2/09/2016

Posted by Dr A in | 2/09/2016 No comments


Having good rest is of paramount importance for rejuvenation and overall well being. Sleep deprived individuals have obviously been noted to be less productive than their well-rested counterparts handling the same work.

If you are the time-watcher till you slumber or find it difficult to sleep again after waking up in the middle of the night, then you are at the right place!

Keep reading and see if you can incorporate sleep hygiene in your daily routine and get that much needed beauty sleep.


  • Tame your internal clock
When it comes to sleep, both quality and quantity matters. We all have an inbuilt sleep rhythm which we have been disrupting day in and day out.  To achieve optimum sleep, one has to reset the internal clock to default circadian rhythm.

Set both sleeping and wake up times the same daily and follow them religiously. Incase of any deviation from this, especially on  weekends or holidays, wake up at set times and try to compensate the lost sleep with a mid morning nap. Do be careful with naps though, as some people get trouble sleeping at night even if they take a 15 minutes catnap. Incase of insomnia, its best to avoid naps altogether or to take them in the early afternoon.

Try to resist sleeping before your set time. If you are too drowsy then  involve yourself in a light activity. Get up and move about, prepare clothes for the next day or call up a friend.


  • Bedroom is the place to unwind.
Do not make your bedroom another workstation with all your gadgets on the bed glaring at you and work stress possessing your mind. A bedroom should be cool, quiet, have soft lights and comfortable matress & pillow that invites slumber & romance. Keep worries, television and work out of your bedroom.



  • Regular workouts
Regular exercises help to prolong deep phase of sleep. It also makes the body and mind alert and hence vigorous exercises are best done anywhere from 3 to 6 hours prior to your bedtime. While vigorous exercises have added benefits towards improving the quality of sleep, light exercises like stretching or Yoga also promotes sleep.

Don't expect miracles to happen overnight though. Exercises show good sleeping results over time. So start exercising first, good sleep will automatically follow.


  • Watch what you eat
Avoid caffeine containing drinks closer to bedtime. Dine atleast 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Regular consumption of alcohol messes up your overall sleep cycle and the quality of sleep although it lets you sleep faster after consuming it.

Opt for lighter and smaller portions of food at night. Try and avoid fatty and spicy food.

Go slow on lotsa liquids near bedtime as it can cause frequent trips to washroom and disturb sleep.


QUICK TIPS TO ENHANCE SLEEP
  • Listen to soft music
  • Read by soft light
  • Listen to books on tape
  • Have warm bath
  • Do simple preparations for the next day
  • Do easy stretches/calming yoga asanas
  • Enjoy relaxing body massages.
  • Pamper yourself with luxury of pedicure/manicure
  • Keep your immediate environment (room) dimly lit, tranquil and cool.
  • Incorporate sleep promoting foods in your diet like fish, cherry tart juice, whole grains, yoghurt, bananas and fortified cereals.


  • Control your light exposure
Adequate exposure to sunlight during the day and lights out at night signals brain to regulate melatonin- a hormone responsible for maintaining sleep-wake cycle. Any artifical lights emitted by gadgets, tv etc at inappropriate and prolonged times can disturb this mechanism. Therefore, during the day get maximum light exposure and remain alert while during the nights prefer darkness and sleep well.


  • Calm down
Residual anger, stress or grief can snatch away relaxed sleep. Therefore, leave all your worries outside the bedroom. Jot down your list of problems and their way forward if any, keep the paper in other room along with all your tensions. Plan to get back to it the next day.

Do some relaxation exercises,  or practice relaxing thoughts and if your problem is negative thoughts than click here for added help.





  • Trouble continuing sleep?
Sometimes you may wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety,  note down the cause of the anxiety on a piece of paper and plan to think over it the next day.

Many a times after a disturbed sleep, its hard to fall back to sleep. Instead of staring at the table clock ticking away it's better to take a book to read by a soft light or try relaxation techniques like thinking about a tranquil environment, taking deep breathes or meditation. If sleep seems far away after 15 minutes of trying, than you could take a light snack but be careful not to make it a habit.


  • Still unable to sleep well?
Prolonged sleep disturbances causes exhaustion and reduced ability to focus. The outcome is ill health and reduction in productivity at work. In such cases it is wise to rule out some underlying medical conditions (sleeping disoders) like insomnia.

Take medical advise before resorting to any inappropriate use of self medications especially sleeping pills.


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