[bctt tweet=”Did you know that not sleeping causes the same symptoms in the brain as if you were drunk?” username=”annabelnac”]
In addition, poor sleep increases the risk of obesity and diabetes. On the other hand, it affects our ability to learn. Recent studies even link poor sleep to Alzheimer’s. For all this, today I bring you some advice to fall asleep that will be useful to wake up feeling that this sleep has been really repairing.
If we take the trouble to adapt our wardrobe according to the social commitment we have, why don’t we take the same trouble at bedtime? We should look for clothes that are neither too loose nor too tight; that are warm in the winter and allow our skin to perspire in the summer.
On the other hand, we should check that our mattress is in good condition. The experts recommend ventilating it regularly and changing it within a period of no more than ten years; and whenever necessary.
[bctt tweet=”White noise, or commonly known as background music, is a constant, monotonous sound that masks other noises and allows us to fall asleep. It can be the song of a cricket, the sound of rain or wind.” username=”annabelnac”]
Many people turn to classical music, their favorite music or movie soundtracks; although some people find it works, it is not very advisable. Music is usually a stimulant for our brain; the opposite of what we are looking for.
It is light that marks the times of wakefulness and sleep of human beings; due to the photoreceptors of our eyes. Therefore, it is important that we make sure that our room is kept in darkness. A good option is to wear a sleep mask.
The bed is a VIP area
The bed is a restricted area; all you have to do is sleep and play… you know what I mean [wink, wink]. We tend to check the mail, look at social networks or watch TV… when we’re in bed; a mistake. We must educate our brain to know that when we get into bed it’s to sleep and rest; that way our sensors will be activated and we’ll sleep better.
We are what we eat
Drinks with a high caffeine content, eating large meals or drinking too much alcohol activates numerous functions in our body, keeping us awake among other things. Remember! If you choose to take a supplement to help you sleep, try to avoid sleeping pills and take natural products such as valerian infusions, herbal teas and other hot drinks. Why is hot milk or chocolate not recommended despite popular belief? The first can make our digestion difficult and the second is a stimulant.
Routine, a great ally
Hasn’t it happened to you that there are times when you go to bed early and when you wake up you have the feeling that you haven’t slept at all?
It is because our body gets used to the schedule we set for it; therefore, experts recommend setting a time to go to bed. In this way, the repetition throughout the days will cause our brain to enter in what we can call “automatic mode” and thus be predisposed to sleep.
Something to read
Many people enjoy the pleasure of reading a few chapters before going to sleep; but… is it right? As we have been repeating in most of the tricks, we seek to disconnect our brain; so the objective is to find those things that do NOT motivate us. If you really need to rest, the best thing you can do is look for those readings that bore you. Even those notes on the subject that bring you to your head. Why? Because when we get bored we get sleepy; according to Nature Communications magazine:
A part of the brain that is associated with motivation and pleasure, the nucleus accumbens, can also produce sleep.
If it’s time to sleep, it’s time to forget about your social networks until the next day. The blue light from our devices affects sleep; they suppress the synthesis of melatonin (the sleep hormone).
Breathing in, breathing out
The most famous breathing technique is called 4-7-8; which promises to put you to sleep in a minute. It consists of taking in air through your nose for 4 seconds. You hold that air in your lungs for 7 seconds. Then, you expel all the air from your lungs for 8 seconds. And finally, repeat this process until you fall asleep. Like any technique, it requires a process of learning and mastering.
A technique in yoga
I propose a technique that is used a lot in yoga and I think it is more intuitive, easier and simple to practice. You should lie on your back on the bed with your arms stretched out next to your body with your palms facing upwards (dead man’s posture). Close your eyes and walk around your body; always keeping a slow and calm breath. Focus on your feet first; move your toes. Keep going up, turn your ankles. Keep climbing, concentrating on each part of your journey until you reach your chest.
Pay attention to your breath
Pay attention to how your chest goes up and down with each breath; stop for a few minutes here before you reach your throat. Swallow several times, accompanying each movement with a deep breath. Next stop, your nose. Recreate how the air travels from the outside to the inside. Finally, place the mind in a blank state. Observe the darkness and take several deep breaths. If you have done this correctly, your body and mind will be so relaxed that it will be a matter of minutes before you fall asleep.
Written by Annabel Navarro