Sleep Hygiene Tips for Better Shut-Eye

Get your sleep back on track.

Rest is fundamental to deactivating stress hormones, especially cortisol. Synthetic corticoids are used in medicine for their eminently immunosuppressive effect. In the same way, the inactivation of melatonin leads to a permanent state of immunodeficiency.

There are numerous studies that support the reduction of risks and faster recovery from infections in people who sleep more and better. It has been shown that those who have low-quality sleep or do not sleep enough are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Lack of sleep can also affect the speed of recovery from illness.

A woman Sleeping on Silk pillow case

The Benefits of Sleep

A good night’s sleep leads to better concentration and productivity in the daily routine. Conversely, a lack of sleep adversely affects some brain functions. Rest also prevents or reduces the risk of heart disease. It has been sufficiently proven that people who sleep little and badly have a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke than those who rest well for seven to eight hours every night.

At the same time, good rest influences the metabolism and lowers the risk of diabetes. Several studies warn that reducing sleep time affects blood sugar levels and reduces insulin sensitivity. Besides, poor sleep habits are associated with adverse effects on blood sugar levels, and those who sleep fewer than six hours a day are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

And as noted above, getting enough sleep reduces the risk of depression. Conversely, people with various sleep disorders have higher rates of depression than those without them.

Healthy Sleep Hygiene Habits

Sleep Hygiene and Healthy Habits

In times of confinement, teleworking, and high-stress loads, the focus is to establish healthy routines to encourage good rest and generate good sleep hygiene habits.

Here are some practical tips to improve the quality of your sleep:

  1. Go to bed before midnight. It is essential to have a sleep ritual and make it a routine that is repeated every night. In this way, a kind of conditioning is created by which the brain learns when it should start the sleep cycle.
  2. At bedtime, do not use any distracting devices such as televisions, mobile phones, etc. They usually produce stimulation in the brain that significantly alters sleep cycles.
  3. Use blinds to block light pollution and earplugs or white noise to block sound pollution.
  4. Eat a light dinner early, ideally two hours before going to bed. If, in addition to having dinner too close to sleep, we then skip breakfast, we increase our risk of suffering cardiovascular incidents and suffer greater mortality, according to an article published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
  5. Keep the room temperature below 21 degrees celsius. Warm temperatures overactivate the metabolism. This, in turn, is the trigger of brain activation that prevents us from sleeping well, leading to an increase in sleep disorders and anxiety.
  6. Do not consume stimulants, such as drinks with caffeine, after 3pm. Caffeine has a stimulating effect that affects our internal biological clock, called the circadian rhythm, which regulates the sleep-wake phases and tells us when to sleep and when to wake up.
  7. Do breathing exercises and mental-muscular relaxation before going to sleep. Concentrating on your breathing can be very helpful, something that can be drawn from the ancient lessons of disciplines such as yoga and pranayama techniques.
  8. Do not take long naps. The maximum should be 15-20 minutes. With this time, we will not experience any feelings of slowness or sleepiness after waking up because we will not enter a deep sleep phase.
  9. Always use the same scent in the room and bedding. Lavender is the best because its properties favour a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which helps to reconcile sleep.
  10. Drink any combination of passionflower infusions or low doses of magnesium and/or melatonin, one hour before going to bed.
  11. Do not do intense exercise at the end of the day. The ideal is to do a constant and moderate physical activity during the morning. At this time, you can do at-home stretching, yoga, push-ups, dancing, etc.
  12. Get up early. Whenever possible, the ideal is to wake up naturally, with sunlight. Waking up with the sun is a biological habit in which we put our body in tune with nature. The body responds to darkness by producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. Daylight stops this process, making waking up much easier once the sun is up.

Dr. Vicente Mera is the Head of Internal and Anti-Aging Medicine at SHA Wellness Clinic.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of The Gaggler.


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Revitalise After Feasting: A Post-Thanksgiving Workout Regimen to Recharge Your Body

Revive, Recharge, Thrive

As the Thanksgiving feast fades into fond memories, it’s time to give your body the attention it deserves. In this post-feasting recovery guide, we’ll explore a tailored workout regimen designed to revitalise your body, recharge your energy, and counterbalance the indulgences of the holiday season.

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1. Wake Up the Body with Cardio Bursts:

Kickstart your post-Thanksgiving regimen with invigorating cardio bursts. Whether it’s a brisk morning walk, a jog, or a dance session, get your heart pumping and awaken your body from its food-induced slumber.

2. Core-Strengthening Pilates:

Engage your core muscles with a Pilates session to restore balance and stability. These low-impact exercises are perfect for toning and strengthening, providing a gentle yet effective workout for your post-feast body.

3. Yoga for Digestive Ease:

Explore a sequence of yoga poses designed to aid digestion and promote relaxation. Gentle twists and stretches will help soothe your stomach and release tension, leaving you feeling rejuvenated.

4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

Inject a burst of energy with HIIT exercises to elevate your heart rate and boost your metabolism. Short, intense intervals followed by rest periods are an efficient way to burn off excess calories and jumpstart your fitness routine.

5. Mindful Cool Down with Stretching:

Wind down your workout with mindful stretching. Focus on areas that may have tightened during the holiday festivities, allowing your body to recover and preventing post-feast stiffness.

As you embrace this post-Thanksgiving workout regimen, remember that it’s not about punishment but restoring balance. This curated routine aims to invigorate your body, clear your mind, and set the tone for a healthy and active holiday season. So, lace up those sneakers, roll out the yoga mat, and let’s embark on a journey to revitalise and recharge after the Thanksgiving feast.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after Thanksgiving should I start this workout regimen?

The post-Thanksgiving workout regimen can be started as early as the day after the feast. However, listen to your body, and if needed, allow a day or two for digestion before engaging in more intense exercises.

Can I customize the workout routine based on my fitness level?

Absolutely! Tailor the regimen to suit your fitness level and preferences. Modify intensity, duration, or choose alternative exercises to ensure a comfortable and effective workout experience.

Is it necessary to follow the entire workout routine, or can I focus on specific exercises?

Feel free to adapt the regimen to your needs. While the full routine provides a well-rounded approach, you can choose specific exercises based on your preferences or focus on areas that feel particularly tight or in need of attention.


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