November 22, 2021
Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance and brain function.
If you want to improve your health or lose weight, then getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do. For both adults and children, poor sleep can also cause weight gain and increase disease risk.
In contrast, good sleep can help you eat less, exercise better and be healthier.
Over the past few decades, both sleep quality and quantity has declined. In fact, many people regularly get poor sleep.
I plan to research and write more on this subject. Watch for a new book on the subject to be released soon. Today let’s cover 5 good action-tips that can really improve the lives of those readers who cannot get a good night’s sleep.
A good night’s sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy eating regimen. Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormone balances, exercise , and brain function. It can cause weight gain and increase risk in and In contrast, can help you eat less, exercise better, and be healthier. Over the past few , both sleep and has declined. In , many people get poor sleep .If you want to optimize your or lose weight, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do.
1. Increase bright light exposure during the day
Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body, and hormone balances, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep.
Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration.
In people with insomnia, daytime bright light exposure improved sleep quality and duration. It also reduced the time it took to fall asleep by 83%.
A similar study in older adults found that 2 hours of bright light exposure during the day increased the amount of sleep by 2 hours and sleep efficiency by 80%.
While most research involves people with severe sleep issues, daily light exposure will most likely help you even if you experience average sleep. Try getting daily sunlight exposure or — if this is not practical — invest in an artificial bright light device or bulbs.
Daily sunlight or artificial bright light can improve sleep quality and duration, especially if you have severe sleep issues or insomnia.
2. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but nighttime light exposure has the opposite effect.
Again, this is due to its effect on your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This reduces hormones like melanin, which help you relax and get deep sleep. Melatonin is produced by the pituitary gland, in your brain, when other hormones trigger production.
Blue light — which electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit in large amounts — is the worst in this regard. Reading at your computer and drinking coffee after 6 PM will only make the problem worse. (I’m guilty.)
There are several popular methods you can use to reduce nighttime blue light exposure. These include:
Wear glasses that block blue light.
Download an app such as f.lux to block blue light on your laptop or computer.
Install an app that blocks blue light on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhones and Android models.
Stop watching TV and turn off any bright lights 2 hours before going to sleep. What to do for those two hours? Read a book, eat a little oatmeal and chat with your partner, give her the best massage you know how. You’ll think of something.
Blue light tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime. There are several ways you can reduce blue light exposure in the evening.
3. Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
Caffeine has numerous benefits and is consumed by 90% of the U.S. population (and probably the same percentage of the Singapore population.
A single dose can enhance focus, energy, and sports performance. Many body builders drink tea or coffee before an exercise session. However, when consumed late in the day, caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may disrupt melatonin production and therby stop your body from naturally relaxing at night.
In one study, consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bed significantly worsened sleep quality. You probably know I have written about weight reduction. Clearly eating the last meal of the day before 6 PM and avoiding tea and coffee and other caffeine drinks will go a long way to helping your body return to it’s healthy weight “set point” and allowing you to sleep better, and feel better in the morning.
If you’re really hungry have a little oatmeal or whole wheat bread with chicken or turkey or cheese. DO NOT eat any heavy meat and spice meals such as Italian sausage and pepper. That will torture you all night.
Caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6–8 hours. Therefore, drinking tea or coffee after 3–4 p.m. is considered a bad habit, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping.
If you do crave a cup of coffee in the late afternoon or evening, some writers say you should drink decaffeinated coffee. However, some decaf coffee is treated with chemicals that also raise your heart rate and blood pressure (or, there is some pesticide sprayed on the coffee plants that does the same). I ran into a very serious problem from coffee mixed with pesticide. It was probably grown in South American and sold to US consumers.
Here in South East Asia that may not be a problem. I drink Nescafe Classic instant coffee which is grown in The Philippines and I have no problems from it.
My suggestion is that what you/we actually crave is the feeling of a hot drink. You could add a half of a chicken or beef broth cube to 10 ounces of water, bring it to a boil, give it a good stir and pour that into your drinking cup. The beef will increase your testosterone levels slightly which is good for both genders. Men lose weight and get stronger, and enjoy greater sex drive (“libido”) with higher testosterone. Women with depression problems often come out of their depression with a slight increase of testosterone.
Chicken contains tryptophan, a protein that help you sleep, and turkey also does.
4. Reduce irregular or long daytime naps
While short power naps are beneficial, long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your sleep.
Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, meaning that you may struggle to sleep at night.
In one study, participants ended up being sleepier during the day after taking daytime naps.
Another study noted that while napping for 30 minutes or less can enhance daytime brain function, longer naps can harm health and sleep quality. However, some studies demonstrate that those who are accustomed to taking regular daytime naps don’t experience poor sleep quality or disrupted sleep at night. It appears a bit of adaptation is necessary, and many past age 65 says a mid day nap is a necessity. They apparently move into that adaptation quickly.
If you take regular daytime naps and sleep well, you shouldn’t worry. The effects of napping depend on the individual (and perhaps if you’re in class, which teacher you have.)
5. Try to sleep and wake at consistent times
Your body’s circadian rhythm functions on a set loop, aligning itself with sunrise and sunset. Studies indicate that sleeping as soon as it gets dark and waking with the rising sun will improve mental acuity and general health. In another book two authors insisted that the lack of follow normal dark and rising sun light rhythm is driving us all a bit crazy. Being consistent with your sleep and waking times can aid long-term sleep quality.
One study noted that participants who had irregular sleeping patterns and went to bed late on the weekends reported poor sleep. Some claim to wake feeling sick as if they have a cold or the flu.
Other studies have highlighted that irregular sleep patterns can alter your circadian rhythm and levels of melatonin, which signal your brain to sleep.
If you struggle with sleep, try to get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at similar times. After several weeks, you may not even need an alarm.
I hope this helps you. Watch for another article continuing 6 more tips for better sleep following this one.
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