important for regulating a person's emotional state. Research shows that lack of sleep makes people almost 60% more emotional and irritable. A study published in December 2015 in the journal Trends in Neurosciences shows a correlation between sleep quality and the ability to stay focused on a single task. In order to focus on completing a task, the brain must “turn off” certain functions responsible for collecting information from the outside world.

Healthy sleep

To have a sound and complete sleep, you must follow the rules of healthy sleep.

Sleep is a natural physiological state, the opposite of the waking state.

Source Wikipedia

Healthy sleep is very important for a person. During sleep, vital hormones are produced that are responsible for the immune system, protecting the body from many diseases, giving vital energy and strength. Well-being, performance, and mood depend on it. Sleep is a vital necessity, just like air, water, food.

On average, you need to sleep 7–8 hours a day. During healthy sleep, the body is restored, muscle tissue grows, energy is accumulated, fats are processed, and regenerative processes occur in the body.

During wakefulness, the body spends energy on life support and the organs’ need for nutrition increases. At night, the body slows down this work, and the brain, on the contrary, begins to intensively distribute signals for recovery and controls this process.

Conditions for healthy, full sleep

The rules for healthy sleep are simple. For a good night's sleep, it is enough to:

  • Go to bed at the same time;
  • Maintain a rest regime;
  • Don't be nervous before bed;
  • Ventilate the bedroom;
  • The bed, mattress, pillow should be comfortable.

How many hours should you sleep

First, we need to understand that there is a difference between how much sleep a person can sleep and the amount of sleep actually necessary for optimal functioning of the body. According to experts, on average, adults sleep 7-6 hours. At first glance it may seem that these are pretty good indicators. In fact, this is a typical example of chronic sleep deprivation.

Most healthy adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
For children and adolescents this figure is slightly higher. Despite the fact that older people should also not have less than 7 hours of rest, many in old age suffer from insomnia. In this case, you should at least partially compensate for the lack of night rest with daytime sleep. Table of sleep needs by age

AgeHours of sleep
Babies up to 3 months14-1711-19
From 4 to 11 months12-1510-18
From 1 to 2 years11-149-16
From 3 to 5 years10-138-14
From 6 to 13 years9-117-12
From 14 to 17 years old8-107-11
From 18 to 25 years old7-96-11
Adults from 26 to 64 years old7-96-10
Over 65 years old7-85-9

Interestingly, researchers from the University of California at San Francisco discovered that some people have a gene that allows them to sleep 6 hours a day and still get great sleep. However, this gene is found in only 3% of the world's population.

Rules for healthy and good sleep

Many people have problems with sleep: some people cannot fall asleep for a long time in the evening, others have difficulty waking up in the morning.

To improve the quality of your sleep, fall asleep quickly and wake up easily and feel good all day, you just need to follow simple rules:

You need to know how much sleep you need and at what time

To determine this, you need to conduct an experiment on weekends. During the experiment, go to bed as soon as you want and sleep as much as you want. After a few days, decide what type of person you are and how much time you need to get a good night's sleep.

People are all different and according to daily activity they are divided into “owls”, “larks” and “pigeons”.

“Larks” wake up early. They are most productive in the first half of the day, then their activity subsides. They go to bed early.

“Owls” get up late, usually 2–3 hours before noon. The peak of activity occurs in the evening. They go to bed late, usually after midnight.

“Doves” get up in the morning a little later than “larks”. Active throughout the day. They go to bed about an hour before midnight.

Wake up at the same time

And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a weekday or a weekend. Getting up at the same time will help the body adjust its body clock to the right time for sleep and make the most of this time for recovery.

You will get rid of drowsiness in the morning and will be able to plan your affairs correctly.

Half an hour before bed, forget about gadgets

Usually, after you have dealt with all your affairs, you want to check your email, chat with friends on social networks, or surf YouTube.

You shouldn't do this before bed. The light emanating from the smartphone screen imitates the sun and signals the brain to stop producing melatonin.

Doctor says

Anastasia Mertsalova

The combined opinion of doctors on this issue

Melatonin is a hormone that helps our body observe biorhythms, adapt to the change of day and night, and helps us sleep soundly.

Failure of biorhythms leads to poor sleep, deterioration of well-being and vision, and the development of depression.

