Recommendation to reduce stress prior to sleep in order to attain good quality of sleep
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
Old fashioned solution: Read a book (fiction). It let you disconnect from the stress of the day and dive into another world.
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?
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..
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
- A hot shower and a hot cup of caffeine free tea is a big help.
- 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.
- Also, investing in a high quality mattress.
- I've also found lowering the temperature in my bedroom helps me to fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
- Meditation/Sleeping apps also have a lot of options that allow you to calm down, relax, and fall asleep faster.
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