what to do to sleep better

Tips for a good night's sleep

Our habits have changed so much and so fast that we have not even realized the direct impact they are having on our lives.

Stress, screens, living indoors, living in the office, spending little time outdoors, sunglasses... all this is our daily bread and the beginning of many people's sleep disorders.

You're in the right place to learn the tricks you need to get back to a good night's sleep without resorting to pills.

What are the negative consequences of not sleeping well?

Everyone who spends a bad night drags it all through the next day. But what really happens in our system if we don't get a good night's rest?

  • Our body's ability to repair, recycle and eliminate cells is inhibited.
  • It is more complicated to achieve our goals of muscle gain and fat loss because it happens that:
    • Increases appetite by altering our hormones that give us information about satiety and hunger.
    • Increases insulin resistance, impairing glucose metabolism.
    • We have worse self-control and this leads to poorer food choices.
    • Decreased testosterone and growth hormone will limit muscle gain.
  • It hurts how we look in the mirror - and I'm not kidding! We all look "worse for wear" after a bad night. Here you can read one of the studies that confirm to us that it is not just a sensation, but that it is real.
  • We have fewer positive thoughts as we see in this study.

"More sleep is not better, only better is better."

Why do we have trouble sleeping?

A quick answer is because of how much our environment has changed, from natural to artificial. Just a hundred years ago, anyone ate better, moved more, was cooped up less, and slept better than most of us do today.

From the moment we wake up, we are already influencing how we will sleep at night.

The melatonin hormone works already early in the morning.

Constant exposure to blue light from screens - think it's not that bad? Check how much you use your cell phone (iPhone makes you a weekly report) and add the hours of work with the computer, television...

Do the math if you doubted that your eyes spend most of the day looking at light from artificial screens.

The stress also plays a decisive role in our rest. Our ability to manage stress levels has a direct impact on the quality of our sleep.

And of course, the food we consume. How we feed our bodies is another sign.

These variables alter our circadian rhythm, which although it is not rigid and tries to adapt as much as possible to our daily life, with so many alterations it is difficult to function correctly.

What is the circadian rhythm?

The circadian rhythm is that human clock that marks the daily times gracias a las señales que mandan una gran variedad de genes. Estos tiempos realizan tareas tan diversas como indicar cuándo almacenar glucosa, colesterol, grasa o aminoácidos; intervienen en procesos que reparan las partes dañadas de la célula, desintoxican la célula, …

Our whole organism follows the times set by this clock ensuring and allowing the body to function optimally.

With the invention of the light bulb we began to alter our rhythms because we did not have to stick to the hours of natural sunlight.

Moving away from our nature will always be a bad decision with negative repercussions for our health.

Having the circadian rhythm synchronized is the first step to better sleep.

We tend to simplify the ingredients to the perfect recipe for health. We think that if we eat right and do sports we have it all, but reaching your health potential requires looking at more areas.

Specifically, the light in our environment has a direct impact on health of people at the same level as food does.

Natural light vs. artificial light

artificial light and natural light

The natural sunlight contains the whole spectrum of light like a rainbow and these vary naturally.

  • At dawn and dusk red tones predominate while during the day there is more blue light.
  • Depending on the season of the year.
  • Depending on the altitude of your location.

Sunlight contains in turn ultraviolet (UV) and infrared light. Both are invisible to the human eye but essential for health.

Contrary to natural light, the artificial light emits a light that does not vary in intensity and is practically monochromatic.. In addition, the intensity of electric light is much higher to natural light.

Now that we know what disturbs our sleep, let's see what we can do to improve our rest.

Guide to better sleep

These tips are basic to improve your sleep. Depending on your pace of life some may seem very shocking but try to incorporate them as much as possible to make peace with your sleep.

sleep-enhancing

Increases exposure to natural light

exposure only for sleeping

Light is information for our brain.

It is especially important that we are in contact with sunlight from early in the morning, and even better if we go out of the house.

