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Things you should never do before bed

Things to avoid before bed
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On this website, we have mainly talked about common issues with sleep. We have listed explanations and reasons as to why they occur, we have shown how to deal with them in order to overcome them, but we’ve never ever really paid attention to how we can prevent such issues from happening to us.
In this article, we will mainly focus on the things you should never do before bed, in order to avoid having sleeping issues.

  • Drinking coffee

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Let’s start with the obvious.

It has been discovered that there are approximately 110 milligrams of caffeine in one cup of coffee, which is why one should not drink it before bed. Nevertheless, many people still enjoy taking their cup of a hot drink before going to bed, as a part of their routine. And even if that hot drink happens to be coffee, people still don’t realize that although they still don’t plan to sleep, that sole cup may disturb their whole sleeping schedules because of the caffeine it contains. That is because caffeine isn’t flushed out of the body before 12 hours after its consumption. Which means that even a cup of coffee drunk at lunch may hinder one’s sleep.

And curiously, studies have shown that even decaffeinated coffee isn’t that safe, in the sense that it has been found that some decaffeinated capsules still contained around 20 milligrams of caffeine, which of course may disturb one’s sleep. However, there exist some brands of decaffeinated coffee which, despite containing a little bit of caffeine, are composed of valerian as well, which is a herb used to treat insomnia.

  • Texting a friend or a family member

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Whenever you feel like texting a friend, a family member or joining a conversation in a group chat before or even when you are in bed, then think twice. You probably think that texting instead of making a phone call is less likely to make you lose sleep, but that is just a myth. You have to know that the mere fact of having your phone near your bed when you’re sleeping is enough to disturb your sleep as you keep expecting texts and replies.

Actually, a study has shown that around 10% of teenagers wake up every night in the middle of their sleep because of a phone call or a text.

The best way to deal with this would be to turn off your phone when you get in bed. You should make sure that your kids don’t use their phones before sleep, because as we’ve highlighted in the past, sleep is really important to young children.

  • Drinking water right before bed

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You have to pay attention to the words « right before » because that’s the most important. Of course, drinking water is essential for your body and your brain. But you have to restrict it to daytime and make sure to get yourself the amount of water you need hours before bed. Otherwise, if you drink water before going to bed, you may wake up in the middle of the night, needing to urinate, which disturbs your sleep.

  • Exercising immediately before bed

Just like drinking water, even if it sounds counter-intuitive, you shouldn’t exercise right before bed. 

It is of course good to do so during daytime, but not when you’re going to sleep. It is because when you move your body to exercise, your brain releases endorphins and just basically all those hormones responsible for lifting up your mood and making you hyper. Your heartbeat increases and that is how you become much more alert and awoken, thus not being able to fall asleep.

Remember, exercising doesn’t necessarily have to be doing 10 jumping jacks, even exerting yourself by simple actions like making the bed before you jump on bed can potentially delay you falling asleep.

  • Arguing with someone

Even if it has been discovered that feeling angry is good for your health, if you don’t deal with it the way you should, then that may badly affect your mental health and that may endanger your relationships.
When you have an argument with someone before you go to bed, then your whole mind gets focused on either fighting or closing off, which obviously hinders the quality of your sleep. Besides, as your blood pressure increases with anger, that makes it more likely for you to wake up in the middle of the night in a very bad mood, your sleep thus completely disturbed.

For this reason, some scientists advise to keep arguments out of the bedroom and dedicate the bedroom for sleeping and relaxing only. Even if you argue outside the bedroom before you go to bed, the bad temper can really mess with your sleep hormones.

  • Eating chocolate

We have talked about it before already, but you should note that aside from coffee and tea, another way to consume caffeine is through chocolate, in particular dark chocolate. And even more than that, but all the people who are especially sensitive to caffeine should even avoid eating chocolate or coffee ice-cream as the little bit of caffeine it contains might perturb your sleep.

And not only caffeine, but studies have shown that chocolate contains theobromine as well, which is a stimulant that promotes sleeplessness and that also increases one’s heartbeat.

  • Checking your mails

When you use your phone or laptop to check your mails, the light emitted from those devices unfortunately hinder the quality of your sleep, as they either make you less sleepy, or make your sleep fitful and restless. There are also other issues related to checking your mails before going to bed or while being in bed. It is obvious that if you consult anything that has something to do with work will make you think or even overthink your work and what you have to do the day after, which may keep you awake for much longer than you expected. That is why it is strongly advised to not use your phone at all before you sleep. A poll has even shown that people who check their phone for work at night tend to feel more tired the day after.

  • Eating spicy food right before bed

If you eat too much before bed, then you will feel bloated which will make it very uncomfortable for you in bed to fall asleep. It is even worse if you have spicy or greasy food as these tend to cause acid reflux which will make it very uneasy for you to lay down to fall asleep. In this case, you would be very lucky if you had an adjustable bed as adjustable beds allow you to sleep in the position you want. That way, you could set your adjustable bed in a way that you wouldn’t have to lay down.

Scientists advise to eat your last meal of the day at least two hours before going to bed so that you have enough time to digest what you have eaten. Naturally, you should absolutely avoid late night snacks.

Instead of doing any of the above, what you should really do is to listen to some nice, calming sleep music. That is bound to help you relax and fall asleep like a baby!

Music and sleep

Sleep and music
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Image courtesy: www.pinterest.com

In a previous article of ours, we talked about sleep deprivation and about ways to cope with it, such as the use of adjustable beds or the consumption of specific food. But aside from what you taste or how you lay down, your sleep can be influenced by what you hear as well. And interestingly enough, music happens to have a consequent impact on the quality of your sleep.

