The perfect sleeping environment differs from person to person. Obviously, it should be relaxing. Each person should choose his or her sleeping environment based on the temperature, clothing, and other factors.
A cold, calm, and dark environment is great for sleeping. To create a peaceful and cool environment, utilize a ceiling or oscillating fan. The fan will circulate air in the room while simultaneously producing “white noise” to assist hide ambient noises that may wake you up at night. White noise may also be created with a variety of electrical devices. To block out early morning light, use blackout shades. Turn off your phones at night so that any emails or texts you get don’t wake you up. Consider putting your dogs out if they sleep in your bed or room at night, especially if they are looking for attention.
Cool, calm, and dark is the perfect sleeping environment. With enough effort, even shift employees can sustain such an environment. When it’s time to go to bed, stay away from computers and TV. A 30- to 60-minute “wind-down” session may also help you get a better night’s sleep.
I have a few suggestions for ensuring that you get the most peaceful sleep possible:
Make it a habit to do something peaceful every night before bed, such as reading.
Exercise on a regular basis, but not after 5 p.m.
Maintain a cool environment in your bedroom.
Caffeine should not be consumed late at night.
Avoid sedatives and alcohol.
Every day, go to bed and wake up within 20 minutes of the same time.
Health Issues As a Result of Not Getting Enough Sleep
Chronic sleep deprivation might affect your general health and well-being in the long run.
Sleep deprivation has been related to poor heart health, brain health, gut health, and other issues. iStockphoto
The majority of us would prefer a restful night’s sleep. We have more energy the next day, are better able to focus, and generally feel better. However, there is mounting evidence that sleep is crucial for long-term health as well.
The body can normally handle staying up late on occasion, but if you do it regularly or persistently, there will be health consequences, according to Sigrid C. Veasey, MD, a researcher and professor of medicine at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.
The most compelling evidence, according to Dr. Veasey, is that humans have not evolved to sleep any differently than they did thousands of years ago, when people slept outside and the risks of being attacked by wild animals or the weather were considerably higher than they are now. You could assume that if sleep wasn’t so crucial, people would have evolved to sleep less, she adds.
“From an evolutionary standpoint, that suggests sleep is critical in some way,” she adds.
We can get too little or poor quality sleep as a consequence of our own decisions, such as ingesting too much alcohol or coffee, spending too much time on our phones before bed, or simply failing to set aside enough hours each night for sleep. According to Meena Khan, MD, a neurologist and sleep medicine expert at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, it might be caused by another health condition (such as undetected sleep apnea, depression, or chronic pain) or a drug side effect.
Poor sleep, regardless of the cause, is harmful to one’s health, she says.
Adults should sleep at least seven hours every night for optimal health, according to guidelines published in June 2015 in Sleep by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. arrow pointing up
Here are some of the long-term health issues you may be putting yourself at risk for if you don’t put in those hours:
1. Anxiety and Depression
According to Dr. Khan, research reveals that persons with chronic insomnia have a greater prevalence of sadness and anxiety than persons who haven’t been diagnosed with insomnia. According to estimates, 15 to 20% of persons who are diagnosed with sleeplessness will develop serious depression. arrow pointing up.
The link between mood and sleep is complicated and bidirectional, which means that sadness or anxiety may make sleep worse, and sleep deprivation can have a detrimental influence on mood. According to a review published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in February 2019, sleeplessness is considered an independent risk factor for developing depression in persons of all ages. right now the arrow
Separate therapies for sleep difficulties and anxiety or depression are sometimes required, although increasing sleep can assist mood as well, according to Khan. A meta-analysis of 23 research on the impact of insomnia therapy on depression was published in August 2018 in Depression and Anxiety.
2. Diabetes Type 2
According to Khan, poor sleep quality or short sleep duration has been associated to poor blood sugar management in both diabetics and non-diabetics. According to her, it can also raise the chance of developing diabetes.
In a recent study published in Diabetologia in September 2020, researchers discovered that sleeplessness may raise the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 17%.
3. Obesity and Weight Gain
According to laboratory research, not getting enough sleep can lead to metabolic alterations linked to obesity, and observational studies looking at sleep duration and obesity rates have discovered a relation between the chronic metabolic condition and not receiving enough regular rest.
In the Nurses’ Health Study, which monitored 68,183 women for 16 years, those who slept five hours or less per night had a 15% greater risk of obesity than those who slept five hours or more each night. In comparison to women who slept more, women who slept less were 30 percent more likely to gain 30 pounds over the course of the research.
4. High blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke
According to the Heart Foundation, studies in large groups of people comparing poor sleep and sleep disorders with heart attacks and stroke have found that poor sleep is associated to those heart disorders.
