Do you have difficulties falling asleep? Even after an exhausting day, do you feel that you cannot fall asleep for a long time? Try these 10 tips to help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality.
How to improve sleep quality? Learn 10 tips
Did you know that up to 30-48% of adults suffer from sleep disorders? Sleep disorders can manifest themselves in many ways: from a slight difficulty falling asleep to disturbances in the circadian rhythm of sleep-wake and persistent insomnia.
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Sleep problems are not only troublesome, but also dangerous to your health. Chronic sleep deprivation quickly affects our health. We can quickly observe the deterioration of the functions of the whole organism. That’s why it’s so important to get regular 7-8 hours of sleep. Experts emphasize that this is the optimal number of hours for adults to be able to function effectively. So how to take care of a healthy sleep? 10 proven tips will help you with this. Remember, however, that any prolonged sleep disturbance should be consulted with your family doctor.
1. Ventilate your bedroom before going to bed.
Take care of fresh air in the room where you sleep. Experts recommend that the temperature in the bedroom should be between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius.
2. Limit the use of your computer and smartphone at bedtime.
Research shows that blue light emitted by screens deteriorates the quality of sleep. Moreover, it can interfere with the production of melatonin, often called the sleep hormone. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland and its synthesis is regulated by the light-dark cycle. The most effective synthesis of this hormone takes place at night with appropriate darkening. Thus, the light emitted by the screens can disrupt the process of producing melatonin in the pineal gland. As a consequence, sleep is disturbed and its quality decreases. In the morning, we can wake up sleepless and without energy.
For this reason, at least one hour before going to bed, it is worth limiting the use of the TV, smartphone and computer. If you like to read before going to bed, reach for a book or newspaper instead of a smartphone.
3. Try aromatherapy with lavender oil.
Lavender has a calming and relaxing effect. You can use it in many ways, for example by adding lavender oil to your bath or by sprinkling it on your bedroom pillow. Another convenient solution is aromatherapy fireplaces. All you have to do is pour water with lavender oil into them. You can place the fireplace anywhere in the bedroom and enjoy the relaxing scent of lavender.
4. Try calming herbal infusions.
Herbal tea before going to bed is a good way to relax after a hard day. Take advantage of the benefits of Mother Nature and brew an infusion of herbs with proven calming effects, e.g. with:
In herbal stores you will find ready-made mixtures of dried herbs for self-preparation of infusions at home.
5. Do not drink coffee or strong tea a few hours before going to bed.
Coffee and tea contain stimulants. If you have difficulty falling asleep, avoid consuming these drinks at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Also, avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar.
You should also pay attention to whether the medicinal preparations and dietary supplements you use do not contain other stimulants. These include, for example, ginseng or guarana.
6. In the evening, limit hard-to-digest dishes.
During sleep, the body regenerates itself and gains strength for the next day. By eating hard-to-digest foods shortly before falling asleep, we take some of our time to rest because the body needs it to digest a meal. Specialists also emphasize that digesting food lying down can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and in the long term to gastroesophageal reflux.
7. Drink warm milk before going to bed.
Remember when your mom gave you warm milk before going to bed? It has been a proven method for a long time. However, if you do not like cow’s milk or cannot consume it for various reasons, try a warming milk drink based on plant milk.
Hot milk with spices is used in Ayurveda as a relaxing and warming drink that helps you fall asleep faster. You just need to add spices to the milk, for example turmeric, ginger, cinnamon or cardamom.
8. Try breathing exercises or meditation.
Breathing exercises help to calm down and relax before falling asleep. By providing the body with the right amount of oxygen, you can cope better with stress and tension after a demanding day. For best results, exercise in a ventilated room. Remember not to exercise vigorously before going to bed. Demanding training is stimulating and may delay the moment of falling asleep.
9. Avoid taking naps longer than 15 minutes.
If you are struggling with sleep problems, try not to nap during the day. A better solution is to wait until evening and go to bed early. However, if you feel you need a nap badly, make it a maximum of 15 minutes.
10. Try preparations containing melatonin.
Melatonin is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm and the sleep-wake cycle. Preparations with melatonin allow you to fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep.
Melatonin – say goodbye to sleeping problems
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the human body by the pineal gland. Melatonin synthesis takes place in the dark, therefore its highest concentration is observed at night, especially between 24:00 and 3:00. The formation of melatonin is regulated by the light-dark cycle. In the presence of sunlight and artificial lighting, the production of the sleep hormone is much less, which may result in a deterioration of the quality of sleep.
Properties of melatonin
Research shows that melatonin not only regulates the circadian rhythm and affects the speed of falling asleep and the quality of sleep, but also has other important functions in the body:
has antioxidant properties – it neutralizes free radicals in the body, thus slowing down the aging process of cells;
lowers blood pressure and supports the proper functioning of the heart;
supports the immune system;
regulates the functioning of the endocrine system – in particular gonadotropic hormones, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
Effects and symptoms of melatonin deficiency
Sleep hormone deficiency is most often manifested by:
disturbances in the rhythm of sleep and deterioration of its quality;
difficulty falling asleep;
increased daytime sleepiness;
problems with concentration and general distraction;
malaise, deterioration of mood and irritability;
The use of melatonin in medicinal preparations and dietary supplements
Melatonin is commonly used in preparations to help you fall asleep and improve the quality of sleep. In pharmacies, you will find many products that contain melatonin, such as sleep pills and oral sprays. The main task of these products is to restore the internal balance in the body by regulating the circadian rhythm.
It is worth knowing that preparations with melatonin are also used to alleviate the unpleasant consequences of the time zone change syndrome (the so-called jet lag).
Preparations with melatonin are considered safe, so you can buy it without a prescription. It is worth noting, however, that they should not be used by pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children.
Melatonin production and age
Research shows that melatonin synthesis decreases with age. This has to do with the changes that take place in the pineal gland throughout life. It has been observed to calcify (calcify), reducing the ability to produce the sleep hormone over time.
Melatonin and tryptophan
Tryptophan is an amino acid that plays a number of important functions in the human body. It is called a melatonin precursor because it is involved in the process of its production. Unfortunately, the human body is not able to produce tryptophan itself, so it should be supplied with food. This is especially important for people who have sleep problems. Tryptophan deficiency may disrupt the process of melatonin production and, consequently, lead to a reduction in the quality of sleep.
Fortunately, many plant and animal foods contain high levels of tryptophan. You can easily include them in your daily diet. Below you will find a list of the best food sources along with their tryptophan content.
Food sources of tryptophan
spirulina (903 mg / 100 g)
soybeans (608 mg / 100 g)
flax seeds (395 mg / 100 g)
pumpkin seeds (374 mg / 100 g)
chicken breast (360 mg / 100 g)
pork loin (320 mg / 100 g)
baked salmon (304 mg / 100 g)
tuna (286 mg / 100 g)
lean cottage cheese (272 mg / 100 g)
smoked mackerel (264 mg / 100 g)
egg yolk (232 mg / 100 g)