Today, rather than restoring sleep to its rightful place, we sacrifice it on the altar of work, in the name of hyper-productivity, or train it with drugs, if not food supplements. While there is a very simple solution: SLEEP. Why has it become so difficult to sleep well today?
Why has this primary need become so difficult to satisfy?
One thing is certain, we are all concerned. The evolution of the place of light in our daily lives, the evolution of our lifestyles, the evolution of our behaviors due to the Internet… Sleeping badly in our time is explained. But it is far from being a fatality!
Sleep and Chronobiology
Let’s get back to basics: our biological clock, the conductor – the Maestro please!, of our body. The one that will set the tempo for all our circadian circles. You should know that the functioning of each organ – and even of each cell, is governed by an internal clock.
And it is all of these internal clocks that are synchronized by the biological clock, located in the hypothalamus. She then gives the measure so that all beat on the same rhythm. More concretely: that the metabolic, digestive, renal, respiratory, endocrine and nervous functions are regulated by this central clock, on a cycle of 24 hours – 24h12 to be exact!
That is, slightly more than one rotation of planet Earth on itself. The correct adjustment of this so-called circadian rhythm then depends on body temperature, mood, heart rate, attention, and of course… sleep! Knowing that the rate at which the hands of the biological watch move varies from one person to another. Our physical and cognitive performance is thus directly linked to circadian circles.
Chronobiology, the study of biological rhythms, has made it possible to better understand these mechanisms, and has shown in particular the key role of sunlight – and particularly of the light-dark alternation in the synchronization of the biological clock.
Light is our main external synchronizer
It is essential to the conductor, because it provides him with all the information he needs to establish the rhythm. Indeed, light allows the biological clock to be reset and is synonymous with awakening for the body. Good “Light Hygiene” is therefore essential…
By activating a set of biological mechanisms, light allows quality alertness and cognitive functioning during the day. It is the right exposure to light during the day and darkness at night, which allows an optimal synchronization of the biological clock and therefore allows us to sleep well!
A virtuous circle when everything works but which can have serious consequences on our health when it is off…
Make sleep your priority
Make sure to set a regular time for going to bed and getting up. And we respect this schedule on weekends too! (Even if it’s not easy – we agree!)
This kind of ritual greatly helps the body’s internal clock to keep its rhythm. And the more we respect our own rhythm, the more energy and concentration we have to achieve our goals during the day.
Just try to see!
And melatonin in all this?
This hormone that we associate with sleep, and which makes everyone talk! Only secreted at night thanks to darkness, melatonin is the hormone that helps to plunge into deep sleep. Then between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., cortisol takes over.
By playing a major role in the balance of blood sugar levels, the latter contributes to providing the energy necessary for an effort.
But you should know that here too, the energy is present differently from one individual to another! Each of us performs better at one time or another of the day: this applies as much to physical exertion as it does to cognitive tasks.
Complex cognitive tasks such as arithmetic calculation or short-term memory are dependent on a rhythm whose peak is in the early hours of the morning.
They are more difficult to achieve in the early afternoon. You know right after the meal… when the call of the siesta is felt! This hour is also not recommended for starting a new task or doing something you have never done!
More in the morning or more in the evening?
A question that we often manage to answer from our youngest age! Indeed, being in the morning or in the evening is a personal characteristic with which you have to live often… all your life!
The “early risers” will easily recognize themselves with their formidable ability to be immediately in the action in the morning.
Just like the “night owls”, active and productive in the second part of the day, not to say first part of the night! This morning-evening dimension is usually fixed and defined in an individual and we tend to follow it all his life.
Sleep and Immune System
If the quality of our sleep results from our biological clock, it then directly impacts our immune system. We are not going to hide our face, this one goes into active mode as soon as we go to bed!
Sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system because it is a period of recovery, repair and resourcing, during which the latter acts.
Displacement of certain components, creation of immune memories, triggering of processes that promote cell proliferation and efficiency…
When we sleep, our immune cells move…
Indeed, some of our immune cells start moving as soon as we sleep! During sleep, T lymphocytes leave the blood to reach the lymph nodes and return to the blood as soon as you wake up.
This helps with adaptive immune memory. These movements also help maintain balance.
…and our immune system creates memories!
While sleep helps the brain create memories, so do immune memories.
Hormones secreted by the endocrine system during slow-wave sleep induce the creation of long-lasting immune memories.
An essential factor for the response of the adaptive immune system.
The effectiveness of our immune cells is preserved while we sleep…
So you avoid working in your room or storing work-related objects there.
Again, it’s not always easy and it depends of course on the size of our living spaces, but we try as much as possible!
The choice of furniture
In Feng Shui, furniture in the bedroom is preferably rounded and light in color, not too close to the bed.
It is recommended to avoid hanging cupboards and open shelves that give a feeling of heaviness, especially near the bed.
And if the bedroom is adjacent to the bathroom, the door must be kept closed so that the negative energy of the latter does not enter the bedroom.
Scent your room
To perfume your room is to give it a Feng Shui atmosphere! You can opt for sandalwood or jasmine scents which have relaxing properties.
Note that the essential oil of lavender, at the rate of a drop on the pillow, can help you fall asleep.
Soft, subdued lighting
The art of Feng Shui recommends lighting should be soft, subdued… When the lighting is too powerful, it can cause tension, while too dim lighting can cause anxiety.