People say that sleep is for the weak. But I say it is in vulnerability that true strength shows. In fact, sleep does affect our health, particularly our brain’s welfare, and that makes us literally strong.
Our brain accumulates toxins when it is active or when we are awake. When we sleep, our brain’s toxin-flushing system is activated. When the mind is relaxed, the flushing system is more efficient because the paths become wider. Ultimately, this means that sleeping well at night saves us from accumulated toxins in the brain which results to neurodegeneration that contributes to certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Here are some tips to save you from a cranky morning and, in the long run, dementia.
Keep the blue light away.
Simply put, light messes up our body clock. Blue light, in particular, is among the worst because it stimulates the brain. It boosts attention, mood, and reaction time. To be able to sleep early and long, put down the smartphones and shut down computers.
Avoid late meals and drinks.
Coffee is not the only thing you should avoid three hours before you sleep. In general, eating makes you less sleepy because it inhibits the production of melatonin or your sleepy hormones. On the other hand, drinking (even just water) can keep sending you to the toilet instead of peacefully leaving you reclined and ready to sleep.
Make your bedroom conducive to sleeping.
First, dim the lights. Your sleepy hormones are triggered by the dark. Next, use colors that evoke calmness in your bed sheets and wallpaper. Some studies claim that blues, greens, and yellows can induce more than seven hours of sleep. You can also diffuse some essential oils for calming like lavender. Most importantly, avoid doing stimulating activities in your bedroom and reserve it for sleeping. Condition your body that the bedroom is a place where you rest.
Blahd, William. (October 6, 2016). 20 Tips for Better Sleep. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/discomfort-15/better-sleep/slideshow-sleep-tips
Mawer, Rudy. (June 10, 2016). 17 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better#section17
Phillips, Kevin. (August 6, 2015). 9 Tips for Maximizing Your Sleep Environment. Alaska Sleep Education Center. Retrieved from http://www.alaskasleep.com/blog/tips-creating-ideal-sleep-environment
(Oct. 17, 2013). Brain may flush out toxins during sleep. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/brain-may-flush-out-toxins-during-sleep
Robertson, Sally. (January 21, 2015). What is Neurodegeneration? News Medical Life Sciences. Retrieved from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Neurodegeneration.aspx