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How to sleep well at night?

 

We all often crave for a good night’s sleep yet fail to understand the basics of sleeping well. Sleep is often the most understated form of medication. Besides knowing the downside of sleep deprivation, we all are guilty of staying awake at wee hours. As necessary it is to know the importance of sleep, it is also essential to understand how to sleep well at night. 

So let us address a few critical points in order to avoid turning and tossing at nights. A few lifestyle changes and developing healthy habits before bedtime is the key to sleep well at night. 

These bedtime practices and habits are termed by “Sleep Hygiene” by researchers which can aid to sleep better and maximize the efficiency of sleep.

How to sleep well at night? Is a reasonably asked questioned, and you are about to find out, Keep reading!

 

Avoid chemicals that interfere with sleep:

Caffeine, as we all know, is known to stimulate brain activity and helps you stay awake. Hence, caffeine (found in tea, coffee, chocolates, cola) consumption must be avoided four to six hours before bedtime. 

Besides caffeine, alcohol is another culprit to interfere in sleep cycles. Initially, alcohol may induce sleep, but after a few hours, it acts as a stimulant resulting in shallow quality of sleep. Therefore, it is recommended to limit your alcohol consumption and not to drink at least three hours before sleep. 

 

The bedroom environment:

It is crucial to restrict activities in your bedroom and in bed. The atmosphere of your bedroom must be sleep-inducing with dim or no lights, quiet and comfortably cool. Keep the temperature of the room between 60 and 75°F. Use heavy curtains to block the outside light and use earplugs. It is also essential that the room is well ventilated. Make sure that your mattresses and pillows provide you utmost comfort and match your taste and requirements ( In case, if you’ve any back-related issues, you may want to choose best mattress for back pain). Flomattress offers a best mattress online with various foam materials to suit your need.

Primarily, keep your bedroom free of any electronics and also avoid using cell phones, watching television and working on laptops a few hours before sleep. Your bedroom must only be for your sleep.



Establish a routine:

Having a proper bedtime routine helps a lot in terms of quality sleep. Establishing a bedtime routine will ensure a smooth transition from wake time and sleep time. Ensure you perform some calming and soothing exercises like taking a warm water bath(lowers your body temperature), read a book, or practice relaxation exercise. In order to sleep without thinking, make sure you are not stressed so that the stress hormone, cortisol is not released, which results in wakefulness and increases alertness. Avoid work, discussing emotional issues or any other activity that will stimulate your brain, leading to sleeplessness. 

If you think a lot while on the bed, write your thoughts before going to bed and put them aside. 

    

Sleep when you are exhausted:

If you are struggling to sleep for more than 20 mins after going to bed, it can be extremely frustrating. In such situations, get out of bed, go to any other room and perform some relaxing activities like listening to music, read a book until you are tired enough to sleep.

 

Leverage light to your advantage:

Expose yourself to bright sunlight, first thing in the morning. It will regularize your sleep cycle and the body clock. Exposure to sunlight or bright light is an indication to the body to lower the production of Melatonin. Even throughout the day, go out for a walk in the sun. 

 

Do not see your clock during night time:

Studies have shown that staring at your clock while trying to sleep or when you wake up in the middle of the night can actually result in stress, making it difficult to fall asleep. So, the best way is to avoid having a wall clock or any watch in your vision while sleeping. 

Also, in case you wake up in the middle of the night and struggle sleeping in later, get up and take up some other soothing activities like reading, practising some relaxing exercises, listening to music. Make sure you keep the lights of the room dim, to reactivate your pineal gland to produce Melatonin. Bright light may affect otherwise. Once your eyelids are drooping, and you can not stay awake, go back to bed. 

 

Nap early or not at all:

Everyone always appreciates a good afternoon nap, however, if you struggle to sleep at night time, or stay awake at the wee hours, the day-time naps are the culprit. Hence, it is advised that you either skip on the afternoon naps as they decrease sleep drive. If you have to have a nap, let it be short and before 5 p.m. 

 

Going easy on your evening meals:

A heavy meal right before bedtime may be the walkway to sleepless nights. Finishing your dinner several hours before help and eating light is the key. In case you feel hungry by night, just snack on foods that will not interfere with sleep. Dairy products and few carbohydrates make a good late-night snack.

 

Exercise:

Exercise ensures faster sleep and improvizes on the quality of sleep as long as it is done at the right time. Exercise in the early morning stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which activates the brain and overall alertness. Therefore, it is advised to mostly exercise in the morning or at least 3 hours before going to bed. 

 

 Fluid Intake:

You must balance your fluid intake throughout the day and also drink enough fluids before bedtime to avoid waking up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty, but, ensure that you don’t drink too much of fluids which will demand frequent visits to the bathroom.


