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Recommendation to reduce stress prior to sleep in order to attain good quality of sleep

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Poor sleep quality such as difficulty to fall asleep, unable maintain a good night sleep or early waking could lead to day time sleepiness and lower concentration level which could affect our daily work performance. Besides, it might leads to uneventful accidents. High stress level (work associated, environmental, personal and relationship issues, financial stress could be the cause) prior to sleep has been associated with poor sleep quality. Thus, what are the effective ways and technology devices could helps to reduce stress and to attain good quality of sleep?

Sleep Medicine
Insomnia
Techonology
Stress
Relaxation
Healthcare
Lawrence Loy
17 months ago

13 answers

3

Getting a good night's sleep starts by what you do during the day. What you eat and drink can affect how well you sleep at night. For example, eating too many processed foods, sugar, caffeine, and foods containing trans fats can make it difficult to fall asleep, but also interrupt sleep during the night.

It is a good idea to take an inventory of what you are eating and drinking during the day and see where some improvements can be made such as eating more whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil. Drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated.

Find a way to exercise daily whether it is going for a walk, lifting weights, or taking a yoga class. There are some restorative yoga poses that can be done about a half hour before bed that are very relaxing and set your mind and body up for a good night's sleep.

That said, before going to bed, there are some healthy rituals that will go a long way in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. Here are just a few:

  • Turn off the computer screen at least one hour before bed
  • Enjoy a cup of camomile tea
  • Do NOT charge your cell phone in your bedroom on the nightstand next to your bed. Charge it in another room in the house.
  • Turn the lights down
  • Read a book (not on a Kindle to avoid the light)
  • Practice "legs on the wall" before going to bed (a restorative yoga pose that is very soothing and relaxing that will help you fall asleep)
  • Go to bed the same time each night
  • Calcium and magnesium in a 2:1 ratio taken an hour before bed can help lower blood pressure as well as help the muscles relax in the entire body including the heart for a good night's sleep. (500 mg of calcium with 250 mg of magnesium)

All of the above will help achieve a good night's sleep so you can wake up refreshed to take on the day. It all starts during the day.

Sherry Granader
17 months ago
Great information Sherry. Do you recommend any technology devices that could help us to attain better quality of sleep or reduces stress level. - Lawrence 17 months ago
People report that various YouTube videos are available for sleep. Some can be used for positive subliminal input as well. There is an article in National Geographic that details the various benefits of sleep. Perhaps when one learns of the various benefits of sleep it will shift the focus. Concentrate on the postiives of sleep in order to minimize contemplating stress of the day. - Jennifer 17 months ago
Thanks Jennifer, If it is possible that you are able to share the URL of the National Geographic article ? Thanks. - Lawrence 17 months ago
It’s National Geographic Issue on the Science of Sleep 8/2018. Filled with the latest information and scientific findings. - Jennifer 17 months ago
I am a fan of peaceful music that is designed to help you fall asleep - in fact, there are certain tones in music that can help relax the brain and as Jennifer mentioned turn off the stresses of the day. - Sherry 17 months ago
Many thanks - Dr. David E. 16 months ago
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Behavior and character plays a role in stress level and sleep quality. The stress level of a calm and organized person will be lower compared to a person who is disorganized and temperamental. Lifestyles practices such as mediation that will help us to calm our mind will change our behavior and character. Practice meditation before going to bed will helps us to calm our mind and improve our sleep.

Chun Wei
17 months ago
The environment plays a fundamental role as well, this includes people connecting with you, e.g. your family and colleagues. I had one more thing to reduce stress, practice sports, it works well in my case. I do it without having any goal, just for fun after hours in front of a laptop or at the phone or in meetings - Paolo 17 months ago
It is true as Paolo stated. Immediate enviroment such as the people surrounding us do influence our behaviour and character whcih ultimately affect our stress level. - Lawrence 17 months ago
2

I would really recommend going back in time: Leave all stress behind (we usually bring home stress from work, discuss over dinner, instead of exchanging pleasantries like what was done by the previous generations. Night is for darkness to prevail, Switch off lights and gadgets as well

Edna Cuaresma, MD, LlB
17 months ago
Don’t discuss at home about work is a good point, just not easy the develop unfortunately. In my case I don’t mind about darkness as I did in the past - Paolo 17 months ago
It is true that works should remain at work so that one will feel comfortable at home as the main purpose is to cut away from the work related stress to attain good sleep. - Lawrence 17 months ago
OK - Dr. David E. 16 months ago
1

Fully agree on what Sherry mentioned. When too tired and stressed I go for mindfulness, easy to practice. It helps to calm down, reduce stress, connect with your body and improve the quality of your rest.

