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Disturbed sleep is more than an inconvenience that leaves you dragging the next day: it can affect your emotional and physical health. It negatively affects your memory, concentration and mood, and it boosts your risk for depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
No, not alcohol, which can interfere with sleep. Warm milk, chamomile tea and tart cherry juice for patients with sleep trouble.
Warm milk has long been believed to be associated with chemicals that simulate the effects of tryptophan on the brain. This is a chemical building block for the substance serotonin, which is involved in the sleep-wake transition.
Chamomile tea can also be helpful. It’s believed to have flavonoids that may interact with benzodiazepine receptors in the brain that are also involved with the sleep-wake transition.
Chamomile tea doesn’t have caffeine, unlike green tea or Earl Grey. Finally, tart cherry juice might support melatonin production and support a healthy sleep cycle.
Physical activity can improve sleep, though researchers aren’t completely sure why. It’s known that moderate aerobic exercise boosts the amount of nourishing slow wave (deep) sleep you get.
Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that keep people awake. (This is why you feel so energized after a run.). It can also raise core body temperature; this spike signals the body that it’s time to get up and get going. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to avoid working out within two hours of bedtime.
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally released in the brain four hours before we feel a sense of sleepiness. It’s triggered by the body’s response to reduced light exposure, which should naturally happen at night.
Just make sure that you consistently buy the same brand. Because melatonin supplements are unregulated by the FDA, the per-pill dosages and ingredients may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Stick with one brand, and don’t buy it online from an unknown source.
The ideal temperature for your thermostat is between 65 and 72 degrees. Women who are going through menopause and experiencing hot flashes should keep the room as cool as possible and wear cotton or breathable fabrics to bed.
It’s known that the light from a smartphone interferes with sleep. But what about your bathroom light? If you have the urge to go at night, don’t flick on the lights. The latest recommendation is to use a flashlight if you need to get up at night, because it offers less visual disruption. And remember: If you do wake up for a bathroom break, it might take up to 30 minutes to drift back off. This is completely normal.