Leverage light to your advantage:

Expose yourself to bright sunlight, first thing in the morning. It will regularize your sleep cycle and the body clock. Exposure to sunlight or bright light is an indication to the body to lower the production of Melatonin. Even throughout the day, go out for a walk in the sun. 


Do not see your clock during night time:

Studies have shown that staring at your clock while trying to sleep or when you wake up in the middle of the night can actually result in stress, making it difficult to fall asleep. So, the best way is to avoid having a wall clock or any watch in your vision while sleeping. 

Also, in case you wake up in the middle of the night and struggle sleeping in later, get up and take up some other soothing activities like reading, practising some relaxing exercises, listening to music. Make sure you keep the lights of the room dim, to reactivate your pineal gland to produce Melatonin. Bright light may affect otherwise. Once your eyelids are drooping, and you can not stay awake, go back to bed. 


Nap early or not at all:

Everyone always appreciates a good afternoon nap, however, if you struggle to sleep at night time, or stay awake at the wee hours, the day-time naps are the culprit. Hence, it is advised that you either skip on the afternoon naps as they decrease sleep drive. If you have to have a nap, let it be short and before 5 p.m. 


Going easy on your evening meals:

A heavy meal right before bedtime may be the walkway to sleepless nights. Finishing your dinner several hours before help and eating light is the key. In case you feel hungry by night, just snack on foods that will not interfere with sleep. Dairy products and few carbohydrates make a good late-night snack.


Exercise:

Exercise ensures faster sleep and improvizes on the quality of sleep as long as it is done at the right time. Exercise in the early morning stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which activates the brain and overall alertness. Therefore, it is advised to mostly exercise in the morning or at least 3 hours before going to bed. 


 Fluid Intake:

You must balance your fluid intake throughout the day and also drink enough fluids before bedtime to avoid waking up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty, but, ensure that you don’t drink too much of fluids which will demand frequent visits to the bathroom.

What are the psychological effects of sleep deprivation?

Why is sleep so essential?

 

With the ever-growing trend of establishing a Healthy Lifestyle, people often undermine the effects that sleep can have over health and other cognitive abilities. With the Y generation, especially, Sleep deprivation is a very hackneyed phenomenon.  Studies have repeatedly proven the fact that sleep deprivation comes with adverse effects on your body and overall brain performance. The Psychological effects of sleep deprivation are not just confined to physical aspects but extends to hamper your well-being as well. So it is safe to say that your mental, emotional, and physical health suffers because of sleep deprivation and that there is a tightly coiled relationship between sleep and mental health. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health. Various psychological problems and sleep deprivation often overlap, which can be concluded by assuming they have common biological roots.

 

In order to understand the effects of sleep deprivation, it is necessary to know what tasks your body undertakes while sleeping. 

 

The Brain

 

Firstly, your brain cleanses itself of all the waste, in the form of protein that builds up between cells throughout the day. So, when you are sleep-deprived, all this waste keeps accumulation in your brain cell, leading to a “dampening effect” on brain cell activity which basically translates to slower neuron signaling in the brain while you are tired. Waste build-up and slow neuron signals often result in reduced decision-making skills, reaction times, and reasoning abilities. 

 

The Apettite

Sleep deprivation leads to drastic fluctuations in one’s appetite, leading to the feeling of constant tiredness and eventually hampering the activity of the brain as the brain is deprived of essential components needed for its functioning. You tend to crave a lot of unhealthy food while you are tired and sleep-deprived and when you reward your brain by satisfying the cravings, you fool it into craving more of the unhealthy stuff which eventually leads to weight gain and obesity. 

 

The Immune System

 

While you sleep, your immune system works on recharging itself and makes antibiotics. When you sleep for less than eight hours a day, it puts you at 2.94 times higher the risk of catching a cold. It can be concluded that sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. When you are sleep deprived, your body is deprived of the time to repair itself and fight infections. The work of the immune system happens while you are deep asleep, even slight wakefulness at night may disturb this function. 

 

Consequences

 

Psychological effects of sleep deprivation lead to various problems such as Bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, ADHD and depression.

Insomnia or sleep deprivation may lead to the acquisition of sleep-related disorders which puts people at higher risk of developing depression. Depression, in turn, may give rise to suicidal tendencies, lowered responsiveness and withdrawal symptoms in the patient. 

Sleep deprivation, over a period of time, also gives rise to bipolar disorder, wherein the person experiences manic episodes and require less amount of sleep than prescribed. In bipolar depression, the patient may also experience hypersomnia, excessive sleepiness. 

Sleep and mental health are a close-knit of biological cycles and hence sleep deprivation can also result in anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder can hamper the ability of the person to fall asleep and the quality of sleep. Patients suffering from an anxiety disorder often find it difficult to sleep and even if they sleep, their REM cycles are disturbed. Further sleep deprivation may worsen the symptoms of anxiety or also prevent its recovery.  

