Good, sound and long sleep is the basis of health. All doctors, including oncologists, are talking about this today. A night without sleep means that the day will be nervous, full of stress and very long. Without a proper night’s rest, we get irritated, work worse, get sick more often, and even love less often. And this is known data. And here’s what many people don’t realize: most often our seemingly harmless habits prevent us from getting enough sleep. And some of them are so strong that you may need an appointment with a psychologist.
In bed with phone
With tablet, laptop and other gadgets. When else to read, watch a video or scroll through posts on social networks, if not before going to bed? Scientists say: at any time, but an hour before bedtime, all devices must be removed.
The thing is that our eye perceives the glow from monitors and screens as daylight, and transmits a signal to the brain: it’s day outside, you can’t sleep. In response, the brain slows down the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and sends impulses of excitation to the nervous system. Moreover, the influence of gadgets is not fiction, but a scientifically proven fact.
In one study, people with insomnia had special filters attached to their smartphone screens to block blue waves. And their sleep improved both in duration and in depth. In ordinary life, no one uses filters and lenses, so it is better to put aside all electronic gadgets and turn off the TV before going to bed.
By the way, room lighting also affects, although not so much. Therefore, an hour before bedtime, it must be muffled, or better turned off completely, and used for illumination by night lights with red illumination, glass or a lampshade, since the warm colors of the spectrum excite the nervous system less.
A glass of wine at night
The habit of drinking a small dose of light alcohol before bedtime is not uncommon. A little wine really helps you fall asleep faster. Any alcohol provokes the production of adenosine, a substance that is normally produced independently after a day of active work and causes a feeling of fatigue, a signal for rest and sleep.
However, drinking alcohol does not guarantee a sound and long sleep: the amount of adenosine in the blood rises too sharply after a glass of wine, and then also falls. As a result, sleep comes quickly, but it does not last long, and the body does not have enough rest. In addition, drinking alcohol is the reason why REM sleep is blocked. It is during this phase that we see dreams and fully relax with the whole body. During a slow rest, the body mainly rests, and the brain fails to process impressions and get rid of the influence of stress.
Well, one more minus of an evening glass: alcohol makes the kidneys produce more fluid, and you have to run to the toilet more often. And it definitely disrupts sleep!
Sleep is very important!
We all have days when we have to go to bed later than usual. But it is important to prevent the formation of a persistent habit. Researchers at the National Sleep Foundation of America strongly recommend sticking to one regimen and getting at least 7 hours of sleep. Why?
Lack of sleep disrupts all body functions, affects appetite, metabolism, and the very desire to sleep. In well-known experiments on sleep deprivation, it was revealed that after a couple of sleepless nights, the body enters a special mode when it is very necessary to sleep, but you no longer want to. And we also have the so-called circadian rhythms, they dictate to us when to go to bed and when to get up, producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. If the rest schedule is more or less stable, melatonin is produced at the same time. If the regime is constantly violated, failures begin, and we sometimes go sleepy, but we can’t fall asleep in any way.
Another nuance: normally, the peak of melatonin production is midnight, and the level of the sleep hormone begins to increase from 10 pm. Therefore, the later a person goes to bed, the more difficult it is for him to fall asleep. The optimal time is 23.00
Workouts in the evening
There is nothing wrong with exercising in the evening, for most people this is the most suitable (and sometimes the only possible) time for sports. Yes, and regular exercise is very good for those who want to sleep soundly. But the timing must be chosen wisely.
Active physical activity invigorates, speeds up breathing, accelerates the rhythm of the heartbeat, increases the tone of the body, this is a physiological stress for the body. And in order to fall asleep, you have to calm down. Therefore, the load should end two hours before bedtime. Although you can continue your workout with calm relaxing yoga or relaxation exercises.
The habit of sleeping warm
You can sleep well only in a cool room, and the optimum temperature is from 16 to 19 ° C. And the air should be fresh, which means that before going to bed you need to ventilate the room. Why is it important?
The body in the transition phase to sleep lowers the temperature by half a degree to slow down processes, relax. The heat acts as a stimulant: the heart rate increases, falling asleep and sleeping soundly becomes more difficult. But you don’t need to freeze either, cool air, pajamas, a suitable blanket, socks on your feet — you need to look for your best combination of temperatures.
Food before bed
A little snack before bed is not harmful, in fact, scientists say that natural cherry juice, cottage cheese and bananas can help with insomnia. But it’s really not worth eating. The process of digestion of food slows down the onset of sleep. It is also important to follow a diet for those who are often tormented by heartburn: if you go to bed with a full stomach, reflux will not keep you waiting, and falling asleep with an unpleasant burning sensation will become very difficult.
Stress and anxious thoughts: when do you need an appointment with a psychologist?
Constant thoughts about work, family, household chores spinning in your head and preventing you from falling asleep? This is not at all a rare problem under stress, and it is not so easy to get rid of it by willpower. However, the practice of relaxation, meditation, and switching attention help well. Or breathing exercises: inhale slowly, counting to four, and also exhale slowly, continuing to count. Gradually bring the score to 10 and … fall asleep!
This works because the rhythm of the breath affects the rate at which the heart beats and the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the body. And the mental account helps to switch from thoughts to numbers.
If the stress is so strong that thoughts cannot be “turned off” and sleep has long been disturbed, an appointment with a psychologist is needed.
Cup of evening coffee
Although there are people with a paradoxical reaction to caffeine who sleep from a cup of coffee, this is not the case for the majority. 3 espressos a day is the maximum for those who need a night’s sleep. An evening dose of caffeine puts the body into active mode, increasing tone and blocking adenosine receptors, and this state can last for quite some time. It is worth watching yourself: many coffees can be drunk only in the morning, so as not to regret it in the evening.