Last updated: May 30th, 2019 at 12:31 pm
Sleep Better and Boost Your Fertility: 5 Top Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
- Do not consume caffeine after 2:00pm. Caffeine causes you to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisone. These make you feel very awake and alert. Avoiding caffeine after 2:00pm helps to ensure you won’t be over stimulated when bed time rolls around. Cutting down on sugar and alcohol can also help you sleep better.
- Go to sleep between 10:00pm and 11:00pm, every night. Yes, every night. This is the optimal window of opportunity to avail of your “super sleeping powers”- the hormone melatonin. If you miss this window of melatonin release, you’ll get a second wind from cortisol. Cortisol will make you feel alert and awake and you will want to stay up later.
- Avoid bright lights and electronics 1 hour before bed. Our sleeping and awake cycle is heavily influenced by light. Bright lights and the blue light emitted from electronics suppress the sleep hormone melatonin. Without the release of melatonin it makes it harder for us to feel like going to bed and to subsequently fall asleep. To help you sleep better dim the lights in your home 1 hour before bedtime.
- Sleep better in a completely dark room. Sleeping in total darkness helps you by leaving melatonin production unopposed so you can get your best night’s rest. Get some dark curtains or blackout curtains and make sure to cover the light emanating from your alarm clock or any other sources of light in your bedroom.
- Wake up at the same time every day. Yes, even on days you don’t have to get up for work. You need to be tired to be able to fall asleep and if you’ve slept late then you won’t be able to fall asleep during the 10pm to 11pm window and your sleeping rhythm will be thrown off.
- Get a Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock. This is an alarm clock that is also a lamp. It slowly starts to brighten up as it gets closer to the time you set your clock. It slowly and gently wakes you up. You can also set it at night-time before bed to act as a sunset simulation to help you fall a sleep better. You can buy these clocks with different features such as bird singing sounds to add to the effect. You can get them on Amazon. To order from an Irish supplier, go to www.murrays.ie One description of these clocks states that “The (clock) slowly starts filling the room with light 30 mins before you are due to wake up. You gradually wake up with the light gently bringing you out of your sleep. And rather then jumping awake to a blaring alarm, you will slowly come around to a light filled room and the sound of birdsong, preparing you for your day in a far more relaxed and energised frame of mind.”
- Take exercise earlier in the day. You may sleep better by exercising in the morning, afternoon or early evening. Getting exercise too late at night can cause your body to pump out adrenaline and cortisone which can make falling asleep difficult.
Always consult your doctor for medical advice and before taking any supplements, herbs or vitamins, especially if you are doing IVF.
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