INSOMNIA OR SWEET DREAMS?
Currently, sleeping and resting well have become a very precious commodity that not the entire population enjoys, according to the latest study by the Spanish Neurology Society (SEN) between 20% and 48% of the adult population has Difficulty starting or staying asleep.
Getting quality sleep is essential because people who suffer from insomnia, both occasional and long (chronic) have a greater predisposition to develop various pathologies and impoverish their quality of life, affecting not only your health, but also your work, family and even social performance (sudden mood swings, aggressiveness etc.) on the contrary, a restful sleep stimulates the proper functioning of the hormonal and immune systems (so important now) and in general, promotes an optimal state of health.
A good rest also helps our brain to function properly (improves memory, concentration and creativity of the person), helps us to maintain a high and stable level of energy during the day and a better emotional adjustment. That is, when we sleep well, all are advantages.
Below we present how to improve or even eradicate insomnia with simple, easy and effective guidelines.
A cozy and quiet climate will always help us sleep, it is important that we feel comfortable in the room in which we sleep, experts recommend that there are no strident colors in the decoration, accumulation of objects that can distract us or even many electronic devices, but at the end of the day, each one feels comfortable and happy in a different environment, so keep the room so that YOU feel good in it. It is also preferable that you use the bed only to sleep or have relationships, avoid reading, studying or working in it, so your brain will have it associated only with sleeping and it will be easier to achieve it.
Keep the room at a comfortable temperature , it is proven that when it is very hot or cold, we do not rest well and we wake up constantly.
Having a sleep routine , the body is benefited when we maintain a stable schedule to go to sleep, as the saying goes, we are an "animal of habit". Also avoid long naps, ideally those of 15-20 min.
The importance of the mattress and pillow , we spend many hours at the end of the day in bed and our body suffers when we do not do it in the right place, a good mattress is one that fits to our anatomical needs and gives us the support and perfect postural adjustment, just like the pillow. Whenever possible, invest in quality of rest.
Relaxation methods , there are many different ways to relax, we can do yoga, exercise, meditation, read, paint, watch a good movie or series, enjoy a simple talk, meditations or guided visualizations and a long etc., look for the one that best suits you to relieve the tensions of the day and rest lightly from worries.
Conscious breathing, breathing is a simple method that in many cases replaces medical prescriptions that may stop working over time or have some side effect, there is something for all tastes, we are going to explain the simplest and most efficient we have found.
- Deep breathing : inhale air through the nose trying to inflate the abdomen as much as possible (put one hand on the chest and another on the abdomen to more easily control where you take the air from) hold it for a few moments and release it again through the nose. Repeat it as many times as necessary.
- Progressive muscle relaxation: tightens and relaxes (distension) all the muscle groups of the body, put your attention on the area you are working on and repeat each muscle group three times before moving on to the next.
- Body scanner: consists of paying attention with closed eyes to each area of our body.
- Counting as you breathe: you inhale counting from 1 to 10 and exhale counting from 10 to 1 (in reverse). If you can't keep counting to 10 do it until you feel comfortable, the important thing is to keep the rhythm constant and the same number while you inhale and exhale.
- Technique 4-7-8: exercise proposed by Dr. Andrew Weil, director of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. With your back straight, place the tip of your tongue just behind your front teeth (on the paddles, where the roof of the mouth begins) once this is done, close your mouth and inhale the air through your nose while mentally counting until four . Hold your breath for seven seconds and finally exhale through your mouth making a loud whistling sound for eight seconds. This would correspond to a complete cycle, it is necessary to do four before going to sleep and you can repeat this process between 2-4 times a day the first month and later you can expand up to 8.
Practicing exercise, we consume the excess energy that we could have, we free our organism from stress and our mind from negative thoughts. Stretching before going to sleep has been shown to help us relax and prepare us for a restful sleep.
Drink water and eat well , there are foods and food supplements that make it easier for us both to fall asleep and to maintain it.
- Avoid the use of excitants such as coffee, alcohol, tobacco, cola, chocolate and theine.
- Foods rich in tryptophan such as eggs, oily fish, oats, canary seed, sesame and chia, peas, yucca, soy, potato, cabbage, pumpkin and nuts as they help in the manufacture of serotonin (sleep conciliation) and melatonin (regulates the sleep-wake cycle).
- Vitamin B6, present in whole grains and both vegetable and animal proteins, helps tryptophan in the manufacture of serotonin and melatonin
- DHA supplements, promotes the release of melatonin.
- Banana also provides tryptophan, potassium and magnesium (they promote muscle relaxation).
- Cherries, as they are the richest fruit in melatonin.
- Dates are rich in amino acids, minerals, vitamin B, and most importantly, they help relieve stress.
- For centuries, traditional Chinese herbal medicine has had two specific formulas to help us sleep better, the Gui Pi Pian that calms the mind thanks to Radix Astragalus Membranaceus and Sclerocio Poria Cocos Paradicis La Sheng Mai Yin Pian on the other hand, helps to relax the body thanks to the combination of the plants that compose it.
- Valerian and passionflower for their calming function.
- The poppy prevents night awakenings.
- An infusion that mixes chamomile, linden and red clover in equal parts helps to a restful and restful sleep.
As important as what we eat is how much we eat it, it is always preferable to have a light dinner and at least two hours before going to sleep.
If after 20 minutes you have not been able to fall asleep, get out of bed and out of the room, start doing anything else and go back to bed only when you are drowsy (When we cannot sleep we enter the loop of worrying about not falling asleep and the few hours of sleep that we have left and that generates anxiety that does not allow us to fall asleep, so it is better to get out of it, clear up, relax and try again after).
Lastly and most importantly, say goodbye to the day by thanking for everything that went well, how much you learned, the help you received from someone or even someone who could help you, the time spent with family or with a loved one or even working (even if it is hard or exhausting work), remember those beautiful moments that have happened and if there have not been any, one that has happened on another occasion, think about those situations , things and people you love and do it all with a big smile. You will see that you sleep better and if it does not work for you, at least you will be happier trying.