Health Tips: Beat Insomnia and Sleep Better – Dr Ndukwe Clement

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Back Off of Blue Light

Smart phones, e-readers, tablets, computer screens, TVs, and digital clocks emit blue light, a short frequency of light that may be harmful to the eyes and disrupt sleep.

Manimize screen time for several hours before bedtime to get a good night\’s rest. Wearing orange tinted glasses that block out blue light may also be helpful.

Apps are available for your computer, tablet and smartphones that prevents that screens from emitting blue light. Besides blue light exposure, it makes sense to power down several hours before bedtime to maximize your chances of getting a good night\’s rest. Cover up any displays that may be visible from your bed, like a digital clock. Black out curtains Dan block out ambient light from outside.

NAP IF YOU ARE  SLEEP-DEPRIVED

Naps are a good way to get some extra rest if you are tired, but too long of a nap will make sleeping at night harder. The test naps are under 20 minutes. Any longer than that may interfere with night time rest. Short naps are proven to boost alertness, mood and performance

Take a nap in a cool, dark room for maximum benefits. Avoid napping too late in the day as this can also negatively affect night time rest.

Naps longer than 10 to 20 minutes are associated with sleep inertia which is grogginess and disorientation that occurs for a few minutes up to 30 minutes after waking.

MIND YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM

Going to beg and waking up the same time, everyday even on the weekends can help get good sleep. Maintaining a sleep schedule helps your body have a consistent sleep-wake cycle. Over time, this will help you get to sleep quickly and get deep sleep throughout the night. Another way to optimize your sleep pattern is to get adequate sunlight as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. Go outside without sun glasses and get 5 to 30 minuets of sun exposure to tell your brain to wake up. Early morning sun exposure also increases the production melatonin

CLOCK-WATCHING INCREASES ANXIETY

People who suffer from low back pain often have trouble sleeping. In one study, people who had acute or chroniccloe back pain reported equal problems with sleep quality. The level of pain was not associated with rest disturbance. If you are plagued with back pain, try sleeping on your side to reduce pressure in your lower back. Place a pillow between your knees to make sure your hips are in alingment to further reduce low back strain. Make sure your mattress is supportive enough and that it does not aggravate your back pain.

When getting into and out of bed swing both legs together and avoid bending at the waist to protect your back.

One of the worst things you can do if you are having trouble falling or staying asleep is to watch the clock. Watching the seconds, minutes or hours tick by when you are wide awake may produce a lot of anxiety which will not help you sleep better. Avoid the temptation to watch the clock. Turn the clock around so you cannot see the display. Instead, do something productive to pass the time and make you sleepy. Read a book, get up and do some light chores around the house, or have a cup of tea (decaf) or warm milk to help you fall asleep. Anything you can do to distract yourself and pass time when you cannot fall asleep is helpful.

USE PILLOWS TO EASE LOW BACK PAIN

Neck pain is a common reason many people have trouble falling asleep. Maintaining proper posture can reduce the probability of neck pain and help you get better sleep. Make sure your neck is in a neutral position. That means your nose should line up with the center of your body. Get a pillow that is the right height to keep your neck in a neutral position. Too high and Too low and your neck will be bent too far backward. A feather or memory pillow that molds to the shape of your head and neck are good options. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Your head is turned to the side in this position and twist your neck which may cause pain and put pressure on nerves.  (To be Contd.)

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