Tu guía para un mejor sueño

Your guide to better sleep

Sleep quality is very important for our overall well-being, especially when we talk about immunity and mental health. If you are one of those people who goes to bed late at night or wakes up frequently and wakes up very tired, this post is for you.

According to the National Health Survey, 63.2% of the Chilean population suspects they suffer from some sleep disorder, this is added to the fact that the last two years of the pandemic and according to two Chilean studies, close to 80% of the study population presented alterations in sleep quality and about 52% had some degree of daytime sleepiness.

But for what reasons could sleep quality be affected so much?

  • Exposure to light : each of us has an internal clock, this is mainly regulated by light and dark cycles. When the light goes out, it helps us for cortisol (stress hormone) to reach its maximum point, promoting the body to wake up, and as night falls, this hormone also decreases, allowing us to relax with the increase in melatonin to prepare us for A deep sleep.

Since the COVID 19 pandemic, many jobs have migrated to a “home office” environment, causing daylight exposure to have decreased, along with very high levels of exposure to blue light due to computer screens, televisions and cell phones. . This amount of light pollution helps maintain elevated cortisol throughout the day, along with much lower levels of melatonin. This dyad ends up causing stimulation well into the night that leads to lighter sleep.

  • Stress and anxiety: another factor that strongly affects the quality of sleep is the level of stress and anxiety that dominates the population. This can lead many of us to have our minds running at full speed, which causes us to feel too anxious to sleep at bedtime, making it difficult to fall asleep and waking up at night. Along with this, we find the temptation of the cell phone when we cannot sleep or when we wake up at night, but precisely that exposure interrupts the production of melatonin, which can bring it to very, very low levels, making falling asleep even more difficult. On the other hand, after spending a bad night's sleep our body looks for energy, attracting us to caffeine and sugar, which, like a vicious circle, will worsen the quality of sleep again.

  • Sedentary lifestyle: in Chile, according to the 2017 National Health Survey, 86% of the population is sedentary, and taking into account that the increase in physical activity has been positively associated with the quality of sleep, this level of inactivity has led to general worsening of sleep quality. Physical activity makes our body tired, which can be a good sign for rest.
  • Diet: both the quality, quantity and timing of meals can affect sleep patterns. Studies have concluded that eating at night, the closer to the sleep period, such as a late dinner or a late-night snack, negatively affects the quality of sleep, where the higher the caloric level of the nighttime intake, the more difficulty people had in falling asleep. dream and the worse was its efficiency.
  • Tips for better sleep hygiene

  • Create a sleep routine: establishing a regular sleep pattern. Ex: 10:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m. every night.
  • Write before bed: to relax, clear and calm your mind.
  • Make your room your sleeping sanctuary: If possible, avoid doing your activities such as studying or working from there, move your desk outside the room. If you are one of those who continues to work from home, try to keep work time and home life time separate.
  • Increase your intake of nutrients that help your rest:
  • Magnesium: has a calming effect, relieves stress and promotes general relaxation and restful sleep. Magnesium supplementation (e.g. Magnesium powder) helps improve sleep interruptions due to its role in the production of melatonin.
  • Phosphatidylserine: can help reduce serum cortisol levels after intense exercise, so it can be especially useful in people who prefer to train at night (this compound is present in our: Magnesium Phospholipid Complex).
  • Vitamin B12: can help make melatonin more effective, preventing it from being secreted during the day. This is especially important in shift workers, improved sleep quality, greater mental acuity and concentration during the day.
  • Probiotics: can help manage stress, therefore, have more restful and healthy sleep. Certain strains of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus, can produce GABA and also influence serotonin.
  • Increase your exposure to sunlight during the day: going for a walk or run before work, at lunchtime, or a walk at the end of the work day.
  • Reduce exposure to blue light: avoid screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed and participate in some conscious activity that calms you (non-technological), such as games, aromatherapy, reading a book, among others.
  • Sleep in a dark and quiet environment: with the help of good curtains or, failing that, an eye mask and earplugs.
  • Increase your physical activity: ideally outdoors, such as an early morning walk in the park.
  • Adjust the timing and frequency of your feeding: to ensure balanced blood glucose levels. Prefer 2 or 3 well-balanced main meals rich in good quality fats, protein and plant fibre, minimize snacks and make sure you consume all foods within a maximum 12-hour eating window (e.g. 7am-7pm). :00 hrs).
    • Minimize your daily intake of caffeine, alcohol, and sugar : all of which can disrupt sleep quality. Opt for healthy alternatives, such as herbal waters, a glass of cold kombucha, and naturally sweetened snacks.
    • Find a relaxation technique that you like: and that you enjoy practicing daily, such as yoga, meditation, gardening, singing, reading fiction, jogging or bathing.

    If you would like more personalized support, we recommend that you seek the support of a doctor or nutritionist or write to our nutrition team by email nutricion@biocarechile.cl


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