You need to relax before going to bed

About an hour before bedtime, it is advisable to deal with all your affairs and relax. For this:

  • Brush your teeth and wash your face;
  • Look through the latest newspapers;
  • Think positive.

Don't eat at night

Try to have dinner 4–5 hours before bedtime. A later dinner can cause heartburn and heaviness in the stomach, which will definitely prevent you from falling asleep.

If you feel hungry in the evening after dinner, you can quench it with a cup of kefir or green tea.

Lead an active lifestyle

Physical activity helps expend energy and relieves stress. They should be completed approximately 6 hours before bedtime.

Walking in the fresh air before bed is beneficial. Oxygen is a good antidepressant, relieves stress and improves mood.

Signs of lack of sleep

The best way to tell if you're getting enough sleep at night is to take stock of your condition during the day. Although people who are used to constantly “saving money” on their vacation may no longer remember what it’s like to truly be awake, to be as concentrated as possible. But there are certain signs that a person is not getting enough sleep.

You may be sleep deprived if:

  • need an alarm clock to wake up on time;
  • you can reset the alarm clock for a few more minutes after the ringing;
  • difficulty waking up and getting out of bed;
  • you feel sluggish during the day;
  • you can switch off in a meeting, in classes or in an empty office;
  • feel drowsy while driving and after eating;
  • need a nap during the day, at least for a short time;
  • fall asleep quickly while watching TV;
  • on weekends you can sleep much longer than on weekdays;
  • fall asleep within 5 minutes of getting into bed.

What can affect your sleep quality

Everyone knows that health, performance and mood directly depend on the quality of sleep. With chronic lack of sleep, a person becomes lethargic and his health worsens.

Various factors influence sleep:

  • Stress, emotional overstrain;
  • Overwork;
  • Sleep after 2 pm;
  • Hunger or, conversely, overeating;
  • Distracting sounds;
  • Late night watching movies on TV or reading information from the phone screen.

To have healthy and complete sleep, you need to sleep properly.

To do this, you need to choose a comfortable mattress on which to lie comfortably. It should adapt to your body so that the spine, shoulders and pelvis are in the correct position, and the muscles and joints are rested. It should not be too hard and not too soft.

The mattress should be chosen depending on your individual characteristics, taking into account gender, age, weight.

There should be no irritants in the bedroom. At night and in the morning, the bedroom should be protected from the light of street lamps and the bright moon. In addition, it is necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom.


A person with insufficient quantity and quality of night sleep is revealed by reddened eyes, pale facial skin, apathy, bags and dark circles under the eyes. Poor sleep with neurosis is provoked by hyperactivity. In this state, a person may not experience fatigue and feel a surge of strength and a desire for vigorous activity. In addition to negative external manifestations, insomnia causes disruptions in the functioning of the nervous system, so people with a similar problem are characterized by irritability, decreased performance and poor concentration.

The main symptoms of this disease include disorders such as:

  • difficulty falling asleep when a person tosses and turns in bed, which lasts from half an hour to several hours;
  • lack or complete absence of sleep at night;
  • tension during sleep and increased sensitivity to the environment, shallow sleep;
  • awakening at night or before dawn, after which there is no return to sleep.

Consequences of lack of sleep

Lack of sleep impairs the functioning of certain areas of the brain, which results in negative consequences for a person:

  • Memory, attention, coordination of movements deteriorate;
  • Immunity decreases;
  • Productivity decreases. The work is done slowly and poorly;
  • A sleep-deprived person is irritable and hot-tempered;
  • With a lack of sleep, he begins to look for external stimulants - nicotine, caffeine, alcohol;
  • He loses motivation and the desire to move forward to achieve his goal disappears;
  • Regular lack of sleep leads to dark circles under the eyes and premature aging of the skin.

If a person does not get enough sleep for a long time, he may develop health problems. The risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity increases. Resistance to colds decreases.

Stages of night rest

There are periods of complete sleep that repeat several times a night. Each stage is characterized by the activity of different brain structures and different functions. There are 2 main phases: slow and fast sleep. Slow consists of four stages:

  1. First. Half-asleep, drowsiness. Characterized by a decrease in breathing rate, pulse, body temperature and muscle activity.
  2. Second. Shallow sleep, during which breathing, heart rate and muscle activity continue to decrease.
  3. Third. Slow sleep. The body almost completely relaxes, and the cells begin their restoration work.
  4. Fourth. Deep slow sleep. At this stage, the body is completely relaxed and the body can rest and recover. The last two phases guarantee the morning feeling that a person has rested.

