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Psychologist Eric Brether has released a new book titled “The Sleep Recipe,” in which he presents a set of simple daily steps that can be followed to get a better night’s sleep, and greater comfort during the day, without it is necessary to use sleeping pills. or nutritional supplements.

The sleep psychologist confirms that getting enough sleep at night can make us better people, and more able to bear the daily worries of life, but he indicates that many people, despite their knowledge of this, underestimate the importance of sleep , or ignore it.

A 2013 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that one in eight adults with sleep problems use sleep aids.

But the psychologist points out that there are alternative and scientifically supported steps that help to get sleep and rest, and he mentioned them in his book released on November 1, which the New York Times presented his most prominent ideas.

Take time to worry

“Nobody stays up in the middle of the night thinking only about good things,” the sleep specialist emphasizes, adding that we can be too busy during the day to slow down and think about our thoughts and therefore express them. set, but if the night falls while we try to sleep, this time back Thoughts are louder and louder.

To overcome these kinds of “night” thoughts, Dr. Breather recommends setting aside a portion of the day for worrying: “Dedicate 10 to 20 minutes to writing down what you’re worried about, or thinking about it without thinking about it.” If you do this consistently, he says, “your worries won’t come to you in the evening, and if they do, remind yourself that you have time to address them the next day.”

Place your head in a freezer

If you’re a regular coffee drinker to get through your afternoon slump, says Dr. Breather, caffeine will be in your system by bedtime, and may prevent you from falling asleep.

Instead, he recommends getting an energy boost from sources other than coffee; Like going for a brisk walk in the afternoon, or taking five to 10 minutes off work and engaging your brain in a simple task like weeding the garden or reorganizing the bookshelf, turn on some music and focus on a song.

And he claims that focusing on a non-work-related task can activate our brain and kick us out of our routine, suggesting another “more extreme” option: “Put your head in the freezer instead of coffee, ” as he points out that this short cold shock stimulates the arousal cells in our brain.

Clean your bedroom

Your computer, pile of laundry or sticky notes that remind you of all your unfinished tasks are all things you should keep out of the room you sleep in. And if that’s not possible, at least move it so you can’t see it, advises Dr. Brether, who emphasizes that “your sleeping area should be a place to calm you down, not to remind you of everything you need to do don’t.”

For more steps to a comfortable sleep, he adds: “Get blackout curtains to block out the light, or invest in a light-resistant sleep mask. And consider lowering or raising the temperature so that your sleeping area is between 15 and 20 degrees at night is. “, note that the lowering of the room temperature is aimed at reducing it in the body, which naturally occurs during sleep.

Stop treating your brain like a computer

Before you go to sleep, says Dr. Brether, you can’t expect your brain to immediately shut down like computers when their lids are closed. Instead, you should plan a transition period that allows your mind to calm down.

While he admits that sometimes this is not possible, he emphasizes that preparing for sleep should be for a period of two hours before bedtime, working to relax the nervous system, and notify the body that you are preparing for rest , by spending this time doing something nice and comfortable, like listening to a podcast, chatting on the couch with your partner, or watching TV.

The doctor offers his patients what he calls a list of options for the transition period before bedtime, including “taking a luxurious bath, writing in the personal note, or even sitting outside, weather permitting, and after watching the stars,” he explains. that the goal is to find activities with “excitement.” Low” enjoy it.

Rewatch your favorite show

At a time when many doctors warn against using the phone or computer or watching TV before bedtime, the health specialist points out that the content you watch is what affects the Tom more, and not the device itself, pointing out that that watching a thriller movie – or reading a novel of this kind – it will keep you going a little longer.. Instead, he recommends that you watch something soothing, and it is better to watch a program that you’ve seen before.

If you can’t sleep.. move

The author of the book explains that as people get older, especially in their fifties, sixties and seventies, sleep becomes “more fragmented”, with the need to urinate frequently, or because they suffer from some kind of pain, but he emphasizes that it is necessary to get Older people get enough rest. A recent study found that adults over 50 who slept five hours or less each night had a higher risk of developing chronic diseases, compared to those who slept at least seven hours.

In general, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you should get out of bed, says the psychologist, who advises giving yourself 20 minutes or so and going to the couch or living room to doing a quiet activity, such as knitting or meditating.

If you don’t want to move, or can’t, even sitting up in bed or changing your sleeping position, reading, listening to soothing music or playing a soothing podcast can help – an activity that calm down until you feel sleepy again.

Don’t push yourself

The psychologist emphasizes that after one night or even a few bad nights, it doesn’t mean your sleep will be ruined in the long run, pointing out that “parents of babies can tell you that you can survive despite bad night’s sleep.”

The same speaker calls on people who cannot sleep continuously to see specialists or clinicians for treatment, emphasizing that even in chronic cases, insomnia can be treated, thanks to medication or by treating its original causes.

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