Your spouse complains that you are not listening to them. You knock nails right in the middle of an interesting film. No concealer will overcome the signs of fatigue under your eyes. Do you recognize yourself? You are probably suffering from a lack of sleep.
The good news is that you don’t have to rush on melatonin pills at the drugstore, you just need to change a few lifestyle habits. Here is a list of things that put the quality of your sleep at risk.
Caffeine might be playing some nasty tricks on you. If not, a hearty supper is no forgiveness. If you eat a lot, especially meat, your body will have to spend a considerable amount of energy on digestion.
Tip : Don’t eat after 8 p.m. or at least two hours before going to bed. Otherwise, digestion hurts with a drop in energy level.
If you sleep in a closed room, you breathe stale air; so don’t be surprised if you wake up tired. And the more people there are in this room, the more carbon dioxide you breathe in.
Tip : Open the window to let in fresh air. Also consider placing a plant in your room to improve air quality.
When it gets dark, your body naturally produces the sleep hormone melatonin. In summer, the nights are shorter and the production of melatonin occurs later in the day, vice versa in winter. Likewise, if light finds its way into your bedroom, your body will slow down its production of melatonin.
Tip : Install a completely blackout canvas or curtains and turn off any light sources nearby. Avoid night lights.
Exposure to electromagnetic fields
Exposure to electromagnetic fields comes from cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi internet, cordless phones, electric clocks, lamps, and wiring, among other things. In addition to disrupting the secretion of melatonin, exposure to electromagnetic fields is thought to have a role to play in suppressing the immune system, in damaging the central nervous system and in the development of cancer in some people.
Tip : Turn off all your electrical appliances in your room. Make sure your head is ideally at least 1 meter from any electrical outlet. Put your cell phone in airplane mode. Get a timer to automatically set the Wi-Fi shutdown for the night.
The US National Sleep Foundation conducted a 2013 survey of 1,000 adults between 23 and 60 years old. Among the major conclusions:
- People surveyed who said they were physically active reported better sleep than people who were not.
- The time spent sitting is inversely related to the quality of sleep and health; the less time you spend in your chair, the better you will sleep.
Tip : Do aerobic exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a day to improve the quality of your sleep. But it is best not to exercise for less than two hours before going to bed.
Psychologist and sleep expert Michael Breus offers realistic and practical advice.
- Take your coffee in the morning and then turn to water, herbal teas, decaffeinated teas, rooibos …
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and privacy. This way your body will associate the bedroom with rest. Avoid reading and especially watching TV in bed!
- Go to bed at the same time every night so that you get a rhythm in your body.
- Practice a relaxation technique: Jacobson’s method (muscle relaxation), meditation, kriya yoga, cardiac coherence (control of breathing), etc.
Take one tip at a time
Do you find it complicated to make the necessary efforts to ensure you get quality sleep? Then ask yourself if you are ready to sacrifice your health, your relationships and your career because of a weakened immune system, reduced alertness, irritability or inattention. This is what eventually happens when your body and brain don’t have the time to recharge their batteries.
Getting a good night’s sleep is a free, natural way to protect yourself from difficulties in your path. It is as important a part of health as eating well, exercising well and thinking well. So if you can’t get up in the morning, your body is sending you a message, listen to it!
Text translated and adapted from: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/learn-how-sleep-like-baby.html