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A Complete Roadmap to Fixing Your Sleep

Food And Exercise

It isn’t a good idea to have a full stomach when going to sleep. The ideal time for dinner needs to be three to four hours before bedtime. Also, certain types of food promote sleep while others don’t, and you can use your sleep tracker input to determine which type is good for you.

Moderate amount of low-intensity exercise is desirable for a sound sleep.

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A Complete Roadmap to Fixing Your Sleep

A Complete Roadmap to Fixing Your Sleep

https://medium.com/better-humans/a-complete-roadmap-to-fixing-your-sleep-808b4bd0622f

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Your Relationship With Sleep

Many of us have a broken relationship with sleep. It’s rare for most people to wake up refreshed, rejuvenated, and full of energy.

We need to look into something we always overlooked or neglected when we opted for the late-night party or movie binge, instead of a night of sound sleep.

Basics Of Sleep

A night of sleep is made of five cycles, making us go through various sleep stages. This can be light sleep, deep sleep and REM stage of sleep when we dream and have eye movement.

During sleep, our body produces Melatonin and Growth Hormones, which are required by your bodies for regulating our internal clock and to restore our muscles, bone and metabolism.

Sleep Myths Busted

  1. We all don’t need a standard eight hours of sleep, as it varies according to our age, genetics and level of activity.
  2. Insomnia is actually of various types, from Onset (unable to fall asleep) to Maintenance(struggling to stay asleep) and other types like chronic and acute insomnia.
  3. We all do not have to wake up at 5 a.m., and the wake up time depends on our chronotype.
  4. Sleeping pills, like the types of insomnia, are different too. Benadryl helps you fall asleep, while melatonin pills regulate our internal clock.

Tracking Your Sleep

Having a sleep journal on Google Sheets or Excel is a great way to keep tabs on your sleeping. If you have trouble keeping a sleep journal and recording all activities like time, and number of hours slept, among other things, appears tedious, then you can always opt for a sleep tracker.

Sleep Goals

A sound and successful sleep can be measured using the following goals:

  • Sleeping well within the 30 minute timeframe.
  • Waking up with high-energy.
  • Minimum interruptions during the night.
  • Sleep quality and sleep regularity rating on a high side.

Fixing Your Sleep Schedule

  • Push your sleep reset button and look at this activity from a new light, as if you are now trying this for the first time in your life.
  • Keep a time window of 30 minutes in your bedtime and wake up time.
  • Engage in relaxing activities like meditating, reading or cloth folding.
  • Catch your sleep cycle and if you miss it, be attentive for the next one.
  • Perform a moderate activity one hour before bedtime, to avoid jamming your body.

Your Sleep Cycle Duration

Instead of forcing yourself to wake up at a certain time (like 5:00 am), observe your sleep pattern for a few days and find out your ideal wake up time. Ensure that your energy levels are on a high side.

Sleep Regularity

There can be numerous reasons that derail us from a good night’s sleep, as our lifestyle is not geared towards sleep by default. While tackling this is hard, it helps to make a list of all the things that make you lose your sleep, like time spent with family or a night out with friends, and try to move or reschedule it a few hours earlier or at a different time.

It pays to limit the impact of these external elements in your sleep.

Tips To Sleep Better

  • Maintain sleep hygiene by making your bed a sleep-only spot, not to be used for eating and other non-sleep activities. Use aromatic diffusers to enhance the mood, and invest in a proper pillow/mattress/bedding sheets.
  • Declutter your room and ensure that the lighting promotes sleep. Room temperature should be assistive to sleep. For noisy environments, use some white noise or complete silence, depending on your preference.
  • Record your thoughts in a notepad or voice recorder in case you are bugged by something and need to ‘park’ it aside and get to sleep.
  • Limit caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, which are sleep disruptors.

Food And Exercise

It isn’t a good idea to have a full stomach when going to sleep. The ideal time for dinner needs to be three to four hours before bedtime. Also, certain types of food promote sleep while others don’t, and you can use your sleep tracker input to determine which type is good for you.

Moderate amount of low-intensity exercise is desirable for a sound sleep.

Winding Down

Certain rituals and activities can be done prior to sleeping, like dimming the lights, having chamomile and banana tea (rich in magnesium) and playing a relaxing game (not on a screen).

TV and phone screens are not a good idea right before sleeping.

Helping You Sleep

  • Certain breathing techniques are great activities that promote sleep.

  • It is good to stretch and drink a lot of water in the morning.

  • Daytime napping, in case you need to replenish your energy, is a healthy practice, provided it is a short nap before 3:00 pm

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Science of Sleep

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health
Restoration

The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

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Decompress from your day

The brain is preparing for sleep about two hours before our actual bedtime. That waking system has to slowly come down to allow the sleep system to take over.

S...

Don’t wind down with your gadgets
If you do decide to catch up on your favorite show, don’t do it on your computer or tablet. 