Throughout the latest centuries, it has been discovered that music was a good and effective way to deal with sleep deprivation, to soothe down anxiety, and to even help one combat illness. Naturally, sleep issues happen to be another issue music could help with as people have noticed that it was easier for them to fall asleep after or while listening to relaxing music. Calm music may lead one to feel much more at peace, which is the ideal state of mind to have in order to achieve a good night of sleep.

Choosing the right type of music to sleep to

As you have probably already guessed, there are specific types of music to help you fall asleep. After all, you can’t really imagine yourself feeling sleepy when listening to heavy metal or any other kind of music that might be too up-lifting and energetic.
However, it is also absolutely true that music remains a matter of taste and choice, so you may want to listen to whatever you want to, as long as it helps you deal with your difficulty to fall asleep.
Nevertheless, here is a list of music we made to help you find fast what may work the best for you. But first of all, as we have stated before, note that you need to avoid your favorite songs at all costs. That is because such songs would either stimulate your thoughts or emotions too much, as you could link them with past events or memories that are either precious or negative to you. That will only keep your mind alert and awake as it would view and review all those scenes linked to such songs instead of relaxing and getting your body ready to sleep. In such cases, it is much better to opt instead for music that would quiet your brain. For instance:

– Nature sounds:

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Of course, sounds of nature like the sound of rain, of the ocean, of birds or of snow help soothing down your body as they are not only repetitive sounds, but the sole fact that they are purely natural calm down your guts. It is because us humans belong to Nature which we funnily-enough call « Mother Nature », which brings a sense of safety that instantly makes your brain comfortable.

Furthermore, the fact that such sounds are so repetitive is a good way to make you forget about your worries and your thoughts, which of course helps you fall asleep much faster.

– Classical music:

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Did you know that classical music was used in hospital to help heal the patients? Or that it was also used to help plants grow? Classical music has wonderful effects on living beings. And what is not so surprising anymore is that it also helps to overcome insomnia as it puts you to sleep much faster than you would expect it.
It goes without saying that you should of course avoid upbeat partitions or concertos that would stir up your emotions. You should instead opt for relaxing and slow compositions that would quiet your thoughts and calm your emotions down.

– Ambient music:

Ambient music is usually used by students when studying as it helps them disconnect from the outer world and focus instead on the task at hand. It is a bit like nature sounds as it consists of repetitive sounds without being disturbing or perturbing. So, typically, putting on some ambient music in your room even before you get into your bed is a good way for you to prepare your mind and body to sleep.

– Audiobooks and podcasts:

If you are one of those people who would rather listen to people talking instead of simple recurrent sounds, then don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you. Podcasts and audiobooks are also a good way to relax before you get in your bed. Just like music, people’s voices can also help distract you from your own disturbing thoughts, which makes you less prone to insomnia. Of course, it is useless to precise that you should avoid books with suspense and an interesting plot that may keep you awake instead of putting you to sleep.

However, after several studies, it has been discovered that audiobooks weren’t as effective as classical music or nature sounds, in the sense that letting them playing while you are asleep may disturb your sleep and interfere with your dreams, especially in the case of young people.

Regardless of that, older people can be assured that music or podcasts can be quite effective and can help them improve the quality of their sleep. Not only do they help one fall asleep faster, but they are also a good way to get sleep of a proper quality as they keep your brain and body soothed and relax throughout the whole night. 

How music makes you fall asleep

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Now, let’s see how music actually makes you fall asleep.

First and foremost, it has been discovered that music  helps lower you heart beat and slow your breathing. Classical music especially allows your nervous system to slow down and your blood pressure to drop a little bit. Music can also reduce the release of a stress hormone called noradrenalin that is usually heavily produced by patient suffering from insomnia.

Furthermore, music also helps you release those feel-good hormones such as dopamine which would put you in a good mood right before sleeping, thus erasing all those worrying thoughts that may keep you up at night.

Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that in order for music to work well on your sleep, you need to first get used to it. So even if you have a hard time the first days to fall asleep with music, you will see that with time, it will become much easier for you to join the dreaming world as your brain will have gotten used to music and will see it as a trigger to make you fall asleep.

Hormones and sleep : Which hormones are involved in sleep ?

Sleep hormones

We have talked about sleep hormones all over our blog to emphasize their importance. We have also talked about certain specific hormones in order to explain whichever disorder or condition we are talking about, whether it be sleep deprivation or insomnia or sleep apnea, etc. It is because sleep is regulated by some specific hormones. Sleep can also be disturbed by other hormones.

This time, let’s see which hormones help regulate our sleep and how they exactly work, scientifically wise.

Melatonin

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Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It is an organ that exists in both human and animal bodies. The role of melatonin is to regulate sleep as well as ensure a balance between sleep and wakefulness.
And not just by animals and humans, but melatonin is produced by within plants as well. But unlike us humans, plants use melatonin mainly to defend themselves against oxidative stress, which is a condition existing in all living beings where not enough anti-oxidants are produced, resulting in cells damage — especially mitochondria and DNA.

When it comes to animals — and this is where it gets interesting — melatonin helps synchronizing the circadian cycles. In other words, melatonin is necessary for the regulation of blood pressure, typically during sleep, and the control of the amount of sleep needed.
Like for many other hormones, melatonin’s effects are activated through receptors for melatonin.

This shows that melatonin is needed if you wish for a proper night of sleep. And luckily, you can find it as a pill in any nearby pharmacy. However, even if it is used to treat insomnia, it still hasn’t been scientifically proved to be efficient against sleeping disorders.

