6 things that could be stopping sleeping well

 | By and Jenny McFarlane  |  Add comment

A new study has shown how using electric currents can help control your dreams to avoid nightmares. Aside from this, we've a few things you should consider if you want to sleep more soundly tonight sans the terror...

Sleeping woman
Researchers in Germany have developed a way of enabling us to have more control of our dreams by applying an electric current to the brain which prompts lucid dreams, similar to those seen in Inception apparently.

The study speculated on the use of lucid dreams to help victims of post-traumatic stress disorder who are plagued by nightmares.

Aside from electric currents to control our dreams, there are a few other ways to encourage pleasant dreaming.

Even if you've already drunk gallons of camomile tea, shut the curtains and turned off the lights, we've got a few faux pas to avoid when trying to fall into the land of nod, and hopefully without the 'mares.

Too many tablets


If you've got a cold or, even worse, the flu, you may be struggling to switch off because of a runny nose and chesty cough. It's natural to reach for the pills, but this could actually make things worse.

Pseudoephedrine, which is present in most decongestant tablets, has been known to cause insomnia, so stick to remedies specifically designed for the night time.

Cut your soak short


A long hot bath can definitely make you feel more relaxed, but climbing straight out of the water and into bed really isn't a good idea.

Naturally your body temperature dips at night making you feel more relaxed.

A hot bath makes your temperature rise, but it's the actual cooling down process that relaxes you.

The steeper the drop, the deeper you'll sleep, so quickly diving under the covers won't give your body the correct cool-down. Take a bath at least an hour before bed time for the best results.

Don't use your laptop in the dark


Tapping away on your computer before bed may sound like a great way to rest, but research has shown that the 'blue-light' emitted from gadgets suppresses our melatonin levels and throws off our body clocks.

Switch your gadgets off an hour before bed or dim the screen as much as possible after 8pm.

Carb cramps


Eating big starchy meals before bedtime puts strain on your digestive system and can leave you feeling bloated.

Research has shown that a full tum can stimulate brain waves that result in nightmares, so steer clear of big meals two hours before bedtime.

Avoid arguments


Even if you're bursting to get something off your chest, arguing about it before bedtime will just keep you awake.

Stress and over stimulation before bed won't allow your brain to relax, so you'll stay in a state of 'sleeplessness'.

The same goes for sending angry texts or making difficult phone calls - save it until the morning.

Don't search for missing items


You've just got comfortable but now you've remembered that annoying missing sock that you forgot to look for earlier.

Getting up and searching for it could settle your mind, but if you can't find it it will only drive you to distraction. Unless it's urgent stay away from puzzles and conundrums.

Any suggestions to add to the list? Tweet us @handbagcom

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