Lack of sleep: the evil of the 21st century
Insufficient sleep is, according to the National Sleep Institute, the evil of the 21st century. According to a study, in 2015 more than 13% of the French population used a sleeping pill at least once. We have lost 1.5 hours of sleep over the past 50 years and the spread of smartphones and other electronic gadgets only compounds this sad statistic.
Lack of sleep affects our short term performance and has disastrous long term health effects.
In the short term, lack of sleep causes inattention, decreased vigilance, decreased performance (sports), increased sensitivity to pain, relationship difficulties, accidents at work… the list goes on. It only takes 9 days of total sleep deprivation to become clinically insane.
Over the long term, sleep has been shown to have effects on obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression and hypertension to name a few.
Whether you are an athlete, a student, a worker, an executive, a craftsman or a shopkeeper, the quality of sleep is a pillar for your health. It has been scientifically proven that employees who work nights and have delayed sleep have a 50% greater risk of developing cancer.
To understand this phenomenon a little better, we took a closer look at sleep: the consequence of a good night's sleep, the hormones that disturb or improve your sleep and some life-hacks (tips) to get back to a baby's sleep. ...
Sleep: an essential pillar for the functioning of the human body
We last 3 weeks without eating, 3 days without drinking and 3 minutes without breathing, but lack of sleep is also an essential factor in human life. Sleep plays many roles on the human body, starting with the brain: during the period of REM sleep, your brain will take all the information stored during the day and put it in filing cabinets (much like you put files in folders). folders on your computer). When you wake up, your brain is able to search for information in files.
A good night's sleep helps maintain body temperature, regulates appetite, eliminates toxins, stimulates the immune system, and secures learning mechanisms.
Hormones that contribute to good sleep
In adults, the secretion of melatonin increases when that of cortisol decreases and vice versa. Melatonin is the sleep hormone and is at its peak 4-5 hours after falling asleep. Conversely, to wake us up, the body secretes a hormone called cortisol. The secretion of cortisol is at its maximum between six and eight in the morning to facilitate the awakening, then it decreases during the day, to give way to the secretion of melatonin in the evening. The secretion of cortisol is supposed to be almost zero in the middle of the night, before increasing again to reach a new peak the next morning.
We hear that melatonin is essential for good sleep, but what we probably don't know is that its alter-ego, cortisol, must be secreted during the day in order to stimulate melatonin production at night.
Melatonin comes from serotonin, a neurotransmitter produced by neurons from tryptophan. Neurotransmitters are the main chemical signals used by neurons to communicate. They are stored in nerve endings and are released when neurons are activated. Once released, they interact with specific receptors to affect the function of adjacent neurons.
Serotonin is one of the ten major neurotransmitters in the brain. It plays many roles and is involved, in particular, in sleep and mood. With age, serotonin production declines and stress can decrease its levels as well.
5 tips to improve your sleep
Sunshine morning - Lucasz Szmigiel
1 / Start the day with the same routine A gentle awakening, a glass of water, then a hot drink and some physical exercise is ideal for waking up your body and mind. Some would say that meditation, writing, and reading are also very effective early in the morning. The methods recommended by the bestselling author Hal Elrod in his book "The Miracle Morning" are very interesting, as long as you do not neglect your sleep (and yes, by waking up earlier, you forget that you have to go to bed earlier too).
It is recommended to spend at least 20 minutes in broad daylight, without sunscreen so that the sun's rays encourage this production of cortisol, in fact it is because the skin is our largest photoreceptor organ. By capturing the sun's rays, we produce cortisol. This is why it is recommended to expose yourself to the sun in the morning
rather than at the end of the day.
Thanks to this routine, your cortisol is at full speed in the morning and decreases in the evening, giving way to melatonin.
2 / Reduce the use of screens before bed All small screens (phones, iPads, computers) emit blue light without you even realizing it. This blue light (often invisible) conveys a message to the brain, "hey, it's morning, it's time to wake up!" ". It induces the secretion of cortisol. Therefore, every time you use your iPad, or your smartphone, you wake up your brain and prevent the secretion of melatonin. IPad 2 hours before bed is scientifically proven to kill melatonin production (goodbye Netflix?).