Cortisol

Cortisol is said to be a diurnal hormone, meaning it’s a hormone mainly active in daytime. Its amount in the blood vary through the day. At the beginning of the day, around 7 or 8 am, the levels of cortisol are at their peak. And the more time passes, the lower cortisol levels get in

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the blood. At the end of the day, around midnight, the levels are at their lowest.
Logically, this means that high levels of cortisol keep you awake (throughout the day), whereas low levels of cortisol help you fall asleep.
So you want to make sure your cortisol levels are high to get the energy you need, except for when you want to sleep. In that case, you want for your cortisol levels to be at their lowest so that you don’t have excess of energies that would keep you awake.
The problem is when your cortisol levels aren’t low enough for you to fall asleep at night. That is when you know something is wrong. And that is also one of the reasons you might be dealing with insomnia, or any other sleeping disorder. The principal reason your cortisol levels stay high is obviously stress. Under any form of stress, your mind goes into it’s fight-or-flight mode, which keeps your whole body alert through the increase of the production of many hormones such as adrenaline and of course cortisol. And that is how you lose your ability to fall asleep and have pleasant dreams.
If you don’t learn how to deal with the regulation of your cortisol levels — in particular through managing your stress, then you may face some serious issues.

But worry not, here is a list of all the little things you can do that can tremendously impact your sleeping habits, and effectively help reducing stress and thus cortisol levels in your blood at night.

Tips to lower cortisol levels
  • Have a bedtime routine consisting of habits you reproduce every single day until your mind starts pairing them up with sleep. You may want to drink a hot cup of tea or any other beverage at a specific hour before bed everyday, or you may want to meditate on a daily basis right before going to sleep. Hot showers before bed can also be a good way to relax your body and mind and get them ready for sleep. Some people also like to read, write or draw before bed in order to empty their minds and rest their bodies before getting into bed. 
  • Try essential oils. Those are highly effective to make your mind buzzy before you get into bed, and help soothe out any anxiety symptoms that may be hindering your sleep. The lavender essential oil is by far the most popular one used against stress, as well as the most effective. You can simply put some drops on your pillow and sheets, or even in your bath — why not. And if you are in fancier stuff, you can always invest in a diffuser.
  • One other good way you probably haven’t thought about would be the use of adjustable beds. We have talked plenty of times about adjustable beds on our website, as they proved themselves to be highly effective against sleeping disorders such as insomnia or sleep deprivation. Laying down on your adjustable bed to enjoy a good book before going to sleep is a positive way to de-stress and thus lower your cortisol levels to be able to sleep.

Related Articles: Food to avoid before sleep

Female hormones

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It is impossible to talk about hormones regulating sleep and not talk about reproductive hormones.
When it comes to women’s hormones, these happen to have an immense impact on the sleep-wake cycle. Their effects especially depend on the menstrual cycle.
Right before getting their periods, women tend to have issues with the control of their body’s temperature, which leads to a disturbed sleep. That is actually mainly caused by the sudden drop of progesterone levels in the blood; progesterone being one of the main female hormones.

In the case of women suffering from the PMS (premenstrual syndrome), melatonin levels get messed up, which is why most of those women tend to experience daytime exhaustion and sleepiness, yet have troubles with sleeping at night.

When a woman is pregnant, her hormone levels change dramatically as well. The levels of progesterone in the blood spike up, causing daytime sleepiness and insomnia.  The levels of estrogen — the other main female hormone — increase as well, leading to snoring as the muscles of the throat area get swollen. 

Finally, when a woman reaches her menopause, her estrogen levels drop largely, thus disturbing the sleeping patterns and the sleeping cycle. The loss of estrogen can also cause further snoring or even sleep apnea. As progesterone levels get messy as well, the control of body temperature is lost, and the increase in the levels of adrenaline may both lead to sleeplessness and fitful sleep.

Male hormones

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When it comes to men’s hormones, testosterone is the first to come to mind. In the case of testosterone, its levels are at their peak during sleep. It has been noticed that when a man suffers physical problems, from sleep deprivation, or simply when he ages, his levels of testosterone drop, thus leading to a perturbation of sleep patterns and the sleep cycle, as well as to a deterioration of the quality of sleep.

Surprisingly enough, it is possible to take testosterone as a pill to improve the quality of sleep for men, but it shouldn’t be taken too much or else one may have to deal with other sleep issues.

https://www.sciencealert.com/chemical-messengers-how-hormones-help-us-sleep

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Food you should avoid before bed

Sleep Foods
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We wrote an article beforehand about how tightly linked sleep and the food you eat are. It showed how there were plenty of food to eat in specific ways and in a specific time to get the most peaceful sleep out of your nights. We also viewed a series of hormones and neurotransmitters responsible for the quality of your sleep such as GABA and others.
But if such food exists, then there must be some types of food which have the exact opposite effects on your body, right?

Actually, there are some aliments you should avoid at all costs if you are hoping for a calm and peaceful night. It is because they can trigger your brain to release hormones which tend to stimulate your body, thus keeping you awake instead of making you sleepy. In fact, some of these foods can even make you snore.

Let’s take a look at which food is your sleep’s biggest enemy.

Alcohol

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A study has shown that alcohol tends to make your body rests 10% less than it should while you’re asleep. To put it simply, the smallest intake of alcohol leaves a considerable impact on the quality of your sleep. And the more you drink, the more uncomfortable and fitful your sleep will be.
There are more specific reasons for which alcohol worsens your sleep quality, such as:

  • REM sleep is disabled by alcohol

    REM sleep is known for being the cycle of your sleep where your body gets the rest it truly needs. However, it has been discovered that alcohol literally blocks that necessary step, which leads to the dramatic decrease of your sleep’s quality.

