Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep is one of the most important components of maintaining good health, lack of sleep affects the entire body, and we often underestimate its severity. Today, almost everyone knows what is meant by lack of sleep, disturbed sleep and sleep, insomnia.
Sleep is necessary for the body to regenerate – to restore energy, strength reserves, and cells, tissues and the entire body.
Lack of sleep can affect people acutely, but the consequences can also appear later, with chronic sleep deprivation affecting health until various chronic health problems develop.
Decreased concentration, memory problems, mood swings, irritability, weight gain, depressive states, and even changes in perception are things that may not seem to be because of sleep or lack of quality, but can be a possible consequence of chronic sleep deprivation.
In sleep, the brain rests and prepares for a new day, processes the information gained during the day and learns to use it for later life.
Studies show that good night’s sleep improves the ability to learn new things and solve problems, while long-term disturbed sleep can make it difficult to make various decisions and problems, and reduce the ability to remember and learn something new.
Therefore often when you wake up in the morning, “your head is clearer” and we can make decisions much easier. Children need sleep for development and growth.
How well we feel during the day is largely related to how well we sleep at night.
Prolonged sleep disturbances can lead to
- cardiovascular disease;
- chronic fatigue syndrome;
- inflammatory diseases;
- nervous system disorders;
- weight problems;
- immune disorders;
- accelerated cell and body aging;
- and other health problems.
Now that we have once again remembered the importance of sleep, let’s look at 9 ways to improve sleep quality.
Keep Bedroom Organized
The bedroom should be arranged so that we associate ourselves with a place where only sleep or sex with a loved one takes place. It should be quiet, dark, empty, without unnecessary information and a cool room to ensure the best possible quality of sleep.
There should be no TV, computer, etc. in the bedroom. equipment, document mountains, books, things that are subconsciously related to work, mental strain, stress, active activity and anything else that does not affect sleep.
These all gadgets each carry their own information and can cause unintentional stress that prevents them from falling asleep.
You should not work in the bedroom, read books, watch movies – all this only worsens the quality of sleep, because it reminds you of work and makes you think about what you have not done when we go to sleep.
Silence and Darkness
If you live in high-rise buildings (astrologers mention that this is the worst thing that has happened to humanity; this is how we live and sleep on each other in the “informative” field, or somehow, I don’t remember exactly!) silence and darkness could be factors. which must try to balance on their own.
You can buy a variety of earplugs if you live in a particularly noisy area or close to railways and highways.
Anyone can provide darkness – by purchasing thick curtains or using an eye mask overnight.
Darkness is an extremely important element for a good night’s sleep, because only in the dark does the body adapt to sleep – gradually reducing cortisol levels (and raising melatonin levels) towards the end of the day and increasing it with the first rays of the sun, which makes us wake up naturally in the morning.
Sleep in a Cooled Room
The bedroom should be cool (15-19 ° C) to ensure the sweetest possible sleep. Body temperature is highest in the early afternoon and lowest around 5.00 in the morning.
Going to bed in a cooler room will ensure a faster and deeper sleep. If the room is too warm (or too cold), the body will spend energy to regulate the internal temperature at night, which is likely to result in disturbed sleep and constant rotation.
I have never enjoyed sleeping in excessive heat. I remember the school years when staying with friends at night was the norm, but it almost always resulted in poor sleep at night and the same feeling in the morning.
It is always relatively cool for me at home, and this coolness is great for sleeping!
Plus a long stay in a warm room reduces the immune system and also speeds up aging!
Electromagnetic Radiation From Devices
Sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMC) are both natural (sun, fire, lightning, etc.) and artificial (computers, TV, telephones, electrical appliances, light bulbs, etc.).
It is easier (and more profitable), of course, to believe that EMU does not harm the human body, as there is no conclusive evidence to the contrary.
I would rather see studies from manufacturers that show the safety of EMS than wait for someone else to discover its harmfulness after n years.
Although not fully proven, We believe EMC
- cause sperm damage;
- behavioral problems;
- sleep disturbances;
- reduced energy and a feeling of constant tiredness;
- sometimes causing a skin reaction;
- and many other serious health problems.
Before waiting for research results and evidence that televisions, computers, telephones and other electrical appliances are harmful, it is most logical to experiment and study their effects on yourself and your family by reducing the use of electrical appliances and monitoring your well-being.