Another significant result of sleep deprivation can be ADHD (Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Sleeping difficulties in children usually affect children with ADHD. This results in shorter sleep cycles, difficulty in falling asleep and restless slumber. Children with ADHD may become inattentive, hyperactive and emotionally unstable. 



How can you improve the quality of your sleep?

 

Hence, it is safe to conclude that good sleep is a necessity for survival. In order to correct your sleeping cycle, a few minor lifestyle changes are mandatory. Excluding caffeine, alcohol will not trigger your brain to stay awake. Whilst, it’s necessary to establish a routine and regularly perform some form of physical activity to ensure a good night’s sleep. Sleep hygiene is another factor contributing to sound sleep and mattress used by you play a vital role too. Lumps, valleys, or even tags on your mattress could contribute to wakefulness. Get a high-quality mattress online through Flomattress. Sleep hygiene means the environment you sleep in. It is essential to sleep in complete darkness, use your bedroom only for sleeping and keeping it distraction-free. You should avoid exposure to anything that emits blue lights as it hampers your sleep cycle. Hence, one must stay away from TV sets, mobile phones, and laptop screens a few hours before going to sleep. 



Making your sleep a priority is extremely important for your mental, physical and psychological well-being, and health. A night of proper sleep will help you rejuvenate, refresh, leaving you feeling energetic and positive throughout the day. Sleeping eight hours a day without any interruption is an eminent part of a healthy lifestyle and is exceptionally compulsive for proper brain functioning

Which are the hormones responsible for sleep?

Sleep, as we all know, is an integral part of human life and a prerequisite for a healthy body. It dictates a person’s mood, quality of performance and decides the overall hormonal balance. The relationship between sleep and hormones is tightly knit. 

Human sleep is closely related to exposure of light and darkness and the primary factor influencing sleep is the sleep hormone-Melatonin. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland of the brain which is responsible for regulating sleep cycles. The activity of pineal gland is prominently seen during the night time, and it remains inactive throughout the day. The production of Melatonin can even be affected due to slightly lit environment or artificial lights and hence is it always recommended to sleep in complete darkness.

The release of sleep hormone is a crucial factor that decides the duration, time and depth of your sleep. Hormones control many of the body’s processes, including growth, development, reproduction, responding to stress, metabolism and energy balance. Hormones are linked with sleep in several ways. This makes it essential to sleep for adequate or recommended hours for the regulation of hormones. 



Few facts about Melatonin:

  1. Produced by a pea-sized pineal gland in the middle of the brain
  2. It is known as the body’s natural peacemaker. It signals the body by responding to light and darkness.
  3. The blue light emitted by TV screens, laptops affect the release of the sleep hormone
  4. In order to regulate the release of melatonin and consequently other hormones of the body, a rigid sleep pattern is necessary
  5. The sleep hormone plays a crucial role in the females’ menstrual cycle. Melatonin dictates the regularity, onset, duration, and frequency of periods. 
  6. Melatonin is also helpful for children with developmental disabilities such as ADHD and autism.
  7. Melatonin supplements are not as effective as natural sleep hormone is to get sound sleep.

People suffering from sleep deprivation can consider following a few steps in order to naturally produce melatonin in the body

  1. Reducing the exposure to blue light. Reduction in using mobile phones, laptops right before sleep will promote the release of Melatonin by the Pineal gland consequently helping you sleep better. 
  2. Introducing lavender scents in the sleeping area. Lavender is known to induce a feeling of relaxation and calming the body, which will help in releasing melatonin aiding to sleep.
  3. Ingestion of Melatonin supplements is an effective way to acquire sound sleep. 
  4. Eat the right foods! A lot of fruits and vegetables like such as corn, cucumbers, asparagus, olives, and pomegranate; nuts and seeds such as walnuts and flax; and grains like barley and rolled oats naturally contain Melatonin. 

 

Besides Melatonin, cortisol is another crucial hormone responsible for sleep. It acts as a natural alarm clock for your body. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone and works on certain parts of the brain to control your mood, motivation and fear. Cortisol is produced by adrenal glands which is a triangle-shaped organ at the top of your kidneys. This hormone majorly influences the body’s flight or fight instincts. The fluctuation of cortisol affects the overall sleep cycle.

In females, the reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone also play a vital role in dictating one’s sleep cycle. For essence, pregnant women usually experience sleep deprivation due to elevation in these sex hormones. It basically alters the distribution of sleep stages, deep sleep and REM sleep.

These factors make it necessary to sleep soundly and regularize the hormonal balance in the body. We recommend using Flomattress which is specially engineered to provide you the best matttress with comfort and help you sleep peacefully.