Answers to Seven FAQ About Sleep

1. I can’t fall asleep. What should I do?

You need to look for reasons why you can’t fall asleep and make the right changes. Reduce stress, modify your diet, give up alcohol and caffeine, minimize your blue light exposure, and clean the environment where you sleep. Create a sleep ritual that includes 2-3 consistent steps you take before bed.

If you can't fall asleep for more than 30 minutes, it is recommended that you get up and go to another room. The bedroom is intended for sleeping, so you need to change the environment if you are struggling to fall asleep. Think of it this way: you don’t wait at the kitchen table until you get hungry. You sit there when you’re ready to eat.

2. I can’t fall back asleep after I wake up. What should I do?

Firstly, you have to understand the reason why you’re waking up in the middle of the night. It might be stress, noise, movement from a partner, spikes or drops in blood glucose levels, snoring, lack of air, breathing too often, dehydration from alcohol or caffeine, and insufficient melatonin that often results from blue light exposure in the evening.

You can choose to respond differently based on why you’re waking up. It’s recommended that you don’t panic and look at the clock when you wake up prematurely. If you can't fall asleep for longer than around 20 minutes, get out of bed and go to another room to cool off. Get yourself any kind of snack and sit in a hammock, if you have one at home. Other people even organize their drawers, plan their weekends, or make a grocery list. If you have some on hand, take around 0.3-0.5 mg of melatonin. Try to direct your thoughts somewhere else. Return to the bedroom after 20 minutes or when you feel tired again.

3. I slept badly. What should I do?

First of all, don’t worry. It's totally normal to have a few bad nights of sleep each month. Recent research shows the best tactics after a bad night of sleep are:

  • Practice HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for 15 to 20 minutes at 60-80% of your maximum intensity. This can compensate for the damage caused by sleep deprivation, such as slowed metabolism, increased hunger hormones, and glucose spikes. If you do not have the opportunity to do HIIT, then spend the day actively.
  • Get at least an hour of sunlight by noon. This will help regulate your circadian rhythm and increase your chances of getting a better night's sleep that night.
  • To turn on your sleep routine, remember the 10-3-2-1 principle.
  • You can compensate for a lack of sleep by taking a power nap for 20 to 90 minutes. This is best done in the afternoon. If Churchill was able to do this during World War II, you certainly can find some time for it, too.

4. What should I do if I snore?

Snoring is one of the most serious signs of poor sleep quality. This reduces the deep sleep you get and that of those around you. Typical causes of snoring are being overweight, having a poor lifestyle, nasal septum issues, and excessive relaxation of the pharynx that results in mouth breathing.

There is no magic solution on the market, but these are some of the most effective recommendations:

  • Avoid alcohol, since this relaxes your pharyngeal muscles.
  • Increase your oxygen intake by taking a walk outside at bedtime, doing some sports, or consuming foods that contain sodium oxide (such as spinach or beets) since this increases oxygen uptake.
  • Get a high-quality pillow to better support your neck muscles.
  • Practice breathing exercises that encourage nose breathing, which will help you learn to breathe this way as much as possible.
  • Adjust your posture, especially if you are working a sedentary job and have tension in the shoulders, neck, and trapezius. Stretching exercises can also help with this.
  • Control your weight, since obesity can contribute to snoring.
  • If none of these solutions help, there are special sleep centers that may be more effective.

5. How can I increase how much deep sleep I get?

As you get older, the amount of time you spend in deep sleep naturally decreases, so you need to compensate for this with more sleep and enough melatonin.

You can do this by:

  • Going to bed before the melatonin peak, which is around 22-23 o'clock.
  • Relaxing and practicing stress management exercises before bed.
  • Minimizing sleep disturbances, especially through the elimination of alcohol and caffeine; the latter of these can reduce deep sleep by 12 to 20%.
  • Getting up less in the middle of the night; you can do this by not drinking water before bed and controlling sugar spikes with a few drops of olive, MCT, or coconut oi lat bedtime.

6. How can I increase my REM sleep?

The REM stage is necessary for the emotional state and creativity. We have more REM sleep in the second half of the night, so your overall quality of sleep is very important. This means. the more 90-minute sleep cycles you have, the more likely you are to have greater REM sleep.

Other factors that can help increase REM sleep include:

a) Engaging in physical activity or sports 3 to 4 hours before bed.
b) Taking amino acids such as tryptophan.
c) Eliminating alcohol altogether.

7. What can I do when it is hot in my bedroom?

To fall asleep, your body needs to cool down at least a few degrees. The ideal room temperature should be around 18 degrees. If summer gets hot and you don’t have air conditioning at home, try the following:

  • Open the windows.
  • Cool yourself with either a cold shower or a hot bath, which both serve to increase circulation and cool the body.
  • Take L-Glycine, an amino acid that increases blood circulation.
  • Wet a towel or the edge of a blanket on your bed, or fill a pouch with cold water and sleep alongside it.
  • Create a light breeze through a window that rushes past a bowl of ice nearby.

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