Reducing EMS in the bedroom (and in life!) Can make it much easier to fall asleep (and not only!) And feel more energetic in the morning, so here are some tips on how to reduce the impact of EMC in your life:
- Do not have electrical appliances in the bedroom – computer, TV, telephone, etc., it is best to use a regular alarm clock instead of a mobile phone;
- If it is not possible to take these devices out of the room, it is desirable to unplug them overnight, turn on airplane mode, turn off the Internet, bluetooth, etc. connection types;
- In the entire house (or apartment), we recommended to turn off the WiFi receiver for the night;
- Living in an apartment makes it much harder to avoid all these radiations, but nowadays it is possible to buy many gadgets that allow you to reduce EMS from various electrical devices, such as EMS blocking paint (walls, ceilings, etc.), phone cases, etc.
- We recommend it not to keep computers on your lap, phones in your pockets, and it is best to talk through the loudspeaker over the phone!
The impact of EMU on health is a very broad topic that goes beyond ‘sleep’, so I will leave this for later.
Effects Of Darkness And Blue Light
Sleeping in the dark provides better sleep, but the general aspect of ‘sleep hygiene’ is also important, calling on everyone to reduce their use of lighting, televisions, computers and telephones for about 2 hours before bedtime.
This is because of the above-mentioned development of cortisol under the influence of light.
If we look at the past, even before electricity, when the primary light sources for the sun set, there were candles and fire. During the dark months of the year, we reduced our working hours and rested and slept more.
Also, sleep, I believe, was many times sweeter, largely due to the fact that we did not injure ourselves with too much light in the evenings.
Nowadays, we are used to working amazing hours, and then we complain of weakness, fatigue, foul mood and also insomnia.
When we work at computers in the evenings, sit at TV, actively analyze and eventually spend this time in absolute light, cortisol takes its second breath and we can no longer fall asleep, we are tormented by thoughts of work and other absences.
Over time, this lifestyle can lead to a variety of chronic damage, mainly related to the nervous and hormonal systems.
Blue light is the color in the spectrum of visible light seen by the human eye. There is growing evidence of long-term exposure to blue light and its adverse effects on human health.
The most talked about sleep disorders and related problems, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and even cancer.
The blue part of the visible light is the most effective way to control melatonin levels in the body. Melatonin plays an important role in determining the body’s circadian rhythm.
It regulates the human internal clock and puts us to sleep when evening comes (melatonin production takes place around 9 pm to 10 pm). While red and orange light (light waves) do not affect melatonin, green, white and blue light block melatonin production.
What We can do to reduce the adverse effects of blue light and improve sleep quality?
- The cheapest, easiest and most effective way is to wear blue light blocking glasses. It looks amusing, but you won’t do anything for health. We recommend it to wear such glasses indoors, working at the computer, and especially in the evenings – watching TV, preparing dinner, etc. The effect can be felt quite pronounced – sleep comes to the TV, you can no longer work at the computer and sleep comes naturally;
- Reduce / turn off home lights 1-2 hours before bedtime, replace lamps with candles, creating a calm, relaxing atmosphere;
- Self-discipline can also be helpful in the evenings, not allowing yourself to spend hours before bed responding to emails, “scrolling” through social networks.
- Spend more time in the sun, daylight during the day, it will help you fall asleep better in the evenings.
However, our own nervous system is the most common cause of poor sleep, inability to fall asleep or sleep disorders in general.
The inability to relax, calm down before bed, to leave thoughts these days is typical for people with sensitive nervous systems. Everyone needs to find their own way to support and strengthen the nervous system, but I can give some ideas:
Herbs for strengthening and calming the nervous system
Herbs are my first choice for inability to adapt to stress, nervous system disorders, poor sleep and other nervous system problems.
For sleep and nervous system, we should use plants for a long time and throughout the day, for example, drinking herbal teas (do not underestimate them!)
Also in the morning and during the day, not just before bedtime. Plants work slowly and they balance the body through various mechanisms, so that sleep is naturally deep and undisturbed, and not just once triggered by medication.
The best plant for sleep and the nervous system is Ashwagandha, which I use very often in my practice.
Other plants for the nervous system are – passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile, linden, Tulsi, heather, hawthorn, valerian root (definitely not the first choice and not for everyone!)
Body self-massage with warm sesame oil
This is a method widely used in Ayurveda that reduces the Vata (ether and air) constitution in us. Warm and warming sesame oil, combined with a full body self-massage, calms the nervous system and reduces stress.
Deep breathing techniques
How rarely do we breathe in the stomach daily? Breathing not only improves the digestive system and activates the lymphatic system but also directly reduces stress and triggers the rest of the nervous system has a calming effect on the entire body.
Various phone applications can help you meditate, such as HeadSpace, Insight Timer, Universal Breathing, and more. Meditation or concentration in oneself can help to calm down, relax the nervous system, as a result – help to fall asleep.
