4 evening tips to improve your sleep

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This article written by Dr Ron published on the Biosphere Nutrition Blogspot Page


There aren’t many people out there that will tell you they have a great sleep every night and always wake up feeling refreshed. A great sleep may sound like a dream, it is possible for most people to enjoy a great sleep every night by letting go of the modern world during the evenings and let millions of years of evolution do its thing.

Here are four easy tips you can implement every evening to help improve your sleep.

1 – Sleep in complete darkness

This may be quite hard to achieve but it is highly recommended to make the best effort you can at completely blacking out your bedroom. Artificial light present while trying to sleep can interrupt our circadian rhythm as well as suppress melatonin production, negatively impacting your sleep.[1] To achieve a completely black room you may need to address the width and thickness of your curtains to make sure no light is getting through. Electronic devices while in sleep mode might not omit much light but any light is enough to disrupt sleep so they should all be covered.

2- Dinner by 7 pm

Try and have your final meal of the day around 7 pm as eating before going to sleep has been shown to have negative effects on sleep quality.[2] When we eat a typical meal, our blood sugar levels go up quickly and then come down over a couple of hours. During this come down, cortisol levels rise and melatonin production diminishes, which is why we want to get this out of the way before we try and sleep. We need our bodies to produce adequate levels of melatonin for optimal sleep which is why it’s best we give our bodies a few hours to empty the stomach, let cortisol levels drop and melatonin production rise.

3 – Install a blue light filter on your computer and mobile device

Lights artificially keep us awake, with blue wavelengths being the most potent portion of the visible light spectrum affecting our sleep. [3] Blue light suppresses our melatonin production so by blocking it out in the evenings you can improve your ability to fall asleep and remain asleep.

There are filters out there for your computer and phone that automatically turn on as the sun goes down in your city and reset in the mornings. Typical blue light filters tend to tint screens with a shade of amber which studies have shown to improve sleep.[4]

4 – Magnesium Supplementation

Daily supplementation of magnesium has been linked to overall improved sleep.[5] With most of the population deficient in one of the most important minerals for human health, there is no surprise so many struggle to sleep well. One of the many benefits of Magnesium is its ability to help our muscles relax giving a calming feeling, as well as decreases cortisol and improve melatonin production. If you’re magnesium deficient, a well-absorbed magnesium supplement to take in the evening with dinner may well improve your ability to sleep.

If sleep is a problem for you try all four tips to the best of your ability. It’s hard to change year long habits but if you can focus on making a few small changes in the evening you may find yourself feeling a lot better. It’s not paramount you execute every single tip every evening, rather aim towards including as many as you can, as often as you can. Combined, these four tips should help most people improve their sleep with minimal effort.

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2627884/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227713/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20030543

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853635

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