It seems paradoxical, I know, that in the common life of a human being we must talk about how to sleep. Yet, it is a fundamental action of our daily life, integral part of our being, which is very mistreated, marginalized and sometimes even demonized. The Japanese term inemuri can be translated with the expression “to sleep when one is present”. That is, falling asleep in a public place not strictly connected to sleep as a waiting room, on the subway or taking a break during a dinner. Now, let’s talk clearly, I’m the only one to find all this a paradox? I am a lover of Japanese culture, but I can not explain this: making an inemuri is considered positively, it shows that you work until you get tired and therefore you are not a slacker.
Compared to the beginning of the last century, we sleep almost 2 hours less. The overexposure to electric lights, screens, technology has physiologically depleted us.
The problem stems from the fact that a desynchronization of sleep with respect to the circadian rhythm leads to an increase in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. To follow then, some simple advice to reconcile importance to this phase of our day that as I explained here, it is equally important that the waking period.
- Good sleep begins in the morning: ventilate your bedroom for about 10 minutes and let the stale air of the night out.
- Open the windows and expose yourself to the sun, the brain needs to understand that it is daytime, if you can plan an activity in the open air, it is enough to go to work by walking. Feeling the sun kissing the face and the wind in your hair will not only work by inhibiting melatonin, but will also increase serotonin (a wellness hormone) and will put your ideas in order.
- Sleep pressure builds up during the day following a growing rhythm: in other words, if we spend the day between the sofa and the PlayStation, sleep will never come. The human body is made to live real and non-para or surreal experiences and activities. Plan at least one hour of physical activity.
- Evening routines: try to establish rituals that promote relaxation. Take a hot bath, a massage with lavender oil, a hot herbal tea, reading a good book: these are all actions that gently lead us into the arms of Morpheus.
- Limit the exposure to the screens: the blue light emitted by the above, sends a message of awakening to the brain that will not fall asleep. Now, I understand that at work you have to keep your PC on sight, but not necessarily after dinner. Turn off -categorically – the screens 2 hours before going to sleep. Are you planning other activities to do without screens?
- Children are an even more restricted speech, between electronic games and TV, they have really a virtual life. My father raised me and my brothers with a TV counter (yes, you understood correctly, the channels were changed directly on the monitor-Neolithic period of technological prehistory), but he had made a counter telling him how many minutes we passed in front of the cathode ray tube). “Thanks daddy, when I was little I hated you for this, now I realize that by doing so, I could do other things and develop my intelligence rather than watching the TV during the whole afternoon “.
- The evening meal should be light, not too rich in fat or protein. The ideal is to consume it 3 hours before going to bed. I am a big supporter of the late afternoon dinner, I lived in the countries of the north and this is a habit that I have made mine: in our house we have dinner around 6,30-7 pm maximum. In this way the body is not engaged in the difficult task of digesting bigoli with sauce, but above all it allows to fully benefit from the fasting hours of the night, indispensable to the intestine, as well as to the brain, to eliminate all toxins and waste produced during the day. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and any exciting substance (yes, including chocolate!) Consumed after 3 pm. Favorite infusions: chamomile, valerian, lemon balm, escolzia and passion flower are just some herbs for the relaxation.
- Know your sleep needs and respect them. Needless to fight against the need to go to bed early: if you need, you sleep!
- Try to respect the same times and keep them. If you have a job with “normal” timetable, it will be a great privilege to know something about guards, availability and inverted circadian rhythm!
- Do not forget: starting from Vesper (appearance of Venus – first star in the evening – at sunset), soft lights to promote the secretion of melatonin.
- Quality: in the mattress, in the pillow and also in the sheets, we make sure that our limbs rest in a comfortable environment.
- Minimalism: the bedroom is made to sleep (and do something more intimate!), No to the screens and no too heavy furniture. Natural light, natural materials like wood, glass, linen, cotton and silence (to be considered when buying a house!).
- Cleaning: the bedroom must be cleaned regularly, ventilated, the cushions and the mattress sprinkled at least once a week; sheets also changed every seven days: the mites play bad jokes.
- The temperature of the bedroom should be around 19 ° C, check the humidification if necessary.
- Ikigai, 生きがい in Japanese means the reason why we wake up in the morning, because we put our foot down from the bed. To find one’s own means to understand why the phase of sleep is capital to fully live the waking period.
- Morning routines: repeating the same sequence of events gives order to a rather confusing moment like awakening. It would therefore be ideal to have already prepared things, both for breakfast and for clothing, for all family members. Eating something that pleases us will stimulate our senses. Trying to march all family members in the same direction will avoid the dissipation of precious energy.
I hope I have given you some useful advice, if you do, I beg you to share your progress with #visavegeto.