  • Snoring and sleep apnea

    As you may probably know, alcohol helps relaxing your whole body, especially your muscles. While doing so, it doesn’t spare your throat muscles, as those loosen up as well when you drink.
    We saw in previous articles how loose throat muscles lead to breathing difficulties, which results in either snoring and sleep apnea. These two conditions have been showed to have negative impacts on the quality of your sleep, hence why alcohol shouldn’t be drunk if you wish for proper sleeping patterns.

  • Your circadian rhythm is disturbed

    It is true that alcohol makes you feel fuzzy and makes your brain groggy when it is time for bed. It especially helps you fall asleep extremely fast. On another hand, alcohol interrupts your circadian rhythm as well.
    Basically, when you drink, your body releases adenosine, which is a hormone that makes you sleepy, which induces sleep rapidly. However, if alcohol has the ability to makes you release that hormone fast, it also has the ability to lessen that hormone as fast. That way, you end up waking up much earlier than you should, which prevents your body from getting the sleep it needs.

  • The urge to urinate

    After drinking alcohol, your body feels the urge to urinate much often and much insistently than it usually does. That typically leads to you waking up frequently in the middle of the night in order to go to the bathroom, which effectively disturbs your sleeping patterns.

Caffeine

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Caffeine is known to be the most consumed drug in the world. As much as It can help with your daily life by providing you the energy you need to get through your day, it can also disrupt your sleeping patterns, making you further dependent of it. That’s why it’s popular as one of the worst drinks for sleep.

Caffeine affects the body and your sleep in different ways, by doing the following:

  • It increases dopamine in your system. When dopamine is released, the parts of your brain responsible for pleasure are activated. That makes you much more awake and alert than you should be.
  • It stops adenosine, which is responsible for your own sleepiness. Throughout the day, your body produces adenosine in order to get you sleepy for bed time. However, drinking coffee blocks the release of adenosine, which ends up in you being wide awake at 11pm.
  • It removes melatonin from your body. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by your body’s pineal. It helps regulating your sleeping cycle by making you sleepy near bed time. When you drink coffee, the melatonin is blocked, which disturbs your sleeping patterns.

You should keep in mind that while it may be true that the effects above might be required during daytime, but caffeine needs around six hours to be flushed out of your body, hence why you should avoid drinking it after lunch.

Black Tea

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It is unsurprising that black tea makes it to this list, as it contains caffeine. We have seen how badly caffeine affects your sleeping patterns. While black tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee, it still has enough of it to disrupt your sleep. Not only that, but as any other typical beverage, drinking tea before bed might make you wake up in the middle of the night in order to go to the bathroom, which you would like to avoid.
If you still want to have a cup of tea before bed, it is a much better choice to opt for herbal teas or any type of tea which doesn’t contain caffeine.

Orange juice

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Yet another drink! Orange juice is known for its amazing effects on the human body, as it promotes alertness, youth and overall better performances.
Nonetheless, it is not as much of a good idea to drink juice right before bed, as it would definitely mess up your sleeping patterns.
First of all, oranges contain Vitamin C, which will give you unnecessary energy at bedtime – unnecessary because you want the exact opposite to fall asleep: no energy. It is even worse if your orange juice contains sugar, as this will make your energy levels spike up.
Not only that, but once again, drinking before bed will more than likely wake you up at night to go to the toilets, or simply get your bladder full for the night, which may result in a very uncomfortable sleep.

If you are dealing with sleeping issues, you can always take a look at our previous articles. There is a whole section dedicated for sleeping issues, where you can check the benefits of adjustable beds by the way.

How does the food you eat impact your sleep?

It is a well-known fact that sleep is necessary for us human beings to survive. Staying awake six days in a row actually happens to be lethal. It is not the same with food as you can go for almost two weeks without eating and still manage to survive.
What’s interesting though, is that sleep and food are tightly connected, as sleep influences your appetite, and food impacts your sleeping patterns as well as the quality of your sleep.

Let’s take a look at the food that has great benefits on your sleep, and how it works so that you sleep better.

Bananas

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Bananas contain magnesium and potassium. Banana is the fruit which contains the highest levels of magnesium. Magnesium is helpful when it comes to sleep in the sense that it helps you fall asleep faster and makes you stay asleep for longer. It is usually used again insomnia. On top of that, the magnesium contained in bananas helps with controlling your hormonal balance. It also enables your brain temperature to drop so that you can sleep better.
Although there is not much potassium in bananas, the quantity it contains added to the magnesium in it makes a great and effective duo when it comes to sleep, as they both help with relaxing one’s muscles and nerves, preparing the body for a good night sleep.

Cherries

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It has been discovered that cherries – more specifically cherry juice – are composed of elements which help with reducing the production of chemicals that may hinder your sleep.
They also contain procyanidins and anthocyanins, two flavonoids which carry out important functions such as infections and help regulating cell growth.
Moreover, cherries also happen to be a source of melatonin, also known as the hormone responsible for sleep as it tends to regulate your sleep cycles and overall your sleep patterns.

Milk

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Often, we are advised to drink a glass of milk before going to bed, in order to fall asleep fast.
First of all, milk contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid that triggers the brain to produce serotonin, a hormone that helps you relax and loosen up to prepare your body for sleep.
Besides, milk also contains calcium, which Is a mineral that is usually used in hospitals to make patients fall asleep fast.
Nevertheless, up to now, scientists are still debating over whether milk effectively puts you to sleep or not. Some studies have shown that tryptophan and serotonin didn’t work well together, but nothing has been decided yet. A glass of milk can also be helpful if acid reflux stop you from falling asleep.

