Sleep Better by Following These Methods
Sleep is something we all want and we all are lacking at. Our entire day is filled with work, stress, travel to workplace and that schedule of ours is very crucial too. But sometimes in this busy life we forget that a good night sleep is necessary for our body to have enough amount of rest. Sleep is needed for adequate and appropriate functioning of our entire body. Recently, 13th March was World Sleep Day and hence I thought to write this article to help those who are suffering from lack of sleep, insomnia and restless during sleep.
Sleep Cycle- How do we fall asleep?
Our body tends to have different stages of sleep. I am not going into much of physiological and medical terms so that it is easy for you to understand. The initial stage is the stage where your body is slowly relaxing, your muscles relax from the contracted state and there is no movement. It is easy to wake up in this stage. Eventually at later stage the entire body completely relaxes. The blood circulation is directed to the fatigued areas of the body which worked throughout the day. And the next stage is the stage of deep sleep where the body is completely still and relaxed. It is difficult to wake up in this stage. And the opposite of all these stages occurs when your body is slowly reversing these stages for you to wake up.
Research says that around more than 50% of world population are having physical and mental health issues because of incomplete sleep and insomnia. People tend to show more of mental health problems like depression, stress and anxiety disorder due to lack of sleep. It has been studied that heart diseases, diabetes, asthma, thyroid are indirectly linked to insomnia. So today I would like to describe you a few methods which can help you get a better sleep.
Do you feel that you are having enough amount of sleep?
A healthy and balanced diet is always a path towards better sleep. Whenever someone complains that they are suffering from sleeplessness, the first question asked to them is if their diet is appropriate and adequate. Here are some tips to manage relation of your food with sleep.
1) Avoid eating too much of junk food.
2) Have a high carbohydrate diet in afternoon meal and low carbohydrate foods during your night meal.
3) The time difference between your food and sleep matters a lot. Do not sleep immediately post your meal. There should be a difference of atleast 2 hours before you fall asleep.
4) Have intake of fruits in a day.
5) Avoid to much oily and spicy food specially in dinner
The most important and necessary aspect for a good sleep is relaxation. If you are mentally relaxed, physical relaxation becomes easy. Nowadays, there are found to be some amazing techniques for relaxation. I would like to describe a few here.
Listening to mild and calm music directs relaxing vibrations towards your brain. Music which is loud and has fast beats causes stimulation of the hormones that keeps you awake. Soft and soothing song or musical instrument is always preferred if you like to hear it before going to bed.
Guided meditation before sleeping is also one of the best ways for people who have difficulties in falling asleep. It helps you slowly dive into the state of calmness by relaxing your mind and guides you to sleep. These meditations too have certain frequencies which are specifically for deep sleep. The duration of the period just before deep sleep is said to awaken your subconscious mind. Everyday meditating before going to sleep gets desirable thoughts in your subconscious mind.
Another trending ways for relaxation are aromatherapy, hot water bath, using which promotes relaxation in the body. These methods have soothing effect on senses and muscles of human body. essential oils
A sound sleep helps in directing your thoughts towards resourceful direction and makes your day a productive one!
The pattern of breathing is also responsible for inducing sleep. Deep and slow paced breathing causes relaxing effect on your body. I would like to narrate two breathing exercises you can do. These can be done in lying down position or prop up sitting position.
1) Lye down in either of the above comfortable positions. Relax your body. Take a deep breathe in, hold for 2-3 seconds and release through your mouth gently. Your mouth need not be completely wide open, just a small slit is enough.
2) Lye in comfortable position and relax your body. Raise your arms as you breathe in and lower down your arms as you breathe out. Make the pace of this exercise slower and deeper. The movement of lowering down should be a relaxed one and not just dropping your arms in a jerky way.
When you do these small exercises, there is movement and contraction of muscles occurs. Post exercise, the muscles lose their contraction and hence causes relaxation effect.
Brightness usually is for awakening purpose. To induce sleep, it is necessary that the room should be dark enough. If not complete darkness then dimming the lights helps in shutting the 'awakening center' of your brain. Due to this reason it is advised to close your phone and laptop at least half an hour before falling asleep. The brightness of the cell phone and laptop causes the sleep center to inhibit and hence it becomes difficult to fall asleep when you keep doing work on your phone or laptop just before sleeping.
The room should be quiet enough to ensure no noises enter your eardrums. Some find it comfortable with a little noise of traffic far away but it should not be so loud that it hampers your sleep. Soothing music as mentioned above can also be useful.
The bed and the mattress should be comfortable, neither too rigid nor too soft. Having an appropriate width pillow and a cozy blanket adds to the comfort. The pillow should never be too hard as it is prone to give neck pain in future.
Different adjuncts like sweaters, extra blankets or heater during winter season and cold weather can be used. On the other hand, use of cooler or air conditioner can be beneficial due hot weather.
Daily Physical Activity
When you do a lot of work, you tend to feel tired and at the end of the day you just want to lean on down on your bed. This is the truth! The more our body becomes tired, the more it needs to rest and hence the urge to sleep is even more. Therefore it is always recommendable to keep our body physically active. You can do this by a daily workout with high endurance exercises, walking everyday, involving physical activity in your daily work. Muscles and body organs do get fatigued when you are active and these fatigued muscles usually relax easily. When your lifestyle is sedentary, you should try keeping yourself physically active in some or the other way because it is found that sleep issues tend to be more in people with a sedentary lifestyle. Movement is very necessary to keep to active and eventually to have a better sleep schedule.
The positions in which we sleep also tend to affect our sleep regulation. The common positions are sleeping on back, side lying, on stomach and crouch or baby position.
1) Good Positions- Sleeping on your back and Side-lying are good positions because the digestion and blood circulation takes place efficiently without any kind of hampering.
2) Bad Positions- Sleeping on stomach and crouched positions hampers your digestive system and the digestion cannot take place effectively. This can cause acidity and your sleep might be disturbed due to the same.
Hence, the position in which we sleep matters a lot.
People have their own Unique Ways to Sleep
Apart from the above basic methods, everyone has their own unique ways to sleep.
1) Cuddling with your partner.
2) Sleeping in side lying position with a soft and fluffy toy or simply a pillow in arms to gain more comfort.
3) Some people have their pet besides while sleeping. The warmth of the pet's body gives comfort while sleeping. Pets are proven to reduce stress.
4) Babies tend to fall asleep listening to a mind and soothing song sung by their mommies.
5) Some people have habit of taking small naps in between when filled with workload or night shifts in their jobs.
6) Students take up a boring subject to read which puts them down to sleep.
Do try these simple methods out to have a better sleep. You need not spend too much of time and energy for this. These are something you can try daily. I hope you found this article useful. You can mention your own ways in the comment section which you incorporate in your daily life to have a good and peaceful sleep.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Natasha Tungare