Bad and superficial sleep: what to do?
Chronic insomnia, superficial sleep, and the inability to sleep even in 8-9 hours in bed are a problem that not only makes a person nervous and lethargic in the morning, but also the cause of a complex metabolic disorder. The consequences of poor sleep can easily become not only weight gain (or even obesity ), but also the development of lethargic depression.
At the same time, experts believe that the main cause of sleep disorders is not a specific disease that needs to be treated, but rather everyday human habits - for example, excessive consumption of coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks , as well as the use of electronic gadgets that negatively affect bedtime the production of sleep hormone melatonin.
Sleep Disorders: Causes
In the vast majority of cases, insomnia and poor sleep are caused either by being in a state of chronic stress, or by excessive use of caffeine and other stimulants. Often these reasons are related - trying to cheer up after a superficial sleep, many people increase the amount of coffee they drink, which ultimately only exacerbates sleep disturbances.
The most common causes of poor sleep :
- The use of caffeine and stimulants . Excessive consumption of coffee and caffeinated products (including black and green tea, soda and, in particular, fat burners ) not only prevents sleep, but also makes sleep superficial. If you have bad sleep, the first thing you should start with is to control your caffeine intake throughout the day.
- Trying to fall asleep with a smartphone in his hands . The screens of electronic devices (TV, tablet, mobile phone) emit a bright bluish-white light, the spectrum of which is extremely close to daylight. Such light literally deceives the brain, making it think that it is the middle of the day, and not the time for sleep (1) .
- Bright light in the bedroom . Daylight lamps (including energy-saving light bulbs that work in a bluish tone) can disrupt the biorhythms of the body. The worst you can think of for quality sleep is the bright white light in the bedroom. Lighting in the evening is recommended to dim, and its tone should not be cold white, I am yellowish-warm.
- The habit of falling asleep under the TV. Noise and unwanted light are typical causes of poor sleep. To deal with them, use earplugs and a special mask that does not allow light to pass through. However, remember that their quality varies significantly - cheap masks and ear plugs are of little use, being frankly uncomfortable.
Bad sleep - treatment methods
Since the main consequence of chronic insomnia and long-term sleep disturbances is an increase in the stress hormone cortisol , which introduces the body into a state of constant tension, treatment of poor sleep begins with the normalization of this hormone and the person’s withdrawal from stress. For this, both outdoor sports and yoga or meditation can help.
At the same time, sleeping pills and tranquilizers cannot be considered a method of treating superficial sleep, since they do not completely eliminate the cause of the problem, but only mask it. It is important to note that such drugs are addictive and addictive - gradually a person completely loses the ability to fall asleep without taking sleeping pills, which significantly aggravates the situation.
Sleep hormone melatonin
Melatonin, called the sleep hormone, is produced by a healthy body at night, representing the most important element that triggers the deep phase of restorative sleep. Studies show that people with insomnia and shallow sleep often have problems with the production of this hormone - in fact, they simply do not have enough melatonin at night.
Taking the minimum dose (1-2 mg) of melatonin in tablets before going to bed and after turning off the light will give the body a direct signal that it is time to go into the phase of dreams. At the same time, melatonin will not only allow you to fall asleep faster, but also significantly improves the quality of sleep. Among other things, it does not have side effects typical of sleeping pills - for example, a feeling of weakness in the morning.
Light, melatonin and poor sleep
The main reason why people begin to experience difficulties with the natural synthesis of melatonin (and therefore the problem with insomnia and other sleep disorders) is the excessive brightness of the lighting in the evening. This is especially important in the autumn and winter, when daylight hours are minimal, and a person spends only a small amount of time in natural light.
The bedroom is flooded with bright artificial light, watching TV in bed and the active use of mobile devices just before bedtime in the literal sense of the word tell the brain that it is not time to sleep at all. If you cannot fall asleep for hours, try to limit as much as possible any irritating brain factors at least an hour before going to bed.
Bad dream: folk remedies
For the treatment of insomnia, traditional medicine recommends a number of herbal teas and herbs that provide a mild relaxing effect and improve sleep quality - primarily sage, fennel, chamomile, lavender, peppermint and valerian (3) . A mug of warm, but not hot, herbal tea should be drunk without sugar, about 30-40 minutes before going to bed.
In this case, the best choice for combating insomnia and shallow sleep will be sage, the useful properties of which were known in ancient Greece. Indian treatises on medicine call sage a powerful tool not only to improve sleep and relieve stress, but also to enhance overall memory. This herbal tea has a pleasant taste and relaxing mint aroma.
Bad night sleep: what to do?
A contrast (or just cold) shower, taken immediately before going to bed, is also one of the simplest and most effective folk methods for dealing with insomnia and bad sleep. Scientific studies confirm that such a shower really facilitates the process of falling asleep and makes a person’s sleep much deeper (2) .
However, it is important to note that the key task of taking a shower or bath before bedtime is only to switch attention from daytime problems. If you cannot stop the flow of thoughts and worry all night about everyday difficulties, then try either to start meditating , or at least read a book before going to bed - this will distract you and really help you sleep better.
If you suffer from chronic insomnia and shallow sleep, remember that TV and a mobile phone are the most typical causes of the aforementioned sleep disorders - try to limit their use as much as possible half an hour or an hour before bedtime. Also closely monitor the amount of caffeine consumed during the day.
- Smartphones Ruin More Than Your Sleep, source
- The Many Benefits of Taking Cold Showers, source
- Tea That Helps You Sleep, source