What are micro-dreams and how to control them?

Microdreams are very brief episodes of disconnection with the environment in which we fall asleep for several seconds. At some point in life we ​​have all experienced them. Especially when we are watching television at night and we are very tired.

However, they can occur at any time of the day. In these cases they are dangerous, since the consequences can be catastrophic. The most common cause is a lack of restful sleep. If you want to know what they are and how to control them, keep reading.

What are micro-dreams?

Microsleeps are short, involuntary periods in which the person falls asleep and disconnects from their environment. The duration can range from a fraction of a second to 2 minutes.

This experience can occur at any time of the day and in any place. It can be at work, at school, while driving, or while doing an activity that requires attention. That is why it is classified as a potentially dangerous condition.

Also read: All about narcolepsy, the need to sleep

How can you recognize and treat an episode of microsleep?

To avoid the harmful consequences of this condition it is important to notice the signs that accompany microsleep, as well as learning to treat them.

In micro-dreams there is a disconnection with the environment that is counterproductive and affects daily activities.

Signs to recognize them

The following are signs that allow us to identify the onset of microsleep:

  • Yawning recurring.
  • Difficulty keeping eyes open.
  • Constant blinking to stay awake.
  • Involuntary jerks on the body.
  • Head shaking that put us on alert.

Possible treatments

The best treatment is to get enough sleep and rest at night. Each person's sleep pattern varies. That is, some require more or less hours of rest. However, the average healthy amount for adults ranges from 7 to 9 hours a day.

For their part, some practices can help improve the quality of sleep:

  • Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol before bed.
  • Promote an environment free of sounds and lights at bedtime.
  • Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  • Avoid stimulating activities just before sleeping.

Causes of microsleep

Microsleeps often appear as a result of poor sleep overnight. Although it is also possible to experience them by performing a monotonous and routine activity over an extended period.

Also, some sleep disorders can cause episodes of this type, such as the following:

  • Sleep apnea: it is an obstruction in the airways that does not allow the person to breathe properly while sleeping. As a result, the brain does not receive enough oxygen, which causes drowsiness during the day.
  • Insomnia: prevents adequate rest at night, leading to episodes of microsleep later.

Discover: Sleep apnea in babies: symptoms and treatment

Symptoms of microsleeps

The most common symptoms experienced during an episode of microsleep are the following:

  • Difficulty responding to the environment and to follow instructions.
  • Little control of head movements that shakes frequently.
  • Difficulty remembering what happened in the last 2 minutes.
  • Slow blink.
  • Shaking or body pulling.

Prevention and safety precautions

The dangerous consequences of these episodes can be avoided. The following recommendations will help you avoid being a victim of micro-dreams during the day:

  • Avoid handling dangerous machinery when you are very tired or feel sleepy.
  • Try to get enough sleep at night. If you have difficulties, you can develop sleep routines that help you have a good night's sleep.
  • If you feel drowsy during work, participate in conversations or discussions, get up from your chair periodically and walk around a bit. Physical activity is a good option.
  • Try to drive a vehicle only when you feel alert. It is also a good idea to be accompanied so that someone else can take control of the steering wheel if you feel drowsy. If while driving you start to feel sleepy and walk alone, stop in a safe place and take a nap.
  • Consuming between 75 and 150 milligrams of caffeine helps increase alertness and avoid drowsiness. However, excessive and prolonged intake of this substance can generate tolerance. In this way, it is discouraged to depend on it in a recurring way.
  • If you make adjustments to your routine to improve rest at night and still feel very tired or experience episodes of microsleep during the day, then see a doctor. It is likely a major disorder. Knowing the cause of sleep deprivation helps to treat it.

Specify a sleep hygiene is useful to improve rest. Screens, for example, should not be used in bed.

Microdreams are dangerous

Microsleep is a potentially dangerous condition, as it can have catastrophic consequences if it occurs in high-risk settings. Thus, it is pertinent to recognize the signs in time and take the necessary precautions.

On the other hand, if it is experienced on a recurring basis, it means that something is wrong with our habits. So we are not getting a good night's rest. The lack of a restful sleep not only affects the experiences of the next day, but also creates long-term health problems.

Having said that, It is advisable to adopt routines to improve the quality of sleep And, if they do not work, the best option will be to go to a specialist who identifies the causes and intervenes, as the case may be.