...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
The Importance of Good Sleep: Almost every doctor agrees
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for your health. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are immense, including improved mood, better brain function, a healthy heart, healthy weight, and reduced stress levels.
However, for some people, getting a good night’s sleep is challenging, and according to the NHS, one in every three people in the UK will suffer from insomnia at some point in their life.
Insomnia can lead to difficulty falling asleep, waking up multiple times throughout the night, lying awake for hours, and waking up early without being able to go back to sleep.
Moreover, insomnia can cause a feeling of exhaustion even after waking up, difficulty napping during the day, and mood and concentration problems.
Dr Michael Mosley and His Five Tips for Better Sleep
Dr Michael Mosley is a TV doctor who is dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle.
He has launched a podcast named Sleep Well, which provides tips to people who struggle with their sleep.
The podcast’s five episodes explore simple, scientifically-proven techniques to help you fall asleep.
- Slow Your Breath
According to Dr Mosley, slowing down and taking deep breaths is an excellent way to start preparing your body for sleep.
This technique helps by tapping into a cluster of cells in your brain called the locus coeruleus, which is responsible for activating your mind and releasing hormones that keep you awake.
To slow down the locus coeruleus, you can slow your breathing.
Dr Mosley suggests breathing in through your nose and breathing out through whatever method you find comfortable.
He also recommends trying to breathe out for a more extended period than you breathe in.
The NHS recommends breathing in for four seconds, holding your breath for two seconds, and breathing out for four seconds.
- Use the Morning Light
Dr Mosley’s second tip involves going outside into the morning light at the same time every day.
This technique aims to reset your body clock every day, allowing you to regulate your sleep cycle.
According to research, waking up at the same time every day and exposing yourself to daylight has a greater impact on your body clock than your bedtime.
Dr Mosley explains that when light hits your eyes, it excites receptors at the back of the eye that detect light and send signals to a region of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, your “master” body clock.
A burst of morning light halts the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, and signals to the body that the day has begun.
A morning signal will kick-start a cascade of events so that around twelve hours later, melatonin starts to rise, preparing your body for a deep rest.
- Enjoy Your Bed
Dr Mosley’s third tip is about creating a positive association between your bed and sleep.
He suggests that if you can’t fall asleep, then you should get up and do something else.
The idea behind this technique is called stimulus control, which aims to break the negative association between your bed and not sleeping.
By getting up when you can’t sleep, you are avoiding reinforcing this negative association.
Dr Mosley recommends that you avoid working or watching TV from your bed to further strengthen this association.
- Warm up to Cool Down
Dr Mosley’s fourth tip involves warming up your body before going to bed.
By warming up your hands and feet, your body temperature drops quickly, which helps you fall asleep faster.
Taking a warm bath or a hot shower before bed can also help you fall asleep quicker.
However, the temperature in your bedroom should be cool to get the best effect.
- Listen to Your Body
Dr Mosley’s final tip is to listen to your body.
He suggests that not everyone needs eight hours of sleep