A later dinner, the use of the smartphone in bed, a day full of stress, a tomorrow with a thousand and one tasks to do, a sick child, a slight pain in the back, a coffee after dinner … we could spend hours here to list all that directly or indirectly interferes with the quality of sleep.
There are, in fact, a number of factors that interfere with the ability to fall asleep and to maintain a peaceful sleep throughout the day, however, a good part of these factors can be avoided and for that reason it is enough to lose some of the more routine habits that, although they seem harmless, are real attacks on the quality of sleep.
In his book ‘The Science of Sleep’, Time magazine compiles everything science and sleep experts have discovered about sleeping (and waking up, of course), and they have been able to trace those that are the golden rules for a quiet night.
Are you ready to change your routine and start sleeping like a baby? Here’s what you should do:
1 – Stop postponing the alarm.
It is not always easy to jump out of bed at the first touch, but this should be a habit to gain as soon as possible, since the constant postponement of the alarm clock can not only increase the levels of stress and irritation as it provides a poor quality sleep in those 15 the 20 minutes you’re playing constantly. The best way to avoid using snooze is to create a sleep routine, that is, to start going to bed every day at the same time and also to wake up at the same time.
2 – See the light of day.
Did you know that being all day locked in the office interferes with sleep quality? Well, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicates that people who receive less sunlight or spend more time indoors and with artificial light tend to sleep on average less than 46 minutes daylight.
3 – No tablets, smartphones, consoles or laptops in bed.
In practice, anything that has a screen and artificial light is to banish, under penalty of the quality of sleep being smaller, as well as the time that goes to sleep. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences concluded that the use of these gadgets at night interferes with the circadian clock, lowering the levels of melatonin (hormone that promotes sleep).
4 – Forget the glass of wine for dinner, drink it before lunch.
An investigation cited by Time suggests that drinking alcohol at night activates the brainwaves and makes people fall asleep more quickly … but the quality of sleep over night is terrible.
5 – Know the moon.
A study published in Current Biology suggests that people sleep on average at least 20 minutes a night, have lower levels of melatonin and 30% less brain activity when the moon is full. What is the best way to cope with this strange connection? Seek to go to bed at decent times and promote sleep with the ingestion of food that relaxes, such as bananas.
6 – Change jobs … or shift.
Working at night and sleeping during the day not only affects the quality of sleep, but also adversely affects your health and can even take years of life, especially if it is practiced for years.
7 – Say goodbye to extra pounds.
Although sedentarism seems to be a relaxing activity that may even promote sleep, the truth is that all the consequences it causes (especially in terms of health and metabolism) make sleep quality one of the most affected aspects. To date, there has been a proliferation of studies that point to the practice of physical exercise – and consequent weight loss in cases of excess – as one of the best allies of good sleep.
8 – How about a break in the middle of the night?
Professor A. Roger Ekirch says that our ancestors did not sleep consecutively, but rather paused at night, which they used to read or have sex, and to allow them to fall asleep to babies.
9 – Get medical attention.
Whether it is due to the existence of sleep apnea or simply because you can not preach eye all night, medical help is always a valid alternative, because only then can you determine everything that is interfering with the quality of sleep.