5 Hidden Ways to Get Better Sleep
Want to have more energy during the day? Better sleep is a great way to get there. However, it’s no secret to most narcoleptics that a good night’s sleep is hard to come by. The good thing is that hard, doesn’t mean impossible.
Why do we wake up at night?
First of all, let us talk about why narcoleptics wake up at night. Now, I am not a doctor, so this is just my way of explaining it. For an actual medical explanation, talk to your doc.
Ok, so narcoleptics tend to go straight to dream sleep or REM sleep. Ever have an EPIC dream? I mean like all 9 Star Wars movies in one night? This deep dream sleep can be great, but it lacks one thing. Non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep can help us stay awake longer.
So at night, we fall asleep, often into a deep sleep, and after 4 hours are ready to hit the ground running. Waking up every night for a period of time is now second nature.
5 tips for better sleep
Finding ways to create non-REM sleep and ways to reduce REM sleep can help overall with sleep. There are the normal ways we can help with sleep such as getting adequate exercise, reducing stress, etc...There are also a few lesser-known ways we can sleep better.
1. Limit or restrict sugar
Sugar is a beast to our bodies. Personally, I found that when I eat sugar, I have a crash and have to sleep. The more I sleep during the day, the less I sleep at night. If I sleep all day, it’s hard to sleep all night. My favorite alternative to sugar is either monk fruit or stevia.
2. Schedule short naps
It seems backward to think that taking naps during the day can improve sleep at night. And yes, taking too many naps can be problematic. However, a few short, timed naps can actually be helpful. Here is what I experience: if I go all day without a nap, I sleep terribly at night. It’s almost like my brain gets too revved up so it can’t calm down to sleep. By scheduling short naps, I am able to keep my brain from getting too revved up, which allows me to sleep better. My goal is to do two 20-minute naps a day. I schedule these around 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., before my brain gets too tired and starts to get weird.
3. Limit or restrict alcohol
Alcohol messes with the brain. After a few drinks, it’s common to fall asleep and sleep really hard. Or, specifically to sleep for several hours in dream sleep. A few hours of dream sleep does feel good, but unfortunately, after several hours of dream sleep, it’s common to wake up and not be able to go to sleep for the rest of the night. This can lead to disruptions in sleep the next night.
4. Get off the screens
Ever notice if blue screens affect you? Blue screens can suppress the production of melatonin, which is pretty important for sleep.
5. Chill out
I am not suggesting we go into a state of hypothermia, even though that would knock anyone out. But cooling a room down can help with sleep issues.
Have you found some creative ways, to help you sleep longer or more at night? Would you share them with us in the comments below?
Do any of your family and/or friends also have narcolepsy?