Related Articles: Worst Drinks for Sleep

Herbal teas

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Since many centuries, herbal teas have been used as sleep aids. The most popular ones are:

  • Chamomile tea: usually used to tame down anxiety, chamomile tea is one of the best – if not the best – sleep inducers. It contains an antioxidant named apigenin, which reduces anxiety and relaxes both your mind and your body.
  • Valerian tea: Just like chamomile, valerian is an herb that has been popular throughout the whole world during centuries as a natural tranquilizer. It helps soothing down anxiety and inducing one’s body to sleep. It is said that valerian tea is so effective when it comes to sleep because valerian triggers the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA, which helps your body to fall asleep.
  • Lavender tea: Lavender is a flowering plant popular for its soothing fragrance. It is becoming more and more present in households, as a plant or as an essential oil, as it helps combat stress and anxiety.
    Lavender can also be used as an infusion. When drunk before bed, it relaxes one’s nerves and prepares the body for sleep.
  • Lemon tea: Just like lavender, lemon is also known for its fragrance, and used for aromatherapy. Lemons’ leaves are dried and used for tea to diminish stress. Just like valerian tea, lemon tea also triggers the production of GABA, thus inducing sleep.
  • Magnolia tea: For centuries already, magnolia has been extremely used in Asian countries, especially in China, for medical purposes. It helps with bloating and stress.
    It is now used in tea as a sleep inducer. Similarly to lemon tea and valerian tea, magnolia tea increases the production of GABA in your brain, thanks to its abundant compound called honokiol, which makes you fall asleep faster.

Water

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Last but not least, staying hydrated throughout the day is essential for you to sleep well at night. When your brain is well hydrated, it tends to work better and overall feel better, thus enabling you to relax and rest properly. However, you have to avoid drinking water right before going to bed as it may increase your need to urinate, which would disturb your sleeping patterns.

Eating properly is primordial for you to sleep well. But it is important to also make sure you exercise regularly and respect your sleeping schedules. If you still struggle to fall asleep despite all of your efforts, you may want to check up adjustable beds as they happen to be extremely helpful against insomnia and sleep deprivation. If you want to learn more about adjustable beds, you can take a look at our article about sleep deprivation and the benefits of adjustable beds.

You can read more sleep related tips on Bedroom Solution’s blog.

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How to stop snoring

How to stop snoring
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Have you ever spent your whole night awake because of how much the person sleeping next to you was snoring? You are not the only one to experience that.

Snoring is a condition that can happen to anyone, especially to men and people who are overweight. It is also a condition that tends to get disregarded, until it becomes unbearable for the people who have to deal with their partner or relative’s constant night noise. If you want to learn how to treat snoring to get a better sleep, you have to first know what snoring is, what causes it, and what are its remedies.

What is snoring?

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Snoring is a condition in which the air flowing through the airway meets a certain resistance. It becomes thus turbulent, which provokes the vibrations known as snoring.

Here are some interesting facts about snoring:

  • Snoring is common but abnormal.
  • Snoring is hereditary.
  • Snoring increases the chances of stroke and heart attack.
  • Snoring can be treated through surgery.
  • The more people age and the more they tend to snore.

What are its causes?

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When the nasal airways are obstructed, usually because of allergies caused by climate change or when they catch a cold, snoring occurs. It’s because that makes breathing much more difficult, hence the vibrations.

When the muscles of the throat and the tongue are too relaxed, they end up blocking the way for the air to circulate properly. Aging and alcohol consumption are two out of the many causes of muscles’ relaxation. That’s why aged people and people who consume a lot of alcohol tend to snore.

Another cause of snoring is the shape of one’s palate or one’s uvula (it is the tissue you can see dangling at the back when you open your mouth). When the palate is too soft or when the uvula is too long, the airway becomes obstructed, which leads to snoring.

How can you deal with snoring?

There are many ways to deal with snoring. Here are the most effective ones out of them:

Sleeping on an adjustable bed

Sleeping on an adjustable bed is one of the easiest tricks of stopping snoring. Nowadays, most high-end adjustable beds have a built-in anti-snore button which automatically elevates your head. This elevation helps clear your trachea/airway and stops snoring right away.

Checking your sleeping position

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The first way for you to stop snoring would be to check your sleeping position and change it if it is the cause of your snoring. You have to make sure that you are not lying flat on your back as that makes the muscles of your throat relax, which causes vibrations. The more you elevate your head when sleeping, the easier it becomes for you to  breathe. In order to do so, you can either put two pillows under your head, or you can also invest in adjustable beds which you will be able to adjust based on the sleeping position that fits you the most. You can learn more about adjustable beds in our articles on this website.

If you don’t want to elevate your head, you can always try to sleep on your side rather than on your back. That will effectively prevent the snoring.

Related Articles: 9 Tips to Stop Snoring

Clearing your nasal passages

Another way for you to avoid snoring would be to rinse your sinuses before going to bed. As we mentioned before, having a stuffy nose obstructs airways, which leads to snoring.

If you have a cold, you can use nasal sprays to help with the rinsing.

Keeping the air in your bedroom moist and humid

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Dry air may irritate your nose and throat, which would cause them to swell. In order to avoid that, try using a humidifier in your bedroom to make air moister.

Exercising

Once again, this tip makes it to yet another list. It is not secret that exercising has the best impact on your health. It actually helps as well to stop snoring.