Inside the office, try to position yourself near the window.

The greater the difference in light between day and night, the better we will sleep.

Consume healthy food

healthy food improves sleep

Feed yourself with nutrient-dense food. for your body to function without limitations due to deficiencies.

Today we are both overfed and undernourished because we do not eat real food, the only food that nourishes our cells and allows them to perform their functions.

We are talking about making sure that our body has all of the necessary the vitamins and minerals you need.

Not having an adequate diet makes it difficult for our body to do its maintenance work. And it is precisely at night that a repair window opens for many of our systems that work without us realizing it.

Move over

daily exercise benefits sleep

Regular daily exercise helps balance the circadian rhythm and improves sleep quality, as this article explains. study.

Si no tienes una hora para dedicarla a entrenar, también puedes sentir los beneficios si tu sesión aunque no dure más de 20 – 30 minutos.

Reduces the temperature in the room

room temperature for sleeping

Today we seek to keep our body temperature constant by avoiding changes that were natural to our ancestors.

It is normal for the temperature to drop at night. The cold sends a signal to our brain to prepare for sleep. If we eliminate this signal, it is a little more difficult for our brain to understand that we want to sleep.

Use relaxation techniques

relaxation for sleep

This will help you to start the process of disconnection and at the same time improve your breathing.

If you find it hard to meditate, you can start by stretching and gradually try to reflect on how you feel. Practice gratitude, it is always good to review the good things that happen to you.

If you find it hard to disconnect and you have a thousand ideas in your mind, it may help to make a list so that all these ideas do not interrupt your sleep.

Lower the blinds in your room

bedroom light for sleeping

Our body is very sensitive to lights. To help you fall asleep, make sure your bedroom is dark. Prevent light from coming in from outside by blocking the light with blinds and curtains.

Remember that it is not a matter of all or nothing but of making the adjustments that are in your hand.

What to avoid to sleep better?

All these habits that we are going to see have become normalized but have nothing to do with our old and good habits.

avoid in order to sleep

Using the cell phone in bed

mobile phone use in bed

Do not sleep with your cell phone on your bedside table, it is normal that when you wake up you will be tempted to pick it up and use it without even moving from your bed.

First, because you just want to see if you have been answered that email, and without realizing it you end up doing the Instagram review.

And this gesture that the 99% of people with new generation cell phones must make (I used to do it too) is fatal.

The first information (light) to start the day that our brain is receiving is artificial. Our body expects the dim light of a sunrise, not the brightness of the blue light from our phone.

My advice to overcome the temptation is not to have it, and to leave it charging in another room before going to sleep.

Wearing sunglasses

do not overuse sunglasses

Estamos tan desconectados de lo natural que usamos gafas de sol “para protegernos” de la luz natural, y en cambio nos sentamos horas y horas delante de una pantalla y bajo las luces de casa sin protección.

This is precisely the opposite of what we should be doing to stay connected to our circadian rhythm.

Wifi Interference

wifi causes insomnia

Nowadays it is difficult to be in a space where there are no wifi waves. It is no longer just at home or in the office, it is common to find wifi in bars and even in shopping malls.

The extent to which these electromagnetic waves can affect human health is still unknown. It is therefore recommended to minimize as much as possible the time we spend connected.

Since during the day it is practically impossible to control this, at night turn off your home wifi device and put your cell phone on airplane mode to sleep.

Doing sports close to bedtime

training at night bad for sleep

Training activates our nervous system and raises our temperature. Precisely the opposite of what encourages us to go into rest mode.

Of course, it is better to train than not to train, but if you can choose to move high-intensity training to earlier in the day so that it does not interfere with your sleep.

Recuerdo cuando hacía CrossFit “competitors” a las 21.00. Era una sesión aún más cañera en intensidad y duración de las clases normales y luego me costaba mucho dormir a pesar de que llegaba a casa más tarde de las 00.00.

