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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

How to Sleep Through the Night and Get Good Rest

How to Sleep Through the Night and Get Good Rest
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“Healthy sleep is an essential part of our life as regular exercise and healthy diet”

. A good sleep directly affects our mental and physical health and also linked to better cognitive function, lower rates of inflammation and heart disease. It is also directly related to daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight. Contrary, people having poor sleep at night may have a higher risk of heart disease. It may also cause depression, confusion in day activities, anxiety and even memory loss.

Poor sleep may also lead to weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children. Much research also shows that poor sleep has instant negative effects on your hormones, exercise performances, and brain functions. Many people are facing sleeping disorders in the world and some of them even know about that. Also, many of us regularly toss and turn at night, struggling to get the sleep we need.

There are all kinds of things that can disrupt your sleep like your daily schedule, your working hours, certain medications, an uncomfortable sleep environment, or changes to your normal sleep schedule (like jet lag or a different work schedule) can make it harder to nod off, too.

Why Do I Keep Waking up at Night?

If you keep waking up at night, it could be caused by various things. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:

1. Sleep Apnea

It is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. This is a common reason for waking in the middle of the night. It causes shallow breathing, which may cause a person to wake up several times per night. Some people are not even realized that their sleep is interrupted or break. A person who has sleep apnea may notice symptoms such as:

  • Headaches in the morning
  • Gasping for air at night
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Snoring
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
Treatment and Remedies

If sleep apnea is a cause or likely to cause frequently waking up in the middle of the night, a healthcare provider/doctor will probably refer the person to a sleep center. They may also advise or recommend a treatment plan to address sleep apnea.

Best treatment options available are undergoing surgery, using airway pressure devices, or trying oral appliances that help open the airways.

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2. Insomnia

It means a condition wherein a person finds it difficult or impossible to fall or stay asleep or Waking up in the middle of the night is called insomnia, and it’s a common problem. People who have insomnia don’t feel as if they get enough sleep at night. It may have many possible causes like-stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits, daytime tiredness, etc.

Its symptoms include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Frequent wake-ups during the night
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
Treatment and Remedies
  • Start doing meditation or yoga
  • Do not eat heavy or spicy meals before bed
  • Doing regular exercise
  • Do not nap during the day
  • Make your bedroom conducive to sleep

3. Anxiety, Stress, Depression, or Worry

These can cause insomnia. Yes, it is so true that insomnia can cause because of these conditions. Both anxiety and depression makes it difficult for a person to calm their mind or shut down their thinking processes. This can make it hard for a person to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Treatment and Remedies

People suffering from these conditions should consult with their health care providers or doctors. Home remedies or techniques for anxiety and depression are:

  • Playing/listening to soft songs or calm music.
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing the number of tasks to do
  • Meditating
  • Creating a calming environment in the bedroom

4. Consuming Caffeine Late in the Day

Caffeine is a tonic that can make it harder to fall asleep. A single dosage can increase focus, energy and sports performance.

However, when consumed late in the day, coffee stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. So stop consuming more caffeine in a day to get better and calm sleep at night.

5. Your Exposure to Light

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain produces more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more conscious.

Exposure to bright lights just before bed might affect your quality and quantity of sleep. So turn off all mobile screen lights before bed and avoid all artificial lights before bed, it helps you fall asleep at night.

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6. Indigestion

Eating some spicy food, junk food or unhealthy food just around bedtime can also create sleep issues. Indigestion causes uncomfortable bloating and gas make it difficult to fall asleep at night and even and it may wake someone up in the middle of the night.

To avoid the indigestion problem,  eat healthy and light food at night. If you want to eat heavy or spicy food, do it earlier in the day and not before or around bedtime. This may help you to have good sleep at night.

7. Your Bedroom/Sleep Environment

One of the possible reasons that you are not getting enough sleep is that your bedroom environment is not properly optimized. Factors include the temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement, etc.

You can improve the sleep environment by doing these:

  • Minimize disturbing or external noises
  • Keep it dark and cool
  • Ban work from the bedroom
  • Reduce light and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks
  • Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place
  • Don’t overheat your bedroom temperature

How Do I Stay Asleep Through the Night?

To stay asleep through the night and get some good rest, start trying these:

1. Take a Warm Bath

Just before or around bedtime, take a warm bath, it helps to drop down the body temperature and may help you to feel tired. It can also help you to relax and calm and slow down, so, you are ready to go to bed. Studies show that they can improve overall sleep quality and helped people get more deep sleep.

2. Make a Habit of Regular Exercise or Can Do Meditation or Yoga

If you are spending your whole day watching TV, playing games on mobile phones or tablets, etc, it can make you lazy and inactive. And this usually makes it pretty difficult to fall asleep at night.

Active people tend to get better sleep at night.[1] Hence, by exercising or doing yoga, you can reduce stress and anxiety—which in itself might help increase sleep time by more than 20%.

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Don’t do exercise just before bedtime though, it could affect sleep.

3. Eat Healthy Foods to Promote Sleep

Make a habit of eating healthy foods and fruits and avoid eating spicy food, junk food.

