Sleep organization: complete relaxation for adequate rest
Someone smart noticed that with age, children’s punishments gradually turn into adult joys:
- Having breakfast with healthy porridge
- Not going out all-day
- Sleeping an hour or two in the afternoon after dinner
And even if we can afford it, not hurrying anywhere only on our day off, this circumstance and the limited availability of such pleasures make them desirable and joyful.
Most of us remember that in kindergarten when all of the above was forced to do every day, such an organization of daytime sleep as “quiet time” was extremely annoying. You haven’t fought with everyone yet, you haven’t played with all the toys, you haven’t swayed on all the swings, but here you go and sleep … Some lawlessness!
But, in fairness, all these measures, such as a well-thought-out daily routine, competent organization of sleep, and organization of a diet at a clearly defined time with a properly balanced ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, allow you to maintain and strengthen health in early childhood. And so much so that in adulthood, you don’t feel any problems with the body for a long time until you “roll it” with alcohol, smoking, stress, deadlines, “chasing the horizon,” overeating, and other “joys” of adult life.
Sleep rules for children
To begin with, let’s say that the organization of nutrition and sleep for children in special children’s institutions is detailed.
In the context of our topic, we are more interested in the requirements for the organization of children’s sleep, which are potentially applicable to adults. Therefore we will consider them. So, the hygienic organization of sleep provides for the following points:
- Use beds with a rigid base (bed) and a mattress.
- It is acceptable to use folding structures, also with a rigid base.
- It is not allowed to use soft corners and sofas for sleeping children of school and preschool age.
- Requires obligatory shading of windows during the sleep of children.
- Mandatory ventilation, air disinfection in sleeping quarters, and mandatory wet cleaning after sleep are required.
This applies to the organization of sleep and rests during the day (for example, in preschool institutions) and at night (for example, in summer camps, boarding schools, and round-the-clock kindergarten groups). In adulthood, people slowly move away from these standards: we want a softer bed, sometimes we forget to ventilate the room, and we usually don’t talk about everyday wet cleaning of the bedroom.
For a bed that is too soft, we pay with back pain, spinal curvature, and a feeling of fatigue even after 8 hours of sleep. An uncleaned and unventilated room is a dust collector and a “rookery” of bacteria that adversely affect the skin, nasal and eye mucosa, and respiratory tract. So the “children’s” rules for organizing sleep are fully relevant for adults, and you should not ignore them.
We will only delve deeply into the norms of SanPiN. For those readers whose children go to kindergarten, let’s say that in preschool institutions, when organizing daytime sleep, it is possible to use common playrooms, where rollaway beds are placed during “quiet time” if the building layout does not allow for a separate sleeping area.
What can other methodological recommendations for children be useful for adults? This, for example, is the organization of gymnastics after sleep.
Organization of gymnastics after sleep
When we talk about gymnastics after sleep, it’s not just morning exercises. We are talking about any awakening and a smooth transition from sleep to wakefulness because such gymnastics allows you to get in shape faster and, in principle, avoid weakness, lethargy, and weakness.
Such lethargy and weakness are dangerous not only by a decrease in performance but also by minor injuries, sprains, and damage to muscle fibers, which is possible when we put a load on unheated, inactive muscles.
Why do we need to organize gymnastics after sleep:
- To tone up the nervous system.
- Warm up and tone the muscles.
- Prepare for loads of the musculoskeletal system.
- Get a boost of energy.
- Increase energy levels and performance.
- Develop certain physical skills.
- Work on preventing and/or correcting physical problems.
The last couple of points should be explained in more detail. Any physical skill does not appear “suddenly” but requires regular, systematic work. Similarly, corrective gymnastics should be performed regularly; then, there will be a result. And if it is still possible to subordinate the child to some regimen, the adult is already his own master and decides for himself why he should not work on the press again today or work on correcting his posture.
Integrating a few simple exercises into a set of exercises performed immediately after sleep is possible. Over time, the “accumulative” effect will work, and you can see the result. For example, to correct the O-shaped or X-shaped curvature of the legs, doctors advise walking on the inside or outside of the foot. Most adults have no time to do this on purpose, but walking back and forth around the room after waking up will take less time. However, experts advise starting gymnastics after waking up in bed.
How to do gymnastics after sleep:
- The first stage is in bed ( sipping, self-massage, raising arms and legs alternately, and breathing exercises ).
- The second stage is walking (on toes, heels, outer and inner parts of the foot, in place on a massage mat in socks or barefoot).
- The third stage is rhythmic exercises (it can be accompanied by music) and imitation of animal movements ( Animal Flow ).
