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Sleep Better by Following These Methods

Updated on March 21, 2020
Natasha Tungare profile image

Hello everyone, I am a physiotherapist. Promoting health by self-help measures is something I always preach about.

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.

Source

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?

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Eating habits

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

Relaxation

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 essential oils which promotes relaxation in the body. These methods have soothing effect on senses and muscles of human body.

A sound sleep helps in directing your thoughts towards resourceful direction and makes your day a productive one!

Breathing exercises

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.

Sleep Environment

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.

Sleeping Positions

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

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    • Natasha Tungare profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Tungare 

      2 days ago from India

      Thank you Prateek! Glad you found it useful. Please try to have fixed time for lunch and dinner because the digestion process somewhere does affect sleep pattern.

    • PrateekJain24 profile image

      Prateek Jain 

      2 days ago from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

      Wonderful article mam, all problems that you discussed are valid and each of of us can relate themselves. I personally think I am not having suffer sleep. And reason behind is unmanaged eating habits. There is no time fixed for lunch and dinner. However after reading your eating habit section in this article I know the reason for my unmanaged eating habits and I can I solve this. This is a must for everyone to read and follow. Thank you for sharing this useful information.

    • Natasha Tungare profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Tungare 

      2 days ago from India

      Very correctly pointed out @Murali sir! Sleep hampering can invite lots of health issues. Thank you so much sir for your valuable feedback

    • Natasha Tungare profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Tungare 

      2 days ago from India

      Thank you so much @Liz Westwood!! I hope they really be helpful. These are the methods I have tried myself

    • hmkrishna profile image

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      3 days ago from South India

      Human life is wonderful. Sleep is another wonder in it and dreams are mysterious. A rejuvenating sleep puts us back to work again. The rhythms of sleeping and waking up have to be consistent. Frequent jetlags, working in night shifts, prolonged social media spending are the modern-day problems hampering sleep. You have nicely described sleep and the various other aspects related to it, Ms Natasha, thank you.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 days ago from UK

      Your tips will be useful to many, especially at a time when fear and worry about what's going on in the world around us could impede sleep.

    • Natasha Tungare profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Tungare 

      5 days ago from India

      Thank you so much Mumma.

      Yes you are totally right @Daswani sir that combination of all of these will work the best for a better sleep

    • profile image

      Ramesh Daswani 

      5 days ago

      Nice - I guess this combination of diet , exercise, calm and soothing thoughts will surely help induce good sleep ..

      best wishes to the author for writing more such articles

      Ramesh Daswani

    • profile image

      Nikita Tungare 

      6 days ago

      Very nice Betu!! Keep writing. Cute photo:)

    • Natasha Tungare profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Tungare 

      6 days ago from India

      Thanks a lot @Brenda Arledge!! I always love your views on my articles!

      Yes you are right, many a times we are unable to sleep due to continuous thoughts running. It is better to find a way to let them out

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      7 days ago from Washington Court House

      Nice write.

      I have tried several of these.

      But I must say that I often cant sleep when I have recurring thoughts filtering through my brain...i gotta get up and write.

      Then i fall fast to sleep.

      Guess I'm a strange bird.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Natasha Tungare profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Tungare 

      7 days ago from India

      Glad to know @Ekktha di that you like to stay awake but having a proper sound sleep is important. Yes do try those out!

    • Natasha Tungare profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Tungare 

      7 days ago from India

      Thank you so much @Prantika di!! You feedback is always the most awaited one!

    • Natasha Tungare profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Tungare 

      7 days ago from India

      Thank you so much @Lipsa and @Atharva for always being my consistent readers

    • Ekktha Raawal profile image

      Ekktha Raawal 

      7 days ago from Indore, India

      I generally love to stay awake and do my own things even when I feel extremely sleepy and then fall asleep in a matter of seconds. The breathing exercises you have mentioned are a must try. In fact I tried doing as I was reading the post. A useful read, indeed.

    • Prantika Samanta profile image

      Prantika Samanta 

      8 days ago from Kolkata, India

      This is a wonderful article. Currently, many people suffer from insomnia and it has become a well-known issue.

      Probably stress and our lifestyle responsible for causing insomnia.

      Pranayam, yoga, essential oils, and right food have helped me significantly.

      I have found your suggestions quite helpful. Thank you for writing this informative article.

    • profile image

      Lipsa 

      8 days ago

      nice natzo!!

    • profile image

      Atharva sudame 

      8 days ago

      Masta

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