A study published in PLoS Biology in June 2020 identified a possible mechanism by which poor sleep can harm the heart; it found that sleep fragmentation (repeated nighttime awakenings that disrupt sleep) was linked to the buildup of inflammation in the arteries (specifically white blood cells called monocytes and neutrophils), which leads to atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque on and inside the artery walls).
Sleep disturbances (which tend to result in worse quality or shorter sleep) have also been linked to cardiac troubles. According to Khan, those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have an increased risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.
5. Kidney Issues
According to Khan, the relation between sleep and kidney health isn’t as well-established as the relation between sleep and other chronic illnesses. “A few basic studies have been done,” she adds, “but the association has to be further investigated.”
According to study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2018, chronic sleeplessness was linked to the development and progression of chronic kidney disease, but not to end-stage renal disease or mortality from any cause. arrow pointing up.
6. Dementia: Cognitive Issues, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Other Types
“What we’re discovering is that harm from poor sleep or insufficient sleep doesn’t show up right away, but it may lead to changes later in life that look like Alzheimer’s disease and harm in the hippocampus and other brain regions,” Veasey adds. She goes on to say that the hippocampus is an important part of the brain for learning and remembering.
For example, a research published in the journal Translational Medicine in January 2019 indicated that older persons who slept less deeply than others had higher levels of tau protein, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease development. In a follow-up study published in March 2020 in Neurology, the same impact was discovered in younger people as well. arrow pointing up There’s also evidence that sleep deprivation causes an increase in the production of beta-amyloid (a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease); a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in April 2018 found that this effect can occur after just one night of sleep deprivation.
The harm that builds, according to research by Veasey’s team in animal models published in November 2018 in the Journal of Neuroscience, is permanent — and likely can’t be reversed by sleeping “extra” or enough for lengthy amounts of time.
Impaired Immune Function
According to Khan, not getting enough or excellent quality sleep might weaken your immune system. “There is evidence that getting enough sleep might help your immune system, and that sleep deprivation is connected to an increased risk of infection.”
For example, a research published in January 2017 in the journal Sleep looked at blood samples from 11 pairs of twins and discovered that the twin who slept less had a weaker immune system than the sibling who received enough sleep.
People who slept for less than six hours per night were significantly less likely to mount antibody responses to a standard three-dose hepatitis B vaccine and were significantly more likely to be unprotected by the vaccine than people who slept for more than seven hours per night, according to a previous study.
Furthermore, there is evidence that crucial immune system processes (such as immune cell development and generation) occur solely during pregnancy.
8. A Gut That Isn’t as Healthy
The gut microbiome refers to all microorganisms present in the gastrointestinal system, such as bacteria and fungus. According to research published in The BMJ in June 2018, the more varied the microbiome, the better it is for general health. Inflammatory bowel illness (IBS), type 1 and type 2 diabetes, obesity, and psoriatic arthritis have all been linked to lower bacteria levels. According to Khan, some research show that irregular sleep patterns, such as those experienced by night shift workers, may have an influence on gut health. “However, that study is still in its early stages.”
Total microbiome diversity was positively correlated with increased sleep efficiency, and total sleep time was negatively correlated with waking after sleep had begun, according to research published in PLoS One in October 2019. The study looked at the microbiomes of 26 men and found that total microbiome diversity was positively correlated with increased sleep efficiency and total sleep time was negatively correlated with waking after sleep had begun. ”The variety of the gut microbiota promotes better sleep,” the researchers stated in their report.
Can Mindfulness Help You Sleep Better?
According to research, practicing mindfulness on a daily basis can assist with a variety of sleep metrics.
COVID-19, the new coronavirus that has swept the globe, has brought with it a second health crisis: insomnia.
Approximately one-third of Americans think the epidemic has harmed their sleep quality. A similar amount of people claim they’re sleeping less or having problems getting asleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine conducted a poll in October 2020 that yielded these results. The situation is similar in Hong Kong, where a research published in Sleep Medicine in October 2020 revealed that almost one-third of the population has had insomnia or decreased sleep since the outbreak began.
Could mindfulness training be of assistance? Yes, according to a growing body of data.
One study published in the journal Sleep in May 2020 indicated that older persons who received mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI) fell asleep faster and stayed up less at night. Mindfulness training and cognitive behavioral therapy were used in another study published in the same edition of Sleep (CBT). In that study, integrating mindfulness to CBT improved various sleep quality indicators while also reducing pain in a group of poor sleepers with chronic pain disorders.
“Mindfulness-based treatment for insomnia is now well-established and regarded effective,” says Fiona Barwick, PhD, clinical associate professor and head of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine.
What Role Does Mindfulness Play in Sleep?
Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center in Providence, Rhode Island, has conducted or contributed to hundreds of studies on mindfulness’s therapeutic applications. He’s presently researching the effects of an app-based mindfulness program for improving sleep in those suffering from moderate to severe anxiety.