All this will be enough to finally wake up both adults and children after a night’s sleep and a “quiet hour.” A special selection of more “Complexes of gymnastics after sleep” for different age groups can be found.
Note that ignoring gymnastics after sleep is fraught with a decreased working capacity, and not its increase, as originally assumed. The most progressive companies already have experience organizing their employees’ daytime sleep. For example, the startup AskforTask. The company created conditions for programmers to nap during the day, stipulating sleep time within 15 minutes.
As practice has shown, after 15 minutes, none of the sleepers woke up, which is quite natural because the standard sleep cycle of an adult is from 90 to 120 minutes. After an hour and a half of sleep, the employees drank coffee for a long time, washed their faces with cold water, and tried to cheer them up somehow.
As a result, a successful startup began to slow down significantly, and labor productivity decreased by more than a third. If, before the start of the experiment, the team completed up to 85% of the tasks, after six months of daytime sleep, only 55% of the tasks were completed efficiently and on time. All this gave rise to high-profile headlines in the media like “Sleep rooms destroy the workflow”.
It is not so much the sleeping rooms that are to blame but the ill-conceived organization of work, rest, and sleep. As we discussed above, the organization of sleep and wakefulness with a smooth transition from one to the other is quite possible, even for small children and not just for adults. At a minimum, by organizing gymnastics after sleep.
However, there are other ways to give employees a break during the working day than daytime sleep.
And we will continue to collect useful recommendations on how to organize healthy sleep and complete relaxation for effective rest. Let’s see what is needed for this.
Organization of healthy sleep: the main factors
Why sleep is needed? what happens in a dream? what threatens sleep deprivation? what types of sleep and sleep disorders are? and what to do to fall asleep and sleep well quickly?
Many people are traditionally only interested in the applied part, namely, what to do to get enough sleep. Therefore, we will offer you a brief practical “squeeze” from the experts’ recommendations, which can become a checklist for you. Are you doing everything right so that your sleep is full? This is especially useful if you have some sleep problems and can’t always fall asleep easily, wake up quickly, and feel rested.
So, the factors affecting the quality of sleep:
- Sleeping place: bed, mattress, pillow, bed linen.
- Sleeping area: furnishings, soundproofing, lighting, air temperature.
- A physical and psychological state of the body.
Now more about each of the factors.
The bed should be comfortable and spacious, with a hard, orthopedic mattress. This is necessary so that the body does not “fall through” and the spine takes a physiologically correct position. Ideally, the spine should remain straight even when you are lying on your side:
The pillow should be a manageable height but not completely flat so that the neck is aligned with the spine. You can use not one but two pillows or an elongated pillow to get into a comfortable physiological position. In principle, there is no single “right” or “wrong” position for sleeping. A comfortable and physiologically useful posture can be found on the back, on the side, and the stomach:
By the way, for those sleeping on their backs, a second pillow is just right, which should be placed under the bend of the knees:
Of course, bed linen should be cleaned and changed at least once a week. In summer, it is better to use cotton or silk underwear, and in winter, linen because it retains heat better.
The whole environment in the room where you sleep should set you up for rest. Ideally, nothing here should remind you of work. If you have a one-room apartment and have nowhere else to put your computer and other working devices, turn them off at night from the network so that there is not even a diode backlight in standby mode. Any light blocks the production of the melatonin hormone, preventing you from falling asleep.
This applies to all lighting in the bedroom. That is why the norms of SanPiN prescribe the obligatory curtaining of windows in the sleeping room at the time of sleep. Similarly, the bedroom should be isolated from external noise influences. At the same time, it is not necessary to achieve complete silence because, in absolute silence, even the most harmless echo of water pouring from a tap in a neighboring apartment at 4-5 in the morning can disturb your peace.
Moreover, experts recommend that those with insomnia try the so-called “white noise.” This method is also suitable for babies who do not sleep at night and do not let you sleep. The main thing is not to abuse it so that addiction does not develop when you or your children can no longer fall asleep without “white noise.” The baby should be weaned from “white noise” for three months, gradually reducing the volume of the sound.
For reference: “White noise” is a uniform audio background with frequencies of the entire audible range from 20 to 20,000 Hz. The name refers to the analogy with white, which includes all visible spectrum colors. To the ear, “white noise” can resemble the sound of rain, sea surf, wind, and other natural sounds.
The main thing about the room’s optimal temperature is that you feel comfortable! Someone needs a light coolness and can fall asleep only after warming up well under a duvet. Overheating is also not worth it because you can get wet, throw off the blanket in a dream and catch a cold. In the morning, the temperature of the human body already decreases, so unnecessary temperature drops are completely useless.
