“Good night!” Do you remember hearing these nice words from mom or dad? Like healthy food, sleep is a medicine. Here are seven tips to help you sleep better.
“On the road to a healthy brain. Simple and economical methods that can delay brain aging and prevent brain diseases, William Sears
During a quality night’s sleep, our brain gets rid of everything that bothered it during the day. In addition, the brain and body are cleansed of toxic thoughts and substances that infect you throughout the day.
People who sleep well at night have less stress hormones and more rest hormones, which helps balance the emotional centers of the brain. People with sleep problems can not boast about it. In the chapter, we will share with you tips that will help you create a personal recipe for healthy sleep. After all, you spend 30% of your life sleeping. To be happy!
In order for your night memory storage system to work effectively (leaving only the necessary connections, get rid of all the others), your brain needs the right change in REM and non-REM sleep phases, which is only possible during of the period. of the maximum activity of specific hormones – melatonin and adenosine. When you ignore the urge to go to bed, for example, deciding to go to bed later to finish work first, you often sleep much worse.
Thus, for brain health, it does not matter the total number of hours of sleep, but how much sleep corresponded to your internal clock.
That is why the traditional adage “You should sleep seven to eight hours a night” is only partially true. It would be more accurate to say, “You need to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep when your brain needs it, and you also need the right amount of non-REM and REM sleep at the same time.”
Each person begins to sleep at different times. For example, a person may want to go to bed at ten or eleven in the evening and wake up at six or seven in the morning.
Seven rules of “sleepiness” to create a personalized recipe for healthy sleep
While your nighttime sleep is as individual as your personality, here are the best science-supported recommendations to help most people sleep better at night.
1. Eat dinner on time
Choose the best time for the last meal. Most people sleep better the earlier they eat dinner. Finish dinner at least three hours before bed so that no indigestible food remains in the stomach. It may make sense to have a light snack an hour and a half before bed, as sleep-friendly nutrients take about an hour to reach the brain. If you fill your stomach a lot just before bed, then it will be full of waking up at night from unpleasant reflux.
The quality of sleep can also be affected by the products themselves. The hypnotic effect of different foods can be extremely individual. For example,
Protein tends to stimulate the brain, so protein-rich foods are best for breakfast, while carbohydrates are soothing and a better choice for dinner.
Start a “night meal diary” to understand exactly what helps you sleep. One of Dr. Bill’s favorite bedtime meals is a boiled chicken egg.
Sleep-friendly foods – rich in slow-acting carbohydrates and sleep-promoting nutrients such as tryptophan, calcium and magnesium – include:
- dairy products: yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, milk.
- soy products: soy milk, tofu, soy beans.
- greens: spinach, cabbage;
- lentils, chickpeas;
- hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts;
- sesame, sunflower seeds.
Foods that are not good for sleep include foods that are too spicy or too acidic, which can cause reflux and heartburn.
2. CORRECT MOVEMENT
The more you move during the day, the more you want to sleep at night. Exercise increases adenosine levels.
Studies have shown that extra physical activity during the day not only increases the duration of sleep, but also improves its quality. In addition, exercise helps increase the duration of deep sleep. This makes sense: the more active we are during the day, the greater our need for rest and recovery at night.
Do you want to sleep even better? Remember your mother’s advice: “Go out and play.” Sleep researchers attribute the benefits of sleep from outdoor exercise to the fact that sunlight further stimulates the hormones of wakefulness, with the result that our brain needs extra rest at night.
In the meantime, three hours before bedtime, it is best to stop any strenuous physical activity. The best result for sleep is achieved when you exercise four to six hours before bed – for example, take a walk before dinner.
3. THINK WELL
Light thoughts contribute to a happy sleep. The advice “Relax, be happy” is never as relevant as at night. When you fall asleep, try not to focus on the toxic thoughts that have settled in your mind on the last day. Close your eyes, try to block your mind from any thoughts that may prevent you from falling asleep. Read a prayer, your favorite poem or play in your head a pleasant memory of a previous day or from a distant past.
