Help! I CANNOT Sleep!!!
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is the practice of habits and behaviors that promote healthy and restful sleep. Adequate sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Many people struggle with getting enough high quality sleep on a day to day basis. In this blog we will discuss some tips and strategies for improving your sleep hygiene and getting the restful sleep your body needs. let’s begin…
Going to bed habits that will change the way you sleep
For decades, sleep was understood as the moment in which your metabolic activity and consciousness decrease. But nowadays, experts show us how important is to sleep in order to improve our quality of life, have better brain function, live longer and take care of our body and mental health.
What happens when we sleep?
There are different processes performed while you sleep, some of them are:
- Restores and repair your body (recover from illness).
- Strengthens your immune system.
- The brain consolidates memories and processes information.
- Your brain is cleaned.
- The body regulates different functions: hormone production, cell repair, growth, etc.
- And more are being studied.
What happens if we don´t sleep well?
Studies have shown that being deprived for long periods or lack of quality sleep affects:
- Survival: lack of sleep, especially REM (Rapid Eye Movement), can shorten lifespans.
- Ability to think clearly
- Immune system
- Health and mental conditions: high levels of developing Alzheimer, dementia, hearth diseases, obesity, diabetes
What are the stages of sleep?
Next, you can find the 3 stages of sleep and the most important characteristics (what happens) on each stage.
Stage 1. Light sleep
- Slow brain waves
- Muscle relaxation that ca be followed by a contraction called hymnic myoclonic or hymnic jerk, but is normal
- Body temperature decreases
- Heart rates slow
Stage 2. Deep sleep
- The body repairs itself
- Slower brain waves (Delta waves)
- Muscle relaxation
- Reduced breathing
- Reduced heart rate
- No eye movement
Stage 3. REM (Rapid Eyed Movement) sleep
- Rapid Eye Movements (REM)
- Intense dreams
- Increased brain activity (like when you are awake)
- Muscle relaxation
- Mayor muscles (like arms and legs) are temporarily paralised
- Faster breathing and heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Penile erections
Sleep hygiene explained
Why is important sleep hygiene?
Good quality sleep is key for your overall health, that is why, we must pay attention to our sleep hygiene (habits to improve the quality of your sleep).
You may think sleep hygiene is related just to what you do during the night before bed; however it involves day activities. Next I´ll show you what you can do during the day and night.
Day hygiene habits to improve sleep
- Get some sunlight exposure. It is good for your circadian rhythm
- Reduce smoke. Nicotine is related to numerous sleep disorders
- Moderate alcohol consumption
- Reduce or avoid caffeine consumptions during the evening
- Don´t over nap, if your need to rest during the day set an alarm, experts recommed no 20 minutes nap to be fresh as new.
Night hygiene habits to improve sleep
- Keep your bedroom as a place for SLEEPING, avoid tv, tablets, etc. Also keep it comfortable, cool, quiet and dark.
- Avoid blue light devices, they stimulate your brain to be awake.
- Create a sleep and wake up schedule, in other words, try go to bed and wake up at the same hour every day.
- Create your personalised relaxing routine, for example having a bath, meditate, aromatherapy, etc.
- Prioritise sleep. Avoid distracting activities and keep your sleep schedule on time.
- Eat early in the evening, digestion takes time and can make going to bed difficult.
A final word
The amount of sleep required varies depending on age, lifestyle, and health status. Generally, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while children and teenagers need more. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a variety of health problems, including fatigue, irritability, impaired cognitive function, and an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Keep these habits in mind, they will change the way you sleep and if you need more help massage or Reflexology a great way to help you to get relax. Don´t forget to treat yourself better!
We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!