First of all, exercising helps you lose weight, which is one of the main causes of snoring. When you lose weight, your throat is no longer obstructed, and you can breathe more easily, which effectively reduces snoring.

Not only that, but snoring also helps toning your muscles, and not just your biceps and thighs, but your throat as well. When your throat’s muscles are used to exercise, they become more toned, which makes them less soft and much firmer. That way, they don’t block the way and allow air to flow properly in and out your mouth, which eliminates snoring.

Avoiding alcohol and smoking

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Alcohol and smoking have the worst impacts on your throat. They make its muscles wobblier and looser, which blocks the way to air, causing vibrations.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed to keep your throat muscles firm. And try to consult your doctor about your smoking habit so that you can go through a therapy to stop smoking.

Medical treatment

If none of the solutions given above help you eliminate snoring, you should consider finding other ways with the help of your doctor. Medication can actually be advised.

As you now know, sleep affects not only how you eat, drink, have sex, and how you perform at work, but also, how you snore 🙂

Lack of sleep and sex drive

Sleep and Sex Drive
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Doesn’t it sound funny how the solution for your lack of sex drive is in your room? If you have got the sleep science figured out, you may be in for a great sex drive!

If you have noticed a drop in your sex drive lately, then it might be caused by sleep deprivation. As we stated in our article about lack of sleep and the benefits of adjustable beds on it, sleep deprivation has many negative impacts on one’s body. Not only does it affect your mood and your abilities to think, but it also has consequences on our skin, your weight, your height, and funnily-enough, your sex drive.

So maybe the lack of desire towards your partner isn’t due to any dysfunction in your relationship, but rather in your own sleeping patterns.

6 ways of how sleep deprivation affects your sex drive

Lack of sleep lowers testosterone levels

Whether you are a senior citizen or not, a man’s sex drive is driven by testosterone, a hormone responsible for the control of libido. Research has shown that after one week of sleep deprivation, testosterone rate would drop by 15%, which is how much testosterone is lost by a mean in a span of 15 years – basically, a lot.

More importantly, testosterone levels aren’t the only ones affected by lack of sleep. As we have shown in other articles, not sleeping enough messes up a great bunch of your hormones’ levels, and when it comes to hormones responsible for arousal, testosterone isn’t the only one of them. When you don’t get the sleep you need, your levels of every other hormone linked to desire (mainly, estrogen and progesterone for women, and oxytocin and vasopressin for both men and women) change, which proves the existence of a link between sleep deprivation and sex drive.

Exhaustion makes you have even less time for sex

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Coming home after a long, exhausting day makes you crave nothing but a good night of sleep. No time nor energy to think or even care about sex.

Not only that, but even engaging in sexual activities when not having any energy (and consequently not having any desire) can be vain for your body would have a hard time reacting to any form of arousal. It is because your mind is fogged out of exhaustion, and your body barely feels like yours when you are extenuated because of sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation messes with your emotions

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Lack of sleep messes with hormones, which leads to endless series of senseless mood swings. When you are not getting the sleep you need, your emotions are all over the place, and negative feelings start taking so much room in your life. Needless to say that negative emotions can’t really help with your sex life, quite the contrary, they tend to lower your sex drive and inhibit your arousal.

Besides, in the case of women, as lack of sleep messes with their feelings, it also increases stress in the bedroom. It has been found that women who don’t get enough sleep tend to stress out a lot about their sex life and about sex in general, which in turn reduces dramatically their libido.
That is why it is so important to get enough sleep in order to keep negative emotions away so that your bedroom welcomes nothing but positive vibes. That way, your sex drive will be maintained.

Bad effects on vaginal lubrication

Research has shown that women who don’t get enough sleep may experience a lack of vaginal lubrication which is almost required for pleasurable sex. That is because vaginal lubrication is tightly connected to arousal in women. And as we have explained earlier, lack of sleep may cause arousal to lessen, which leads to a lack of vaginal lubrication, and necessarily to a loss of libido in women.

Inhibits sexual desires for the next day

Studies have proved that the more you sleep, and the more you are inclined to having sex with your partner the following day because of a raise of hormones responsible for arousal.
On another hand, when you are not sleeping well, you tend to avoid getting into sexual activities with your lover as you simply can’t find it in yourself to have sex for you are grumpy and tired.

Depression and anxiety

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It is a well-known fact that sleep deprivation, if not the result of a mental illness, leads to mental disorders, mainly anxiety and depression.
It is also known that mental disorders have a non-neglectable effect on sex drive, as depression tends to reduce, almost suppress the pleasure usually felt during sex.
So treating your mental disorders is a key to getting your sex life back to normal.

If you are suffering from sleep deprivation, here are a few tips to deal with it:

  • Avoid caffeine at all costs as it can disturb your sleeping patterns.
  • Stay away from screens and electronical devices at least three hours before going to bed.
  • Don’t eat heavy meals before bed.
  • Exercise but not right before you intend to sleep as you may have too much energy for that.
  • Get professional help.

Learn more about sleep deprivation in this article.

How can sleep affect your skin ?

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“Beauty sleep” isn’t a myth. Every single one of us needs their own “beauty sleep” if they want to avoid skin problems.

In a previous article on this website, we talked about the power of a good night’s sleep on the body. In this article, we will focus on the effects of sleep deprivation on one’s skin.

Sleep affects skin? Who knew!!

Just like lack of sleep can have undesired effects on your weight gain, it can affect your skin in a very bad way!

When you get enough sleep, you help your skin to be nourished and rejuvenated, avoiding thus unnecessary stress caused by the apparition of a spot or a pimple on your face. But what about the effects of sleep deprivation on your skin? If sleeping as much and as properly as you should makes your skin feel elastic and young, how does lack of sleep make your skin feel?

