Community//

Put an end to sleeplessness with your senses!

Have you ever struggled to sleep and even when you slept, you woke up feeling tired and not well rested? Do you have difficulty falling asleep or are you rudely awakened at ungodly hours?

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What would you do to have a peaceful and restful sleep?

There are so many causes for poor sleep which could be physical or emotional. However, in this article, you will learn how to improve your sleep by using your senses to tackle the physical causes of sleeplessness.

We have 5 main senses:

Sight,

Touch,

Smell,

Hearing,

Taste.

We will explore these and identify the factors that can help our senses take us to dreamland quicker, for longer and providing more refreshment.

There are many ways by which you can enhance the quality and quantity of your sleep. We need to start by using our senses to modulate our sleeping environment.

SIGHT

 For millennia, we have day and night. Day is usually bright and night is usually dark. As we evolved, we have developed ways by which we can produce light in the night to dispel the darkness. However, while that helps our socioeconomic sector, it disrupts our sleep rhythm. One main factor that disturbs sleep is the BLUE light. It is found in our phones and other electronic devices, LED lights to mention a few.

The presence of the blue light has been found to disrupt sleep because it disrupts the production of melatonin, a chemical that is released in the absence of light to aid sleep.

For this reason, there are some people who are prescribed melatonin to help their sleep and it works but it has to have the right clinical indication and be under the advice of your doctor.

Don’t lose hope though, there are things you can do.

TOP TIPS

  • Try to use natural light for as long as you can during the evening time.
  • Use 40W bulbs.
  • Consider the use of dimmer switches.
  • Use black out curtains and eye shades especially in the summer months.
  • Put on the blue light filter on your phone and other devices.

TOUCH

We use our body to perceive different stimuli in the environment. You pick up on temperature, humidity, the texture of beddings, the firmness of your mattress and pillows and these contribute to the quality of sleep you have.

TOP TIPS

  • Ensure that the fabric of your night wear and beddings are ones that you tolerate.
  • Cotton has been found to be absorbent and allows aeration.
  • The ideal mattress and pillows can make a huge difference to your sleep. Try them out and if they don’t suit you, most stores will accept a return during a window period. So make use of that.
  • Also, change the mattress and pillows regularly (Mattresses- about 5-7 years; Pillows- about 1-3 years).
  • The ideal temperature of your room should be 65F- 75F.
  • Opening the windows to allow ventilation also aids sleep.

SMELL

We all love things that smell nice and are aware of certain smells that are appealing. Odours that cause relaxation and calm are useful in encouraging sleep.

TOP TIPS

  • Fragrances like lavender and ylangylang have a soothing effect.
  • AVOID using candles because of the risk of fire.

HEARING

Sounds can be pleasant or unpleasant, wanted or unwanted. Unwanted sounds are usually termed as noise especially when you are trying to sleep. Some people prefer quiet environments to stimulate relaxation.

TOP TIPS

  • The use of earplugs will help with unwanted sounds.
  • Some sounds have been found to create a soothing effect and have been found to aid the sleeping process e.g. Ocean sounds.

TASTE

While you would not be eating or drinking while you are sleeping, it is important to know some dos and don’ts in relation to meals and drinks before sleep.

TOP TIPS

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks. Remember that the half-life of caffeine is 6-8 hours. So, if your ideal sleeping time is 9pm, your last caffeinated drink should ideally be before 1pm.
  • Do not drink alcohol 3 hours before your sleep time.
  • Do not drink excess amounts of fluids so that you don’t have to wake up several times at night to urinate.
  • Magnesium has been found to aid sleep. While some use supplements, you can take foods rich in magnesium.

One such food is banana. If you are not allergic or intolerant to banana, it is worth a try.

Here is a simple recipe for a lovely drink that would aid your sleep- BANANA TEA.

  • Wash an organic banana with its peel on.
  • Cut it in 2 and place in a saucepan.
  • Put 2-3 cups of boiling water into the saucepan.
  • Leave for 3-4 mins
  • Your tea is then ready to be decanted into your tea cup
  • You can add honey or cinnamon to taste
  • Then, drink up!

Hope you have found these tips useful. Try them today and share this information with your friends and family and help them improve the quality and quantity of their sleep.

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