We all have responsibilities, sometimes involving excessive stress. We want to relax, unwind and allow ourselves moments of drifting off into another reality. When we forget our problems and only enjoy the here and now.
What makes us happy?
There is nothing wrong with this, as long as our moments of relaxation do not become a habit and something we cannot enjoy life without.
Cigarettes contain around 40 carcinogens and the addictive substance nicotine, which is well known to all. It is the nicotine that makes cigarettes a drug. Its effect is based on the release of the happiness hormone dopamine. This is only seemingly a good thing because, in the long term, both cigarettes and alcohol contribute to the formation of oxidative stress in our bodies.
Oxidative stress is an imbalance in the body between free radicals and antioxidants. In other words, it involves damage to cells, which can lead to the onset of cancer and many other disorders. If you are lacking this balance over a long period, it can manifest as loss of skin firmness, lower blood clotting, stronger acne, or greater sensitivity to external environmental factors.
To learn more about stress, you can watch a short video:
There’s more. It’s worth noting that all stimulants disrupt the quality of your sleep. Alcohol causes sleep to become shallow. Acetaldehyde, a substance that is produced in your body by metabolizing alcohol, has a strong disruptive effect on sleep. This is why you may wake up after an intoxicating night’s sleep in a bad mood.
It is the same with cigarettes.
According to studies, lighting up a cigarette before bedtime causes more problems with falling asleep and an increased frequency of waking up during the night.
With cannabis, it varies. Some people claim to fall asleep much faster after its consumption, some much slower. Studies have shown that too high doses of THC can make it more difficult to fall asleep and additionally cause indifference and demotivation syndrome the following day.
What can be done to keep the quality of sleep at its highest level?
Sleep is one of the most important elements of our lives. It is what gives our brain and body time to regenerate. Sleep consists of two phases:
- NREM or slow eye movements. NREM is divided into four stages and lasts roughly 80-100 minutes. This is followed by the REM phase
- REM or rapid eye movements. REM is the phase in which dream images appear. The body is limp and this is also when the body is most easily awakened.
In an adult, the cycle of NREM and REM phases is repeated 4-5 times during the night.
A little more about sleep:
To achieve a good night’s sleep, after which you feel rested and energized:
Try to bring yourself to the point where you can get a good night’s sleep without additional stimulants as often as possible. If you are a smoker and don’t want to give up, try to limit the number of cigarettes you smoke at least a few hours before bedtime. Do the same with other stimulants.
Get up regularly
It’s incredibly important to maintain regularity and control your bedtime. Getting up at the same time every day will also make you go to bed regularly. You’ll develop a pattern for your day, plus you’ll be much more efficient.
Ensure a healthy diet
Eating before bed, especially high-energy snacks will stimulate you and make it harder to fall asleep. Try to avoid eating about 2 hours before bedtime. If you ensure a healthy diet and proper hydration, your body will repay you!
Adapt your bedroom
The temperature and the provision of darkness in the bedroom are very important elements that go into improving sleep quality. Make sure the temperature is between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius. This lower temperature will cool the body down, resulting in a more pleasant sleep. And don’t forget the right pillow and mattress – after all, you spend those 7-9 hours in bed every day!
This is the last and most important rule. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that has a stimulating effect on your body. You must relax and think of something pleasant before going to sleep. It is often the case that our problems with falling asleep have a psychological basis. We wind ourselves up thinking that we can’t fall asleep and take pleasure out of this activity. Thinking about not being able to fall asleep or thinking about how much time you have left until you wake up will not make you fall asleep any faster! On the contrary! You will start to feel stressed and your arousal will increase. You will start to squirm, you will be uncomfortable in any position and, most importantly, you will stop being tired!
The quality of our sleep translates into the quality of our lives. When we don’t sleep well, we don’t have the energy and motivation to get through the day. It is we who create our sleep.
If you are having trouble falling asleep and are unable to cope despite implementing the principles of a good night’s sleep, then consider whether you have led yourself into a vicious circle.
If you are having trouble falling asleep then answer the following questions:
How long does it take me to fall asleep?
Do I follow the recommendations for a good night’s sleep?
Do I stress before going to bed about not being able to fall asleep?
How long have I had a problem with insomnia?
Does the thought of going to sleep give me pleasure?
Very often for people with sleep problems, it is the case that sleep has become a compulsion for them. They do not go to sleep with a positive attitude, but with an inner restlessness. This is what you need to work on.
If you feel this is your problem you can try to do these two exercises:
Exercise 1. Every day before going to sleep, choose a position that is comfortable for you, turn off the light and try to relax. Imagine all your muscles relaxing, your brain can finally calm down. Feel your whole body stop working, become light. Start breathing deeply but calmly. Take an inhale and exhale. Breathe like this for a few minutes while continuing to think about relaxation.
Do the exercise for a week and record the effects!
Exercise 2. Every morning, upon waking up, think about and write down on a piece of paper 3 factors that positively influenced your sleep. In addition, underneath the factors, rate the quality of your sleep, referring to a scale of 1-5. (1- lowest score, 5- highest).
Do the exercise for a week and record each day on a separate sheet of paper.
Your task notes will be needed for the next, and final, part of the cycle. Don’t forget to have them with you when you go to part four of the cycle.
The last part will be a summary of the whole. You will learn how to work on your relationship, how to make pertinent changes, and how to talk to your partner. In addition, we will also discuss how to stimulate a relationship that is going through a crisis and how to work on continuous development.
Would you like to receive a certificate for completing the series:
- Go to the “contact” tab
- Complete the contact information.
- In the subject line write “Diploma – Cycle: I take care of my health”.
- Up to one week after your message, we will send you a certificate of completion of the cycle by e-mail!