Many of the clients who come to his clinic complain about sleep issues, and he believes that runaway worry is typically at blame. “I ask them, ‘Do your thoughts speed up when your head strikes the pillow?’ Do you find yourself regretting or worrying?’ And 95% of the time, individuals respond affirmatively.
Mindfulness teaches individuals how to notice and dismiss agitating, arousing, or worrying thoughts that keep them awake at night. According to Dr. Brewer, mindfulness helps people detach from such ideas. He argues that it aids people in recognizing that they are locked in a habit cycle – a circle of worrying and anxiety. “It’s about assisting them in seeing how unsatisfying that is.”
What makes it so effective? Brewer claims that it works due of the daily practice. Short (typically 10- to 15-minute) training sessions are used to educate people how to become more aware of the ideas that run uncontrollably through their minds, as well as the impacts those ideas have on their moods and actions. Peer pressure builds up over time.Over time, people can change their relationship to those thoughts so that they aren’t caught up with or bothered by them (even when they’re not specifically practicing), he says.
It’s crucial to clarify that this doesn’t mean you’re disregarding your worrying thoughts or anxieties (because sometimes, of course, those worrisome thoughts represent real problems we need to face). It’s a matter of identifying when you’re doing the hard work of addressing and dealing with your ideas rather than lingering on them in a way that isn’t helpful (and getting in the way of things like your sleep).
People who practice mindfulness learn not to fight or try to control the sensation of laying awake at night. Dr. Barwick continues, “It’s about embracing that moment and believing that your sleep system will provide you with the sleep you require.”
Especially today, when the world is in a state of flux.Especially now, at a time when the pandemic is fueling anxiety and poor sleep around the world, mindfulness may be the antidote to a lot of people’s sleep woes. “Mindfulness is a really good way to manage stress — probably one of the most effective ways,” she says.
How to Improve Your Sleep with Mindfulness
Do you want to know if practicing mindfulness will help you sleep better? Here’s what you should be aware of.
Find out if you have the type of sleep problems that mindfulness can help you with.
Mindfulness isn’t always the answer to every sleep issue. People who wake up at night owing to sleep apnea or circadian rhythm abnormalities, according to Barwick, are unlikely to benefit from mindfulness. Those who can’t sleep due to a strong drinking habit or a pharmaceutical side effect are in the same boat.
However, anyone whose sleep problems are caused by (or entail) bouts of concern or anxiety, such as those who can’t sleep due to restless leg syndrome (RLS), should find mindfulness training beneficial. “Mindfulness is a wonderful approach, especially for those who are anxious,” she says.
Daily practice, according to both Brewer and Barwick, is critical if you want to see benefits.
“For someone who has had insomnia for a long time, they know precisely how their night will go,” Barwick explains. “They’ll lie there, scared, thinking about how bad things are going to be tomorrow.”
“However, individuals may learn to let those feelings and ideas pass without all the negativity and concern if they practice mindfulness,” she says. For many people, that is the key to getting to sleep. The repetition of practice over and over again is what helps it become a habit.
Consider using an app.
Also, especially at first, having an app or other resource to walk you through the exercise is beneficial.
“I believe Headspace does a terrific job of assisting individuals in cultivating daily practice,” adds Barwick. She also lists 10 percent Happier and Calm as two applications that have aided her patients with sleep issues. Brewer’s sleep research participants utilized the Unwinding Anxiety mindfulness app, which he developed.
The Best and Worst Drinks to Have Before Going to Bed
According to studies, chamomile tea can aid sleep, but doctors advise limiting your consumption so that the desire to go to the toilet doesn’t keep you up later. Everyday Health, iStock
There’s no lack of beverages that promise to help you sleep, from warm milk to chamomile tea to a variety of health drinks. But which ones are likely to benefit your slumber?
Here’s a rundown of the best and worst sleep drinks, as well as the ones on which the sleep medicine judgment is still out.
But first and foremost, everyone should avoid eating too much of any beverage right before going to bed (as the need to urinate will wake you up). According to Alon Avidan, MD, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of California in Los Angeles, this caution is especially important if you’re older, have a sensitive bladder, or are taking a medication that may increase urination (such as SGLT2 inhibitors for diabetes) (UCLA).
He advises these people to cease consuming liquids three to four hours before night (except from a sip or two of water to relieve thirst). “ It would be great to limit your fluid consumption to only throughout the day.
Water is the best beverage for sleeping.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), plain water is the healthiest and best beverage to drink at any time of day because it contains no calories and prevents dehydration, which can cause foggy thinking, irritability, and an increased risk of constipation and kidney stones.
Although research has revealed a relation between dehydration and poor sleep (including an observational study published in the journal Sleep in 2019), more evidence is needed to determine if one causes the other and, if so, which one.