Paolo Beffagnotti
17 months ago
Thanks Paolo. Any recommendation of devides that you find useful that could help one to reduce stress and/ improve sleep quality? - Lawrence 17 months ago
I agree Paolo - mindfulness is something I teach in my yoga classes - very effective. - Sherry 17 months ago
I am now using headspace, guided meditation and is really good! You can set your daily journey based on your needs/goal - Paolo 17 months ago
I started with yoga (I have to admit that I was skeptical at the beginning), then I added pilates, mindfulness and meditation in general. Mindfulness is the best solution to reduce stress. You can easily practice it any time in any place - Paolo 17 months ago
I will have to check out headspace - glad to hear you tried yoga! - Sherry 17 months ago
At the beginning of my second lesson the instructor said me, I would not have bet 1euro on having you back again. Now I am still not good but I don’t give up, it is too beneficial to reduce stress and work on my body - Paolo 17 months ago
More apps are available at https://www.healthdatamanagement.com/list/20-notable-apps-for-provider-organizations I don’t know these, do you? - Paolo 17 months ago
I will have to check out those apps. Thank you Paolo. - Sherry 17 months ago
If you identify anything of interest please let me know. I will do the same. - Paolo 17 months ago
Speaking of apps, checking the phone before going to sleep, is one negative factor : https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prescriptions-life/201804/6-ways-night-time-phone-use-destroys-your-sleep - Patrick 17 months ago
Right Patrick, or checking it as soon as you wake up as the first thing - Paolo 17 months ago
Choosing the correct environment to relax makes a big difference. Natural places such as mountain area, quite beach, forest, or a garden could provide a serene environment to calm down our mind, reduce stress, connect our body with the mother nature and improve the relaxation quality. - Chun 17 months ago
Right Chun, I am on a mountain area now for vacation and the quality of rest improved in an amazing way - Paolo 17 months ago
That is so true Patrick - it is not good to check your phone or be on the computer before going to sleep. It does nothing for quieting the mind but the bright light reduces melatonin levels making it more difficul to fall asleep and stay asleep. - Sherry 17 months ago
Usually you should stop at least 1h in advance with laptop and mobile before going to sleep. TV looks a bit different. - Paolo 17 months ago
Paolo, checking emails as first thing in the morning is a sign that you already became a cyborg; your smart phone became practically a part of you. https://ethicsplayground.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/we-are-cyborgs/ - Patrick 17 months ago
Also interesting, the Japanese concept of "Forest Bathing:" http://time.com/5259602/japanese-forest-bathing/ - Patrick 17 months ago
So it means that I am already half cyborg. Interesting the concept of forest bathing, I will dig more into this - Paolo 17 months ago
Paolo Beffagnotti , yes, you practically outsourced a part of your memory to the internet. You may even tend to believe the internet to replace a part of your low involvement decisions. - Patrick 17 months ago
Yes I do that, however I spend some time with no access to the web. No laptop, no internet on the mobile and no mobile at all. It helps to detox from the web. - Paolo 17 months ago
Many thanks to all - Dr. David E. 16 months ago
1

Old fashioned solution: Read a book (fiction). It let you disconnect from the stress of the day and dive into another world.

