Autumn insomnia: how to start getting enough sleep

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Autumn is a time of sig­nif­i­cant changes in nature. And this is not only the beau­ty of fad­ing parks and squares. The onset of cold weath­er, bad weath­er, short days, lack of sun — all these are also signs of autumn, which often adverse­ly affect our health. In addi­tion to colds, autumn blues and exac­er­ba­tions of chron­ic dis­eases, insom­nia man­i­fests itself. Why do sleep dis­tur­bances appear dur­ing this peri­od, and some­times in peo­ple who do not have such prob­lems at oth­er times? How to deal with insom­nia? Let’s find answers with Healthy­in­fo.

Causes of autumn insomnia

Causes of autumn insomnia

There are phys­i­o­log­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal caus­es of autumn insom­nia. The first include the reac­tion of the body to adverse weath­er con­di­tions char­ac­ter­is­tic of this time of year:

    pressure surges due to unstable meteorological conditions;
    discomfort associated with a decrease in temperature;
    a decline in mood and sometimes the development of depression as a result of a reduction in daylight hours.

Phys­i­ol­o­gists con­sid­er the lat­ter cir­cum­stance to be the main cause of autumn insom­nia. Sun­light has a huge impact on all process­es occur­ring in our body, includ­ing the reg­u­la­tion of bio­log­i­cal rhythms respon­si­ble for sleep and wake­ful­ness. Under the action of infrared radi­a­tion, the syn­the­sis of the neu­ro­trans­mit­ter sero­tonin (it is called the “hap­pi­ness hor­mone”) occurs, which is respon­si­ble for a good mood and effec­tive­ly resists depres­sion. Its amount in the body depends on the pro­duc­tion of anoth­er sub­stance — the sleep hor­mone mela­tonin, which is syn­the­sized at night and, among oth­er func­tions, is respon­si­ble for a full-fledged healthy sleep.

Due to the lack of day­light in the autumn and a decrease in the for­ma­tion of sero­tonin in the body, the pro­duc­tion of mela­tonin also decreas­es, which explains not only the autumn blues, but also the dete­ri­o­ra­tion in the qual­i­ty of sleep: prob­lems falling asleep, noc­tur­nal or ear­ly awak­en­ings, insom­nia. Sci­en­tists have exper­i­men­tal­ly proven that a suf­fi­cient amount of light received by a per­son nor­mal­izes sleep and improves the con­di­tion of patients suf­fer­ing from chron­ic sea­son­al depres­sion.

Psy­cho­log­i­cal fac­tors that neg­a­tive­ly affect the qual­i­ty of sleep include long­ing for the past sum­mer, good weath­er, vaca­tion or vaca­tion that has end­ed. The need to adapt again to the strict dai­ly rou­tine of the work­ing (school) year, the return to cares for­got­ten in the sum­mer, cou­pled with nat­ur­al changes, caus­es apa­thy, irri­ta­tion, and wors­ens sleep for many. How­ev­er, there are ways to help fight both sea­son­al depres­sion and insom­nia.

Healthy lifestyle and good habits against insomnia

Healthy lifestyle and good habits against insomnia

It’s an old truth: to have healthy sleep, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Cig­a­rettes, alco­hol, unhealthy diet, seden­tary lifestyle, stress do not con­tribute to a qual­i­ty night’s rest. Let’s take a clos­er look at how our habits and lifestyle affect sleep.

Many stud­ies have shown that phys­i­cal activ­i­ty is an effec­tive tool in the fight against sleep dis­or­ders and chron­ic insom­nia. 150 min­utes a week of mod­er­ate or vig­or­ous phys­i­cal activ­i­ty improves sleep qual­i­ty by 65%. It has long been noticed: the more you move, the faster you fall asleep. And the rea­son for this is not just fatigue, there are oth­er fac­tors. Walk­ing, swim­ming, danc­ing relieve stress, reduce anx­i­ety; more intense activ­i­ties release endor­phins, sub­stances that cause a feel­ing of plea­sure and joy. All this helps to strength­en the ner­vous sys­tem, improves the emo­tion­al state, which has a ben­e­fi­cial effect on the qual­i­ty of sleep. How­ev­er, you should refrain from intense phys­i­cal activ­i­ty in the evening: the excite­ment they cause can pre­vent you from falling asleep.

