TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Sleep is essential, but for some, it is difficult to get an adequate amount of shut eye.
"Bedtime is determined by the master clock in your brain, and when the master clock is ready to go to sleep...that' the time to go to bed," says Raghavendra Ghuge, MD.
Dr. Ghuge says many people make a habit out of getting into bed before they are actually ready to go to sleep.
"You will see people bringing laptops into the bedroom and trying to work in their bed and that is bringing an office into the bed, so now all of the sudden the bed, bedroom and bedtime becomes a source of anxiety," says Dr. Ghuge.
It should take you able thirty minutes to fall asleep, but if you cannot drift off, then go into a different room and try reading or listening to music. Experts recommend only using your bed for sleeping and sex. Dr. Ghuge says if you start reading or watching television while in bed, then you may go to bed without the notion of actually falling asleep.
What are some healthy, natural ways to induce sleepiness? Taking a warm bath or shower before bed can help. Dr. Ghuge says this is because sitting in warm water or drinking something warm will raise your body temperature. Naturally, your body will begin to work to lower it. This process produces early sleep onset. There are foods that contain certain amino acids that can do the same thing, like bananas.
Dr. Ghuge says there is a powerful hormone produced in mammals brains as well as in some plants. Melatonin, also known as the "hormone of darkness" is released into the body through the pineal gland. You can actually by "all natural melatonin" over the counter, but Dr. Ghuge does not recommend it.
"Some people think all natural is good, so let me take melatonin, but the natural melatonin comes from the slaughter house floor, from the pineal gland that is inside the brain of cattle."
One of the most beneficial things you can do to increase your chances of getting an adequate amount of sleep is by getting into a routine. Dr. Ghuge says you need to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. On the weekends, or on a morning where you are allowed some time to sleep in, he recommends not sleeping more than two hours later than you normally would.
"You can't go to sleep on Texas time and wake up on California time," Dr. Ghuge says.
"Study after study shows that when you sleep less than six hours, it increases carbohydrate craving, suppresses metabolism, increases body weight (especially central obesity), which then causes other problems like snoring, sleep apnea and acid reflux," he says.
If after three or four weeks, you still have trouble sleeping, Dr. Ghuge says it is important to visit your doctor who can help pinpoint the problem instead of just handing you a prescription sleeping pill.
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