Tips and tricks to improve your sleep quality
December is here! It’s time to prepare ourselves for the final sprint before the end of the year. We want to be ready for the holidays, but must finish some important projects at work. We have to think about a million things at a time, but don’t have enough time to achieve everything.
We all know that sleeping is very important for human being. Lack of sleep causes many side effects such as:
- General fatigue during the day
- Bad mood and irritability
- Inefficiency at work or school
- A decrease in your alertness
Although we are aware of the importance of sleep, getting restful sleep is getting harder and harder. Indeed, the stress of everyday life as well as the lack of time, greatly affects our ability to benefit from a good night's sleep. This means that we often have non-restorative sleep, which causes a multitude of adverse effects. How to get through this busy and stressful time of year and break this vicious cycle of lack of sleep?
How to improve your sleep
Reduce your stress level
Stress is directly related to the quality of our sleep. When we are pressed for time and overloaded, the first instinct is to stretch our day by reducing the time allocated to sleep to finish as many tasks as possible. The problem is that the next day we are more tired, thus accumulating a lack of sleep in the long run. When you are going through a stressful period, it is important to plan your time well, eliminate sources of stress, learn to say no and listen to your body. Yoga and meditation can also help us find this balance and avoid accumulated fatigue.
Eat well and move!
As our digestive system is very active during the night, a poor diet can affect the quality of our sleep. Avoid: eating too much or too little, large and late dinners, caffeine, alcohol, and foods that can cause heartburn. No time to do physical activity? You have to take the trouble to put it on the schedule, it will be time well invested. Indeed, in addition to changing our minds, sport helps the body to relax by releasing endorphins, these precious hormones that help us fall asleep. The time we have taken to move will be regained in sleep and recovery time. We will emerge winners!
Develop a good sleep routine
It is important to prepare well for sleep, to optimize your quality of sleep. You should aim for a good sleep routine by favoring calm activities such as reading at the end of the evening, while staying away from screens. Indeed, our sleep cycle is triggered not only by the hormones of our internal clock, but also by the decrease in daylight at the end of the day which is detected by the retina of the back of the eye. This sends a signal to your brain that activates the release of a cascade of hormones, including melatonin, which allows you to fall asleep. The production of melatonin can differ from person to person, with age, stress level, etc. It is possible to take melatonin supplements, for those periods of our life when we badly need restorative sleep.
By Julie Séguin, M.Sc. Microbiology and R&D Manager at Adrien Gagnon