Our brain regulates its sleep-alert cycles by aligning with the hours of darkness and hours of light. At first glance, this seems simple to the majority of us. However, the real problem is that we don’t always achieve this relationship. People who suffer from chronic or occasional insomnia know that such magic doesn’t always happen so easily.
Just because it’s dark outside isn’t enough for us to fall asleep. In fact, sometimes we don’t even feel tired enough.
What is it that happens to our brain that makes us unable to satisfy this basic biological need?
Actually, there are many reasons. Sometimes, it’s age or an illness such as diabetes, arthritis, chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. However, that’s not all.
That said, today we want to go further into three aspects that you might not know about.
We want to propose three key things that can help you to sleep a bit better.
1. Blue-green light-blocking sunglasses to care for your brain
This tips is curious as well as interesting, and it’s helpful to know it.
All of the electronic devices that we use regularly – like the computer, phone and tablets – emit light on the blue-green spectrum that has a serious impact on our brain.
It is a powerful stimulant. Also, one of its effects is to noticeably reduce our production of melatonin, the sleep hormone that is released after being exposed to darkness.
So, if one of your habits is, for example, to stay up in the evening working on the computer or watching a movie or TV series, consider wearing special sunglasses that block this type of light waves.
In fact, wearing these sunglasses for 3 hours before going to bed is enough to notice the effects and prevent insomnia.
It’s also necessary to remember that as we get older, we produce less melatonin. That being said, it’s easy to understand why it gets harder and harder to sleep.
You may want to consult your optician about using this type of sunglasses.
2. Eat certain foods before going to sleep to prevent insomnia
Many people go to sleep and fall asleep instantly. However, an hour or an hour and a half later, they wake up, feel active and are turning back and forth on their pillow.
If you experience this regularly, it’s likely that you need to stabilize your blood sugar levels so that you can sustain stable rest.
To avoid this, you can do a little test: just 10 minutes before going to bed, drink a glass of warm water with a generous spoon of organic honey.
It’s just a little experiment. Some people experience the opposite effect and wake up. However, if it works for you, then you know that in your case you are experiencing drops in your glucose levels.
3. Control your wandering mind
When we sleep, part of our mind also sleeps. We say “part” because the majority of the mind takes advantage of our unconscious state to carry out multiple maintenance tasks.
Some of the parts of the brain that actually sleep are the posterior cingulate cortex, the middle prefrontal cortex and the posterior parietal cortex. These regions regulate psychological dynamics like self-awareness, autobiographic thought, the analytical mind and the wandering mind.
When someone is deeply asleep, these areas are “deactivated.” However, many people who suffer insomnia show high levels of brain activity in these areas.
Why? Their wandering mind doesn’t stop getting sidetracked. It’s busy thinking about everything they’ve done and haven’t done, what they’ll do tomorrow, what such and such a person has said to them, etc.
This mental to-and-fro is often triggered by stress and anxiety, and is an agonizing cycle that is difficult to break or stop.
To do so, you need to create routines. For example, try taking a relaxing shower and reading a book two hours before going to bed.
You should tell yourself that you’re not going to think about anything and that you’ll limit yourself to a relaxing activity.
Relax your mind.
Try these simple pieces of advice to see what effect they have on you.
Discover: 5 Mindfulness Exercises for Better Sleep
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