Essentials (South Africa) - - HEALTH | FAST FIXES -

Our en­ergy tends to run in 60 to 90-minute cy­cles, and the one be­fore go­ing to bed is key to how you sleep. How­ever, this is the time when you may find you can’t switch off – par­tic­u­larly if you’ve been bom­bard­ing your brain with blue light and tech­nol­ogy.

I rec­om­mend that you think about how you are con­nect­ing to tech­nol­ogy. For ex­am­ple, while you’re watch­ing TV, do just that – watch one screen only. Nor­mally you might sit there watch­ing a se­ries while shop­ping on­line, and keep­ing an eye on your so­cial me­dia feeds and emails at the same time. But when you surf the net or check your emails, the ‘ wake up’ chem­i­cal dopamine is pro­duced, which makes you alert and switched on. What makes it worse is if, at some point dur­ing the even­ing, tired­ness led you to doze off for a short time while watch­ing TV, as the com­bi­na­tion of th­ese un­nat­u­ral bio­chem­i­cal re­ac­tions de­ac­ti­vates the cir­ca­dian timer. So once you ac­tu­ally do switch off, you lie there in bed and sim­ply can’t get to sleep.

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