Train your brain to sleep better

Sleep is essential for good mental health, although not everyone is able to fall asleep or stay asleep. In this blog we’ll explore the reasons behind sleeplessness, how quality sleep brings quality of life and tips on dealing with insomnia. 

What causes sleeplessness?

Stress is a leading cause of abnormal sleep patterns. Research shows it is a common trigger for both short-term and chronic insomnia. Stress can result from concerns about work, school, health, finances, anxiety and depression among other things, but perhaps the most deceptive cause is the fast-paced media packed world in which we live. Technology, world events and our ever-increasing knowledge about our world and the universe seem to have put time on a relentless treadmill and keeping up can wear out even the most determined among us. According to scientific research, stress creates incoherence in our heart rhythms, and when the heart is out of sync normal sleep patterns can be interrupted. 

Poor sleep habits can cause difficulties sleeping, this includes going to sleep at irregular times, taking naps during the day, having stimulating activities before bed such as exercise, having an uncomfortable sleep environment, and using your bed for work, eating or watching TV.  The use of your smartphone, computer or other screens just before bed can interfere with your sleep cycle as the usual blue light stimulates your brain to be awake.

Eating late in the evening can too be a factor in sleeplessness, especially food that is high in carbohydrates and sugar. This may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down. Many people also experience heartburn, a backflow of acid and food from the stomach into the oesophagus after eating, which may keep you awake.

Traveling or a late work schedule is also a culprit. Your circadian rhythm acts as an internal clock, guiding such things as your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature. Disrupting your body's circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Causes include jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones, working a late or early shift, or frequently changing shifts.

Why quality sleep is vital for your body?

When you sleep your brain works hard releasing hormones and processing information from your day. This is important for creating long term memories, as your brain combines all the information it has picked up during the day and files it away for later use. While you’re sleeping, your pituitary gland releases human growth hormone (HGH), which helps the body to grow and repair itself.

The body’s immune system releases small proteins called cytokines while sleeping. These cytokines help the body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. Without enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function at its best.

Sleep allows your sympathetic nervous system, which controls your fight or flight response, to take a much needed break. Studies have shown that when we’re deprived of sleep, sympathetic nervous system activity increases, which is also mirrored by an increase in blood pressure. Levels of cortisol, often called the stress hormone, decreases during the first few hours of sleep before rising to peak soon after you wake up. 

train your brain to sleep better

Tips on bettering your sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is important in maintaining quality physical and mental health. There are several things that you can do to promote good sleep and ultimately get a better rest.

First things first it’s important to maintain a regular sleep routine. Do this by going to bed and waking up at a regular schedule. Ideally, aim to not stray from your sleep routine by more than 20 minutes every night of the week.

Avoid napping during the day. Instead, perhaps pop your earphones in and listen to some guided meditation. There are many different types of meditation, but they all come down to one basic tenet – relaxing the mind and trying to focus on the breath. Meditation is a way to exercise the unconscious mind, practice mindfulness and lessen anxieties. Although it’s not as traditionally restful as a nap, a session of meditation is another valid way to refresh and revive – and a meditation habit has multiple benefits to both mood and productivity. 

When we take naps, it decreases the amount of sleep that we need the next night – which may cause sleep fragmentation and difficulty initiating sleep, and may lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation.

If you find your mind racing, or worrying about not being able to sleep during the middle of the night, don’t stay in bed tossing and turning. Instead, get out of bed and sit somewhere in the dark. Do your mind racing in the chair until you are sleepy, and then return to bed. Avoid looking at your phone or turning on the TV during this period as it will just stimulate you more than desired.

Try to read, watch TV or surf the internet outside of your comfy bed. This is because your brain might associate the bed with wakefulness. It’s best to reserve the bed for sleep only.

Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee, black and green tea, energy drinks and cola. The effects of caffeine may last for several hours after ingestion. Caffeine can fragment sleep, and cause difficulty initiating sleep. If you drink caffeine, use it only during the first part of the day, however it would be better to look into alternatives such as chicory root ‘coffee’, carob and ginseng.

Get your body moving! Exercise before 2 pm every day. Even stretches or a walk is great for your body’s overall health and can promote continuous sleep. Avoid rigorous exercise before bedtime. Rigorous exercise circulates endorphins into the body which may cause difficulty initiating sleep.

It’s great if you prepare your bedroom for sleeping. A lower temperature can promote better sleep. So open a window or lower the thermostat some time before going to sleep. Having blinds to keep any light out is also great in activating our natural sleep cycle.

train your brain to sleep better

For some, the use of CBD oil has shown to be very beneficial. Recent research published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and/or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25 mg of CBD in capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2 % of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 % reported better sleep. 

Sleep is important and you know that too well. Help yourself by trying out as many of these suggestions as you can and implementing them into your routine. It will better your sleep, overall health and well-being.

