Male sleep and what are its features? A new study by Finnish scientists has once again proved that in order to feel healthy, you need to get enough sleep, taking at least 7-8 hours of sleep a day.
Experts have deduced the most optimal sleep time by comparing data on sleep duration and the number of days they missed per year. Scientists were interested in whether the participants had sleep disorders, symptoms of insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and the average duration of sleep. It found that men who reported frequent symptoms of insomnia had more sick days per year compared with those who never or rarely had such symptoms.
Similar results were found in women. According to Finnish researchers, the optimal sleep time for men was seven hours 46 minutes, and for women seven hours 38 minutes.
Sleep deprivation is thought to negatively affect cognitive processing, concentration and memory, and this effect is quite noticeable. People who do not get enough sleep are characterized by low energy levels, poor concentration and depressed mood.
Causes of sleep disorders in men
Even after sleeping through the night, men can feel tired all day long. Signs of sleep disorder in men are quite common, but in most cases they ignore it and do not even try to solve these problems. Early detection of sleep disorders and proper treatment can significantly improve a man’s sleep.
The most common sleep disorders that men are prone to include:
Syndrome obstuktivnogo sleep apnea
The medical term “apnea” means the stop (absence) of breathing. Sleep apnea is a condition in which a patient has intermittent respiratory arrests during sleep, which usually lead to awakening.
Narcolepsy – unwanted sleepiness while awake
This is a disease of the central nervous system resulting in sleep disorder, which is characterized by daytime bouts of overwhelming drowsiness and sudden falling asleep during normal waking hours.
Delayed Onset of Sleep Disorder (trouble falling asleep)
Delayed Onset Sleep Syndrome (DREP) is a disorder of circadian rhythms. The essence of this disorder is that the onset of normal sleep in such men occurs 2 or more hours later than most people. This delay occurs when a man’s internal clock (biological rhythms) is shifted to later hours at night and in the morning.
Jet lag sleep disorder
Oftentimes, changing time zones while traveling causes sleep disturbances, weakness, and disorientation. This is due to a malfunction of the internal biological clock. And the worse the condition, the more significant the movement from west to east. This is because it is more difficult for the body to adapt to a shorter day than a longer day.
Poor sleep hygiene
What is sleep hygiene? It’s almost a science of how to deal with a variety of sleep-related problems, from the rare difficulty falling asleep in the evening and waking up at night to lingering insomnia. This also includes the ability to wake up quickly in the morning and freshness during the day. Sleep hygiene is a man’s habits, evening and morning rituals, these are actions that help or prevent falling asleep and sleep well, that is, any factors that can somehow affect sleep. And all of this can be controlled to ensure you have a good night’s rest.
Good sleep rules
- Maintain regular wake-up times, even on weekends.
- Try to go to bed only when you feel sleepy.
- If you are unable to sleep within 20 minutes, leave the bedroom and do something quiet elsewhere. Don’t let yourself fall asleep outside the bedroom. Return to bed only when sleepiness appears. Repeat these steps as many times as necessary during the night.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep, sex, and in case of illness.
- Avoid naps. If you go to bed during the day, try to do it at the same time and sleep no more than one hour. For most people, the most acceptable time is around 15:00.
- Establish a relaxing pre-bedtime ritual, such as a warm bath, a light snack, or ten minutes of reading.
- Maintain regular physical activity. Do vigorous exercise in the earlier hours, at least six hours before bedtime, and light exercise at least four hours before bedtime.
- Maintain a regular daily routine. Regular times of eating, medication, daily chores, and other activities help the body’s internal clocks run more smoothly.
- Although a light meal before bedtime can promote sound sleep, avoid eating large amounts of food.
- Avoid taking caffeine six hours before bed.
- Do not drink alcohol if you feel sleepy. Even a small dose of alcohol can be powerful when combined with fatigue.
- Avoid taking nicotine before bed or at night.
- Be conservative about taking sleeping pills. Most doctors avoid prescribing sleeping pills for periods longer than three weeks.
- Do not drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills or other medications.
Insomnia threatens men with early death
This is the conclusion reached by American scientists. They conducted a study on how sleep deprivation affects the human body. It turned out that insomnia increases the risk of early death in men. One of the authors of the work from the Channing Division of Network Medicine Yanping Li noted that men who suffer from insomnia are at very high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Scientists have observed 23 thousand men who complained of certain symptoms of insomnia. Of this group, 2025 people died in 6 years in the period 2004-2010. Experts processed and removed side factors such as chronic diseases, lifestyle, age and found that 55% of the deceased had insomnia. Moreover, a third of men had cardiovascular diseases.
Scientists argue that strict adherence to the rules of sleep hygiene will help to significantly reduce the likelihood of diseases, primarily of blood vessels and heart.
This means that at the very first signs of insomnia, it is better to consult a specialist, otherwise it can end in big trouble, up to and including death. This is especially true for men of mature age.
Before the results of this study were published in the journal Circulation , another study was conducted at Imperial College London, which found that people who suffer from insomnia are 6 times more likely to develop diabetes than those who sleep normally. In their opinion, this is due to the fact that lack of sleep negatively affects metabolic processes in the body. And other British scientists working at the University of Surrey have identified a malfunction of several hundred genes, the cause of which is lack of sleep. As a result, a person has an increased risk of developing stress and inflammation, as well as suppressing the immune system.
Chronic sleep deprivation leads to impotence
Such conclusions were made by American scientists at the University of Chicago. They argue that after chronic sleep deprivation, even in healthy and young men, testosterone, the main male hormone, is significantly reduced.
In an experiment that confirms these findings, a full 10-hour sleep did not affect the normal level of testosterone in the blood, which dropped significantly – by 10-15% after eight days of sleep deprivation, when students slept for only 5 hours.
Scientists explain that the drop in the level of the hormone in the blood is only one of the reasons for the decline in sexuality that occurs as a result of lack of sleep. Lack of sleep is stressful for the body, and it is the cause of such things as an increase in the level of adrenal hormones, which reduce libido, and in severe, prolonged stress, stimulating increased production of female hormones in men.
Under the direct influence of stress, narrowing of the vessels of the penis can occur, which significantly reduces erection.
Due to lack of sleep, the pineal gland also suffers – the pineal gland, which is responsible for the daily biorhythms and the amplitude of testosterone production, which leads to the same decrease in libido.
In addition, stress affects men in a certain way, causing them a syndrome of deactualization , when sex is confidently relegated to the background, and the body is trying to adapt to an unusual state.
But it should be noted – lack of sleep, which is not chronic, is not so dangerous for potency. The testosterone level in the blood of a healthy man is usually high and exceeds his need for sexuality. Testosterone is produced in the male body with a certain excess, and a decrease in its amount by 10-15% is not so critical. This phenomenon is reversible if the stress was short-lived.