Related Articles: Sleep Number 360 Adjustable Bed Review

Your already existing skin problems get worse

When you don’t get enough sleep, your stress levels rise dramatically. It is a well-known fact that stress has the worst effects on your skin, which ends up in you getting even more stressed out, and that’s how you find yourself in an endless loop which has its own bad impact on your sleep quality.

What stress does is that it releases hormones in your body which are responsible for the quality of your skin. They tend to cause severe inflammations leading to bad skin conditions such as acne.

So when you are already dealing with skin problems, lack of sleep and the stress that results from it only end up in making everything worse: the inflammation gets more severe and more serious, and you get more breakouts.

Your skin doesn’t get the nourishment it needs

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. And just like any organ, it needs energy that comes from food. What’s more important Is that sleep is as important if not important than food for the body to function properly. And when you don’t get enough sleep, you basically prevent your skin from being nourished the way it should.

When you are asleep, your body is charged of ridding your skin from all the dead cells accumulated throughout the day, so that it can replace them with new ones. Toxins are also eliminated when you are sleeping.

When you are not getting the sleep you need, none of this happens, which leaves your skin dirty with toxins and dead cells.

Your skin’s pH levels get messed up

Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to lose the moisture it needs as well as have its pH levels drop towards acidity. That makes your complexion look less healthy, and makes you overall lose your glow.

The drop of pH levels makes your skin drier, which can provoke unwanted acne and breakouts.

Dark circles become your enemies

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As we explained above, when you are sleeping, your body replaces your dead cells with new ones.

On the contrary, when you are awake for a longer period of time than you should, those dead cells are conserved, which causes your blood vessels to dilate, and that is basically the source of dark circles.

Lack of sleep makes your skin age faster

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Have you ever heard about how sleeping can help one to grow taller. That is because when you are sleeping, your body releases the growth hormone, responsible on one part for your height, but also for the regeneration of your cells. When your damaged cells aren’t fixed, your skin tends to age much faster.

How to deal with it?

If you want to overcome all these skin issues caused by your lack of sleep, then it is necessary for you to find ways to get the sleep you need. You may want to check our article about sleep deprivation and the benefits of adjustable beds if you want to learn more about sleep deprivation and how to cope with it.

Meanwhile, here are some tips for you to take care of your skin and reduce the damages that lack of sleep may cause:

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  • Drink water: Drinking water will help hydrate your body, and consequently your skin that happens to be drier than usual because of the lack of sleep. That way, you will be able to moisturize your body from within, and you will also help regulating the pH levels.
  • Exercise: When you exercise, you enable your body to get rid of toxins faster than it would on its own, helping thus your skin to breathe after taking a hot shower where you make sure to exfoliate.
  • Use a moisturizer: As your skin gets drier the less you sleep, you need to make sure that you are using a moisturizer that suits your skin type to keep the moisture in your skin. It will help you combat dryness, will make your skin feel fresher and rejuvenated.
  • Conceal your dark circles: Dark circles happen to anybody. You can use a concealer to hide them. You can also use skin-tightening products on them to treat them.

These tips will definitely make your skin feel better, which will reduce a lot of stress that may make you stay awake at night.

How lack of sleep can be the cause of your weight gain

Sleep Deprivation
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If you’re having a hard time understanding why you can’t lose weight despite all your efforts, then chances are, you might not be sleeping enough at night. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with sleep deprivation, but you are definitely not sleeping the way you should: your sleep quality isn’t at its best, and you are probably not getting the amount of sleep you think you need.

Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain

In one of our previous article talking about sleep deprivation and the benefits of adjustable beds, we talked about how there was a tight link between sleep and weight, as sleep deprivation could be one of the reasons you might be experiencing dramatic weight gain.

Here are many ways to understand why lack of sleeping can be the cause of your weight gain:

The less you sleep, the more you produce your hunger hormone

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When you’re not sleeping enough, the production of hormones gets a bit out of hands. Lack of sleep may cause your body to over-produce a hormone called “ghrelin”, which is responsible for making you hungry.

What’s worth talking about is the fact that how much sleep you need or how many hours of sleep doesn’t really matter when it comes to the overproduction of ghrelin, in the sense that you could be very well missing only half an hour of sleep and that enough would make the ghrelin production go out of control.

Related Articles: How to prevent nightmares from disturbing your sleep

The less you sleep, the less you produce your satiety hormone

Let’s keep talking about hormones for a while. When you are not sleeping, the hormone responsible for satiety, also known as “leptin”, isn’t produced. Which means that, when you are lacking sleep, your body is not able to make you feel full, and automatically, you tend to feel much hungrier than usual.

The thing is, when you’re not sleeping, not only don’t you produce leptin to not feel like eating, but on top of that, you also produce a lot of ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry all the time. It is thus only natural for you to gain weight when sleep deprived, because your body requests food all the time.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your metabolism is slowed down

  • It is quite curious to see how much effect sleep has on your body.
  • Not only does it disturb your hormone production, but it also slows your metabolism then, making you hence gain weight.
  • To put it simply, when you are suffering from sleep deprivation, your thyroid, which is an organ responsible for regulating your hormones, produces less hormones which boost the metabolic rate.
  • Moreover, not sleeping enough causes your body to process glucose properly, and that is how you end up with more glucose in your system than you should. And that leads to gaining weight.

When you don’t get enough sleep, exercise seems an impossible task to achieve

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When you are not sleeping as much or as properly as you should, you tend to feel exhausted during the whole day.

