22 November 2017
A Perfect Night Sleep
We are all looking for the perfect night sleep, and there are a few things we can do to get this. A recent article on news.com.au by George Harrison explored the ideals of a perfect sleep. A study of 2,000 Brits, asked them to name everything that helped give them the perfect night’s sleep — a room temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, curling up on your right hand side … and a few pages of a good old fashioned book before bed.
The study also revealed that to achieve Zen-like sleeping conditions you will also need two pillows and a bedroom painted white. And for the perfect night’s sleep, you should leave at least 37 minutes from when you last check your phone to attempting to fall asleep. Your optimum sleeping time should be eight hours, with the perfect time to go to sleep is 10:39pm.
Jas Bagniewski, founder and CEO of eve Sleep commented: “It still seems though, that we have some way to go towards actually putting this knowledge into practise: while we all know that looking at our phones isn’t helpful for example, almost a third of us are still doing it less than 10 minutes before trying to drop off.”
It also emerged four in 10 people can’t get to sleep unless the room is completely dark, and a quarter can’t drop off unless there’s a total absence of noise. More than three in 10 of the respondents read a paper book before bedtime to help them sleep, a considerably higher number than those who use an e-reader.
The majority of the nation sleeps on their right hand side, with their legs curled up, and just one in 20 sleep on their back. One in four of the people who took part in the survey can’t remember the last time they had a good night’s sleep, with many saying their lack of slumber is due to the temperature in the bedroom being too hot. And three in ten say their partner’s incessant snoring is what keeps them awake at night.
Half of the respondents believe they’re more irritable after a poor night’s sleep, and one in five admit they’re more likely to eat junk food and are even prone to nodding off during the day.
The key to a great night’s sleep
- Be in bed by before 11pm
- Ensure your room temperature is between 15-20 degrees Celsius
- Have fresh sheets
- Make sure the room is totally dark, painted white, and tidied
- Avoid your phone for more than 30 minutes before sleep
- Read a few pages of a paper book
While these simple lifestyle changes could be the key to a better night sleep, it is also important to understand how different corners of health apply and contribute to your individual sleeping patterns.
If there is long-lasting stress, this could impact hormone levels and in turn, affect sleep and sleeping patterns. During prolonged periods of stress, the adrenocorticotrophic hormone within the pituitary gland releases cortisone and cortisol from the adrenal glands.
Patients presenting with insomnia have been noted to have higher levels of the adrenocorticotrophic hormone than those with regular sleep patterns. Studies around the topic suggest that ongoing stress and excessive arousal can contribute to insomnia.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland and contributes to sleep. The main message from Melatonin is “it’s time to sleep”. When darkness occurs, the pineal gland is activated and, as a result, Melatonin is released into the blood stream. These levels of Melatonin stay elevated for hours while sleep incurs, and drop to ‘day-time’ levels when the sun rises on a new day. Day-time Melatonin levels are barely detectable.
In addition to sunlight, artificial light can also create a bright enough environment to prevent Melatonin release. Imbalanced levels of Melatonin could be the key in a patients symptoms and a perfect way to begin understanding chemical imbalances and whether they are a contributing factor to symptoms.
At Australian Clinical Labs, we understand that particular hormones influence the body and overall health in many ways and offer numerous hormone tests, including Melatonin specific testing through saliva.
To order a Melatonin test or want more information on Functional Pathology, call us today 1300 55 44 80