October 6, 2019 - Comments Off on Catching some ZZZZZ

Catching some ZZZZZ

Everyone knows sleep is supposed to be good for you. But why is it that important? And how can you make sure you get a good night's rest? In this blog, I'll share my tips with you.

A good night's rest is of the utmost importance for human beings. Scientists still haven't quite figured out how or why exactly, but they do state that sleep is a necessity. During this period of rest, the body restores itself physically as well as mentally. Our brain is extremely active during the night and it is assumed that impressions of the day are being processed.
Your body also gets time to recover and restore cells. Many organs get a bit of rest because they do not need to process food, for example.

We all want to sleep and we all want to wake up refreshed and full of energy in the morning but that is sometimes easier said than done. That leads us to the question of how we can achieve a good night full of sleep?

Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake

I know the first one is already something you do not want to hear but please, hear me out. You probably drink coffee for 1 or 2 reasons. The first one could be because you like the taste, the second one is most likely because you need some energy. Caffeine has a couple of effects on the body. One of them is that It makes the body produce adrenaline which is in itself not a bad thing but it is not helpful when you want to go to sleep. That pumped up feeling will certainly not help you close your eyes and relax. When you drink a

cup of coffee or something else that contains caffeine, it affects the body for approximately 12 hours, depending on your body composition. So that means the cup of coffee at 8 a.m. has worn off at 8 p.m. every cup of coffee that is consumed after 8 in the morning is affecting your sleep. I can understand you love the occasional cappuccino or latte and that is fine as long as you take into account what kind of effect it has on your sleep. And can I play devil's advocate here?

Why do you need a cup of coffee in the morning if had a nice night full of sleep and rest?

The same goes for alcohol. It may seem to make you drowsy and you will certainly fall asleep after a certain amount of wine but it does affect your sleep. You are not able to go through the natural phases of sleep which leads to a brain that is not fully rested in the morning.

Sleep routine

Your body loves routines. The routines help the body understand what is going on and more importantly, what is coming next. When you want your body and brain to fall asleep easily make sure that it knows what's going to happen. By setting a routine your body will, over time, recognise what is going on and it will prepare itself for the nice night of sleep ahead.

You could start after dinner with a nice bit of mindfulness. (Even just 5 minutes is enough) Turn down the lights, make sure the room is not too bright. Then maybe watch a bit of tv but make sure you turn off the thing at least 1,5 hour before bedtime. The light from the tv makes your body think it has to stay awake. It stops the body from producing melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep,

Read a book, drink a cup of (chamomile) tea and do your evening routine of brushing teeth, putting on a pyjama etc. Then go to bed and just breathe, focus on breathing only and you will notice how quickly you will be able to fall asleep. It must be said, it does take time so do not get frustrated if you do not succeed the first time. Just give it a week or two.

Eat healthily

Eating healthily makes a world of difference for a good night's sleep. By making sure your body is not still fully processing food it can focus on sleeping. Additionally, varied and healthy food choices increase the chances of your body getting the nutrients it needs in order to help you fall asleep. Magnesium, for example, helps to relax the muscles. A shortage of magnesium means more difficulties in relaxing the body. Magnesium can be found in nuts, seeds and broccoli for example. Another example is Tryptophan. Tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin and melatonin. It can be found in almonds, turkey, chicken, beef and eggs.

 

Do NOT use pills

Although it is very tempting to use melatonin pills or sleeping pills, it does not do you any good in the long run. Melatonin pills usually contain way too much melatonin and can damage your health. It will disrupt your sleep even more. Sleeping pills can be of use occasionally, for example when you had such a big day, full of emotions that you are just not able to calm down. But in order to resolve permanent sleeping issues, a pill is not the answer.

Let's summarise

So what this all basically comes down to is, routine; set meals and planned activities. That does not mean you can never do something spontaneous. Of course, you can! Just keep in mind that your body does not appreciate it much when it comes to sleep.

If you have difficulties sleeping try my tips for at least 2 weeks and see where it leads you.

And if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a message

Published by: SanenChris in Uncategorized