How to fall asleep easily, stay asleep longer and overcome "sleep inertia"

gIt can be difficult to sleep well, which can make you feel less rested when you wake up in the morning. Sleeping and waking are brain processes that we do not fully understand, but research suggests that these transitions are much more progressive than a simple switch.

Even if you feel unconscious until morning, sleep has a typical structure, coming and going at lighter, deeper stages. All stages of sleep are important for a restful awakening; If sleep is disrupted or you do not have enough, getting up in the morning can be very difficult.

Most adults need seven to nine hours a night to function at their best. Getting enough sleep is important for good physical and mental health. If you sleep enough, you will wake up alert and be more productive during the day.

See also: A study on the biological clock shows the effects on the mental health of the "morning person"

Everyday habits that can affect your sleep

A bright light will help you get up in the morning.

Bright light in the morning, you help reset your biological clock and maintain your circadian rhythms at regular intervals. To help you keep your regular sleep / wake schedule and improve your health and alertness, look for a bright light in the morning when you wake up.

On the other hand, too much light at night can make falling asleep difficult. Indeed, bright light suppresses melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. That's why we do not recommend using devices such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops in bed before sleeping.

Digesting a big meal can disrupt your sleep.

Eat a big meal too close to bedtime can exert pressure on your esophageal sphincter (the muscles at the end of the esophagus that prevent acid and stomach contents from coming up from the stomach) when you lie down, causing stomach burns that can disrupt sleep. Eating your last main meal at least two to three hours before bed will help ensure that the food is well digested.

Liquid intake should also be reduced before bedtime so that you do not wake up forced to go to the bathroom.

while drinking
Avoid drinking alcohol too close to bedtime.

Alcohol can make you sleepy, but consuming too close to bedtime can also disrupt your sleep. The metabolism of alcohol during sleep causes more frequent awakenings, night sweats, nightmares, headaches and a decrease in sleep quality during the second half of the night. It is advisable to avoid alcohol for at least four hours before bedtime.

Tips to help you sleep and stay asleep

read in bed
Reading will help you relax before going to bed.

De-stress and relax before going to bed. Try a hot bath or quietly read a book (old school paperback, not the electronic version) and drink a hot milk drink. It's not advisable to exercise, play computer games or watch TV just before going to bed as this can increase physiological arousal and you give more energy before going to bed.

Stress itself can affect sleep. Relaxing before going to bed can help avoid restless nights spent watching the ceiling.

sleep alarm
Try to wake up at the same time each morning.

Establish a good sleep routine and stick to it. The body works on an internal clock that controls sleep and waking. This internal clock works more efficiently if you have a regular routine. Try to set a consistent sleep and wake time and remember that morning light is important to reset your biological clock.

To create a good sleep environment – a quiet, dark and cool room with comfortable bedding and good temperature control.

A little bit of amazement is normal

The first 15 minutes after waking can be difficult for the best of us. This is because your brain is not functioning properly yet. This is called sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is the feeling of greyness at first awakening and occurs because part of your brain is still in a state of sleep.

See also: A creepy robotic cradle worked wonders on sleep in a strange study

The inertia of sleep helps us to go back to sleep if we were awakened briefly. But if you are awake suddenly, talk to an alarm or a ringing phone, sleep inertia can affect your cognitive ability to respond to the alarm or the phone. The magnitude of sleep inertia is affected by previous sleep loss, the time and the fact that you wake up from a deep sleep or not.

So, if you suffer in the morning and you have trouble waking up, be sure to sleep well and allow yourself some time to wake up gradually in the morning.

This article was originally published on The Conversation by Crystal Grant and Siobhan Banks. Read the original article here.

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