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Why I don’t sleep?
SLEEP IS GOD
n the world we now find ourselves in their are so many distractions vying for our attention, making it increasingly difficult for us to tear ourselves away from our devices and entertainment in the vital hours which will determine our bedtime and therefore the quality of our next day.
Our consumption of stimulants and certain foods are not helping our ability to get off to sleep and also the quality of our sleep. Studies show that sleep deprivation has a similar effect on our cognition to alcohol consumption and like alcohol, we find it virtually impossible to know how impaired we actually are.
The hectic lives we lead and constant stress we find ourselves experiencing, make the habit of unwinding when we most need to, increasingly difficult and so we reach out for the comfort of our devices and our vices and so the cycle continues.
Some of us have children that disrupt our sleeping rituals or maybe we’re working in jobs that require us to do shift work which can affect our natural rhythms and so we can learn to mitigate the negative consequences of sleep deprivation as much as possible. It is all too easy and socially accepted to take a pill to help us sleep and we at The Sleep Lovers know all too well the temptation is great and habits are easily formed. Each one of us develop sleeping habits that are so personal to us and we all have different issues to contend with. Here we will look at some of the most common causes of sleep disruption and in the HOW section we will look at the solutions.
Our response to the world often causes us to release stress hormones that in turn not only are poisoning our body but also affecting the way we sleep. Often a symptom of stress is not being able to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of the night. Back in the old days we would get stressed out if in danger or in conflict and once the threat had gone we would quickly return to our very natural state of calmness and being in the moment. These days however we can spend entire days with our bodies under stress from perceived threat such as a boss we don’t like or hearing news we don’t like. This perceived threat ie. one that is not real stems entirely from the minds viewpoint of a situation therefore we have excellent ways of dealing with this at The Sleep Lovers and some cool products to really help you master your perception of reality.
This may well be the biggest blessing and curse of our generation and we are only just beginning to understand healthy behaviours around this new addiction to humanity. Scientists are beginning to understand not only that these devices are as addictive as hard drugs but they also release many of the same chemicals in our brain. Humans are wired to seek and find which we can constantly do on our phones and everytime we find something we get a shot of dopamine. Everytime our phones beep we get a shot of dopamine which makes them incredibly addictive and often this addiction will eat into the time when we know we should be winding down and getting into bed.
Most people still sleep with their phones by their beds which is like a junky going to bed next to his works. Phones vibrate, make noises and light up, all of which can arouse you. Maybe you just happen to wake up in the night and your phone is next to you, suddenly your scrolling through instagram and the addictive process and hormonal responses begin. Maybe you get angry at something you see, maybe you get scared because your old friend from school has just bought a bigger house than you. All of these things are not going to help you get a good night’s sleep but seem to be standard operating procedure for most of us. It’s not our fault though, we’re still adapting to the most effective ways to use this technology so all you have to do is change your habits around your tech to help you sleep soundly which in turn will decrease your addictive urges and impulsive behaviour. Sign up to our newsletter to receive the checklist that will help you to install rock solid rituals and habits to ensure the best possible nights sleep
Food is not always considered a factor that can improve our sleep. Recently some studies have shown that certain dietary patterns affect not only daytime sharpness but also nighttime sleep quality. It is more and more obvious that highly processed food can make it harder to get the quality of sleep you need and consequently a loss of sleep has a huge impact on our craving of salty, sugary, and fatty junk foods. When we don’t sleep scientists have proven that our bodies increase the production of a hormone called ghrelin which makes us crave more sugary and carbohydrate rich foods. Aside from obviously being bad for our health they are also more stimulating and if consumed late at night can prevent us sleeping well, and so the cycle continues.
Environmental conditions, such as temperature, noise, light, uncomfortable mattresses or pillows have a significant role in our sleep quality and one’s ability to sleep well. Also to keep televisions, phones and tablets in our sleeping sanctuaries is making an easy process more difficult. By setting up our environment to be an ideal place to sleep in we can greatly increase our chances of good sleep.
A very simple tip is to buy blackout curtains. In the summer months this can greatly enhance our sleep quality as even when our eyes are closed photoreceptors on our skin are passing on information to the brain about the time of day. And if it’s light in our bedrooms our natural tendency as humans is to be awake, therefore when you want to sleep make sure its dark. Really dark! Check out the products we love to see if they can help you too.
It’s certainly true that life events, such as bereavement and stress can lead to an increased likelihood of insomnia. Also, diseases and pain can affect our sleep as well as drug and alcohol use. Certain medications may have a negative effect on our quality of sleep.
We at The Sleep Lovers aren’ t Doctors but we do believe in the bodies incredible capacity to heal itself, given the right conditions to do so and there are always things we can do to improve our quality of life through the choices we make and thoughts we keep. Keep posted for ways to improve your quality of life in future articles.
Since the beginning of time parents have had to deal with different sleep patterns with the arrival of newborn babies. This has a big effect on sleep quality and duration and this tiredness goes on to affect their children.
Sleep deprivation inhibits the mental processes of parents and reduces their ability to maintain still nerves, be calm and it can be misunderstood by the child as negative stimuli, having an effect on their ability to manage their emotions. This certainly has an effect on the behavior of their children and triggers a vicious circle which is why its so important to prioritize your own sleep as a new parent. Keep posted for articles around good practices for managing sleep as a parent by our resident parenting sleep expert.
Yes it’s definitely true that the way your parents slept, and their parents and their parents may affect the way you sleep. Not only did they probably pass down to you certain habits and practises around sleep but they also passed on to you certain genetic predispositions such as being morning people or evening people. Also the hormones we release and in what quantities and at what times has a lot to do with your genes.
The way our circadian rhythms interact with our natural desire to sleep when we’re feeling tired or our homeostatic drive as it’s known is probably an interaction that predates us too. All very useful to know but how can this help you to get a great night’s sleep now? We at The Sleep Lovers have been talking to geneticist Dr xxxxxx of xxxxxx about the possibility of designing a genetic test that could help you to determine which sleep related genes are expressing themselves in you or not as the case may be and how this could help you to tailor your sleep practises accordingly. Watch this space for news about this upcoming product.