Would you like to sleep first? Would you like to learn how to sleep well? What would appear to be a goal that should be accomplished in a natural way, is sometimes quite tiring. In this article we will reveal some strategies to simplify it.
Last update: June 15, 2020
Sleep is a fundamental part of our health, both physical and emotional. It might seem that sleeping well is an easy thing, but when the day gives us episodes of tension, when disconnecting from the routine prevents us from falling asleep or problems crowd into our heads at bedtime, the time has come to learn to sleep well, to put in place good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene could be defined as the set of habits that make the transition from wakefulness to sleep easier and that make it possible to dedicate a few hours to rest and disconnection of body and mind, to allow ourselves to recover. forces and keep our brains active during the next day.
The benefits of good sleep hygiene
What benefits do we get from a good rest? Good sleep hygiene helps to:
- Improve brain function. When the brain rests, the memory is able to consolidate what it has learned during the day. In addition, we are able to be more creative and maintain higher and quality attention while awake.
- Helps to lose weight. When we don't sleep, the adipocytes release less leptin, the hormone responsible for controlling appetite. Sleeping more than necessary can increase BMI by 0,2, while lack of sleep can increase it by up to 1,4, thus promoting obesity and overweight.
- Physical health. When we have the opportunity to sleep well, we allow the immune system to regenerate and stay active in the fight against infection or disease. Heart problems are much less common in people who practice some good habits for higher quality sleep.
- Mental and emotional health: sleep is associated with the release of serotonin and dopamine. Thanks to it we are able to stop the secretion of cortisol and the symptoms of stress, depression and / or anxiety begin to improve.
Below we show you the steps that will make this sleep exercise easier and will allow you to rest and learn how to sleep well.
Establish a bedtime routine
Prepare your body and mind for bedtime. Try not to do physical activity in the previous hours; by doing this you will not keep your body active and afterwards it will not be difficult for you to sleep. Also avoid drinking beverages that contain caffeine in the previous hours.
The routine might include a quiet activity such as reading, listening to music, or doing a relaxation exercise. Sleeping between 6 and 8 hours is the right thing to do. According to a recent study, published in the journal Sleep, it has been calculated that reducing night rest increases the risk of premature death by 12%.
Choose a fixed time
Try to go to sleep and always wake up at the same time. Avoid taking naps during the day, especially in the hours leading up to the evening. Even just spending between 15 and 30 minutes after lunch to sleep is enough to regenerate and continue.
While establishing this routine is not easy, this guideline allows us to get to bed tired and fall asleep shortly after bed.
Go to bed only to sleep to ensure good sleep hygiene
Avoid engaging in other activities in bed other than sleeping (and sexual activity). This way you will begin to associate going to bed with sleep. If after a few minutes you are unable to sleep, it is best to leave the room and take some time for a quiet activity, such as reading or staying quiet in another room. As soon as you notice sleep appearing, go back to the bedroom to try falling asleep again.
When we use the bed to study, watch television or eat, sleep is not associated with this space and it will be difficult for us to sleep later.
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for good sleep hygiene
Large meals before bedtime or energy or caffeinated drinks make it difficult to sleep well. Sleep hygiene must be accompanied by some healthy eating habits, which allow us to establish routines for our body. Another guideline in this regard is to try to have dinner at least two hours before going to bed, in order to avoid that some organs are stressed while we try to fall asleep.
The space in which we sleep is also important. There must not be much light, the temperature must be pleasant, the bed comfortable and the colors of the room must recall rest and peace, without activating the organism at bedtime.