Too much stress, blue light, and you wake up tired more and more often. This is a sign that your quality of sleep is poor.
You know for sure that sleep affects your overall well-being. But do you also know that poor sleep quality may increase your level of stress, cause concentration problems and that it also has a direct link to your weight?
Let’s see some causes and some remedies.
1. Too much stress
Health problems, professional situations or private life issues, life is not a long quiet river, as French would say. If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up with anguishing thoughts and flashes of anxiety in the middle of the night, chances are you won’t wake up in great shape the next day. Sleep and stress are intimately linked. If stress affects the quality and duration of sleep, a night that is too short can also reduce your resistance to it.
Here are some possible solutions:
10 minutes of mindfulness meditation before bedtime can take stress levels down. Mindfulness is scientifically recognized for its benefits on the immune system, reducing stress, blood pressure, pain, and depression. Many apps are available also for free if you want to start practising on your own.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This kind of therapy is defined as “psychotherapy that combines cognitive therapy with behaviour therapy by identifying faulty or maladaptive patterns of thinking, emotional response, or behaviour and substituting them with desirable patterns of thinking, emotional response, or behaviour.” With CBT, we learn to change our perceptions and keep away negative thoughts that affect our quality of life. It is particularly well indicated for treating sleep disorders, including insomnia.
Preparations based on flowers or plants can be valuable allies at bedtime. Passionflower, valerian, lemon balm, linden have proven their effectiveness, in the form of herbal tea, supplements or essential oils. But be careful, plants are powerful and it’s not one size fits all. Get advice from your pharmacist.
2. Blue light
While it has a stimulating effect on our mood and wakefulness, blue light inhibits melatonin, the sleep hormone. Emitted by the sun, but also by LED bulbs, the screens of our tablets, smartphones and computers, blue light forms part of the spectrum of light. So, if you use any of your devices before going to bed, the body feels like it would be day.
Here is some advice:
Stop using tablets and smartphones before bedtime
It is obvious, if you have trouble falling asleep and if you spend your evenings in front of one screen, that’s the cause of your problem. To trigger melatonin production, try turning them off half an hour before going to bed. Can’t do it? Put the screen in night mode or reading mode!
Wear anti-blue light glasses
There are different types of anti-blue light glasses on the market. Check that the lenses filter the blue-turquoise light, the one that impacts melatonin. It is always better to ask an optician for advice.
Boost melatonin, the sleep hormone
Produced by the pineal gland, melatonin informs the brain that it is dark and that it is time to sleep. Its peak production is between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Lacking melatonin? There are a lot of dietary supplements to melt under the tongue before bedtime. Try it out!
To conclude, adopt these 10 healthy habits that will help you with poor sleep quality
- Avoid drinks containing stimulants (chocolate, coffee, tea, coke, or any soda) 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Do not drink too much alcohol at dinner or in the evening. If it facilitates falling asleep, it causes nocturnal awakenings.
- Practice regular sports activity (but not within 4 hours before bedtime).
- Avoid late meals that are too high in protein or fat. Choose foods rich in carbohydrates (starchy foods, pasta, etc.).
- Do not smoke before going to bed. Nicotine is a stimulant.
- Open the window of your bedroom before going to bed and let fresh air in.
- Cold, like heat, impairs the quality of sleep. For a quality sleep, the ideal bedroom temperature is between 16 and 18 °C
- Do relaxing activities to prepare for sleeping. Read, listen to soft music, or drink herbal tea.
- Do not look at the time if you don’t fall asleep, it would only annoy you more.
- Try to go to bed and get up at regular times, even on weekends. Nothing is like establishing a routine for a good quality sleep!
How would you rate your sleep quality? Would you adopt these healthy habits?
You can find more on sleeping well on my blog crisbiecoach.
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