In the Covid-19 pandemic, the anxiety we experience due to many factors such as the health problems caused by the virus, the loss of our relatives and the financial difficulties caused by the process also sabotage our sleep!
As a result of spending most of our time at home during the pandemic process, many factors such as being deprived of daylight, not being able to move enough, tensions in our private and social life, untimely naps we make, changing eating and drinking times also disrupt our sleep patterns. In addition to these, our excessive exposure to the blue light emitted by TVs, tablets or smartphones and the LED bulb causes suppression or delay in the release of 'melatonin', a hormone we often hear in the pandemic, prolonging the transition to sleep. Acıbadem Kozyatağı Hospital Chest Diseases and Sleep Specialist Prof. Dr. Ceyda Erel Kırışoğlu stated that due to all these factors, sleep disorders such as falling asleep and maintaining during the pandemic process are more common, and the measures we take such as 'mask, hand washing and social distance' to protect against Covid-19 virus, as well as regular sleep-wake cycle melatonin. points out that secretion is also very important.
It plays a key role against Covid-19
According to the studies; In addition to providing sleep and wakefulness, melatonin hormone has a key role in our fight against the Covid-19 virus due to its role in strengthening the immune system, suppressing cell warfare, cytokine storm that causes respiratory failure, and preventing the development of lung hardening, ie fibrosis. For example, there are studies showing that the duration of hospital stay is shortened by 40 percent and deaths are not observed with melatonin treatment applied in intensive care patients in Spain. Therefore, it is of great importance that we get enough and quality sleep for the regular secretion of melatonin hormone. So, what should we do and what should we avoid to increase the melatonin hormone? Chest Diseases and Sleep Specialist Prof. Dr. Ceyda Erel Kırışoğlu explained the 5 effective rules that increase the melatonin hormone; made important suggestions and warnings.
RULE 1: Stay asleep between 23:00 and 05:00
Make sure to be asleep between 23:00 and 05:00 in order to take maximum advantage of the effect of the melatonin hormone. Prof. Dr. Ceyda Erel Kırışoğlu stated that you should start preparing for sleep during the day and continues as follows: “Ideally, take care to be exposed to the sun as soon as you wake up in the morning, if possible to walk for 20 minutes every day or 3 minutes every 45 days a week. Whenever our body cools down, it becomes easier to fall asleep. However, since the exercises performed in the evening at the end of the day increase body temperature and delay the transition to sleep, make sure to do the exercises in daylight as much as possible and complete the home exercises 3-4 hours before bedtime. "
RULE 2: Don't use night lights
Melatonin release begins with the decrease of daylight, increases in the dark and stops in the morning. It is very important to sleep in the dark to increase the level of melatonin. Do not use night lamps, if necessary, be exposed to as little light as possible.
RULE 3: Turn off the blue lights 3-4 hours before bedtime
Do not be exposed to exaggerated bright light when it gets dark. "It is important to avoid the light of televisions, tablets and smart phones that are blue light sources 3-4 hours before bedtime." Warning, Chest Diseases and Sleep Specialist Prof. Dr. Ceyda Erel Kırışoğlu continues as follows: “Blue light incorrectly stimulates our biological clock, telling our body that it is still daytime, and delaying melatonin release. If you have to use devices that contain blue light, you can use glasses that block blue light or you can alleviate the problem by switching to night mode. "
RULE 4: Pay attention to the trio of coffee, alcohol and cigarettes!
If you have trouble falling asleep, you must avoid the coffee, cigarettes and alcohol trio. Prof. Dr. Ceyda Erel Kırışoğlu emphasized that caffeine decreases the level of melatonin and said, “If you have trouble falling asleep, you should not consume beverages containing caffeine after 14:00. Likewise, tobacco products such as cigarettes have as sleep-distracting effects as coffee. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol consumption also negatively affects sleep quality and causes frequent sleep interruptions. " says.
RULE 5: Eat foods that contain melatonin
Keep melatonin-containing foods on your table regularly. Sour cherry, pomegranate, eggs, dairy products, salmon and sardine fish, Antep or Siirt peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, turkey, asparagus, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, olives, flaxseed, oats, bananas and white rice, melatonin They are among the rich foods. In addition, spices such as mustard seeds, turmeric, cardamom, poppy, coriander seeds and ginger contain melatonin. However, be careful not to consume excessive amounts of food just before going to sleep.