4. ADJUST YOUR ORGANIC WATCHES
Your brain has its own internal clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). This anatomical structure that regulates circadian rhythms is located next to the optic nerve, which records the amount of light around. SCN is set up to make you sleepy at night and wake you up at dawn. At night, your indoor clock sends a neurochemical signal to its pea-sized friend, the epiphysis, to begin producing melatonin, also rightly called the hormone of darkness.
Sunlight suppresses the production of melatonin and other “sleepy” neurotransmitters, stimulating the production of cortisol, which prepares the body for active work. Instead of an alarm clock, your body sets an “alarm” – you naturally wake up to a hormonal signal. This exposes the brain to less stress and you wake up refreshed.
5. FEEL AND LISTEN
Melatonin and adenosine will tell you when to go to bed. You just have to listen to them. Notice when they start to make you drowsy. This will help you determine your personal best time to sleep.
Do not fight sleep. The simple and concise explanation for most people’s sleep problems is that their internal clocks are not synchronized. Your body uses biological rhythms to tell you when to go to bed and when to wake up. The outside clock, the same for everyone, is sunrise and sunset. For a good night’s sleep, the inside and outside of the watch must be in sync. The modern lifestyle often prevents this, so you should regularly weaken your biological clock: the less it lags behind (or precedes) the outside, the more neurochemical benefits you will get in all phases of sleep and the more relaxed you will be. feel in the morning.
Get in the habit of going to bed just before the neurochemicals start pushing you to sleep. Let’s say, for example, that you usually want to get the most sleep around ten in the evening. Get in the habit of getting ready for bed from fifteen to ten minutes so that you are ready to go to sleep when your sleep hormone levels are at their peak. If you miss this opportunity by ignoring your body signals and going to bed only at eleven, then this can greatly affect the quality of sleep.
6. DOWN THE LIGHTS
The happy phrase “Let life be bright” is true – during the day. At night, our brains are genetically programmed to rest in the dark. He likes the natural rhythm of lighting the most, including the gradual reduction of light at night – twilight, after the dim light of the moon and stars. On the other hand, our brain does not sleep well if we are near a light source of artificial light before we go to sleep.
The point is, artificial light delays melatonin production. When the sun goes down, the brain is programmed to release melatonin to make it more drowsy. If artificial lighting is turned on instead, the brain is confused. Even medium lighting throughout the house can reduce melatonin production by 50%. Fluorescent lamps are particularly harmful in this regard. In other words, the more unnatural and bright the light, the later the melatonin is released.
The cooler it is in your bedroom, the better you will sleep. For most people, the optimum temperature will be between 16 and 20 ° C. Let’s take another trip to your brain to understand why this happens. Near the suprachiasmatic nucleus, in the hypothalamus, there is a small group of neurons that are sensitive to body temperature.
These smart thermometers send a signal to SCN: “It’s cool in here, so the sun has to set. “It seems like night.” The epiphysis receives the same signal and produces melatonin in response.
For extra sleep stimulants, take a hot shower or bath just before bedtime. Hot water dilates blood vessels, and dilated blood vessels dissipate heat efficiently.
When you get out of the shower, do not rush to dry. Allow the water to evaporate – this will also help your body cool down. Then lie down on the bed.
By the way, about the bed – ideally, the sheet should not be too tight, as the folds in the sheet provide extra heat removal from the body, preventing you from overheating during sleep.
Cool your mind too. The “Calm down” advice applies not only to your body, but also to your mind. Never go to bed angry. Do not lead to unpleasant thoughts. If you have had a difficult day, first consciously go to any pleasant memory, favorite song or romantic moment.
These seven rules of “sleepiness” tend to work for most people. Try them, correct them, sharpen them for yourself and enjoy a good night’s sleep.