Excess caffeine

coffee keeps me awake

A recommendable range of coffee consumption is between 1-3 cups a day. But not everyone has the same sensitivity to caffeine.

Avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon so that it does not negatively affect the quality of your sleep. You can take alternatives such as the matchawith a dose of caffeine less than that of coffee.

Avoid alcohol

avoid alcohol before bedtime

Alcoholic beverages are not good at any time of the day, but even less so in the evening.

Limit your alcohol consumption. If you need to try a healthy beverage as a substitution, I recommend the kombucha. It is paleo, rich in flavor and with health benefits.

Eating close to bedtime

dine close to sleep

If your body is in the middle of digestion, this will make it difficult for you to go into sleep mode.

Pay special attention to that the dinner does not contain foods that cause high blood sugar alteration (copious meals with excess sugars).

Altering your nervous system

discussions problems sleep

It has happened to all of us that if we argue, for example, with our partner, we cannot sleep well.

It's hard to advise "don't argue" because no one wants to do it and it just happens, but you can. avoid situations that are more likely to lead to an argument.

This also includes discussions on the network.

Tips for better sleep

To "hack" our organism while we lead this crazy modern life...

eye care for sleep

It is best not to use screens for a couple of hours before going to sleep.

If you use them purely for leisure, I recommend that you switch to another activity such as reading or meditation.

If you cannot modify your schedule to be more in tune with the circadian rhythm and you have to work after hours, you can always help yourself by using technology to your advantage to minimize the negative effects.

Step by step, from the simplest to the most compromised, I recommend you to adopt these tricks to hack your system (if we can trick it a little bit).

Lower the screen brightness

On both cell phones and computers, you have the option to adjust the brightness. At first you may have the feeling that you "can't see" but try to adapt to using less brightness progressively to avoid the large amount of light they give off.

brightness screens to be able to sleep

Display in dark mode

Likewise, the iPhone's black mode is already inherently less bright than white.

Use red filter

Again, you can apply this to both your PC screen and your smartphone screen. Use a red filter.

It's a little weirder than turning down the brightness because it alters the way you see things.

If you are a photo or video editor you will obviously not be able to work well with this filter. Try to do this type of work during the day and reserve other tasks that you can do with the red filter for nighttime.

Red bulbs

The red tones simulate moments of sunrise or sunset, also the fire of a bonfire, with dim light and without blue light.

Lighting with these warm tones will help you stay on task by minimizing the blue light that sends signals to our brains to keep us awake.

It does not consist of changing the lighting network at home, we bought these super cheap bulbs that you can change the color and intensity with a remote control. Their installation is not at all cumbersome.

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Using candles

It is another option for those who are not doing anything that needs a lot of vision.

Wear glasses that block blue light

Alternative for those who are not convinced by the previous options. The glasses do not require installation and are a good investment in health.

We immediately noticed that our eyes were much less dry the first day we used it, and little by little we were able to enjoy the rest of the benefits.

light blocking glasses

The function of this type of glasses is to filter out certain lights, mainly blue and green. Lights created by humans and associated with different disorders:

  • low levels of melatonin, the hormone that helps us get to sleep
  • mental disorders: anxiety, drastic mood swings, depression, autism...
  • vision impairment
  • circadian rhythm disturbances, difficulty in blood sugar regulation
  • eating disorders
  • and although it may seem very dramatic, cause increased risk of breast cancer, DNA damage, type 2 diabetes, obesity, damage to the immune system, hormonal imbalances...
orange glasses block light

Night goggles should ideally be worn when daylight is fading. we should block 2-3 hours of light in order to facilitate the release of melatonin..

This hormone triggers all the gears of sleep: it reduces body temperature, repairs the mitochondria, works the antioxidants, the growth hormone...

Which glasses are good?

On the market we have many choices of blue light blocking glasses, but the ones that will be really useful for you will be those that completely block blue light and most of the green light frequencies. ( 550 nanometer).

In this article you can read more about the best light blocking glasses:

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