After a long tiring day, everyone looks forward to sleeping in their comfy beds wearing their comfy PJs. To rid their bodies and minds of the daily grind and rejuvenate for the next day. That is the purpose of sleep, to repair and restore for a new day, the repair. However, most of us probably struggle to get quality restorative sleep. Receiving inadequate sleep impacts the quality of our lives. Not being able to recover, the mind will remain ever fatigued. Your body will feel devoid of energy. And the combination of these effects will result in an emotionally, draining unproductive day.
The first step to tackling sleep troubles is to take a look at your sleep hygiene. By following the below-mentioned actions, you can begin to create a positive impact on your sleep.
1 – Establish a regular bedtime routine and avoid daytime naps; this maintains your circadian rhythm (internal biological clock). Taking a melatonin supplement will also aid in correcting this rhythm. Make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep! Sleeping for less than 6 hours not only makes you feel drained; it also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
2- Set the mood for sleep! The right bed, pillow, light, and temperature are all vital for a well-rested sleep.
3- Avoid caffeine at night. Instead, try to take it in the morning or afternoon.
4- Avoid alcohol before bedtime, at least three hours before sleep. You may feel like having a glass of wine before bedtime as a treat. After all, it does help you fall asleep faster. However, it disrupts your sleep cycle, and you may have trouble staying asleep.
5- Avoid large meals for bedtime. In addition to interrupting your sleep cycle and preventing deep sleep, these untimely meals can cause other medical conditions such as heartburn, weight gain, etc.
6- Avoid cigarette smoking at least two before bedtime. Nicotine is a stimulant, it may be relaxing, but you can have difficulty falling and staying asleep.
7- Drink water for at least an hour or two before sleeping. Now, maintaining hydration is essential to maintaining good health. But excess water intake increases the risk of nighttime urination, which in turn disrupts your sleep.
8- Do not utilize your bed for activities other than sleeping, such as working on your laptop, using your phone to scroll through social media, etc. A great alternative to minimizing screen time will be to engage in relaxing activities, such as meditation, reading a book, or yoga.
But what if, despite maintaining your sleep habits, you still are not getting your beauty sleep? Then this means that there may be a genuine cause of your insomnia, an underlying medical issue.
Stress can affect our mental and physical health in various ways. And it also significantly impacts our sleep. At times, it may become challenging to turn off your brain at night. Persistent inessential thoughts may plague you and stop you from getting any shut-eye; this is when L-theanine may come to your rescue. L-theanine is an essential amino acid commonly found in tea leaves and mushrooms (it is also the source of umami!). Theanine elevates the levels of relaxing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. And doing so relieves stress, strips away anxiety, and relaxes your mind.
Insomnia is more common in women than men, and the reason for this may be menopause. Experiencing hot flashes at night time may make it arduous for some women to fall asleep. Moreover, the decline in estrogen and progesterone also disrupts the sleep cycle. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) aims to restore hormone levels, thereby returning sleep to
menopausal women. HRT increases the quality of sleep by decreasing nighttime awakenings and decreasing morning sleepiness.
It will also be best to review your medications, as some can cause insomnia. These medications include antidepressants, caffeine pills, beta-blockers, opiates, stimulants for ADHD, etc. Specific medical conditions may also be behind your lack of sleep. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where one experiences episodic cessation of breathing while sleeping. The snoozing individual may not notice this, but they will reap the repercussions the following day when they
experience excess daytime sleepiness and fatigue. The biggest clue for OSA is snoring, a symptom that your partner may notice; they may also witness an episode of when you stopped breathing! For a conclusive diagnosis, a sleep study is necessary. Chronic medical conditions may also negatively influence the quality of your sleep. Unfortunately, insomnia does not get enough attention as other medical conditions. 70% of women reported that their physicians do
not inquire about the quality of their sleep.
Hope is within reach for those who experience insomnia. All you have to do is connect the dots
and ultimately identify and correct the cause of insomnia.
Be Ageless. – Dr. Roz.