Sleep secrets

By February 1, 2014Sleep

Sleep. It’s something you do every night, and everyone – well, at least everyone over the age of 6 – enjoys sleep! Without it, you feel a bit wobbly, because our zzzz’s affect everything from our mood to our quality of life.

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, different things work for different people, but here are our top 3 tips:

1. Mom was right, having a glass of milk and a biscuit before bedtime does make you sleepy! It’s because you’re getting complex carbohydrates, protein, and calcium all in one go. Calcium is the key in this mix – it helps your brain use tryptophan to manufacture melatonin, which is good for sleeping. A high carbohydrate or high protein meal before sleep won’t have the same effect.

2. Struggling to sleep? Turns out that counting sleep doesn’t work well at all. So, next time you’re tossing and turning, wait 15 minutes then get up and do something else. You want your bed to be associated with sleep and comfort, not being awake. Go into another room and do something non-stimulating for example reading a book or watching TV, then head back to bed when you start feeling sleepy.

3. If back and neck pain, or acid reflux, is stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep, the best position to sleep in is on your side. Make sure you have a thick pillow that fills the space above your shoulder and gives your head and neck support.

A few things to consider:
1. Fact: driving when you’re tired is as dangerous as drunk driving. According to studies, driving while drowsy is similar to driving with a blood-alcohol level that’s over the limit. And while alcohol slows your reflexes, driving drowsy may cause you to fall asleep, so you would have no reflex reactions at all. Loud music and open windows won’t help to keep you awake either, so rather pull over and have a quick power nap.

Read  The health benefits of sleep

2. Weight gain is linked to sleep deprivation. There are two issues at work with sleep and weight gain. The first is obvious: if you’re up late, the chances are greater that you’re doing some late-night snacking. The other reason involves hormones that affect appetite, making you hungrier the next morning. These hormones also make you feel less full after eating. Studies found that depriving people of sleep for 1 night increased cravings for junk food, and that sleepy shoppers buy around 9% more calories & 18% more food! The lesson here: make sure you shop after a GOOD night’s sleep!

3. Is there such a thing as too much sleep? Yes, it turns out you can have too much of a good thing. Research shows that prolonged sleep duration can carry many of the same risks as too little sleep – and sometimes the risks are even higher. A number of studies have shown that sleeping too much increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

Here’s something to think about

By the time you’re 7 years old, you’ve already developed a definite sleep position! However – and this is the hard part – it could be your preferred sleeping position which is giving you back, neck and stomach troubles, and even premature wrinkles!