Irritability, difficulty concentrating, and lack of energy: Sleep quality can really affect your day’s productivity as well as your long-term health, significantly reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here are some tips to stop spinning all over the place and fight insomnia once and for all, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
1. Do some morning exercises
After a sleepless night, morning exercises can help combat insomnia the next night, while reducing some of the negative long-term effects of lack of sleep.
This significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease caused by insomnia, according to a study that followed more than 92,000 adults in their daily lives.
2. Avoid napping at all costs
Napping, although tempting, reduces the “sleep pressure” that helps the brain achieve a sound sleep at night, says Professor Guy Lechzener, a neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London.
Instead, try to stick to a routine, getting up and going to bed at the same times throughout the week.
3. Watch your diet
The expert suggests avoiding “large portions, especially those rich in carbohydrates, late at night,” he said, which will affect the digestive system overnight and can cause indigestion, reflux, and vomiting.
For his part, Dr. Jay Meadows, founder and director of The Sleep School, advises eating dinner before 6 p.m., to allow your system to digest well before bed.
4. Cookie cutter
By the same token — and as hard as it sounds — diets high in sugars and refined carbs cause more harm to sleep, according to a study from Columbia University.
In fact, stress hormones, such as adrenaline, are produced during sleep. Therefore, it is best to avoid eating cakes and biscuits when insomnia is part of daily life.
5. A cup of coffee is good, but…
Coffee consumption after dinner should be cut back, as even a small dose six hours before bedtime can have a significant impact on sleep quality. The same goes for alcohol which, despite its sedative effect, greatly impairs sleep.
“Alcohol will increase the quality of sleep: although many say alcohol helps them sleep, it destroys the quality” because it interrupts the sleep phase that allows you to feel more rested, Dr. Lechziner explained.
6. There is no point in stressing
While many fear the long-term effects of their insomnia on their health that it prevents them from sleeping, remember that a few nights of tossing and turning won’t have such a significant impact on your health.
The human brain and body can adapt to all kinds of changes: […] The neurologist concluded that even a short period of disturbed sleep wouldn’t have a significant long-term baseline effect. Oversleeping is likely to make insomnia worse.”