And, of course, it is desirable to ventilate the room before bed. If it’s cold outside, it’s best to do this early, so the room warms up before you go to bed. In general, experts advise adhering to the “rule of three “T” for sleeping quarters: dark, quiet, warm”.
Physical and psychological state of the body
And finally, the physical and psychological state of the body. It’s hard to fall asleep when you’re in pain, fidgety, or tired to the point of tremors in your muscles. That is why it is recommended to exclude computer work and to watch news and horror films an hour before bedtime, which already differ little from our news.
Heavy meals and serious physical exertion should be excluded three hours before bedtime: carrying weights, working with simulators, and any intense training. Intense physical activity increases heart rate and the concentration of stress hormones, which interferes with falling asleep. It is better to limit yourself to an easy walk, do some simple exercises, do yoga, stretch, or do meditation.
These measures are beneficial for healthy sleep and can become a “sleeping pill” for those who have difficulty falling asleep quickly. What else can help with insomnia? Let’s see.
Organization of healthy sleep: how to fall asleep quickly
So, you already know one way to fall asleep quickly: light exercise plus fresh air. There are many more ways. Experts have collected “27 tips to help you sleep better” for you, but there is reason to believe this is not the limit.
So, you can combine business with pleasure and … eat before bed! A piece of cheese or an omelet from one egg will not load the stomach, but it will supply the body with tryptophan, the raw material for producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
Tryptophan is also found in salmon, spinach, mushrooms, and dairy products. Be careful with mushrooms; there are many contraindications, especially for those suffering from gastrointestinal tract diseases, kidneys, liver, and pancreas.
You can also eat some of the products containing melatonin in the late afternoon: a banana, a tomato, a grated carrot, a few cherries, or sweet cherries if it happens in the summer.
Special aromas can also help you fall asleep. For example, the smell of chamomile, lavender, and neroli. If they have already faded, you can use aromatic oils with the extract of these plants. Variants of use are different: aroma lamps, baths, and aroma massage.
If you are on edge and irritated by something, sandalwood, lemon balm, geranium, and rosewood oils will be useful. With chronic fatigue, mint, jasmine, patchouli, basil, and hop oils will come to the rescue.
Many are helped by good old advice like counting sheep or reading something from the classics, which immediately makes you sleepy. Yes, in principle, any activity that is pleasant for you, calms you down, and does not interfere with your neighbors and household members, will do.
What else can help you sleep? Let’s turn to the doctors’ recommendations. Let us clarify that they are not the authors of the proposed methods; however, based on their medical practice, they see reasons to consider these methods effective and advise them to their patients.
The US Army Method of How to Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes:
- Consistently relax the face, mouth, shoulders, arms, chest, thighs, and calf muscles.
- Mentally imagine something that evokes positive emotions and soothes (sea, sun, forest, meadow, fire, fireplace).
- Repeat the phrase mentally, “Don’t think,” for 10 seconds.
These actions are usually complete enough to fall asleep for sure.
Method “4-7-8” (has contraindications – asthma, and COPD):
- The tip of the tongue is towards the back of the front teeth, then inhale and exhale with a whistle through slightly parted lips.
- Then, with your mouth closed, inhale through your nose for a count of 1-2-3-4 and hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale slowly, distributing the exhalation for 8 seconds.
It is recommended to do four full cycles, but many fall asleep faster.
Progressive muscle relaxation (5 seconds of tension, 10 seconds of relaxation):
- Tighten your forehead muscles by raising your eyebrows – relax your forehead by lowering your eyebrows.
- Tighten your cheeks, smiling broadly – relax, removing the smile.
- Close your eyes for 5 seconds – open your eyes for 10 seconds.
- Tighten your neck, tilting your head back – relax your neck, returning it to its normal position.
- Tighten the biceps – relax the biceps.
- Tighten the chest muscles – relax the chest muscles.
- Tighten the press – relax the press.
- Tighten (compress) the buttocks – relax the buttocks.
- Tighten your hips – relax your hips.
- Tighten the calf muscles – relax the calf muscles.
It may not be possible to achieve progressive muscle relaxation immediately, but it is worth working out.
After that, you will fall asleep peacefully, sleep well and rest. We had already considered how to wake up quickly and feel alert when we discussed the organization of gymnastics after sleep.
This is briefly all we wanted to tell you about the organization of healthy sleep for a good rest.
If none of the above helps you, or if you cannot sleep because something hurts, we strongly recommend you consult a doctor, find out the cause of the disease and get effective recommendations to improve sleep.
We wish you exceptionally restful sleep and pleasant dreams.