It is known that 1/3 of our life is spent sleeping and the other 2/3 are influenced by how we slept. The body and the brain, our mind, must recover their energy during the night, so that we wake up recharged, vital and ready to face and welcome the best of the day ahead. But what is sleep? What is it for? How many hours is it correct to sleep and how does it change over time? What to do and what to avoid to improve it? Sleep is the basis of physiological needs, such as drinking and eating (see A.Maslow pyramid).

on average a person who lives 90 years has passed 37.4 well, sleeping about 330,000 hours! Body and mind must recover the energies consumed during the day, because if the day is opened with light and a whole series of vital processes, the sunset, the darkness, the night bring relaxation, intimacy, rest and finally the sleep. From the moment you go to sleep, to the moment you wake up, phases of deep sleep alternate with phases of light sleep, normally 90/120 minutes; in the REM phases – in English Rapid Eyes Movement – in which we have fast eye movements, we have the peak of dreams, which we remember only if we wake up immediately after they have come to us, or with advancing age. During sleep breathing becomes slower, even leading to snoring (which is the prerogative of the night!), Brain waves slow down, reducing the electrical impulses that characterize our brain during the day and body temperature is lowered; it is with the arrival of night that our body releases MELATONIN, a substance naturally produced by our body, which induces sleep. The hours of sleep you sleep are different depending on your age and scientific studies have shown how sleeping too much, or sleeping too little, are both deleterious cases for the human body: a simple scheme divided by age and hours of sleep recommended , can give some useful advice (see USA National Sleep Foundation scheme).

It is not possible not to sleep; sleep deprivation, insomnia, nocturnal awakenings, worries and stress during the night, have serious and important repercussions on health, on personal and family well-being, professional, work and career!

If you do not sleep well you get older faster, the immune system suffers to the point of becoming sick more easily, the reflexes get worse causing low concentration and low attention in the workplace, not to mention that you can be a victim or cause traffic accidents at the wheel, sometimes serious (imagine what it can mean to drive heavy vehicles or work as a driver, without having enough sleep hours). The list is long: from the greatest risk of heart attack, to the increase in stress and adrenaline produced by the body, to irascibility, leading to obesity caused by an increase in appetite. But can you sleep well, despite the stress of our times, the many commitments, the precariousness that today permeates everything at all levels and the speed of change and transformation of the current world? Don’t worry, don’t worry: the answer is Yes! A routine of falling asleep and a routine of awakening, as we did with our children when they were little is the healthy habit to adopt also with ourselves; do not drink coffee after 13.00, have a light dinner and in any case do not go to sleep unless at least three hours have passed since the last meal; a bit of physical activity during the day, even just a hike or a half-hour bike ride, can make the difference; leave the previous day’s weights of the day just past or invite our brains to take care of tomorrow what we can face tomorrow, perhaps putting back paper and a pen on the bedside table, to be used in the event of awakening at night, to write and put on paper our thoughts, emptying the mind.

And remember that the bedroom is not an office; before falling asleep better slow down the pace flipping through some pages … of paper ;-).

Dott. Loris Bonamassa – Sleep Coach