To get a good sleep before the big hockey game we have to cut out everyday distractions before bed time that fool our minds that we want to be active instead of drifting off to sleep.
The majority of insomnia, is caused by life events, such as physical illness, stress or man made distractions like smoking, drinking too much, watching TV and playing on our phones before we go to bed.
The above can trick our bodies into wanting to stay active when we want to be going to sleep. The below are factors to help us get more sleep:
- Turn off your TV at least one hour before bed
- Don’t play video games just before bed
- Don’t drink alcohol before bed
- Do some exercise in the evening before bed
- Don’t drink coffee up to seven hours before bed
Should I use medications to sleep at night?
I was drinking my coffee yesterday and trying to shake the cobwebs out of my mind before the drive to my local club where I’d be playing and my mind slipped to my sleep the night before. Or the lack of it. I turned in at eleven. My bed was comfortable. What went wrong?
I decided to do some research to see why I didn’t sleep well. Firstly, I prefer to find a natural method to better health if it’s possible. Sleeping tablets actually most pharmacists, doctors and health practitioners tend not to recommend. Here’s why… firstly they can be addictive, secondly, they don’t promote restful sleep and thirdly, a hand full of pills is not fixing the root of the problem.
An important simple factor is routine. Let’s begin with daytime habits. My research found that our bodies like habits. First say a specific time to wake up and go to sleep every day. I Woke up at seven AM every day for the last week and though I don’t really like this early start and I felt tired when I woke up, because of this I fell asleep straight away and it’s because your body loves the cycle which I explain more below. Another good tip, is to keep sleeping just for night time and don’t take naps throughout the day.
Will exercise help me get a good sleep?
Another tip I learned is to exercise so you’re tired before you go to bed. A short run in the evening, twenty press ups or some leg squats will tire your body and mind. We can go on for days talking about how important sleep is, but the fact of the matter is that for many people getting quality sleep let alone being able to fall asleep in the 1st place is much harder than we think.
Exercise is great for a host of health benefits such as improving heart health with cardio and it’s improving overall strength. Time and time again it’s been shown that exercise will help with getting more shut eye at night.
To invoke sleep our body follows a near 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm which is based on different cues and signals; this rhythm knows when to tell you when it’s time to sleep. By lowing body temperature through the circadian cycle your body slowly decreases in heat, reaching its lowest temperature at night right before sleep. More energy associated with exercises raises levels of Adenosine, a hormone responsible for making you feel tired and sleepy.
Will watching TV or reading a smart phone in bed stop me sleeping at night?
Now let’s move on to bed time. Let’s try not to watch TV or play any phones going to bed because what it does is, reduce the melatonin we produce which is the hormone which makes us feel more sleepy.
Shutting off electronic devices and screens at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime will help you sleep better. Computer screens, smart phones, TV’s, and other electronic screens emit a wavelength of light that shuts off melatonin production in your brain and melatonin is your body sleep hormone.
You need your body to be producing more in the evenings, after the sun sets in order to get you to a really good restful sleep.
If your melatonin production reduces, sleep problems and insomnia can start. This leads to trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.
In addition to the light issue working on the computer at night keeps your mind over active in in work mode, when you should be settling down to prepare it for sleep. Although watching TV, maybe let your mind spin off and it may feel relaxing you’re not actually relaxing your mind. You’re distracting it as well as disrupting that melatonin increase. Furthermore, sleep researchers have proved that blue light, the type of light given off by computer and TV screens decreases your melatonin peek at night and causes problems sleeping and also leads to being tired and irritable during the day.
I know when I heard this advice myself, really thinking about it, after staying up, working on my computer or watching a movie before bed, I always have trouble falling asleep. Another good point is that even when I do get some shut eye, I feel tired and less refreshed in the morning, too.
Will eating or drinking before bed stop me getting a good night’s sleep?
My research answered that it is beneficial to avoid big meals before going to bed and caffeinated drinks. High caffeinated drinks are going to stimulate you so you won’t fall asleep. It’s also worth mentioning that some prescribed medicines can also prevent sleep so if these symptoms suddenly come about inform your health practitioner and you will be prescribed something new.
One cup of brewed coffee (8 oz) contains about 70 to 140 mg of caffeine, or approx. about 95 mg. A cup of tea (traditional English) will have about 40 mg. According to research we should not drink caffeine several hours before bed. The good news is it’s ok to drink up to about 4 cups of coffee a day before.
Does Smoking stop me getting a good night’s sleep?
Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant which tells your body not to relax. Not to prepare for sleep. Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco smokes like cigars can disrupt your sleep and prevent you from falling asleep. Nicotine is an active product.
You may wake continuously having the urge for your nicotine rush. There is however a line of thought that smoking relaxes people from stress and therefore benefits sleep, probably depending on your level of smoking. Research studies have shown that current smokers take slightly longer to fall asleep less, and have less deep asleep and sleep less.
Does drinking beer or wine stop me getting a good night’s sleep?
Alcohol is a depressant, thus drinking beer and wine or spirits before bed can lead to enhanced slow-wave sleep patterns. Slow wave patterns are found in deeper stages of sleep where memory and learning capabilities are renewed. These kinds of brain functions are called delta activity. But at the same time, alcohol also turns on alpha activity, a type of brain pattern more commonly seen when you’re awake. These two conflicting sleep patterns happening simultaneously create a pattern of disruptive stimuli to lower the quality of your sleep. You will probably find yourself sleeping deeply for two hours and then jolting awake.
The Hockey Hooked best tip to get a better night’s sleep
Stress and depression can be caused by a host of different reasons. Unwelcome at the best of times these bedfellows (excuse the pun) and the bug bear of people around the world when sleep is wanted and when we want to feel fresh the next day.
A good audio book or soft music will relax your mind with out casting blue light that prevents minds from relaxing and sleep hormones from growing. Try to make sure the audio book is not too horrifying or exciting so not to excite you while you’re trying to relax. Pour a warm bath, add bath salts which will relax body and mind before bed. A nice smelling candle beside the bath will further relax the senses. Read a chapter of your favorite genre of book before bed. And keep to this routine and take note of which relaxants aid your sleep in the best way.
By Eddie your Sherlocking blogger