1 word 10 letters, -Quarantine…

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda

Such a weird and strange word. Quarantine. it is interesting enough that the definition and the word quarantine itself was first created in Venice, Italy in 1100’s and used just for a couple of times. Knowing nowadays situation, this fact is tremendously scary. Seems like the history itself is making a joke out of this invention. Maybe it would be better if there was no such word at all?

In this article we will talk about how the quarantine has affected our daily life and we will give you suggestions of how to cope with this situation that might have brought you a lot of anxiety, stress, and sleepless nights.

Today's current situation has tremendously changed the lives of many people. Today the quarantine is an international and unfortunately, very well-known definition, as most recently it has been used in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. In such weird times it is understandable if for some people it already sounds like a death sentence, while for others it has a different personal meaning.

For some of us it's great - a lesser part of introverted, artistic people might be happy being at home having their time to do what they want… at last! While some of us take the time-off at home as a satisfying experience full of entertainment, books, and undiscovered talents in the kitchen whilst cooking new recipes, but for many of us quarantine feels especially stressful. Separation from loved ones, loss of freedom, loss of control, uncertainty over disease status and boredom can create dramatic effects. You may experience symptoms that can be easily identified as medical, psychological conditions: anxiety, depression, insomnia, isolation, compulsion, etc. All these ,,quarantine symptoms’’ are the result of this crucial, unnatural situation. It is extreme and unknown, therefore a lot of uncertainty arises in the eyes of great amount of people.

A recent research was made in Knox College, Illinois, where a psychologist, Frank McAndrew, stated clearly:

,,The enforced quarantine is particularly distressing. Being isolated gives one a sense of being at the mercy of other people and other uncontrollable forces such as an epidemic. This leads to a feeling of helplessness and uncertainty about the future that can be very unsettling”

And that is a fact… It is horrifying that a big part of society feels this way. The most important thing is to not be afraid and to look for ways that would help you or your loved one, your family, and friends.

In 2020 March, research by PhDr. Štěpán Vymětal was carried out to find out what techniques could help us find that needed balance and peace of mind during the quarantine. It states that there are some crucial factors:

  1. Planning and structuring your day, rational focus, and regime
  2. Being active (It sounds funny and rather controversial when being in isolation, but e.g.solving Sudoku is also an activity)
  3. Promoting good interpersonal relationships
  4. Healthy lifestyle
  5. Relaxation
  6. Positive thinking and calming down

It all concludes that making our way of living healthy, is the most important factor. During a time like this (i.e. quarantine), all the factors listed above might be hard to achieve without any additional or external help. Nevertheless, there are many helpful course-of-actions that can be found to ease your daily routine tremendously.

If you are stressed and anxious and have any doubts in terms of quarantine survival; if it has been an experience, full of anxiety and sleepless nights, you can help yourself and get the immunity for it. Among the bubble baths, Dalai Lama podcasts, yoga practice and meditation, one particular remedy used as an essential ingredient in your daily life might help you deal with this whole situation. A recently found, rapidly getting popular, and a must-have component – Cannabidiol.

Cannabidiol, in other words CBD, is one of 80 important active elements that are found in cannabis plant. It does not make you ‘’high’’ because it's extracted from the hemp plant, moreover it can easily be separated from the THC (psychoactive) compound. It has a full range of good qualities: it helps reducing pain and inflammation, managing insomnia, decreasing effects of anxiety, as well as preventing seizures.

One of the studies in 2010 found that cannabidiol could reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress. Brain scans of participants revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to anxiety. In this study, cannabidiol not only made participants feel better, but also changed the way their brains responded to anxiety.

If you or your relatives struggle with insomnia, CBD could be the right choice. It interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system helps to regulate the most important processes in your life e.g. sleep patterns and appetite. If you suffer from insomnia, CBD can be an important and helpful part of your bedtime routine. Before taking sleeping aids, consider that medication may not be the answer, because most of the time, it's addictive in itself. In comparison to medications, CBD oil is a clever solution, as it has no intoxicating and addictive properties.

Another research in 2015 concluded that CBD oil is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety: social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. So, if your sleep problems are linked to anxiety and depression, CBD can be especially helpful and effective. Most importantly, CBD oil is extracted and filtered to make it pure and natural, by keeping all its benefits and raw materials.

The quarantine is the price we need to pay to live our normal daily lives later on. It's true, we cannot change what is beyond our control, but we can change ourselves and our perception of the situation. We might be feeling anxious, depressed, or even grumpy at times, but we can set up a to-
do-list from now on, learn a new recipe, and as Yoda says: ,,Do or Do Not’’, - if needed, do look for help. Do try the CBD oil because in the times like these, it is always clever to look for remedies that can help you feel better. And remember, we always have a full variety of activities to do and wonderful things to achieve and create. Now, we are given the best and most valuable thing in life, which is called Time. Let us use it and make the most out of it!

If You have any question, contact us!