5 secrets to a good night’s sleep
This is your wake up call! Don’t be robbed of a good night's sleep.
Sleep difficulties are a common problem for millions of adults. Even if you can get to sleep, you might have trouble staying asleep. Does this sound familiar? Adequate sleep is supposed to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to start your day. But if your sleep is interrupted, you’re likely to feel fatigued and sleepy the next day. So what gives? There are several factors that may interfere with getting a good night’s sleep including the following:
1. Trying to problem solve in the middle of the night
Stress and lack of sleep seem to go hand in hand. If you’re stressed, it can be hard to sleep well and may lead to middle of the night insomnia. When you don’t get enough sleep, that can also lead to more stress and it becomes a vicious cycle. Adults who get less than eight hours of sleep each night report higher levels of stress symptoms than those who sleep longer. It’s important to unwind and unplug before bed.
- Write it down along with a possible solution for each concern. The act of writing down your worries will help to alleviate the thoughts from your mind.
- Apply magnesium. Magnesium plays a key role in calming and relaxing your central nervous system, even a small lack of magnesium can prevent the brain from relaxing. During periods of extreme stress, magnesium is used in greater quantities by the body. A topical application is the most effective as it is readily absorbed and gets to work right away.
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?” - Ernest Hemingway
2. Your room isn't dark enough
Ideally, you shouldn’t have any lights on in your bedroom when you are trying to sleep, especially any electronic device. The light emitted from these devices is referred to as ‘blue light’. When your eyes are exposed to blue light, your brain is tricked into thinking it's time to wake up and reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone that causes sleepiness. Light emitted by electronic devices is especially troublesome because it mimics sunlight.
- Switch off your phone before you go to bed or put it in another room.
- For those who can’t (or won’t) break the technology habit, many smartphones these days include a blue light filter which reduces the amount of blue light the screen emits.
- Another alternative is to mimic darkness with the use of a sleep mask.
3. Inconsistent sleep routine - sleeping in
Late nights followed by extra sack time the next morning throw off your internal clock. We've all been tempted to spend some extra time in bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning (or both, whoops!), but sleeping in on the weekend can be a bad idea, for reasons other than productivity. Adjusting the time you wake up can throw off your biological rhythms so drastically that your body feels like it traveled across time zones, and when it comes time to fall asleep on a Sunday night, this so-called social jet lag likely won't let you drift off without a fight.
As tempting as it may be, even if you've been up late, don't sleep in more than an hour longer than your usual wake up time otherwise you will throw off your internal body clock.To make up for lost slumber, meditate or take an afternoon nap but keep it too no more than 30 minutes because an extended daytime snooze can affect you at the other end of the day and keep you awake at night.
4. Too much caffeine
You probably already know caffeine is a stimulant and can affect your ability to fall asleep which is why many of us turn to it after a poor night’s sleep. When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine can also lead to poor quality sleep because it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates and processes emotions, quickly creating a vicious cycle.
Caffeine has about a six hour half-life, which means that if takes about 24 hours to fully make its way out of your system. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—with the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall asleep. Keep in mind, energy drinks, cola, chocolate and certain teas also contain caffeine.
If you can’t or don’t want to quit caffeine all together, you can increase your chance of having a good night’s sleep by avoiding caffeine for about six hours before bed and only having one cup of coffee a day. Also, add a Magensium and Coffee scrub to your routine, you can find the best ones here.
“Nothing cures insomnia like the relisation that it’s time to get up” - Everybodi.co
5. Not too hot, and not too cold
When the mercury starts to drop, it can be so tempting to crank up the heat and throw on layers of blankets and jump into bed. But did you know that sleeping in an environment that is ‘too warm’ can negatively influence your sleep? Trying to sleep in a room that is too hot or too cold for that matter, can affect the quality of REM sleep that you get.
Having said that though, there is no ‘optimum’ sleeping temperature that will suit everyone. Like all things in life, we all have various preferences.
Take a close look at your bedding and thermostat. Try adjusting the temperature in your bedroom a few degrees up or down for a couple of nights and then test the impact. How quickly did you fall asleep, how well did you feel you slept, and how did you feel during the day? And the same goes for your bedding. Maybe try bedding and blankets that are lighter weight and measure the impact on the behaviours above. Ensuring that your bedroom is well ventilated will also go a long way to helping you get a good quality sleep.
“Sleep is the best meditation” - Dalai Lama
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