Move­ment in the fresh air dur­ing the day­time will bring even more ben­e­fits, since the inten­sive pro­duc­tion of sero­tonin under the influ­ence of light will be added to the above, and sat­u­ra­tion of the body with oxy­gen will have the best effect on the func­tion­ing of the ner­vous sys­tem. If it is impos­si­ble to use enough day­light, sci­en­tists advise installing pow­er­ful arti­fi­cial light­ing lamps at home or at work. At the same time, sci­en­tists warn about the dan­gers of blue radi­a­tion from the screens of var­i­ous gad­gets, which inter­feres with the pro­duc­tion of mela­tonin, and do not rec­om­mend using phones, com­put­ers and oth­er sim­i­lar devices before going to bed.

    Creation of an evening ritual.

For a com­fort­able sleep, you need an appro­pri­ate envi­ron­ment in the evening, which you need to cre­ate your­self. It should be relax­ing and sooth­ing. It is bet­ter to refuse to dis­cuss dai­ly affairs, wor­ries and thoughts about them, post­pone phys­i­cal or intel­lec­tu­al activ­i­ty until the next day, dim the lights. It is very impor­tant to come up with a sequence of actions that are repeat­ed every evening. Evening toi­let, sooth­ing music or read­ing a good book, a cup of herbal tea, med­i­ta­tion — to each his own. The usu­al rit­u­al will help pre­pare the body for a night’s rest. It should also be a habit to go to bed.

    Essential oils.

Laven­der, mar­jo­ram, chamomile oils have a seda­tive effect and make it eas­i­er to fall asleep. A few drops of this oil can be applied to the crook of the elbow, wrist, or behind the ear. A bag of dried hop cones placed at the head of the bed will also con­tribute to sound sleep.

Foods and drinks that help you sleep

Foods and drinks that help you sleep

The food we eat not only ensures the via­bil­i­ty of our body, but also in a cer­tain way affects its var­i­ous func­tions. In par­tic­u­lar, cer­tain sub­stances found in foods can make it dif­fi­cult or eas­i­er to fall asleep, improve or wors­en the qual­i­ty of sleep.

Do not use before bed:

    Coffee, strong tea and caffeinated drinks due to their stimulating effect.
    Alcohol. Its relaxing effect, which helps to fall asleep quickly, does not last long, after which a restless superficial sleep sets in, which is not conducive to rest and recuperation.

Facil­i­tate falling asleep and improve the qual­i­ty of sleep foods con­tain­ing tryp­to­phan, which is involved in the syn­the­sis of sero­tonin and its con­ver­sion to mela­tonin. Record hold­ers for the amount of this amino acid are:

    hard cheese;
    nuts and seeds;
    turkey, rabbit, chicken, veal, beef, beef liver;
    red and black caviar, herring, salmon, squid;
    soya beans;
    dates, dried apricots.

Foods con­tain­ing mag­ne­sium and potas­si­um, B vit­a­mins, iron will also help to fall asleep; these sub­stances con­tribute to bet­ter absorp­tion of tryp­to­phan, and also have a ben­e­fi­cial effect on the ner­vous sys­tem, reliev­ing ten­sion and calm­ing. These prod­ucts include:

    banana, dried dates;
    cherry, cherry juice (contains melatonin);
    potato;
    oats, buckwheat;
    pumpkin, carrot;
    dairy.

Herbal teas with valer­ian, chamomile, lin­den, mint are good for reliev­ing stress, sooth­ing and have a slight hyp­not­ic effect. A tried and true rem­e­dy is warm milk with hon­ey.

Have a good sleep in any weath­er!

By Yraa

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