The milder temperatures and the increase in daylight hours encourage you to be more active during the evening. However, this stimulates dopamine, the neurotransmitter of wakefulness
Spring often also brings with it some inconvenience and not only for the large number of people
. The milder temperatures, the increase in the hours of light as well as some changes in one’s living habits can have negative effects on night rest
. Often sleep disturbances are exacerbated in those who already suffer from it and even those who normally sleep peacefully can have a moment of défaillance. “When the days get longer and the weather is more beautiful, there are often changes in one’s habits that impact sleep – he begins Luigi Ferini Strambi, director of the Sleep Medicine Center of the Irccs San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Vita-Salute University —. For example, the lengthening of the days is exploited to do physical activity even in the evening hours, spending more time outside and going to sleep later. In this way, some time is inevitably subtracted from sleep because then the alarm clock remains at the same time in the morning. Moving more and being more active in the evening also leads to greater stimulation of the body
, the neurotransmitter of wakefulness. If we keep the waking centers turned on longer, it will then be more difficult to turn on the sleep centers, with the result that it will be more difficult to fall asleep».
In the transition from winter to spring there is a increase in daylight hours. Variations in sunlight exposure determine hormonal changesaltering the concentrations of essential hormones such as
«Melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake rhythm, is mainly produced in response to darkness. If the days get longer and you stay out for longer, perhaps in a club or restaurant where you are exposed to strong artificial light, you end up inhibiting the release of melatonin, which affects the difficulty falling asleep» he points out the expert. If you sleep less and worse at night, then you feel more tired during the day. But it’s not just sleepiness, there may also be other negative consequences, less evident, but which still involve risks.
The consequences of poor sleep
«When you sleep less you can encounter a reduced functioning of the front areas of the brain that control the executive functions – Ferini Strambi specifies -. One of the main functions of sleep is precisely to make them rest, but if we don’t sleep properly these areas don’t recharge optimally. And so during the day we are more irritable, we have less ability to control impulses and emotions and to make quick and effective choices, which leads to a reduced awareness of the risk of our behaviors”. What can be done to “get back on track”? Certainly, before taking medicine or contacting a specialized centre, it is necessary to take stock of the situation. «As a first approach, I always suggest doing a small self-examination to try to identify possibly modifiable factors, among one’s own pathologies (allergy) and behaviors. Often the fact of sleeping badly is linked to wrong habits oa moods that generate anxiety and worry.
In these cases, sleep hygiene interventions can make the difference, improving night rest – reports the specialist -. If there are no benefits or these are limited, it is advisable to consult your family doctor who will try to evaluate whether there is an identifiable cause behind the sleep disorder and perhaps he will suggest an initial therapy which can range from the use of supplements to hypnotic drugs ( sleeping pills, ed.). The supplements they contain substances, such as melatonin, valerian, passion flower or lavender, which have a relaxing effect and can remove negative conditioning somewhat, favoring a slide towards sleep. But if there’s a real problem with insomnia, they can’t do much.” In the most insidious cases, in which it is not possible to identify a precise cause and in which even two or three drug therapies attempted by the family doctor have not obtained results, it is necessary to consult a specialized centre.
«Sometimes the fact of not being able to cure insomnia depends on not being able to make a correct diagnosis. In these cases a specialist can arrive at a correct classification also on the basis of some tests – clarifies the expert -. Sometimes it happens to see subjects who say they sleep only 3 hours a night but then the tracing recorded with polysomnography says they sleep 8. There is also insomnia from altered perception of sleep: in reality the person sleeps, but has no perception of it, perhaps due to microrisvegli that fragment sleep, of which the subject is not aware».
March 21, 2023 (change March 21, 2023 | 5:57 pm)