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A welcome end to the day

By SHIRLEY EMILIO health@algarveresident.com

TO MANY, sleep is a necessity, a welcome end to the day, a restful playground to fall into the arms of the dream God Morpheus and something that most of us do very well. It is as important as food and water.

However it is regarded, sleep is a way for everyone’s system to heal and regenerate. With much research over the years, it has been said that too little sleep may actually accelerate ageing.

It may also hinder your metabolism when only having a few hours sleep, affecting metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of ageing and the early stages of diabetes.

Research carried out at the University of Chicago showed that one week of sleep deprivation altered hormone levels and subjects’ capacity to metabolise carbohydrates.

Daytime sleepiness can be due to a number of factors. One of which we will talk about in another article.

Among the factors associated with daytime sleepiness were female gender, middle age, high caffeine consumption, difficulty sleeping, sleep apnoea or leg pain during sleep, and depression.

Disturbed sleep patterns are a very powerful indicator of depression. You may even notice that you sleep far more when feeling low, ‘under the weather’ or if something is troubling you.

It is the most sensitive clue that someone is depressed.

Exercise

Cardio aerobic exercise is one of the most effective treatments for disturbed sleeping patterns. Typically, 30-60 minutes four times a week. So get out for a brisk walk. Your body was made for moving so use it!

Most people find that they sleep better when doing regular exercise.

The use of sleeping medication is high but the benefits of effective approaches to treating mild sleeping problems without medication are by far the optimum choice.

Some tips on getting that good night’s sleep.

Did you know a drop in body temperature helps?

Try and follow regular hours and maintain a routine. Parents: isn’t it true that bedtime routine can rule the night time hours?

Avoid stimulants in the evening, including chocolate, fizzy drinks, anything containing caffeine. They will not help you sleep and will increase ‘arousals’ during the night (or maybe that’s what you’ve been hoping for… good loving has been found to aid a good nights sleep!)

Warm drinks including chamomile tea or similar often help you drop off to sleep.

Make sure the ambience is soft and welcoming. Avoid watching television or working on computers before bedtime. Reading before falling asleep works for many, so ensure the light is adequate to read.

Its all good for mind, body and soul and a case of seeing what works for you.