To help you sleep better, you can eat these:

  • Cherries
  • Bananas
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Toast
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Spinach

4. Improve Your Sleep Environment

As mentioned in the last section, a peaceful and good sleep environment sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses.

Make sure your room temperature is not too cold or hot as it affects your sleep too.

To get good quality sleep, do these things:

  • Keep your room cool
  • Keep noise down
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable
  • Reduce all external noises like traffic noise, etc.

5. Create a Bedtime Routine

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps to fall asleep quicker. And to bring that feeling of sleepiness, it helps to have a quiet bedtime routine.

Bedtime routines have two serve purposes: it is meant to be relaxing and calming, not so exciting, and it helps to form a behavioral association and gives signals to the brain to feel you sleepy.

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Here’s How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier.

6. Take Time to Relax and Calm Your Body

Take a deep breath before going to bed, calm and relax your body. It helps to reduce all-day stress and calm down your mind which may make you fall asleep fast. If you watch TV around bedtime or use mobile phones, switch it off for some time and calm yourself down before going to bed.

7. Rule Out a Sleep Disorder

An underlying health condition may be the cause of your sleep problems. One of the causes is sleep apnea which causes inconsistent and interrupted breathing, and disturbs your sleep at night. People with this disorder stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping. If you any have symptoms of this disorder, you must consult a doctor immediately.

The Bottom Line

Sleep plays a crucial part in your health. Conserving energy, healing the body, consolidating memories, and regulating emotions are some of the key reasons why we sleep. Studies say that due to inadequate sleep, obesity risk is increased in children by 89% and in adults by 55%.[2] Other research concludes that sleeping less than 6 hours per night enhances your risk of developing heart disease.[3]

So besides nutrition and exercise, sleep is a major pillar of overall health and well being, and you should take steps to ensure that you always get a good night’s sleep.

More Tips to Help You Sleep Better

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

More by this author

Bijal Panchal

Brand Planning: Managing Sleep Diagnostic, Sleep Therapy & Reusable Mask Portfolio

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Last Updated on July 22, 2021

How to Quit Drinking for a Healthier Body and Mind

How to Quit Drinking for a Healthier Body and Mind
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Has anyone ever suggested that you should cut down on your drinking or, for that matter, quit drinking alcohol out of your life completely? Have you ever felt that way on your own, especially after waking up super late for work with a pounding headache and blurred vision the day after a long night out on the town or getting down in the club?

Let me start by saying that I am not trying to demonize the consumption of adult alcoholic beverages. I’m the last person to judge you or anyone else for making a conscious decision to drink alcohol responsibly. Instead, as a licensed mental health counselor and certified master addiction professional, I have a professional responsibility to help my clients take greater control over their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors by gaining insight into the underlying issues that have negatively impacted their lives.

Is Drinking Alcohol a Problem for You?

First things first. Is drinking alcohol a problem for you? Since alcohol has been known to impair your judgment, you may not even realize that it is.

According to the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or more commonly referred to as the DSM-5, the universal reference guide used by mental health and addiction professionals to diagnose all substance abuse and mental health disorders, alcohol use disorder is defined as a “problematic pattern of alcohol use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.”

It is manifested by experiencing at least two of the following symptoms within a 12-month period:[1]

  1. Alcohol consumed in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended
  2. Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control the use of alcohol
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain, use, or recover from the effects of alcohol.
  4. Craving or a strong desire or urge to use alcohol
  5. Recurrent alcohol use results in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, and home.
  6. Continued alcohol use despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused by or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol
  7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced.
  8. Recurrent alcohol use in physically hazardous situations
  9. Alcohol use is continued despite the knowledge of having persistent or hazardous physical or psychological problems likely caused by alcohol.
  10. Tolerance is present in which there is a need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication.
  11. Withdrawal, as evidenced by experiencing any combination of both physical and psychological discomfort following cessation after a period of heavy or prolonged alcohol use.

Nevertheless, just because you may not meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder, does not mean that you should not quit drinking alcohol. Although you may appear to be able to handle your alcohol on the outside, excessive alcohol use has been shown to negatively impact your overall health. Just like nicotine, alcohol is a habit-forming drug.

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However, unlike the stimulant properties found within nicotine, alcohol is classified as a depressant. It essentially slows down your central nervous system’s ability to effectively process feelings, emotions, and information.

With your defenses down, alcohol can make you feel more emotionally sensitive, sad, vulnerable, and depressed—for example, with regard to bringing back feelings associated with past traumas that you may have worked hard to overcome, or perhaps those in which you may have never had the time to properly address at all.

A study published by the National Institute for Health showed that alcoholics were somewhere between 60 and 120 times more likely to complete suicide than those free from psychiatric illness.[2]  Additionally, although having a couple of cocktails may make it easier for you to talk to a stranger as it lowers your inhibitions, it can also negatively impact your judgment—for example, by drinking and driving.