The REM stage of sleep occurs 70-90 minutes after falling asleep. A feature of the phase is brain activity, which almost corresponds to activity during wakefulness.

At the same time, the body is completely relaxed. In addition, there is an increase in heart rate and breathing rate, blood pressure and temperature, and the eyes move quickly. Most often, it is during this phase that people see the majority of their dreams.

Basic conditions for sound healthy sleep

The best time to sleep is considered to be from 10 pm to 2 am. As mentioned earlier, you need to go to bed at the same time.

When sleeping, you need to choose the right position. The most correct position is on your back. It is in this position that all muscles relax. Blood circulates freely to the brain, and the heart receives an even load. It is recommended for people with scoliosis to sleep on their back. because the mattress supports the spine.

By keeping your face away from the pillow throughout the night, the appearance of wrinkles is prevented. It is not recommended to sleep on a pillow that is too high, because... it makes breathing difficult. It is also not recommended for pregnant women, people with breathing problems and those who snore while sleeping.

Many people find it suitable to sleep on their side. At this time, the back is relaxed and the spine maintains its natural curve. But you need to consider which side you should sleep on. Heartburn may occur on the right side. And on the left side, hypertensive patients may experience additional stress on the heart.

It is undesirable to hide your hands under the pillow, as blood circulation in them worsens.

Sleeping on your stomach is considered the most harmful. Lying on your stomach disrupts the correct position of your head during sleep. Due to the fact that it has to be turned to one side, the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. The load on the muscles, joints, and chest increases, making breathing difficult. The natural curve of the spine is straightened, and this leads to back pain.


Relaxation before bed will be very useful; it will give you full, deep sleep, which will help your body and soul restore strength and gain energy.

Relaxation is an involuntary or voluntary state of rest, which is associated with partial or complete muscle relaxation. This way you will fall asleep faster and will not turn from side to side.

How to relax

  1. Lie on your back (preferably without a pillow), lay your head flat, arms slightly to the side, palms down. Close your eyes.
  2. Gradually become aware of and relax parts of your body: start from the forehead and work your way down. Relax your eyes. Relax your chewing muscles while silently pronouncing the sound “s”. Relax your tongue using the silent syllable “te”. Let your tongue feel comfortable in your mouth.

    Relax your neck, shoulders, arms.

    Feel your chest and stomach, back. Relax them.

    Continue to feel the rest of the body, relaxing them one by one: hips, knees, legs, feet, toes.

  3. You need to stay in this state for several minutes, feeling how relaxation passes throughout your body.
  4. Try to free your mind from all thoughts.
  5. Breathe through your belly so that it actively rises and falls.

Believe me, a couple of days of such meditation, and you will quickly fall asleep, and in the morning you will beam with strength and energy.

What you need for healthy sleep

A person spends a third of his life sleeping, so you need to pay attention to the pillow you sleep on. The most useful for sleeping are orthopedic pillows. They follow the natural curves of the head and neck. In addition, the materials from which they are made are hypoallergenic and completely harmless. But due to the fact that pillows are expensive, not everyone can afford to buy them.

Ideally, the pillow should be neither too soft nor too hard, so as not to strain your neck. Its optimal height for most people is 10–14 cm, and its width should correspond to the width of the shoulders. The filling and cover must be made of breathable materials.

The most important condition for good sleep is a good climate in the bedroom. A person sleeps, and the brain functions, preparing the body for the next day. The optimal temperature in the bedroom should be 20 - 22 degrees. Fresh air improves brain function and cardiovascular system.

The key to health and good sleep is proper nutrition.

To sleep soundly at night you need to:

Have dinner 3 - 4 hours before bedtime, do not eat fatty and spicy foods, because... such food can cause heartburn and swelling of the face.

Over a late dinner, you should prefer a light snack with low-calorie foods, for example, low-fat kefir, milk, yogurt.

