The health problems we experienced in the Covid-19 pandemic, the loss of our relatives, the new regulations in our business and social life; disturbs our sleep quality! Most of all, we suffer from the 'insomnia' problem. Our erroneous habits also play a 'key role' in the problem of 'insomnia', which can significantly reduce our quality of life and more importantly, threaten our health.
Acıbadem University Atakent Hospital Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Stating that the most important mistake we made in the pandemic that disrupts our sleep health is "not paying attention to the sleep-wake rhythm", "Not sleeping until too late at night and staying in bed longer in the morning are the most important factors affecting our sleep health. While unhealthy and insufficient sleep causes our immune system to weaken, it also slows down the healing process of some diseases. Regular sleep means a healthy future. Therefore, if the problem continues despite the measures we take against sleep problems, it is extremely important for our health to consult a specialist. So what faulty habits sabotage our sleep in the pandemic? Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Murat Aksu talked about 19 wrong habits that made us sleepless as part of World Sleep Day, March 2021, 10; made important suggestions and warnings.
Mistake: Exercising heavily before bed
Actually: "Contrary to popular belief, the more tired you go to bed, the harder it is to fall asleep." warned Prof. Dr. Murat Aksu said, “In order for you to fall asleep easily, you should end all physical activities 1-2 hours before bedtime. If you go to bed rested, it will make it easier for you to fall asleep. " says.
Mistake: Not sleeping until late at night
Actually: It is especially necessary to sleep between 23.00 - 05.00. According to the studies done; Melatonin hormone, which has an important role in strengthening the immune system, is secreted especially at these hours and in the dark. Although the ideal sleep time varies from individual to individual, at least 6 hours of sleep is very important to strengthen our immune system.
Mistake: Drinking tea and coffee in the afternoon
Actually: Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Murat Aksu emphasized that caffeine creates a negative effect on the brain cells that initiate sleep and makes transition to sleep difficult. “Although it varies from person to person, the sleep-disrupting effect of caffeine can extend up to 6 or even 8 hours”. Therefore, stop consuming black tea, coffee and other caffeine-containing beverages in the afternoon. In addition, never consume alcohol as it does not make it easier to fall asleep, and it impairs its quality. "
Mistake: Persistently staying in bed when we cannot fall asleep
Actually: "If you haven't been able to sleep despite spending more than 20 minutes in bed during your bedtime, don't force yourself." said Prof. Dr. Murat Aksu explains the reason for this as follows: “Because struggling to sleep makes it difficult to fall asleep on the contrary. In fact, the more effort you put into sleep, the longer your time to fall asleep. When you have insomnia, get out of your bedroom; In a quiet room, do something that does not tire you for 30 minutes, for example, read a book. Then go back to your bed. "
Mistake: Not paying attention to bedtime and getting up
Actually: One of the most important rules of a healthy sleep is to keep bedtime and wake up as constant as possible. In fact, the most important factor here is to keep the time of getting up in the morning constant. In other words, getting out of bed at the same time, no matter what time of night sleep, constitutes an important factor that determines our sleep-wake and circadian rhythm.
Mistake: Having a night light in the bedroom
Actually: Melatonin is the most important hormone that maintains sleep. The most important factor that stops the secretion of melatonin secreted from a gland in the brain is 'light'. As a result of the researches, it is known today that the light stimulus, especially in the blue wavelength, instantly stops melatonin secretion and interrupts sleep.
Mistake: Using cell phones, tablets and computers in bed
Actually: Exposure to blue light reflected from tablet, computer and television screens is among the most important factors that sabotage sleep. The reason for this is that blue light prevents melatonin from being secreted. In addition, doing non-sleep activities in the time and place reserved for sleep also makes it difficult to transition to sleep.
Error: Taking a daytime nap
Actually: Prof. Dr. Murat Aksu pointed out that in adult humans, sleep should occur once and if possible at night, “This situation is determined in the human genetic structure and in our circadian genes. The amount of adenosine that increases in the central nervous system during wakefulness is an important factor that initiates sleep. Adenosine level decreases rapidly with the onset of sleep. For this reason, sleep cannot begin until adenosine, which falls due to short daytime naps, reaches high levels again. "
Mistake: Eating heavily before sleep
Actually: Heavy eating before sleep disrupts the balance of our circadian rhythm. "Let's not forget that the most important function of circadian rhythm is to balance energy intake-consumption." said Prof. Dr. Murat Aksu continues: “Reaching food is one of the most important external determinants of this rhythm. For this reason, stopping feeding in the one hour period before sleep significantly facilitates the onset of sleep and preserves our circadian rhythm.
Error: Using uncontrolled medication
Actually: There is no doubt that sleeping pills are very useful when used in the necessary condition and for a period of time. However, as with all medicines, they must be used only under the control of a physician for the required period of time.