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¡New year...better sleep!

Happy 2019! ... The beginning of a new year leads us to reflect on what we have achieved and what we still need to achieve, and with this appear the New Year's resolutions, within which we usually include healthy habits (diet, exercise, etc.). However, we always forget about our sleep. For this reason, I propose that during 2019 we concentrate on bettering our sleep and developing good sleeping habits.


Here are some practices that have been shown to improve sleep quality:


> The schedule is vital.

Establishing a regular sleep schedule is essential to keep our biological clock synchronized. This must be held from Monday to Sunday (yes, Sunday too!). Although you must be rigorous with this, the schedules can be modified a little by two hours (+/-) maximum.


> Eat well to sleep better.

Diet affects our sleep. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar at least 4 hours before going to bed.


> Get ready to sleep!

Having a routine before bed is essential since it allows us to put aside the day's stress and prepare for sleep. Every nighttime routine should include relaxing and sleep-related activities (e.g. putting on pyjamas, meditating, reading, etc.).


> Make your room a sanctuary.

The bedroom should be a space designed to rest and sleep. Destining it only for these activities helps us develop a positive association between the bedroom and sleep, which facilitates good sleep.


> When counting sheep doesn't work ...

Most people believe that the best way to fall asleep is to force themselves to stay in bed, even when they see the night go by. However, you should avoid being in bed too much time while awake. The best thing is to get out of bed - after 15 / 30min or when you start to get annoyed for not sleeping - and do relaxing activities (e.g. meditating or reading).


I hope these little practices help you sleep better throughout 2019.


Sweet dreams!

 

References

  • Aguirre, A. (2017). Efectos de la privación de sueño. En Viguera (Eds.), Sueño: Fisiología y Medicina (pp. 494 – 516). Murcia, España.: Viguera

  • Canellas Dols, F., & De Lecea, L. (2017). Estrés, adicciones y trastornos psiquiátricos. Su relación con el sueño. En Viguera (Eds.), Sueño: Fisiología y Medicina (pp. 656-679).Murcia, España.: Viguera.

  • Espie, C. (s.f.). Sleep Basics. Recuperado en septiembre de 2017 de https://www.sleepio.com/articles/sleep-basics/

  • Hauri, P.J. (2012). Sleep/Wake Lifestyle Modifications: Sleep Hygiene. En Barkoukis, T.J. (Ed.), Threapy in Sleep Medicine (pp. 151-159). Phyladelphia, PA.: Elsevier/Saunders.

  • Moti, J.M. (2017). Medidas de higiene, prevención, tratamiento farmacológico y no farmacológico de los trastornos del sueño. En Viguera (Eds.), Sueño: Fisiología y Medicina (pp. 714-745). Murcia, España.: Viguera.

  • Peirano, P. & Algarín, C. (2017).  Ciclo sueño-vigilia, muerte súbita del lactante y episodios aparentemente letales. En Viguera (Eds.), Sueño: Fisiología y Medicina (pp. 263-278). Murcia, España.: Viguera.

  • Posner, D. & Gehrman, P.R. (2011). Sleep Hygiene. En Perlis, M.L., Aloia, M. & Kuhn, B.R. (Eds.), Behavioral treatments for sleep disorders: a comprehensive primer of behavioral sleep medicine interventions (pp. 31–43). Boston, USA.: Academic.

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