It's hard to cut back on your phone use unless you were born over 60 years ago, so here are some tips for you to avoid unwanted screen usage.
First, it's interesting to assess your phone usage. Do you spend 20 minutes a day or 4 hours on your screen? A free app called Moment lets you track how much time you spend on your screen and even gives you hints on which apps you use the most. It's quite interesting to see (and sometimes scary)! Try to install it with your children too, you will see 😰
Then, if you’re really a phone junkie, we also have a free tip that will put you off for a while: remove color from your phone. In black and white, beautiful Instagram images and photos of your idols are less attractive.
Here is the method for iPhone
* in the settings / general / accessibility / adapt the display / color filters and activate the "Color filters" button,
* a menu of color settings will appear.
* Select "Shades of Gray" and your screen will appear in black and white.
It’s a shock and a real foil.
Finally, it is proven that a "like" or a follow produces a secretion of dopamine (like drugs). This secretion of dopamine will in turn cause a secretion of cortisol, thus slowing down the secretion of melatonin. That’s why we recommend that you turn off notifications on your computer and smartphone after a certain time. You can set your phone to 'do not disturb' to be quiet and spend an evening at analog spots.
Finally, there is an interesting application for computers: it reduces blue light on computers from the sunset time of your clock: https://justgetflux.com/
4 / Act on stress
This is where our friends the plants and mushrooms come in. There are natural solutions like passionflower and valerian supplements, but what really blew us away, and what is extremely effective, are the medicinal mushrooms, especially Reishi.
Reishi is a mushroom that grows in the Nordic countries. For more than 4000 years, it has been attributed many properties including anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. This fungus also acts on hormonal balance and especially on stress.
Reishi helps improve the quality of deep sleep. The triterpenes that are contained in Reishi support and balance the endocrinal system (cortisol / melatonin). When your hormones are functioning optimally, your body can relax, rest, and recover.
We recommend taking our Reishi elixir with hot water and a little vegetable milk.
5 / The bedroom is made for sleeping and love, that's all!
Today, because of multitasking, we tend to transform our bed into an office, living room and dining room! This phenomenon is particularly accentuated in teenagers.
The bed should be a sanctuary for sleep and love, that's all!
Computers and telephones should be avoided at the risk of disturbing the famous secretion of melatonin and therefore the quality of your sleep.
Ban computers, and phones in bed. Favor reading, for example. Is it necessary to say that the presence of a TV in the room is synonymous with 50% less reports?
Finally, it must be pitch black in your room. No time (or money) to put on blackout curtains buy yourself a mask, it works as well. If a lamppost or the neighbour's spotlight shines on your bed, it will be impossible to secrete the right dose of melatonin.
6 / We sleep what we eat
When we eat, we naturally have a cortisol level that increases by 5%, hence the importance of eating early.
The bacteria that inhabit our digestive system also have an effect on our sleep. Indeed, depending on what you eat, you are more or less likely to sleep well. When we sleep, a great cleansing is done in the intestines. Deprivation of so even impacts your gut microbiome. Eating real food and eating pre-biotics (Jerusalem artichoke, onion, sprouts, broccoli) will encourage the overgrowth of probiotics in your gut. It is this balance that will determine your melatonin production.
Also take a magnesium balance: most insomniacs are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium supplements are less effective than a magnesium flake bath or the application of a transdermal magnesium oil or gel as an evening ritual (discover the benefits of transdermal magnesium here)
Okay, now that you have the information, just put it into action ...
Sleep well 😴
To go further, I recommend that you listen to this podcast or read Shawn Stephenson's book
Shawn Stevenson Book
* Harvard study: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
* Ref: 1. Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight - Christine A. Maglione-Garves, Len Kravitz, Ph.D., and Suzanne Schneider, Ph.D. - https://www.unm.edu/~ lkravitz / Article% 20folder / stresscortisol.html
* 2. CHRONIC INSOMNIA AND STRESS SYSTEM - Maria Basta, MD, George P Chrousos, MD, Antonio Vela-Bueno, MD, and Alexandros N Vgontzas, MD - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles / PMC2128619 /
* Press kit from the National Sleep Institute
Photos: Danielle Dolson, John-Mark Smith, Averie woodard, Krista Mangulsone