Non-Fiction Article
Restful Nights: Common Reasons and Useful Tips for Overcoming Sleep Challenges
Scott A. Gese


There's no question we all need a good nights sleep. In fact certain types of dementia have been linked to a chronic lack of a good nights sleep. Suffering from any form of insomnia can affect your health and your quality of life.

sleeping-seniorKarolina Grabowska/Pexels

As we get older our sleep patterns change. Most of the time it's not for the better. For example you might suffer from a sleep pattern where you fall asleep quickly but then wake up several hours later. You lay awake in bed for a few hours before sleep overtakes you once again. When you can't fall back to sleep you could get up and read. That helps, but the truth is who wants to get up in the middle of the night to read. Especially when what you really want to do is sleep!!

You're not alone. There are a lot of us out there with lousy sleep patterns. There's a ton of research on sleep. I looked into some of this research to see if I could come up with some answers to my own sleep issues. This is what I found.

There's no question we all need a good nights sleep. In fact certain types of dementia have been linked to a chronic lack of a good nights sleep. Insomnia is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Suffering from any form of insomnia can affect your health and your quality of life. There are many reasons for insomnia. Some have to do with medical conditions. Aside from that, our sleep problem could stem from nothing more than bad habits or conditions around the house that can easily be changed. My research identified several habits and conditions that look like something most of us can control. I changed several to see if it would make a difference. Did it? The short answer is YES!

Below I identify some of the more common reasons for not getting a good nights sleep. They include:

  • Stress
  • Melatonin Levels
  • LED/Bright lights
  • Using electronic devices
  • Electric and Magnetic Fields or EMF


Stress

Stress affects your hormones. In particular a hormone called cortisol also known as a stress hormone. It's produced in your adrenal glands and plays a role in several of your bodies functions like suppressing inflammation, regulating blood pressure and blood sugar. It regulates your bodies stress response by releasing glucose from your liver for a quick burst of energy when you are stressed. It also helps control your sleep wake cycle. You want to have lower cortisol levels in the evening before you go to bed. So it's best to relax and stay away from stressful situations in the evening.

You could meditate in the evening before you go to bed or if you're not into that or don't want to take the time you could try the following. (This technique is best done outside.) Before you go to bed stand up, spread your feet apart to about shoulders width, put your hands on your hips, tilt your head up to a 45 degree angle breath slow and deep as you stare at the night sky. Do this for about two minutes. This technique will relax you and drop your cortisol levels. And as I just mentioned, lower cortisol levels can help you get a good nights sleep.

Melatonin Levels

Melatonin is one of several hormones responsible for your sleep-wake cycles. It has a connection to your bodies circadian rhythm. This rhythm is closely aligned with the rising and setting of the sun. This amazing hormone is stored and released by your pineal gland each evening and helps you maintain a deep sleep. As an antioxidant it also helps your bodies cells repair damaged tissue as you sleep, especially the tissues in your brain that support cognitive function and memory. Older adults release less melatonin due to the calcification of the pineal gland over time. Less melatonin equals less quality restorative sleep. Melatonin supplements can help bring your levels up and give you a better nights sleep. It might be worth looking into.

LED/Bright Lights Before Bed

There is a lot on this subject. In a nutshell LED lights emit blue light. Blue light suppresses your body's ability to secrete melatonin. In the evening, blue light, in fact light in general throws off your bodies circadian rhythm. This rhythm is your body's biological clock and as I just mentioned, it's closely aligned with the rising and setting of the sun. When this is out of rhythm sleep becomes more difficult.

What can you do?

  • Turn off as many LED lights in your house as possible during the evening hours.
  • Wear blue light blocking glasses in the evening.

LED lights are not the only emitters of blue light waves. Your phone, computer and television screens also emit blue light waves which influence your alertness and hormone production. This contributes to keeping you from getting a good nights sleep. If you must be in front of a screen in the evening you can and should adjust the amount of blue light emitted by your screen. Most devices have a setting where you can make the adjustment.

You may not be able to block out all light sources in the evening, but you can help reduce it by wearing special blue light blocking glasses.

<<Here's a good article on Blue Light if you want to know more.>>

Use of Electronic Devices

If at all possible, stop using your electronic devices in the evening including your television. Turn them off at least one hour and preferably two before you go to bed. Using this time to sit quietly and relax while reading a book will go a long way in helping you get a good nights sleep.

Reducing EMF Levels

The electrical wires in your walls emit EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) Even though many people claim these fields do not cause harm to humans, the energy emitted from these fields may be playing a role in keeping you from a good nights sleep. To find out if this is the case with you, try flipping off the breaker to the power in your bedroom for a night or two and see if it makes a difference.

Speaking of EMF, all electronic items emit these frequencies. you might try turning off your router and all your electronic devices at night. In fact leaving all your electronic devices out of the bedroom while you sleep is a good idea. If you're searching for relief from insomnia there's no harm in giving this a try.

Earthing

When you walk on the earth in your bare feet or even in shoes with leather soles (if you can still find such a thing) negative ions from the earth enter your body. These negative ions help neutralize those pesky free radicals your body builds up during the day due to stress. Stress increases inflammation and earthing helps to reduce inflammation. Earthing can help to improve your sleep, improve your blood flow and your energy level. You can purchase a mat for your bed and stay connected to the earth while you sleep. If you find this interesting here's a website that can tell you more.

https://www.earthing.com/pages/what-is-earthing

Other ways to expose yourself to the earths negative ions are:

  • Fill your house with house plants
  • Use Himalayan salt lamps
  • Hang out around a waterfall or have a small water feature in your home
  • Sit in front of a camp fire or fireplace

It's hard to function at your full potential if you're tired. Dragging yourself through the day because you didn't get enough good sleep the night before does not make for a happy and fulfilling retirement. If you suffer from insomnia I hope you'll give one or more of these ideas a try. Chances are your sleep will improve. You may even sleep through the night and sleep much more soundly. Your days will be more energetic and you'll rarely feel the need to take an afternoon nap.


You Might Also Like These Articles


Please Leave a Comment


Please Share this Website

Add this site to your social media pages by using the social media buttons below. Your friends will thank you for it.


Newest  Article


Restful Nights: Common Reasons and Useful Tips for Overcoming Sleep Challenges
by Scott A. Gese

sleeping-senior

There's no question we all need a good nights sleep. In fact certain types of dementia have been linked to a chronic lack of a good nights sleep. Suffering from any form of insomnia can affect your health and your quality of life. <Read The Full Article Here>



Newest Short Story

The Reunion
By Scott A. Gese

the reuniontpsdave/Pixabay

A young man returns home unexpectedly. He left against his fathers wishes. Will he be welcomed? <Read the full story HERE>



Newest Movie

The Hitch-Hiker

the hitch-hiker

Film Noir

Two men on a fishing trip pick up a hitch-hiker who turns out to be an insane escaped convict. <Watch The Full Movie Here>