“Sleep is the most influential factor in regards to our health and life expectancy”. This is a fact you probably already knew or at least, you feel it with your whole body. When you haven’t slept well, even it’s just for one night, don’t you feel cranky, nervous and anxious, don’t want to contribute as much etc?
Stress is what most usually makes us unable to sleep through the night. An exam in the morning, a big meeting, a job interview… you just name it! Is stress affecting us more lately?
Do you feel rushed and pushed towards something all the time? These are the first signs of sleep deprivation and anxiety. Bad, bad for your health!
Have you ever heard about melatonin? It is “the sleeping hormone”. It is mostly produced during the night, while our eyes are shut and when our brain is less affected by light.
So the production of melatonin is directly connected with the brightness in the environment in which we sleep. A first tip for a good night’s rest is – no monitors, TV’s or strong night lamps around you! A study shows that “by closing our eyes we boost the levels of melatonin that courses through our body.
During the day or when lights are on, the body can sense through the eyelids that it is not dark enough for a full sleep – which is why when we nap we sleep more lightly during the day”.
The peek of melatonin production is at about -3 A.M, during the deepest part of the night. However, at the same time when melatonin reaches its peek, we get to a state of mind called “wakefulness”.
You could easily become awaked, but sill comfortable in the bed and in the same position, thinking about something that’s most important for you at the moment of being. “In this state your body is freed of its external obligations (eg walking, moving) and our minds are free to wander at will. In doing so your body can reap the physical benefits of sleep without you actually sleeping”.
Sleeping is most important for your brain to recover – your body recovers the best when the brain is “shut down”, “restarted” and recovered through the night.
Here are some tips to help with a good night sleep:
- Melatonin supplements – always consult your doctor
- No TV’s, computers or phones in the bedroom
- Physical exercise and a warm shower before going to bed
If nothing helps, just try counting and you will fall asleep, or repeat to yourself a phrase like “fall asleep already” to hypnotize your own mind!