Sleep problems also occur in people who adhere to a strict diet. If you consume less than 1,200 calories during the day, the body is missing many nutrients. For example, a lack of iron in the body causes discomfort in the legs. And insufficient folic acid can lead to insomnia. It is found in seafood, citrus fruits, legumes, and green vegetables.

In the afternoon, you should not abuse drinks containing caffeine (coffee, tea, cocoa, energy drinks). Their effect lasts up to 12 hours. As a result, blood pressure increases and the heart rhythm is disturbed, which leads to anxious, interrupted sleep. For better sleep, you can drink decoctions of soothing herbs.

Alcoholic drinks cause drowsiness, but they should not be used as a sleeping pill. The body processes alcohol, as a result, sleep cycles are disrupted, and the person wakes up from any extraneous sounds.

Other principles

Continuing the list of what useful rest depends on, it is worth remembering the microclimate in the bedroom, features of bed care, physical and mental activity.

Rules for normal sleep:

  1. Microclimate in the bedroom. Temperature, air quality and humidity are the most important conditions for a healthy night's rest. The most favorable temperature is from 13 to 17 degrees. Ventilation is necessary to improve indoor air quality. Even in big cities, the air outside the window is cleaner than in the apartment. Optimal humidity is 50-60%. Purifying and improving the atmosphere in the bedroom can be achieved by placing indoor plants.
  2. Rest zone. The bedroom is only for relaxation, sleep and sex. But unfortunately, for various reasons, not everyone can follow this rule. For many people, the bedroom is also a creative workshop, office or cinema room. The situation is aggravated when partners have different biorhythms. Larks in relationships with owls and people with the opposite state of affairs advise in such cases noise from headphones (for example, rain) or a sleep mask, which help to fall asleep.
  3. Bed dress. The pillow and mattress should be of medium hardness. This is the best way to take care of your spine while you rest. Lingerie, pajamas, and blankets must be made from environmentally friendly, natural materials and be appropriate for the season.
  4. Physical activity is useful for improving sleep quality, but only 3 hours before falling asleep.
  5. Mental activity. All kinds of collecting and studying information, solving problems, watching the news, working on articles or term papers and any activity at the computer drives away sleep. All this should be left 1-2 days before the night's rest.
  6. Darkness. It is important to try to get rid of all light sources: from the window, gadget screens and TV, so that they do not interfere with the production of melatonin. This is also where a sleep mask can come in handy.
  7. Waking up often determines the mood for the entire coming day, so it is important to create conditions for a gradual and gentle awakening.

Day rest deserves special mention. Its benefits are undeniable, especially if a person feels tired and drowsy in the middle of the day. But if your night's rest is disturbed, it is better to refrain from napping during the day, allowing yourself a maximum of 15-20 minutes in bed in order to cheer up.

Healthy sleep without pills. Advice from somnologist Roman Buzunov

Causes of insomnia

All processes in our body are under the strict control of the central nervous system (CNS). If any deviations from the norm occur, sleep is one of the first to suffer.

Many people experience insomnia before exams, important events or serious experiences. A person with a high level of anxiety is also a rare guest in the kingdom of Morpheus. Along with psychosocial stress, insomnia (insomnia) can occur due to:

  • changes in climate zones,
  • late dinner,
  • diseases of various types,
  • hormonal imbalances,
  • neuralgia,
  • alcoholism and smoking,
  • physical discomfort (pain),
  • age-related changes.

To determine the cause of insomnia and its treatment, consultation with a specialist is recommended.

Doctors believe that a person needs to sleep at least 5 hours per night. If you sleep less than this minimum for 3 days in a row, the body will experience the same effect as from one sleepless night. A team of scientists from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles suggested that one night without sleep can cause health damage comparable to that of eating fast food for six months. At least this fact has been proven in dogs.

People who get enough sleep do better in sports

The US National Institutes of Health conducted studies that showed that quality sleep improves athletic performance. Basketball players took part in the tests; Those who got regular sleep experienced improvements in speed, accuracy, reaction time and mental well-being.

There was another study regarding older women. Short sleep directly affected physical fitness. The trial involved more than 2,800 women and found that poor sleep was associated with slower walking, lower grip strength and greater difficulty performing independent activities.

To summarize: Prolonged sleep improves many aspects of sports and physical performance.

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