Chamomile Tea The ancient adage that nursing a cup of chamomile tea would help you sleep has some truth to it: Chamomile has been found in studies to be relaxing and sleep-inducing. Chamomile tea has been linked to better sleep in a number of studies, including one published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in October 2015 of sleep-deprived Taiwanese new parents. “It has a calming, warming impact — just knowing you’re taking something that’s more associated to relaxation might be beneficial in and of itself,” Dr. Avidan explains.
Cherry Juice with a Kick
Tart cherry juice contains sleep-inducing effects, according to Dana Hunnes, PhD, a senior registered dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
“Tart cherries are high in melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone that humans produce naturally,” Dr. Hunnes explains, adding that individuals should eat the fruit rather than drink the juice. “The naturally existing sugar in the juice may cause you to pee more frequently,” she notes, explaining that sugar “often attracts additional water to dilute it in the body.”
Patients have been advised to sip sour cherry juice to help them sleep, according to Avidan. “There is published research that demonstrates a favorable effect on two sleep-related attributes: sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep) and an improvement in the amount of time individuals spend awake during the night,” Avidan explains.
The Worst Alcoholic Drinks to Have Before Bed
A martini may make you sleepy, but it doesn’t guarantee good sleep.
“Alcohol may wreak havoc on sleep patterns, particularly the critical brain waves that occur when we sleep. It makes it more difficult to fall asleep deeply,” Hunnes explains.
For better sleep, she suggests quitting consuming alcohol of any type four hours before bedtime and having no more than one drink every night. “One drink takes an hour and 15 minutes to metabolize, so giving yourself the extra time, as well as the time to drink more water to flush it out of your system, might be beneficial,” she explains.
There are no surprises here: Coffee, according to Avidan, is dangerous to drink before bedtime for two reasons. Coffee has a diuretic effect, meaning it encourages urination, and the caffeine in it keeps you awake.
Even decaf, according to Hunnes, might keep you awake. “Because of its extended half-life and caffeine dosage, I would avoid caffeinated coffee within eight hours of bedtime,” she explains.
Green or black tea
According to Avidan, black and green teas both contain caffeine and are diuretics, therefore they aren’t the greatest nighttime drinks for the same reasons as coffee. “I would avoid them within four to six hours of bedtime,” Hunnes advises, “because even a small amount of caffeine has been found to disrupt sleep patterns and make falling asleep more difficult.”
Both specialists agree that the caffeine and sugar mix present in most colas can induce sleep problems. Even if the drink contains neither, the carbonation will keep you awake, according to Hunnes. “I would definitely restrict soda to three to four hours before bedtime if it doesn’t include caffeine, and eight hours if it does,” she adds.
Beverages that claim to help you sleep but don’t have much evidence to back it up
When it comes to counting on these beverages for improved sleep, proceed with care. To yet, there isn’t enough research to support the claim that they can significantly improve your sleep.
Beverage Mixes with Magnesium (Like Calm)
Magnesium insufficiency has been linked to sleep disturbances, therefore supplementation may be beneficial in promoting a restful night’s sleep.
Magnesium-infusion beverages, according to Hunnes, may aid sleep by regulating melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone) and lowering blood pressure. However, she points out that the quantity of magnesium in these beverages (such as Calm) may not be adequate to make a significant effect. “You might be better off obtaining your magnesium from meals, but there’s no need to avoid Calm because it doesn’t include caffeine,” she adds.
Although it’s an age-old adage, the science behind it is far from conclusive.
Since of the placebo effect, “it may work because milk is a comfort meal that helps certain people go asleep,” Hunes explains. “It might be be the tryptophan or other proteins in it that help individuals sleep,” Hunnes explains. However, there isn’t enough scientific data to suggest that it significantly improves sleep.
Warm milk should be treated with caution, according to Avidan, because it can trigger stomach reflux in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. “Drinking a glass of warm milk has long been regarded to be relaxing, but it has a cost for people who suffer with reflux,” says the author.
It’s unclear if CBD beverages may help you sleep better. Avidan advises avoiding using CBD drinks for sleep because people’s reactions vary. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research to suggest if it aids sleep or not, as well as if it has any additional hazards. “It’s difficult to offer a recommendation here since there isn’t any data,” Avidan explains.
Water that has been enhanced (such as Pepsi’s Driftwell)
Driftwell, Pepsi’s recently announced mass-market “enriched water” beverage, claims to assist sleep by including L-theanine and magnesium. Avidan points out that this allegation is based on no scientific basis.
The drink’s recipe might be based on studies that says certain elements (such as certain minerals and amino acids) are beneficial to sleep. “However, no one has truly investigated the safety of utilizing this mixture in a specific drink,” Avidan explains, nor has anybody proven that it works. “We don’t have the information.”