Lack of sleep or excess sleep negatively affects your health. First of all, the brain and nervous system suffer from lack of sleep: memory and mental performance deteriorates, attention and concentration are blunted.
Causes of insomnia and sleep problems
Stress and psychological tension
The most common cause of insomnia. It appears when you change jobs, have problems in your personal life, have a child, or move. Before you go to sleep, try to leave all the disturbing thoughts and occupy your brain with other, calmer tasks: listen to your favorite music, read a book or collect a puzzle. As soon as you feel sleepy, go to bed.
In most major cities, the level of noise pollution exceeds acceptable standards. The main sources of noise are cars, planes, and trains. A high level of noise pollution received by a person during the day increases the level of adrenaline, causes headaches, increases heart rate and, subsequently, disrupts sleep.
The workplace, recreation room, and bedroom should be quiet. If your street is noisy in the evening, close the Windows and hang heavy curtains – they will work as additional noise insulation and darken the room. During the day, take breaks in complete silence.
Caffeine is a psychostimulant: it invigorates, increases mental and physical activity, relieves fatigue and drowsiness. A study By the University of Wisconsin in the United States has proven that a large amount of caffeine significantly increases anxiety. It is very difficult to fall asleep in an excited state, so reduce the dose of coffee to 1 Cup a day and do not use coffee, strong tea, or energy in the afternoon.
It is widely believed that alcohol helps you sleep. This is true, but the quality of sleep at the same time suffers-alcohol does not allow you to go into a deep sleep phase. In addition, even a small amount of alcohol before bedtime suppresses the production of growth hormone by 75%. Alcohol can be consumed in moderation, but no later than 3 hours before bedtime.
The culprits of poor-quality sleep can be: a lack of b vitamins, a lack of calcium and magnesium. In addition, hunger and overeating prevent you from falling asleep. Therefore, it is advisable to have dinner no later than 2 hours and no earlier than 4 hours before bedtime. After an early dinner before going to bed, you can arrange a light snack of easily digested products.
Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and televisions prevent you from falling asleep. The light of their screens has a blue wavelength (bright, cold light). The brain mistakenly perceives this light as daylight and interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Health problems and medication
The risk of insomnia is in people with chronic pain or those who suffer from depression. People with thyroid problems often suffer from insomnia: this is due to increased or decreased hormone production.
If the level of thyroid hormones is elevated, this is called hyperthyroidism. You feel more active, irritated, and it seems like you have a lot of energy – but this feeling is quickly replaced by fatigue. There are problems with falling asleep: it is difficult for a person to relax, constantly being in an excited, nervous state.
If the thyroid hormones are not produced enough, the person feels apathy and drowsiness all day. Even if he sleeps enough hours, the feeling of fatigue and exhaustion will not go away.
Failure of circadian rhythms
Due to stress, heavy working days, night shifts, flights, and other causes, the body's circadian rhythms fail. First of all, the rhythms are affected by lighting, so it is difficult to fall asleep in daylight and stay awake at night. In addition, when it is light, the body does not produce the sleep hormone melatonin, which contributes to quality sleep. To set up your circadian rhythms, try always falling asleep and waking up at the same time and follow the other recommendations described below. If necessary, use a melatonin Supplement to your food.
How to fight insomnia: General recommendations
- Do not neglect sleep in favor of other activities. Think of sleep as an important, pleasant, and useful activity, not a waste of time
- In the morning, take time for active activities and sports: this way you will spend more energy. Before going to bed, on the contrary, do quiet things: read books, listen to relaxing music
- Not nervous. Think about all the important questions in advance, do not leave worrying thoughts while falling asleep
- Do not take medications that cause nervous agitation before going to bed
- Do not drink alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine before going to bed
- Do not overeat before going to bed, but do not tolerate a strong feeling of hunger
- Do not use gadgets before going to bed or install blue light filters
- Create ideal sleeping conditions: no noise and minimal light. If getting rid of noise is not easy, wear earplugs
- Maintain the optimal temperature in the bedroom: 18-21 degrees are considered suitable for sleeping
- Ventilate the room: it is easier to fall asleep in the fresh air
- Relax before going to bed: take a warm bath with scented candles, ask your loved ones to give you a massage
- Follow the regime, do not confuse circadian rhythms: it is much easier for the body to fall asleep and Wake up at the same time
- Develop the habit of going to bed at sunset and getting up at dawn – natural light will help to establish the production of necessary hormones