Even just a few seconds of exposure from a blue light-emitting device an hour before bed can disrupt the melatonin rhythm, a rhythm that is so critical to helping us fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Eat a light, pre-bedtime snack

In our perpetually dieting world, it’s not uncommon to lie in bed hungry, but not wanting to eat in an effort to save calories. However, hunger is stimulating and fragments sleep.

Eating a light carbohydrate or protein snack prior to bedtime will stave off hunger without causing you to crash and awaken later in the night. 

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Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

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The internal clock
The internal clock

All individuals possess what is called 'an internal clock', which has as main purpose to schedule sleep and wakefulness within one entire day of 24 hours.

Now comes the difference in re...

Get enough sleep in unusual times

Whenever we undergo a change in our daily schedule, our sleep tends to suffer a bit.

Simple facts such as not waking up and going to bed at the usual hour, not getting enough natural light or making less to no exercise can lead to sleep disorders.

Save your sleep

Especially during times of staying only in the house, one needs to make sure that the regular schedule is not too much disturbed, as this can lead, among other issues, to sleep disorders.

A good way to get your normal sleep is by maintaining a regular wake-up and bedtime, even through unusual periods of time. Furthermore, ensuring that your room gets enough natural light, or even better, that you get it, will definitely help. Among other helpful tips there are the fact of giving up on coffee or making as many indoor physical exercises as possible.

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The Worst Ways To Sleep
The Worst Ways To Sleep
  • Sleeping on the sides, which is how most people sleep, can aggravate heartburn and acidity, especially for those who sleep on their right side.

Back Sleeping

This is the best option and makes your body rejuvenate in the most natural way. Taking a slim pillow under your head helps and it’s best to keep your head at the same level as your body.

The only problem is, this position can worsen the sleep apnea.

Keep The Same Position While Sleeping

Try to sleep on your back by training yourself to not shift positions, either by keeping pillows on both sides of your body, or to place an object inside your shirt that makes it uncomfortable to go to your default position (which can happen involuntarily).

Most of our body pain and other discomforts can be removed or drastically reduced by sleeping on our back.

Not getting enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep

Now that is an issue most of us face on a daily basis: not getting enough sleep because we are too stressed or paying too much attention to our screens, for different reasons.

The bad news ...

Make believe it is time to go to bed

If you find yourself experiencing issues when trying to fall asleep, you might as well consider making your brain believe that night has come.

In order to do this, you could start using dim table or side lamps instead of bright ones, turning on your phone the so-called 'night mode' or using a mask to cover your face.

The so-called 'sleep debt' and how to fight it

Whenever we fall behind on sleep, most of us have the tendency to try to catch up during weekends. The result is not that good though: it confuses our internal clock and therefore, we tend to feel even more tired afterwards.

So we should actually try waking up and going to bed at the same hours on both weekdays and weekends and building up a regular schedule that suits our needs.

Sleep stability

It's the key to a good night’s sleep. It means pinning your bedtime to the same time every night, even on weekends, and waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. ...

The "8-hour sleep" myth

8 hours of sleep/night is a useful goal, but it’s not true that everyone needs that. 

A lot of people get obsessed with this goal of getting 8 hours of sleep every single night, and because they’re someone who just doesn’t need that much sleep, or they can’t reliably sleep that long, they get anxious about it and that actually creates issues with insomnia.

Basic sleep hygiene
  • not drinking caffeine after midday;
  • not exercising too late;
  • not drinking alcohol before bed;
  • eating sensibly;
  • leaving mobile devices outside the bedroom (artificial light disrupts the brain).

If doing natural things like this doesn’t work, then it might be wise to consult with a specialist or a doctor.

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Creating a sleep-inducing environment
  • Turn the temperature between 60 and 72 degrees.
  • Turn off the lights. Artificial light suppresses your body’s production of the sleep hormone melat...
Eat Meals Earlier 

Don't eat any heavy foods within two hours of bed time. 

If you get too hungry as bedtime creeps around, there are a few foods that are okay to eat before bed, and can even h...

Do Something After You Eat

After you eat, get up and do something a bit more active—even if it's just washing dishes or taking out the trash. It'll avoid that post-meal drowsiness, and it's a great time to have a 10-minute cleaning burst to keep your house looking nice.

Avoid Napping

Napping can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night:

If, after you've thoroughly tested your evening routine and gotten better sleep, you still feel drowsy, you can try adding a power nap to your day, preferably during the early afternoon. 

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The problem with staying up late

Long days can leave us tired and exhausted. But, our days would be less hard and exhausting if we weren't so tired through them.

Most night owls have to wake a similar time to other people...

Learn to love a good night's sleep

When trying to change your sleep habits, don't give up too soon. Keep it up for a week. The days will get easier, and you'll learn to love sleep again.

To get to bed earlier, slow down in the evenings. Read a book rather than engaging with your smartphone or laptop. Listening to music is good too.

Have something to get up for

Schedule something fun or desirable to look forward to in the morning before work. 

It could include coffee, the news, gym or uninterrupted smartphone access.

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