When you teach a baby to recognize the Circadian Clock, you are teaching that child the difference between night and day. Darkness is not the only indicator that the body should go into sleep mode. In fact, core body temperature plays a huge part. Your temperature is dictated by your sympathetic nervous system and there is some correlation between the activity of this system and the way that you breathe.

Apart from keeping the bedroom aired, therefore, doing breathing exercises helps the oxygen flow through the sympathetic nervous system and this helps to control the temperature of the body. Deep breathing, such as is done in yoga meditation can help in circumstances such as these, as this makes the sympathetic nervous system more efficient. You maynot know it but it isn’t just your lungs that process the air that youbreathe. The sympathetic nervous system plays an important part in distributing oxygen but also in keeping the body temperature at a normal level.

I would also suggest that you use cotton based sheets, since these do not encourage sweat and will give you a fresher bed. Change sheets regularly and ensure that the room is aired on a daily basis. The sheets will also need airing to avoid anything that might give rise to breathing problems. If you use a duvet, be aware that summer duvets may be needed when temperatures rise and that natural content in a duvet can sometimes give rise to allergies. Thus, although synthetic duvets seem to be lesser in quality, they may actually provide a better quality of sleep, since they do not let off the allergens that are known to arise from feathers and other natural duvet fillings.

The actual bed linen that you use can make a difference to the quality of your sleep as well. Those non-iron sheets that you were so proud of owning are actually treated with formaldehyde and even washing the sheets is not going to stop the release of formaldehyde as this is a lifetime thing. As long as you use the sheets, formaldehyde release will happen and this can cause a lot of problems with your health, such as headaches, breathing problems and even insomnia. Thus, the sheets should always be 100 percent cotton. Another area that may be affecting the quality of your sleep is foam pillows. Avoid these because although they claim to be hypoallergenic, the basis for the manufacture of foam is oil. This is known to release vapors as the pillow warms up.

The other area to look at is the furnishing that you have in the bedroom area. Those pieces of furniture made from particleboardare also emitting formaldehyde and that’s not a healthy ingredientto add to the bedroom. Choose natural wood as it does not have the same effect. Keeping your sleep area simple, you should be able to make the bedroom a relaxing area and air it regularly to provide you with the right temperature in which to sleep.

You may consider that you are being wise with your choices. However, how often do you eat supper? Undigested food can cause all kinds of problems from heartburn right the way through the spectrum to GERD and if you are in the habit of eating in the three hours before you go to bed, then it’s time to change yourhabits. Any heavy amount of food is discouraged. However, if you want a light snack, this may be healthier than you think. A small and limited snack of crackers (which are carbohydrate) can trigger the feel good hormone, serotonin that helps to promote healthy sleep.

You may also be inadvertently drinking drinks that have stimulants in them. Do look at your food labels because even cocoa style drinks can contain too much caffeine to be considered as a great alternative for at bedtime. Canned drinks are not the best choice for the evening and making your own chamomile teacan help you to relax sufficiently to sleep well. However, it’s anacquired taste.

There are certain foods that are known to keep people awake and these should be avoided. For example, sports snacks such as French fries and potato crisps can throw the sleep cycle and should be avoided at night. Talking of snacking at night, avoid raw vegetables as these can play havoc with your digestive system, making it hard to go to sleep.

Another food to avoid is pepperoni, sausage or even bacon. What these foods do to your body is encourage the release of norepinephrine from the brain. This is used as a fight of flight response to particularly low blood pressure and acts in a similar way to adrenaline – making it undesirable when you are trying to go to sleep. One of the most surprising of things that people eat in the evening is so high in caffeine that it positively screams out that you won’t sleep. That’s chocolate and the darker varieties that everyone purports to be healthy are the worst culprits, some having as much as 80 milligrams of caffeine.

You should limit the amount of alcohol that you drink before going to bed since alcohol suppresses REM movement of the eyes and may be a culprit when it comes to insomnia.

If you haven’t been getting a decent night’s sleep for a while, it isworth looking up the side effects of any medication that you may be taking. Quite often, medications hide a multiplicity of side effects and a common side effect is insomnia. Apart from upsetting your REM sleep which is the deep sleep that most people experience when sleeping normally, medications can also contain content such as caffeine and other stimulants which may just be stopping you from sleeping correctly.

If you feel that this is a cause, don’t despair. Your doctor may beable to change the times that you take your medications or even given you equivalents without the added boosters, so that you see an improvement in your sleep.

Even if you see no link between your medications and your lack of sleep, it is worth mentioning it to the doctor since he will be qualified to explain alternative medications which may not have these side effects. You will commonly find that painkillers can contain caffeine and you may be prescribed an alternative if you find that you are in the habit of taking painkillers at night. Another way to combat this is to do gentle yoga exercises in the evening to relieve pain, so that your need for painkillers at bedtime is less.

Statins have been found to interrupt sleep though this does not apply to everyone taking them. These heart medications do carry warnings and if you are able to correct your problems by a change of medications or lifestyle, then this will help the sleep pattern to return.

Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors used to treat those with depression can also encourage lack of sleep. Thus, it is recommended that you review the time of day that you take these medications and adjust this so that you introduce it in the mornings instead of taking them at night. If you also want to get agood night’s sleep, it is advised that you take regular exercise.Many depressed people are inactive and it is a mixture of the SSUI and the inactivity that is causing the lack of sleep.

Cough medicines – Even though these can be bought over the counter, they have a tendency to contain alcohol. Since alcohol affects your REM sleep patterns, this could explain why you are unable to go to sleep and stay asleep.

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