Our relationship with the dream moves between love and hatred : we love to sleep and we need it to function but we rarely sleep all we need and sometimes even if we try we get enough sleep because our brain seems to have other plans that are, concretely, torpedo the dream as much as possible.
There is a particularly annoying situation that has happened to all of us at some time, which is the one that occurs when after finishing our workday and taking a break from sleep, the dream seems to become strong behind our eyelids and we fall asleep at the corners , but then when we get into bed a few hours later, the dream dribbles us, dodges us and leaves us in bed going around for hours with wide eyes and missing that intense slumber we felt hours before.
Why, oh, brain? Why? What are these games of hide-and-seek with sleep and rest? ¿ What have we done to make you laugh like us ? Well, we have not done anything, but it is not a strange situation if we consider how the brain works and our circadian cycles.
The circadian rhythms or cycles are the periodic variations that occur in our body that adjust approximately to the 24-hour period. They affect sleep, brain activity, metabolism, etc. It is the way in which our body records that day and night are happening.
Among the factors that help our body to adjust its activity, the main one is light: when there is light it is day and when there is no it is night . This affects the propensity to sleep that our body has.
That is to say, that when the sun falls and begins to darken, our brain begins to close and prepare our body to sleep. The problem is that this happens very soon for a good part of the year, and that is what allows us to drag for a while long before we plan to go to sleep.
Other things that affect circadian rhythms
Not only light serves our body to understand when it is time to go to sleep and rest until a new day. Another factor that influences is the level of activity : in daytime animals, like the human being, the activity is done during the day and sleep and rest correspond to the night
So if we spend the day at work or in class, we go to the gym, to the purchase, to the park with the children or in any other activity, the body and the brain understand that it is daytime and there is nothing more to talk about , but if we finish our daily tasks, we stop for a while and we sit on the sofa to read or watch TV … Here things change. The brain interprets that we have finished for today, that we have entered into rest and therefore that we have changed the cycle. It is no longer the time of daytime activity, but rather we enter into the phase of nocturnal rest and sleep.
In countries like Spain where the good weather and the sunny hours of spring and summer call us to be on the street and do more activities, both times tend to coincide , and that is why it is common in winter, with less light and less activity , between us that terrible drowsiness in the afternoon, when we left work, although we have not even thought about going to sleep.
But then, why do not I fall asleep at night?
This is the second part of the question, because if at least at 7 o’clock you get sleepy and at 11 durmieses like a dormouse, you would think of your body as a coherent organism, but this is not the case and sometimes it is unsettling: why should 7 am I fall at 11 do not hit eye?
There are several reasons. The first one brings us back to the circadian rhythms: when these cycles push us to sleep at 7 o’clock in the afternoon, we usually do not succumb to them, but we overcome the drowsiness and do not get to sleep. This makes the body receive the signal that no, it is not time to go to sleep yet, and therefore be scared , leave the night mode and need to be convinced again that it is time to sleep to re-enter it.
What happens is that putting him in that mode again is not easy, and in fact every time we make it more difficult because of technology: electric light has made light levels are no longer a reliable indicator for our body of whether it is night or day. And the same effect has the mobiles, tablets and computers. The white and blue light they give off entangles us with circadian cycles, and that’s why it’s better to refrain from using them for an hour before going to sleep.
What can you do to sleep better at night?
The drowsiness at 7 o’clock in the afternoon is annoying that we can avoid or cope by doing some activity that keeps us alert, and sleep better at night we can also get it by taking some simple measures .
-Try to make the place where you sleep dark, calm and cool . Avoid especially intense artificial light and use screens one hour before going to sleep.
– Exercise during the day helps you sleep better at night, but try not to do it right before going to sleep.
– Avoid heavy dinners before going to sleep, since a heavy digestion can ruin your sleep.
– Create a routine before going to sleep that will indicate to your body that it is time to throw the cirre for today. It includes activities that relax you, such as a warm shower, quiet music or gentle stretching.
If you still have problems sleeping, we propose the following ideas: consult and set in motion this decalogue to have a good night’s sleep every night ; take a look at the t rucos told us by this coach of the dream of many elite athletes; And if none of this works, go to a doctor who can analyze your sleep problems and give you the best solution.