March 9, 2018 07:00
Photo : Freepik
According to Charles Morin, it is imperative not to trivialize the impact of sleep disorders on business productivity. This professor of psychology confirms the consequences of the insomnia. It suggests ways to address them.
Mr. Morin, director of the Centre for the study of sleep disorders at Laval University, is also the holder of a Canada research chair, and has written several books on the subject, including » the Defeat of the enemies of sleep «. He was a lecturer at the Congress on the insurance and the investment, in a session intended for specialists in group plans.
After 30 years of research on the topic of sleep disorders and insomnia, Mr. Morin confessed to not having yet found the complete solution. He points out that the insomnia is only one of the 80 pathologies related to sleep.
A pillar of the sustainable health
«Sleep is in fact one of the three pillars for a sustainable health, as important as the healthy food and the need to be physically active. Sleep plays a vital role in the psychological health, physical, and even intellectual, » he says.
The most important factor on the quality and duration of sleep is age, insists Mr. Morin. The insomnia exists not only among the young and less young people, but also among the very elderly. The prevalence of insomnia increases with age, » he said.
The night sleep is appropriate seven to eight hours for adults. Some people need to sleep nine to ten hours and others can be made to work with only five to six hours of sleep.
«Very few people can function with only five hours per night. Many like to believe. From the moment they have the opportunity to nap, you lose them quickly, » he says.
The team of professor Morin has participated in a survey conducted by Angus Reid in may 2016, made at the request of dairy Farmers of Canada. According to the survey, 59 % of adults said lack of sleep.
Two-thirds of the respondents said they wanted a better quality of sleep. «But in spite of the fact that people lack of sleep, and want a better quality of sleep, there are still 71 % who say it is the first thing they’re going to sacrifice when they lack the time,» points out Charles Morin.
The people who suffer the most from sleep deprivation are those who work at night, and trying to sleep in the day. «We are made to sleep at night,» says Mr. Morin.
It is estimated that workers night sleep the equivalent of a night less per week than workers in daytime. «These are people who are in their forties or fifties. In 20 or 30 years, it is much easier to adapt to unusual hours «, he adds.
The result first of a lack of sleep is fatigue. The excessive sleepiness is watching the person who is in great sleep deprivation. You can accumulate a sleep debt by not sleeping the number of hours you need. «Many of them can recover the end of the week by a long nap, or rising later in the morning. It can go up to a certain point, » he says.
If we can not recover it, the problems arise : fatigue, decreased energy, problems with attention, mood volatile, etc «one can move from a state of irritability to a state of euphoria when one is in the great sleep deprivation,» explains Mr. Morin.
Short sleepers are at increased risk to have problems of overweight. It confirms the truthfulness of the saying » he Who sleeps dine «. At night, it produces a substance which helps us to control our appetite. If we sleep less, we produce less. We tend to eat more.
The impact of lack of sleep should not be ignored, not when we think of public safety. After years of campaigns on drink driving, speed and distraction caused by the mobile phone, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) is now encouraging drivers to stop if they feel the fatigue.
We must not neglect the effect of the biological rhythm. The human body temperature decrease between 3 and 6 o’clock in the morning, which also affects alertness. «If one has the choice, we should not be presenting to the emergency department at night,» says he, smiling.
The vigilance is greatly disturbed by the fatigue, which increases the risk of an accident. It was measured in the laboratory the performance to accomplish the cognitive tasks to the computer based on the number of hours of wakefulness. Up to 18 to 20 hours of wakefulness continuous, the performance is still relatively good. After this, we note that the performance deteriorates very quickly. For a person awake for over 21 hours, the performance is equivalent to that of a person who has a bac that exceeds the legal limit for driving.
Develop healthy sleep habits
Mr. Morin insists on the need to adopt healthy habits related to sleep. It recommends that the insomniacs to compress their window of sleep. If they sleep only six hours of the eight hours spent in bed, we ask them to restrict this window of sleep to six hours per night.
By doing this, it is found to increase the physiological pressure to sleep. Instead of asking if she will be able to sleep, the person rather think of what she must do to stay awake until midnight, which has a paradoxical effect.
The bedroom is not a district general
Not to mention its use for sexual activities, Charles Morin insists on the need to reserve the bedroom for sleep. «A lot of people make their bedroom a headquarters, a privileged place from which to solve problems, to plan for the next day. It is not necessary to do this, » he said.
The screens are to be avoided, including the tv, and it should not have access to electronic devices (phone, tablet). In less than three hours to bedtime, the caffeine is prohibited as is the consumption of alcohol.