That has a dramatic impact on your mood as your motivation drops to its lowest. Which naturally takes you away from exercising.

If you are used to going for a run in the morning, you would naturally prioritize getting more sleep instead or drinking more coffee after a night of practically no sleep. And if you are used to exercising in the evening, you will obviously refrain yourself from doing so because the exhaustion from the whole day will be getting to your mind and your body at that time of the day, and you will systematically opt for trying to sleep earlier rather than exercise.

Needless to say, not being able to exercise when sleep deprived is another reason you can’t seem to be able to lose weight. This is why we recommended energy boosting food and drinks for a good night’s sleep on a previous article.

Lack of sleep makes you crave junk food instead of paying attention to your diet

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When you are not getting the sleep you need, making decisions and simply thinking properly becomes a hard task.

And that is how you find yourself eating junk food without even realizing that it is bad for your health. Saying no to burgers or pizza is something you don’t even think about, as such greasy snacks help diminish the hunger faster than any other foods.

Not only that, but when you’re not sleeping, you get more prone to stress, which makes your body release cortisol, the stress hormone. Not only does this hormone make you hungry, but it also makes you crave junk food because it is what takes the least time to prepare and what makes you feel full the fastest.

If you want to avoid putting on weight while being sleep deprived, you might want to find a way to overcome your lack of sleep as shown in our article talking about sleep deprivation and the benefits of adjustable beds on it.

If you can’t deal with sleep deprivation, you can at least try the following tips:

  • Even if it is hard, try paying attention to what you eat. A little discipline won’t harm anyone.
  • Try using exercising as a way to fall asleep faster at night and at the same time prevent yourself form gaining weight.
  • Don’t buy junk food so you can’t find any when you are craving it.
  • Fill your fridge with vegetables and healthy food to make sure you are eating healthily.
  • Fill your stomach with water whenever you feel hungry when you actually shouldn’t.

How to prevent nightmares from disturbing your sleep

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Have you ever woken up gasping, your heart hammering in your chest, your hands shaking and sweat running down your back and your forehead? That is probably because you had a nightmare. Nightmares are quite common, in the sense that every single one of us has had a nightmare at some point in their lives. Nightmares are usually defined as ‘scary dreams’, and can severely disturb one’s sleeping patterns. There are two types of nightmares: garden-variety nightmares and post traumatic nightmares.

Why do we have nightmares?

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Unlike what many people may think, nightmares can be beneficial to our health, whether they are garden-variety or post traumatic. Nightmares have been shown to be necessary for many reasons.

  • First of all, just like dreams, in general, nightmares are a way for you to get to learn more about yourself. Each nightmare has a meaning and each nightmare is a way for your body, your mind and your subconscious to tell you something about yourself.
  • Secondly, nightmares can be a huge source of inspiration, as they usually are organized as a story with its own plot and very graphic images. Many artists have produced art based on their own nightmares, as the universes seen in such dreams go beyond one’s imagination and can be borderline fascinating – despite being scary.
  • Nightmares are a way for your mind to train you for further incidents that may eventually happen in the future.
  • Nightmares happen frequently to people who suffer from PTSD or other disorders like anxiety and depression. It is a way for your subconscious to make you live again and again what is causing In you the anxious feelings, in order for you to get used to them and be more and more exposed to them so that you can overcome them.

What are the effects of nightmares on your health?

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It may be true that as stated above, nightmares can have a positive impact on you. However, nightmares can also be linked to many negative consequences on your body and may hinder not only your sleep, but your well-being in general.

  • Nightmares can be one of the many reasons of sleep deprivation, which we have talked about in our article talking about lack of sleep and the benefits of adjustable beds. Some people who cannot tolerate the anxious feelings brought upon them by nightmares start avoiding going to bed in order not to dream, which ends up in a dangerous condition of lack of sleep.
  • Nightmares are mainly characterized by the intense fear one can feel during their sleep. Naturally, that ends up leading to a very restless, fitful dream, since the emotions are felt and deeply affect the mind. Hormones like adrenaline are produced, which is kind of not compatible with the resting, calm and peaceful side of sleep. This explains why people who experience nightmares tend to sleep less than people who don’t.
  • It has been shown that nightmares have been linked to suicide, even if the relationship isn’t clear yet.

When the effects of nightmares get out of hands, it is important to fight treatments.

How to treat nightmares and their negative side effects?

When nightmares become repetitive and affect your health, here are some ways to handle them:

  • The first basic step you should take to prevent nightmares would be setting a comfortable sleep routine. You can check on our websites the different ways to improve the quality of your sleep. You can also try to invest in adjustable beds that work magic on your sleep. If you are interest, check our article talking about the pros and cons of adjustable beds.
  • Understanding the meaning of your nightmares may help with accepting them, which makes them automatically less scary, and even chase them away once and for all.
  • Writing your nightmares down may be helpful for you to decipher them. It also can help you get them out of your brain, and take a more objective look at them, lessening thus the fear and the panic.
  • It is possible to change the ending of your nightmares, so that they can become less frightening. In order to do that, you can try to imagine during daytime the ending you would like for your nightmare. Doing this task everyday will eventually lead to your nightmares changing, enabling you to sleep more peacefully.
  • If your nightmares are caused by medication, try to talk to your doctor to find a way to reduce the dosage of your medication.
  • If your nightmares are caused by other mental disorders, it is only natural for you to treat your mental illnesses in order to prevent those nightmares.
  • Finally, if you can’t find any solution to stop your nightmares, make sure to get professional help

For more dream and nightmare related articles, please stop by our blog