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August 17, 2022 5 min read
In recent years, older and younger folks alike have been unable to have a good night's sleep. This may be attributed to the increased cost of living, which has pushed more people to stay late, work harder and provide for their families.
Furthermore, children's easier access to technology has redirected their focus and attention to technological gadgets such as phones, televisions, and laptops. Some kids have become like "zombies", as they are addicted to these gadgets and are continuously using them throughout the night instead of sleeping and giving the body a rest. How exactly does one get a better night's sleep?
According to Brewer (2019), poor sleep poses certain health risks, such as increased disease risk, increased weight, stressed hormonal activity, and inhibited brain function. While sleeping, especially during deep sleep, brain waves are drastically slowed down. The body naturally does this to relax bodily muscles, repair cells, rejuvenate the immune system, and remove toxic substances. Plan (2021) suggested that high-quality sleep can help in-memory processing since during deep sleep, high amplitude brain waves with a low-frequency aid in consolidating memories and restoring the body and the brain. Individuals with insomnia usually perform dismally when doing memory-related tasks since they cannot properly process memories.
The brain has two hemispheres. In between these hemispheres is an instrumental gland known as the pineal gland. The pineal gland is triggered and increases melatonin production, a circadian hormone that triggers the brain to retire to bed at night.
It is recommendable to take melatonin supplements if suffering from sleep disorders. Furthermore, cannabinoid oil can also be used to improve sleep disorders since it contains chemical compounds known as terpenes. Terpenes are instrumental in treating sleep, mood, and anxiety disorders, and they also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that improve general wellbeing.
With the recent legalization of hemp products, there is a surge in interest surrounding cannabinoid oil and its benefits. According to Booth & Bohlmann (2019), CBD oil contains chemical compounds such as terpenes, which help treat sleep, mood, and anxiety disorders. CBD has no intoxicating effects as it has significantly low levels (0.3%) of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). On the other hand, flavonoids protect cells from oxidative damage, which may cause diseases.
CBD oils can be administered through oil tinctures, vapes, gummies, and capsules. It is important to consult a doctor for the right dose, especially when consuming it sublingually or through capsules. Always purchase high-quality CBD products to improve your sleep.
While bright light can be highly beneficial, especially during the day, exposure to blue light at night can have the opposite effect. Blue light "tricks" the body into thinking it's daytime; hence it interferes with the secretion of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, due to disrupting the circadian rhythm.
To reduce blue light exposure, wear glasses that block blue light exposure. Furthermore, switch off devices such as phones and televisions at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Experts highly discourage exercising a few hours before bedtime. This is because strenuous physical activity at such a time would interfere with your sleep by tiring your muscles. It is advisable to at least exercise moderately. Simpler exercises such as walking your dog or light jogging can go a long way to improving your sleep quality. Exercising in the morning kickstarts your body and prepares you to tackle the day's challenges while exercising in the late afternoon helps you burn excess calories.
According to Grant et al. (2005), vitamin D boasts several benefits, such as strengthening bones and the immune system and reducing stress. Moreover, it will take significantly less time to fall asleep since this excess period is drastically reduced by 83%.
Alcohol negatively affects your sleep and hormones. It causes disrupted sleep patterns and increases snoring. Alcohol consumption also affects the production of melatonin which is instrumental in your circadian rhythm.
Also known as aromatherapy, it is advisable to use essential oils to create a conducive aura in your room to sleep. Recommendable oils would include lavender oil and clary sage. These oils are important as they lower your heart rate and release the tension felt by your body. Add 7 drops of your preferred essential oil into a spray bottle and fill it with cold water. Spray into the air right before bedtime
If you seek to improve your sleep quality, take a relaxing shower about 2-3hours before bedtime. This helps in relaxing the muscles and easing the tension in your body. You can also bathe your feet if you cannot take a bath.
As mentioned, melatonin triggers the brain to fall asleep during the night. Therefore, this hormone functions on a precise loop that coincides with the sunrise and the sunset. Experts recommend that you discard the habit of taking short naps during the day as this habit may alter how the melatonin functions.
Avoid intake of fluids 1-2 hours before bedtime, as this may unnecessarily interfere with the regular homeostatic processes conducted by the kidney. Furthermore, taking a lot of liquids before bedtime poses health risks such as nocturia, which refers to excess urination at night.
A dark room triggers the production of melatonin hormone, which consequently triggers the brain to sleep at night.
As long as you have enough bedding to cover the body, sleeping in a cold room may not affect your health or sleep. Your body temperature is maintained through thermoregulation, facilitated by the fatty tissue under your skin.
During the summer, it is advisable to wear lighter sleeping clothes. Use breathable bedding and purchase a fan, if possible, to maintain the room's warmth.
Moreover, remember to open your windows in the evening. This allows cool air to circulate in the room and enables the room to have a refreshing chill.
Sleep plays a very instrumental role in your health and wellbeing. To function properly, adding a well-constructed sleep schedule to your daily regimen is important. Remember to reduce blue light exposure, reduce the amount of caffeine you consume, and increase your exposure to bright light during the day.
Brewer, D. (2019). The Science, Techniques, And Tips For How To Get To Sleep. Lulu. Com.
Grant, W. B., & Holick, M. F. (2005). Benefits And Requirements Of Vitamin D For Optimal Health: A Review. Altern Med Rev, 10(2), 94-111.
Justin E. Lavigne, Ryan Hecksel, Attila Keresztes & John M. Streicher :Scientific Reports Volume 11, Article Number: 8232 (2021)
Plan, C. M. (2021). Tips To Get Restful Sleep At Night. Sleep.
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