How to sleep well

How to sleep well

A restful sleep promotes psychophysical well-being. Here are some strategies to put into practice to sleep well.

sleep well

“A good sleep does as much as good eating” says a proverb.

Dedicating the right hours to sleep in the right conditions gives a therapeutic value to the natural act of sleeping. Let’s find out how to sleep well.
Environments where you can sleep well

  • Positions 
  • Strategies for sleeping well
  • Natural remedies for sleep
  • When you don’t sleep well

Since on average 29/30% of the day is used in this activity, it is advisable to optimize this time and make it as profitable as possible to regenerate, to rest, to preserve energy.

Some rather simple tricks can help and improve the quality of sleep.

Environments where you can sleep well

The bedroom, especially for boys, is often a multifunctional place. There you study, listen to music, use your PC, watch TV.
Too many stimuli, too many mixtures of activities typical of the waking state , too many electromagnetic waves can negatively affect the quality and quantity of sleep.

The rest room should instead be preserved from all the influences of everyday life . It is a place where it “detaches” with the activity of the day, where the mind isolates itself and relaxes to be able to surrender to sleep.

Avoid filling it with equipment , gymnastic equipment ( feng-shui also does not recommend books), it is advisable to sleep well.

The room temperature should oscillate between 18 and 20 degrees centigrade: an environment that is too hot keeps the energy level in the body high, does not favor the right oxygenation and makes drowsiness tiring.

Sleeping in complete darkness promotes the release of melatonin by the epiphysis, or pineal gland. This hormone is in fact defined “vampire”, because its level increases with the dark and decreases with the light.

Melatonin regulates the wake-sleep cycle and reaches its maximum concentration in the blood between 2.00 and 4.00 in the morning.

Positions for good sleep

A good quality mattress and pillow are essential to sleep well and wake up refreshed. They must accommodate the body but at the same time provide the right support, in order to compensate for the cervical and lumbar lordotic spaces and allow correct posture of the spine.

In some cases it would be a great benefit to be able to sleep on a bed inclined a few millimeters towards the headboard in order to promote venous return for the benefit of the lower limbs.

The sleeping positions are completely personal  and respond to postural needs. The one objectively inadvisable is the prone position, since sleep would certainly be interrupted by annoying pains in the back at the lumbar level and breathing would not be fluid and natural.

Strategies for sleeping well

Sleep responds to a circadian rhythm , to a biological clock that regulates many functions related to organic life. Respecting this watch, remembering to “wind it up”, to take care of its functioning and to follow its phases is one of the rules that facilitate a good rest.

Beyond metaphor, organizing your sleep cycle trying to always go to sleep at the same time and above all waking up at the same time , allows you to set a correct sleep-wake rhythm and to accustom your body to respect it independently.

Even on weekends it is important to keep the same waking time, in this way “Monday mornings” can be normalized within the cycle and no longer traumatic.  Nutrition also affects the quality of sleep . A dinner too rich in carbohydrates or sugars, or an excess of animal proteins “heavily” affects the quality of sleep.

A light dinner is always recommended , based on vegetables or legumes, with a correct protein intake but easy to digest . Exercising throughout the day, but not in the evening, helps to mobilize energy, metabolic stagnations, especially those affecting the liver, increases body temperature.

This timely stimulation promotes faster relaxation with a drop in body temperature that accompanies falling asleep. Playing sports in the evening instead postpones sleep due to the high rate of adrenaline released which does not disperse quickly. 

Dedicating the evening to relaxing activities preparatory to sleep and introducing them into a personal routine cycle educates the mind to prepare for sleep: a hot bath promotes vasodilation, is muscle relaxant and allows a faster body temperature excursion; reading a book modifies the brain wave pattern by introducing alpha waves, in which the mind calms down and the consciousness relaxes.

In summary , what must be done to sleep well and wake up refreshed?

Sleeping properly requires discipline, especially if restful sleep seems difficult to achieve. It is important to sleep well and the benefits of uninterrupted sleep are reflected in the quality of life, both physically and mentally. The body regenerates itself , the organic functions governed by the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are subtracted from stressful influences; the mind is rested, regenerated, memory and attention and concentration are well supported by adequate rest.

  • Go to bed at the same time if possible , to consolidate correct habits;
  • sleeping in the dark , to promote the production of melatonin;
  • sleep in a healthy environment ;
  • sleep on a good quality mattress with ergonomic capabilities

What must be avoided in order to sleep well ?

  • Do not practice sports in the evening ;
  • do not fall asleep on the sofa ;
  • do not consume a dinner rich in sugars and with foods that are difficult to digest;
  • do not keep too high a temperature in the bedroom;
  • do not drink nerve substances such as tea or coffee in the evening.
    Natural remedies for good sleep

Drinking a hot herbal tea before going to sleep  warms the stomach, relaxes the gastric mucous membranes and based on the active ingredient chosen, a message is sent to the central nervous system. Some tips from the herbarium:

  • Chamomile : has a spasmolytic action on the gastrointestinal level, is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic, sedative of the central nervous system.
  • Valerian : it is sedative in general and sedative of the heart in particular: gastrointestinal antispasmodic, anti-anxiety, calms menopausal disorders.
  • Linden : sedative of the central nervous system, intestinal antispasmodic, diaphoretic
  • Passionflower : sedative and sedative of the heart, it calms states of hyper-excitement, abdominal pain.

When you don’t sleep well

Unfortunately, there are conditions of dissomnia that can border on real pathologies:

  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Sleep paralysis

They are all disorders not to be underestimated that can be analyzed and treated in special centers, defined as Outpatient Clinics for Sleep Pathology .

In Italy there are many because sleep disorders seem to be affecting a large section of the population, more than 40% of Italians report problems of various kinds related to sleep.

These are centers generally structured within large hospitals where a multidisciplinary team work is carried out , since sleep disorders involve the neurological, cardiocirculatory and pulmonary spheres, discriminating factors related to age.

They are then preparedreal somnological anamnesis , with polysomnographic recordings in various situations. The tests are very accurate and can take a few days.

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