Additionally, alcohol has been known to make people more argumentative and belligerent, especially when they are confronted about the issue. A study published by the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 55% of domestic violence perpetrators were drinking alcohol prior to the assault and that women who were abused were 15 times more likely to abuse alcohol.[3]

When it comes to your physical health, there is an overabundance of ways in which excessive drinking is bad for your body. Since alcohol provides little or no nutritional value and is often combined with high-calorie mixers, it can lead to obesity.

People who drink alcohol in excess are generally less physically active, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.[4] Additionally, excessive drinking inflames the pancreas, making it more difficult for it to secrete insulin, thereby contributing to diabetes.

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Furthermore, excessive alcohol use can lead to liver damage, such as cirrhosis, in which the body is unable to properly remove waste products from the blood leaving the stomach and intestines. As a result, people with cirrhosis of the liver may appear jaundiced, swollen, and confused. A recent study published by Forbes indicated that even moderate drinking tracked with decreases in both grey and white brain matter, essentially interfering with brain functioning as it alters the brain’s chemistry and composition.[5]

With all of that being said, if you feel that alcohol use may be getting in the way of being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I recommend that you take a moment to consider these six simple ways to quit drinking alcohol to achieve a healthier mind, body, and soul.

1. Stay Away From the Bottle

If you happen to be a recreational drinker—someone who has a couple of drinks here and there, every so often or once in a blue moon—and you want to quit drinking alcohol altogether, the easiest way to quit drinking alcohol is just to stay as far away from it as possible. I mean it’s really that simple, isn’t it? Not so fast! Alcohol is everywhere, from the supermarket to the soccer field.

Even with all of the potential risks, people continue to drink alcohol at any number of social gatherings, business meetings, and even religious ceremonies, activities that are in many cases almost impossible to avoid completely. Sporting events, for example, all seem to be sponsored by sleek, sexy, and, at the same time, remarkably socially conscious breweries.

Nevertheless, although alcohol is everywhere, the next time you go out with your friends to your favorite hotspot, try ordering tonic water with lime, or perhaps even the virgin version of your favorite cocktail instead—like a pina colada or strawberry daiquiri—so you can keep the umbrella and just get rid of the rum.

2. Set Expectations With Others

Unless you are prepared to cut ties with all of your friends and family members who like to drink alcohol, be prepared to set certain expectations with them when it comes to drinking when you are around them.

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First, let them know that you are not judging them but rather, making a personal choice not to drink alcohol. Then, set clear boundaries with them by letting them know whether or not you are comfortable being around them when they choose to drink. Remember, you are the most powerful gatekeeper of everyone and everything that surrounds you.

3. Own Your Issues!

The first step to quitting alcohol—or quitting the use of any habit-forming mood-altering substance for that matter—is to first admit that you have a problem with it, whatever the problem may be. I suggest that you first start by identifying how alcohol has either already affected your life, or how it could do so in the future if you continue to drink.

Take a personal inventory of everything important to you, such as your relationship with your family and your faith, as well as the condition of your health and your personal finances. Then, carefully consider how alcohol could be negatively impacting each item. Set aside some personal quality time to journal all of your thoughts in black and white to help you see the situation from a more objective point of view. Take it from me, it’s not easy to admit that you have a problem, but once you do, it can be a very liberating feeling.

4. Ask for Help

Once you have admitted to yourself that you have a problem with alcohol, you can then admit it to someone else, preferably someone who can help you process your feelings and concerns in a safe, constructive, and non-judgmental way.

Although family and friends may be very supportive, you may want to work with a therapist who can offer a more objective perspective along with a variety of tools to not only help you stay sober but also process and ultimately work through any underlying issues that may have caused you to drink in the first place.

Furthermore, in the unfortunate event that you have become physically dependent on alcohol to make it through the day, medical supervision may be needed to help you manage any combination of withdrawal symptoms, including restlessness, anxiety, chills, nausea, and even potentially life-threatening seizures.

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5. Join a Support Group

When you are trying to defend yourself against a cunning, baffling, and powerful opponent, there is usually strength in numbers. Beyond reaching out for professional help to address any underlying issues that may be holding you or anyone else back from staying sober, joining a support group is an excellent way to strengthen your foundation for recovery from alcoholism.

Although caring friends and family may be able to provide you with unconditional love, members of your support group may also be able to offer a much more objective step-building approach for long-term sobriety. Fortunately, there are support group meetings available all over the world, you just have to look for one that meets your needs.

6. Make a Commitment to Stay Sober

After you have owned your issues and learned the tools to stay sober, the next step is to commit yourself to actually staying sober. Breaking a bad habit does not usually happen overnight. Typically, it’s a process that requires time and tenacity. There is no exception when it comes to quitting alcohol.

Nevertheless, many people find themselves frantically trying to stop drinking after any combination of unfortunate, uncomfortable, and sometimes unforgiving events, such as being fired from a job, having an argument with a loved one, getting caught driving under the influence, and experiencing medical complications associated with alcohol use, such as liver failure.

Final Thoughts

In the end, If you truly want to quit drinking, make an open and honest commitment to yourself that you will not only put away the bottle but that you will also take out the tools every day to stay mentally, physically, and spiritually sober.

More on How to Quit Drinking

Featured photo credit: Zach Kadolph via unsplash.com

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Reference

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