Patrick Henz
17 months ago
Great suggestion. How about any lifestyle changes that you would recommend? - Lawrence 17 months ago
Water, water, water. Dehydration is a big issue for many people as I continue to come across those that do not drink enough water during the day. That can affect the ability to sleep well because water is necessary for every process in the body. When you think about how many processes take place in our bodies, you soon realize how important staying hydrated is to the body. - Sherry 17 months ago
A relaxing walk before going to sleep. This helps me to calm down after a stressful day. - Paolo 17 months ago
I guess there is no "one fits for all"-approach. It should be holistic to include body and mind. Everybody has to find out what works for him- or herself. For future generations, education is important, including the holistic STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Arts, Maths)-approach. Higher education makes it easier to discover a health life style. - Patrick 17 months ago
One more thing, it is important to define yourself not with your job. The question "Who are you?" should not be answered by one's actual job position. This helps to keep stress and problems in the office. - Patrick 17 months ago
Replying with the actual job position to that question means that the person is a bit workaholic... - Paolo 17 months ago
Correct. Employers should avoid having workaholics. This as the decision making process gets negativity affected and based on different local labor laws, employers may be responsible for stress related accidents or diseases. - Patrick 17 months ago
1

There has been studies that suggest that food intake could helps to relieve anxiety and also calm the mind so to improve our sleep quality. For example the consumption of milk and honey which contain sedative effects. Furthermore, consumption of food that are high in melatonin and or serotonin could improve sleeping quality. For example banana,grapes and strawberries that are high in melatonin while, kiwi is high in serotonin which will stimulate happiness and reduce our stress level. Some herbs such as valerian does helps to reduce anxiety and stress levels. Oats contain avenin which act as a mild sedative too! Studies also suggest that smoking prior to sleep does delay onset of sleep while stimulants such as coffee or spices does interferes sleep What is your opinion?

References :
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/96da/d4fb97ed3023602e3557062148a473a9fd4b.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21669584

Lawrence Loy
17 months ago
Interesting studies. Indeed alimentary behaviors could have a relevant impact. In general, these support if correct but could work on the other way round. Just think about random meals during the day, sometimes people miss these as well and this can’t support the rest and the wellness - Paolo 17 months ago
I want my employees to be workaholics? - Dr. David E. 16 months ago
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Patrick Henz. I agree that "checking hand phone before going to sleep is one negative factor" . This does not only apply to hand phone but also lap tops, computers, tablet or any screen that emits blue light. Blue light is a wave length that could affect our human sleep wake cycle whereby blue light stimulates our "brain internal clock" arousal switch and suppress melatonin (sleep hormone) secretion..

Lawrence Loy
17 months ago
Interesting research, thanks for sharing. What about kindle? I still prefer the old way and read a book - Paolo 17 months ago
Paolo Beffagnotti Even though Kinder primaraly uses white LED light to illuminates, but it does emits a small portion of bluelight (lesser intensity compared to handphone, laptoc etc.). If you are keen to bed time reading, using Kindle is preferable compared to reading using lap top or hand phone. - Lawrence 17 months ago
Thanks for clarifying Lawrence. I will try this way too at least once - Paolo 17 months ago
Informative regarding environmental factor plays a vital role in affecting our sleep wake cycle! - Chun 17 months ago
Thanks for the information! This reminds me that Volkswagen stated in the TV spots from the 90s that blue light stimulates you and so is good to use inside their cars. - Patrick 17 months ago
Patrick, is this think blue campaign? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hsT-GZVuaco - Paolo 17 months ago
Paolo Beffagnotti , there had been different ones, like for example: "Blue makes happy" (which requires to be active): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaRBJI_6tLk - Patrick 17 months ago
Yes I remember this one, nice! - Paolo 17 months ago
Many thanks - Dr. David E. 16 months ago
1

Many people use alcohol to help them fall asleep as we all know that a few sip of alcohol such as wine, beer, rum could cause you feel drowsy but some studies suggest that it could cause day time sleepiness, poor quality of sleep and poor work performance. However the result are not conclusive as some researcher argue that alcohol is a mental depressant which could helps us to fall into sleep quickly. Hence, the usage of alcohol to help one to release stress and archive better sleep depends on the user himself.

Chun Wei
17 months ago
I don’t think alcohol is the right solution, it could maybe work in a short term but it can’t definitely be the final solution. The quality of sleep will not be really good. I have seen too many cases already - Paolo 17 months ago
I agree with Paolo - alcohol is not the answer - it can do more damage than help! - Sherry 17 months ago
Alcohol as medicine could be just a temporary solution, if extended for a long time the negative effects can be higher than the positive ones - Paolo 17 months ago
It is true that alcohol might provide a quick solution but it is not a long term stratergy as the negative complications of alcohol outweight its positive ones. For example, chronic consumption of alchol might lead to liver cirrhosis or alcohol withdrawl! - Lawrence 17 months ago
Amazing - Dr. David E. 16 months ago
1

Smart bed might be a solution to help to improve sleep quality by adjusting the mattress texture and softness to your comfort! Perhaps a smart pillow might be and add on too! Smart pillows are the next level in sleep technology. Ideal for snorers, these incredible inventions not only help you to stop snoring, but they also play soothing music or meditation tracks, analyse your sleep and intelligently wake you up. The Zeeq Smart Pillow can be controlled via Bluetooth from your smart device to play your favourite tracks and provide you with an in-depth sleepanalysis.

