It is difficult to overestimate the importance of sleep for our body. A person can live without food for a maximum of 8-9 days, without water – from 2 to 14 days, without sleep – only 3-11 days. When we fall asleep, there is an increase in anabolism and inhibition of catabolism. The formation of micro and macromolecules (amino acids and protein, elements of DNA and RNA, polysaccharides and fatty acids, immune cells) necessary for the body increases. Also, sleep allows our body to rest fully and gain energy.
In the absence of any disturbances, diurnal or circadian rhythms are formed in a healthy person. This is a daily individual combination of sleep and wakefulness in certain proportions. They are formed in the hypothalamus under the influence of various factors of the external and internal environment. Like the process of falling asleep, they depend on a large set of conditions: on the volume of incoming information and the level of efficiency of the brain, the amount of light and sound, the concentration of various metabolites and certain hypnotic compounds in the blood. Disorders of circadian rhythms are one of the causes of sleep problems.
By its structure, sleep is not homogeneous; it can be slow and rapid. They constantly alternate and form cycles of about 100 minutes in length each. On average, with a healthy sleep (8 hours), there are 5 full cycles. In a dream, not only metabolism is activated, but also the greater part of the brain is. Slow sleep is necessary for a person to preserve and assimilate the acquired knowledge. Rapid sleep is the basis for the formation of dreams.
Principles of non-drug treatment of sleep disorders:
- Try to eliminate the causes of sleep disorders: stress, anxiety and depression, shift work at day/night, neurological diseases, stale air, excessive illumination, etc.
- It is recommended to develop your sleep and wakefulness regime, i.e. to form a normal Circadian Rhythm. Go to bed at the same time – the body gets used to the regime and prepares for bed early.
- Go to bed only if you feel fatigue (mental or physical).
- Try to avoid drowsiness in the evening.
- Do not eat food that could disturb your sleep (coffee, chocolate, and fizzy drinks) before going to bed. At the same time, you should not go to sleep on an empty stomach. Before going to bed, drink a glass of warm milk – this can lead to drowsiness.
- Avoid intense physical and emotional stresses before bedtime. They have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system and prevent falling asleep.
- Create a favorable psychosomatic situation – prepare a bed and bed linen so that you feel comfortable.
- Do not use alcohol to normalize sleep! In some cases, the use of various doses of alcohol makes it easier to fall asleep. However, more often, it leads to aggravation of problems with sleep. Moreover, one should not forget about a large number of side effects that occur with the systematic use of alcohol.
If these principles did not work, then go on to the medical treatment of sleep disorders.
The derivatives of cyclopyrrolones are Imovane and other similar drugs from pharmacies. These drugs increase the susceptibility of neurons. Unlike benzodiazepines, they affect only the receptors in the central nervous system. Therefore, the therapeutic effect comes quickly and without any negative consequences. Drugs of this group are well suited for treating insomnia in the elderly people.