Does going to bed late and getting up late but sleeping long enough count as staying up late?

Does going to bed late and getting up late but sleeping long enough count as staying up late?

You are obviously very sleepy, but you can’t fall asleep; you want to go to bed early, but you still stay up late; you are asleep, but you always wake up at three or four in the morning… Whenever night falls, there are always some people who are full. Suffering from various sleep problems. Taking melatonin, taking naps, and catching up on sleep on weekends have become common ways for people with sleep disorders to combat insomnia and relieve fatigue.

Why am I so sleepy but have a hard time falling asleep? Does going to bed late and getting up late count as staying up late? If I don’t sleep well, is it possible to take a nap or catch up on sleep on the weekend? Does melatonin really work? Sino-Singapore Health interviewed Meng Fanqiang, deputy chief physician and director of the Psychological Assessment Department of Beijing Anding Hospital affiliated to Capital Medical University.

What changes have occurred among people with sleep disorders?

Doctor: There is a trend of getting younger

Poor sleep is becoming a health problem for more and more people. “Healthy China Action (2019-2030)” shows that the average daily sleep time of adults in my country is 6.5 hours. According to survey data from the Chinese Sleep Research Association, the incidence of insomnia among Chinese adults reaches 38.2%.

Meng Fanqiang feels that in recent years, the number of patients with sleep disorders who have taken the initiative to seek medical treatment has gradually increased. In the past, people paid less attention to and awareness of sleep problems, but now more and more people realize that insomnia is a disease and choose to come to the hospital for treatment.

The age composition of patients also changed. According to him, among the sleep disorder group, the proportion of young people such as junior high school students, high school students, and college students is increasing. Factors such as high study pressure, fast pace of life, and excessive use of electronic products may cause sleep problems. In addition, middle-aged and elderly people, pregnant women, patients with chronic diseases, people who are chronically overtired, and people with irregular diets are also more likely to have sleep problems.

Meng Fanqiang introduced that sleep disorders have a wide range, and “cannot fall asleep, cannot wake up, and cannot sleep well” are the main manifestations. He reminded that in addition to difficulty falling asleep, falling asleep quickly but often waking up early may also be a sleep disorder, and you need to be alert to whether there are emotional problems such as anxiety and depression.

Why am I so sleepy but have a hard time falling asleep?

Doctor: Wrong connection established with bed

In life, many people are obviously very sleepy, but they are tossing and turning in bed and cannot fall asleep. Meng Fanqiang said that sometimes he feels sleepy physically, but his brain is still somewhat active and has not yet reached a state where he should sleep. He may not fall asleep immediately, so he can give himself some time.

He pointed out that over-stimulation during the day, frequent use of electronic products before going to bed, and eating too much at night can all make it difficult to relax in bed. In addition, some people will focus all their attention on “I want to fall asleep immediately”, which makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Some people like to think about something in bed before going to bed. Excessive thinking is also one of the factors leading to sleep problems.

“People who don’t have insomnia will feel very at ease when they see the bed. This is a good connection with the bed. But if you often think about problems in bed, you will also think unconsciously when you lie in bed. This is a mistake. , bad connection.” Meng Fanqiang said.

He suggested that if there are some things that need planning and thinking, it is recommended to do it in a place such as the study room, or even take some notes. After closing the book, these things will be handed over to tomorrow, and do not think about it in bed.

Does going to bed late and getting up late count as staying up late?

Doctor: It depends on the length of sleep and whether it is regular

Some people are used to going to bed late and getting up late, but their sleep duration is not short. Is it considered staying up late?

Meng Fanqiang pointed out that a common definition of staying up late is actively going to bed late and the total sleep duration is insufficient. “If a person used to go to bed at 11 o’clock, but recently changed to 1 o’clock for a long time, but the wake-up time has also been postponed, the bedtime and wake-up time are very regular every day, and the sleep is not significantly damaged, such as often in the middle of the night When you wake up, the impact of this situation on your body is not particularly great.”

Regarding the statement that “8 hours is the criterion for good sleep,” Meng Fanqiang said that everyone’s sleep needs are different. For most adults, they only need about 7 hours of sleep. The most important criterion for judging good sleep is whether you feel full of energy and recovered after waking up, rather than simply looking at the duration.

Can melatonin cure insomnia?

Doctor: It won’t help much, don’t take it blindly

Buying and taking melatonin by yourself is the choice of many people with sleep disorders. However, Meng Fanqiang suggested not to take melatonin blindly. He pointed out that melatonin itself is a health product and cannot replace drugs or some non-drug treatments.

“It’s okay for some people who work shifts and have jet lag to occasionally supplement with a little melatonin, but at other times, additional melatonin supplementation will not help much with difficulty falling asleep and insomnia. If used for a long time, there may also be some adverse reactions. For example, frequent headaches and dizziness. Currently, there are no authoritative guidelines in China that recommend melatonin for the treatment of insomnia,” Meng Fanqiang said.

So, when you have sleep problems, under what circumstances is it recommended to seek medical treatment? Meng Fanqiang pointed out that there is rarely a simple insomnia problem. Insomnia is often caused by other factors, such as emotional problems, irregular life, sleep breathing problems, etc.

He suggested that if you have sleep problems, you can first find the cause and try to debug yourself. If the condition does not improve after adjustments, or even your daily life is significantly affected, it is recommended to go to the hospital for treatment.

Is taking a nap or catching up on sleep on weekends useful?

Doctor: It is not recommended for insomniacs to catch up on excessive sleep

In order to minimize the damage caused by lack of sleep, some people choose to take a nap or catch up on sleep on the weekend.

Meng Fanqiang pointed out that a nap itself can relieve fatigue and improve afternoon work efficiency, but it is not suitable for everyone. Insomnia patients are not suitable for long naps. It is recommended to limit the duration to thirty or forty minutes and try not to let yourself enter a state of deep sleep.

Regarding catching up on sleep on weekends, Meng Fanqiang reminded that it should be done in moderation. “For example, if a person wakes up at 7 o’clock every day and gets up at 8 o’clock on weekends, the delay is not more than an hour. The catch-up sleep at noon should also be controlled to thirty or forty minutes, and do not sleep for half a day at a time. (Long-term catch-up sleep) It’s okay for people who sleep well, but for people who have poor sleep for a long time, catching up on sleep will actually change their entire sleep rhythm in the next week.”

Which is more harmful, being unable to sleep or staying up late?

Doctor: The former may have more emotional distress

Meng Fanqiang said that the ultimate result of being unable to sleep and actively staying up late is that the overall sleep time is reduced, which will inevitably affect the patient’s immunity, memory, etc., which is harmful to the body. The difference is that compared to those who actively stay up late, people who cannot sleep at night may have more emotional distress, such as anxiety, restlessness, etc.

How to have a good sleep? Meng Fanqiang put forward three suggestions. First of all, a regular schedule is important. Compared with the time to fall asleep, the time to wake up is easier to control. When the time to wake up is relatively stable within a cycle, the speed of falling asleep and the quality of sleep may be better guaranteed.

Secondly, in terms of sleeping habits, the bed should be used as a sleeping tool, and other entertainment methods such as browsing mobile phones should be avoided in bed as much as possible, so that the bed can have a good connection with sleep. Give yourself at least half an hour to an hour of buffer time before going to bed, put down your phone, calm down, and don’t lie in bed for too long.

Finally, moderate exercise will be helpful for sleep. It can regulate emotions, relieve stress, and make the body more relaxed. However, it is not recommended to exercise two or three hours before going to bed, because a slowing down and buffering process is needed before going to bed.

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