Lawrence Loy
17 months ago
Never tried these, do they work? - Paolo 17 months ago
The ZeeQ pillo does helps in snoring but i've never tried the smart bed before! - Lawrence 17 months ago
1

Here is an article I wrote on stress, "The Triple Life-Stress Shields." There are many strategies, all of which can prevent or reduce stress, therefore enhancing sleep. Mostly low-tech solutions, but sometimes they are the most effective: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/triple-life-stress-shields-dr-roy-e-vartabedian/

Roy Vartabedian, DrPH, MPH
16 months ago
Interesting article, good points. I like don't be available and on the go 24/7 and change your environment. - Paolo 16 months ago
Glad you found it interesting and helpful, Paolo. - Roy 16 months ago
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, "We are bombarded by stress". Always interesting to read about how to face it, either for learning something new or to remember something that we already know but don't put in practice. - Paolo 16 months ago
1

Hi Everyone

This is a fascinating topic and it's interesting to follow people's views in the thread.

I couldn't affirm Patrick Henz 's views more. The correlation between Melatonin production attenuation and blue-light exposure is a critical factor when deliberating around sleep disorder.

I work for a Specialist Ophthalmic Surgeon who has much experience in neurophysiology alongside his passion for eye health. He also struggled with sleep deprivation for many years and was inspired (among others) by Matthew Walker's research in the field of sleep science.

So, my director (the Ophthalmic Surgeon) also took to the lab and was among the first people world-wide to scientifically develop a type of amber-tinted lens that blocks out the specific bandwidth of blue light (460 - 480nm) in the light spectrum that is complicit in melatonin production attenuation.

Called SleepSpec, these glasses have been used by regular users, as well as various high-level sports teams across the globe (Ireland, USA, UK & South Africa) to aid athletes with the effects of jet-lag and increased light-exposure.

Basically, melatonin production production naturally kicks in 2 hours before sleep-state should set in. Thus, if you are going to be exposed to ANY light source that emits the 460-480nm blue light (which includes pretty much ALL modern lighting and electronic devices), you could just pop on your SleepSpec and continue as normal. Your body's natural melatonin production would then be protected, thereby protecting your circadian rhythm and sleep quality.

Alongside the tinted glasses (for kids and adults), SleepSpec also provides tinted flashlights and tinted night lights

Check out the website at www.sleepspec.com

Hope this is useful to everyone here! It won't solve ALL sleep disorders, but it would go a long way in aiding users who are night-owls, or who need to work late and who want to protect their quality sleep.

Regards,
Byron

Byron van der Linde
10 months ago
Thanks Byron van der Linde !! - Patrick 10 months ago
0

Nix the soft drinks too - the body does not like soft drinks. Plus, the phosphorous in soft drinks blocks absorption of calcium and magnesium - 2 minerals that help lower blood pressure and relax the muscles.

Sherry Granader
17 months ago
It is true where calcim and magnesium is vital for muscle relaxation. A tense muscle tone prior to sleep impede good quality of sleep. - Lawrence 17 months ago
Thanks for the sharing @Sherry Granader. Do you recommend calcium and magnesium supplements to relax the muscle so that one could sleep better? - Chun 17 months ago
0
  1. A hot shower and a hot cup of caffeine free tea is a big help.
  2. I've also recently started taking a small dose of melatonin each night and that has allowed me to fall asleep faster and for a bit longer.
  3. Also, investing in a high quality mattress.
  4. I've also found lowering the temperature in my bedroom helps me to fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
  5. Meditation/Sleeping apps also have a lot of options that allow you to calm down, relax, and fall asleep faster.
Rick J. LoCastro
10 months ago

Have some input?