More restful sleep tips backed by science

You cannot sleep? Put your head in the freezer, was the unusual treatment a scientist suggested. In a new book, a sleep researcher offers tips for better rest without resorting to any pills, writes The New York Times.

What is science-backed tips for a more restful sleep?

More restful sleep tips backed by science
More restful sleep tips backed by science

A good night's sleep can make us more empathetic, more creative, better parents and better partners, according to Aric Prather, a psychologist, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, who treats insomnia and is the author of the new book "The Sleep Prescription" (Sleep Prescription - no).

Sleep can help us manage stress; it can make us competent and more able to take on the day. But Dr. Prather says we too often view sleep as an afterthought—until we wake up frozen in the middle of the night, our thoughts racing, groping for rest or relief.

Some people may turn to a supplement or a sleeping pill. A 2013 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in eight adults with sleep problems reported using sleep aids. The psychologist contends that we may make easy adjustments throughout the day and night to improve our sleep, as outlined in his book, which will be published on November 1. You're not required to do it, he continued. "It's something coming towards you".

Here are some of his science-backed tips for a more restful sleep.

Set aside time for "scheduled worries":

Nobody ever claims to have woken up in the middle of the night thinking solely positive thoughts, according to Dr. Prather. During the day, we might be too busy to dwell on our thoughts, but at night, when we try to let our brains shut down without distractions, "our thoughts can get really loud," says the doctor.

To beat nighttime restlessness and anxiety, Dr. Prather recommends dedicating part of the day to worrying. Take 10 to 20 minutes to write down what's troubling you, or just think about it without looking for a solution. If you do this consistently, he said, worries won't creep in during the night—and if they do, you can remember that you have a dedicated time to address them the next day.

Instead of reaching for caffeine, stick your head in the freezer:

If you regularly reach for coffee to help you get through the afternoon fatigue, you'll still have caffeine in your system by bedtime, Dr. Prather said.

Instead, he recommends getting a boost of energy elsewhere. You can take a brisk stroll in the afternoon or take a little break from work by doing something simple for five to ten minutes. - clear some clutter from a bookshelf, pluck some weeds in the garden, or put on some music and become lost in a song.

Focusing on a non-work-related task can energize our brains, explains Dr. Prather, taking us out of our routine. Or, if you want to go all out, place your head in the freezer. This short shock of cold activates the awakening system, the doctor points out.

Tidy up your bedroom:

More restful sleep tips backed by science
Less objects visible from your bed means fewer problems to recall as you try to sleep

You cannot sleep? The unconventional solution proposed by a scientist: put your head in the freezer

Fewer things seen from bed means fewer worries to remember when you're trying to fall asleep.

The computer, a pile of laundry, the stack of sticky notes reminding you of all the unfinished tasks – get them all out of your bedroom. If that's not possible, at least move them so you can't see them from the bed, advises Dr. Prather. Instead of bringing up all the things you need to do, your bedroom should help you relax.

To further prepare for sleep, get blackout curtains to block out light or invest in a comfortable sleep mask. And consider turning the heat down or up so your sleeping area is between 16 and 20 degrees at night.

The specialist claims that the bedroom should be dark and cool, to stimulate the decrease in our body temperature, which happens naturally while we sleep.

Stop treating your brain like a laptop:

Plan a transition period after work to give the brain a chance to unwind.

You can't expect your brain to instantly turn off like a laptop does when you close the lid, Dr. Prather explains.

Instead, you should plan for a transition period that allows your brain to relax. Sometimes this is not possible, he admits; work deadlines and parental responsibilities could mean you're involved until lights out. But ideally, you should give yourself a two-hour period to "turn down the volume on the sympathetic nervous system," he said, signaling to your body and brain that you're getting ready to rest.

You should spend this time doing something pleasant and soothing, such as listening to a favorite podcast, chatting on the couch with your partner, or watching TV.

After work, plan a transition period to allow the brain to relax.

Dr. Prather offers his patients what he calls a menu of options for that time of disconnection—they can take a luxurious bath, write in a gratitude journal, or even sit outside, weather permitting, and watch to the stars The goal is to find "low arousal" activities that you enjoy, he said.

Re-watch your favorite show:

Many clinicians warn against screen time before bed, but Dr. Prather claims that he is more interested in the content of what people consume before turning in for the night than in whether they are using a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. a book by paper or by phone.

A thriller—whether it's a novel or a movie—can make you stay up longer or think about the answer to a mystery while you're trying to fall asleep. Instead, he recommended watching something soothing, and ideally a series you've seen before.

Dr. Prather turns to "The Office," which he said he's re-watched more times than he can count, because he already knows what happens next.

If you can't sleep, move:

More restful sleep tips backed by science
You will have a tougher time training yourself to sleep through the night if your body becomes accustomed to keeping you awake and making it difficult for you to fall asleep in that posture.

Sleep can become more fragmented as people become older, especially in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, according to Dr. Prather. At night, people can need to urinate more frequently or they might be kept awake by pain.

But it's essential that older adults get enough rest—a recent study found that adults over 50 who slept five hours or less each night had a higher risk of developing compared to others who slept for at least seven hours.

In general, if you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you should get out of bed, explains the specialist.

Give yourself 20 minutes to try to sleep, but if you're still wired, go to the couch or living room and do something quiet, advises Dr. Prather, like knitting or meditating. You just want to associate your sleeping position with actually falling asleep; if your body gets used to staying awake and struggling to sleep in that position, you'll have a difficult time getting yourself to develop a nighttime sleeping routine.

If you don't want to or can't move, even sitting in bed can help you rewire your brain or turn around and put your head where your feet usually rest. While you're in this new position, you can read, listen to soft music, or put on a soothing podcast—any activity that relaxes you until you feel drowsy again and ready to return to your sleeping position.

Don't blame yourself for a bad night's sleep:

People frequently worry about how their lack of sleep may effect them the next day when they are experiencing a sleepless night, according to Dr. Prather said. But one or even a few nights of poor rest won't destroy how you sleep in the long run, the psychologist said.

Anyone with young children can attest to the fact that you can function with less sleep, he argues. adding that the human body is usually resistant.

If you consistently find yourself unable to sleep, you may want to seek out a therapist or clinician trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, which Dr. Prather uses to treat insomnia. Poor sleep is treatable, he claimed, even in chronic situations. In severe cases, a sleep specialist may also recommend medication or address underlying disorders like sleep apnea that can cause insomnia.

When people have insomnia, because it's so distressing, they try to figure out all the things they can do to get sleep working again, like, "What can I fix?" Additionally, sleep and this kind of exertion are actually incompatible. Sleeping means giving up.

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