Say goodbye to sleep stimulants for good!
We advise people with a weak nervous system and trouble sleeping to reduce or give up all of the various stimulants (even for a period while the nervous system is strengthening).
Stimulants include coffee, green and black tea, dark chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeinated beverages.
Although at first alcohol is drowsy, it is only initially. Most often, after the “sleep” phase, alcohol-induced sleep at night is disturbed, jerky, and in the morning the feeling is still as if you were not asleep.
Sometimes we ourselves are not even aware that morning coffee can affect sleep at night, but in acute stress conditions, coffee can add a log of already burned coals and cause unconscious stress and an increase in cortisol in the body.
Before doing anything else, you may only need to delay any stimulants in your diet for a while, and your sleep quality will improve significantly.
Mode is very important to maintain sleep quality. Our bodies can adapt their body to light / dark, we know when to eat, pee and relax.
The rhythm of sleep and wakefulness, like the above values, is organic in us. The rhythm of sleep and wakefulness (Circadian rhythm) can be influenced by night shifts, late series evenings, lunch naps and other lifestyle habits, but to a large extent we risk our health because the natural rhythm of the body lives one life with the rhythm of nature.
In winter sleep comes faster, we get tired and lose the ability to concentrate faster.
The body knows that during the day we work, eat and move, at night we recover and sleep. And even if we work night shifts, we are more likely to put ourselves at risk than to get used to changing our natural rhythm.
The classic sleep mode is 22.00 go to bed and 6.00 in the morning to get up, but it can differ from each other and depending on the season. In summer you have to sleep less, but in winter – more.
If a person is chronically ill or does a lot of sports, he may need more sleep, but it also depends on the characteristics of each individual.
The saying “1 hour before midnight is as much as 2 hours after midnight” has been heard, which is true in a way.
This is explained by Ayurveda, who believes that the day is divided into appropriate cycles, they dominate each of which by one of the “doshas” (to understand it more, it is necessary to get acquainted with the basic principles of Ayurveda.
And grounded, stress free. By delaying this bedtime until 23.00 and midnight, our influence is controlled by the pitta, which is the energy of fire, and in this way can fuel us (mind, thoughts, emotions) and prevent us from falling asleep.
It is the so-called “second breath” when there is a feeling that we can stay awake all night.
You need to get used to sleep, wake up to all the above-mentioned elements of “sleep hygiene”, and go to bed before 22.00 (at least 23.00 if you usually go to bed after midnight) and learn to fall asleep early.
Sleep Disruptive Habits
Exercising late at night can increase stress hormones in the body, preventing you from calming down properly and falling asleep in time.
Sport also raises the temperature, but for the body, as mentioned above, temperature is an important element for undisturbed sleep, and when going to bed, the body temperature must be lower.
Immobility also greatly interferes with sleep – unused energy often results in insomnia.
The best sports activities are in the mornings, and being active all day long – walking, exercising, but in the evenings engaging in relaxing activities.
Overeating In The Evenings
Enjoying the largest meal shortly before bedtime can greatly interfere with sleep quality, although we are not aware of it ourselves. It can cause daily weakness and fatigue, digestive problems, weight gain, dysbacteriosis and other problems.
At night, the body plans to perform many other important functions than to process food, so eating in the evening may not be digested and cause long-term health problems.
It is best to eat at least 3 hours apart before going to bed, and choose something light and quick to process in the evening.
To fall asleep, it is necessary to reduce the body’s activity to a level suitable for sleep. It is important to observe favorable conditions for sleep, from a comfortable posture in which the muscles relax, to calm thoughts and reduced mental activity.
To sleep well requires an effective mind calming mechanism, called the deactivation process. However, sleep will not be tight if the day is spent too peacefully. Physical activity is important.
In order to fall asleep, the body must be active, before going to bed must be at rest, favorable environmental conditions that protect sleep, and, of course, the circadian rhythm.
The Bottom Line
We can conclude that restoring the quality of sleep should not be so difficult – all you have to do is set up a sleeping bedroom and free it from unnecessary appliances and belongings.
Those that emit EMR, reduce lighting (or wear blue light blocking glasses) by about 2h before going to rest, get rid of unnecessary stimulants such as coffee and alcohol, instead choose plants that calm the nervous system.
You should also take care of your sleep, discipline yourself and get rid of habits that prevent you from enjoying a productive sleep – late exercise and heavy dinner.
There are still a lot of tricks and tips, such as the effect of different brain waves on sleep, but let’s look at them another time!