Give us this day our daily sleep
It’s the most efficient medicine one can take, and it is free. Most people don’t realize how a lack of sleep can fundamentally affect both our physical and mental health. If we were all aware of this, we wouldn’t be currently facing such a dangerous epidemic which has had a monstrous influence on our experiences, decisions, ability to learn, road safety and last but not least, our longevity. What I have in mind is the proposal of a lack of sleep epidemic.
THE FASTEST WAY TO THE GRAVE
I have spent an entire month studying the complexities of sleep and that is why everything you read in this article is based on facts supported by scientific experiments and not merely by my opinions. I mention this just in case you would counter the idea that the average adult needs 7–9 hours of sleep every day. There are no exceptions to this because the natural duration of our sleep depends on a circadian rhythm which was developed as an evolutionary adaptation to the alternation of day and night cycles on planet Earth. If we lived on a different planet, we would probably have a different circadian rhythm and thus different sleep requirements. However, among those I know, there are people who consider themselves supermen and stubbornly claim that they need no more than 5–6 hours of sleep per day. As you wish, supermen, you are shortening your own lives…
A good example which supports this statement is the statistically measured 21% increase in the incidence of a heart attack every time wintertime turns into summertime and the subsequent loss of “merely” one hour of sleep. Shortening the period of regular sleep to less than 6 hours leads to an increased risk of stroke, heart complications and cancer, it dramatically suppresses immunity, speeds up the development of senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, worsens depression and anxiety and speeds up aging. In conclusion, all of the above leads to the shortening of life and the overall decrease of its quality.
A lack of sleep also projects itself into our memory and thus into our ability to learn. A sleepy child achieves worse results at school by up to 40% in comparison with a child who sleeps well. It is necessary to mention that children naturally need to sleep longer (approximately 10 hours) until the age of 25 when the brain stops developing. It’s no wonder that among children and adolescents, there is an increasing number of mental issues, attention deficit disorders and suicidal tendencies—most children don’t sleep enough for their brains to clean and regenerate.
The underappreciated superpower of our brain is the fact that while sleeping it can come up with solutions to fairly complex tasks. A good example is a system which sorts chemical elements based on their logical order, better known as Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements. Mendeleev had been trying to solve this task and sort the chemical elements for many years until one night when everything suddenly became clear in his mind and he woke up knowing the solution.
Our brain is truly an ingenious tool which can draw context from signals received during the day and there are much more of these than we realize.
Sleep is therefore necessary to process experience, transfer information from short-term to long-term memory, and is also the main prerequisite for our creativity. I therefore am thankful to work as a freelancer as it means I can get up whenever I want, and I hope all employees, students or those who can influence their sleep duration to realize that a person and student who sleeps well performs better than one who is forced to get up when the alarm clock goes off.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION – MAN’S GREATEST ENEMY
Let’s forget about those who develop sleep deprivation voluntarily and focus on people who would like to sleep but cannot. The inability to fall asleep and sleep calmly all night is usually caused by one thing—high cortisol levels which is an adrenal hormone that naturally dissipates in stressful situations. In a state of chronic stress, cortisol is continuously present in circulation. Unfortunately, this is a typically vicious circle.
The less we sleep, the more we react hyper sensitively to stimuli and perceive them as threats, and the more cortisol our body produces.
The frustrating truth is that the best medicine to stress is plenty of quality sleep. No wonder there are so many desperate and stressed individuals who resort to taking sleeping pills in order to escape this vicious circle. It’s sad that these pills have an opposite effect. They only reduce the quality of sleep, lead to addiction and their usage increases the risk of cancer.
NATURAL SLEEPING PRODUCTS
For those who would like to find a way out I have good news. There is a natural solution. Celitin helps to improve cerebral blood flow, it deepens predominantly the REM sleep phase when we dream. Korolen is a sleep savior, overall, it harmonizes the brain and induces mental balance. One drop of Korolen and one Celitin pill before you go to bed will truly improve your sleep quality. Another relevant product is Gynex. It contains licorice, improves your mental health and tranquility, and harmonizes hormonal system (cortisol). It needs to be taken during the day as well, ideally 7 drops, 3 times a day. Relaxin also has beneficial effects on stress reduction, and it improves your chances of falling asleep at night.
The better we sleep at night the better we will do during the day as we are beings of “yin and yang” and pulsing between activity and deep relaxation is a way to naturally achieve balance. Therefore, in your own interest, you should give up doing all-nighters unless you plan to get a good night’s sleep in the grave...