Is it hard to fall asleep? You get into your bed but find it difficult to sleep and roll around all night? You turn on and turn off the TV, change your pillow and even take some natural medicine to sleep and still can’t?
Sleep shouldn’t be a tragic moment, indeed it is a completely natural and unconscious process of the body, it is undoubtedly the main source of energy. We can live days without water, without food, but there’s no way we can survive without sleep. The problem comes when we ourselves alter the natural process, and that’s when falling asleep becomes a difficulty. Read below and find out if you have one or many of theses habits that keep you from falling asleep.
1. Using the computer and working in bed.
Working on bed, and basically using bed for any activity that is not naturally made to carry out from the bed, confuses the body. All plants, animals and all living bodies live under circadian cycles; biological cycles that occur with particular frequency and duration during the day influenced by secretion of hormones, sunlight etc.. So when we establish a daily routine the body adapts to these times and changing any habit becomes more difficult. One of the biggest influencers of the circadian cycle is sunlight, when we are in a dark , the brain stops receiving stimulation through the eyes and begins to secrete the hormone known to many as the sleep hormone; melatonin. This means that we can easily fall asleep, and when we get up and receive sunlight, production of melatonin is inhibited making sleep difficult through out the day. So if you use the computer, turn on many lights, play with your cellphone you are basically teaching the body that bed is for anything but sleeping, because melatonin secretion is not going to start at the ideal time, since you keep stimulating the brain with artificial light (computer, TV , cell, etc.). Disconnect from job responsibilities before you get in bed, put your cellphone away and you fill find it easier to fall asleep.
2. Eating in bed
You now understand what happens hormonally when we entered a dark room. Now, if we need the body to be relaxed to start hormone secretion and fall asleep, imagine when we eat in bed, plus we also watching TV! The body is distracted, receiving artificial light, and it’s being stimulated by sensations of food and whatever you’re watching on TV. Besides the blood is concentrated around the gastrointestinal tract by digestion. Thus the body clearly understands that bed is not sleeping space, so do not expect to fall asleep just by putting the plate on the nightstand.
3. Going to bed angry and/or thinking about problems
As we have seen in previous publications being stressed, including being angry, raises the cascade of hormones that keep us alert, heart rate increases, pupils dilate, and even sweating increases. All this happens to the body when we put it on high levels of stress, the body can not tell if it is from a survival attack or just emotional/work stress. This prevents the body relax at all costs, avoiding a natural circadian cycle when it’s time to sleep. So if you have a personal problem or if you had a discussion at work, at home etc., try to apologize and fix the problem before going to bed. If you take the problem or anger to bed, you will surely spend all night staring at the ceiling.
4. Sleeping right after eating.
When we eat it takes us a while to do digestion. If we lie down immediately after eating we are in a risk that food can be returned from the stomach into the esophagus and including stomach acid which generates gastritis or acid reflux. Thus, this sensations prevents us to fall asleep, we wake up constantly at night and we don’t even enjoy the food from the night before. So take the time to eat, make space to enjoy the food and wait about 1 hour or hour and a half after you eat, before go into to bed.
5. Sleeping immediately after your workout
When we exercise we release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol among many others. These increase the basal metabolic rate and leave us more awake than ever. So if you workout late at night and you get into bed afterwards, it is probable that you can’t fall asleep or that you’re constantly waking up through the night. Try to exercise at least 2 hours before bed so that you give yourself the space the body needs to get back to tranquility.
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