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Why your beauty sleep is important

Sleep is something that we try to fight off as young adults. As a result, later in life, sleep eludes us and we have to retrain our bodies to get a good night’s sleep. To get restful sleep at night we should...

health and fitness Updated: Aug 19, 2011 12:03 IST
Dr Shikha Sharma

Sleep is something that we try to fight off as young adults. As a result, later in life, sleep eludes us and we have to retrain our bodies to get a good night’s sleep.

To get restful sleep at night we should:
1. Set a sleep schedule, and make it part of a natural habit.
2. Switch off TVs, laptops, iPads and smartphones an hour before going to bed.
3. Try to not pick an argument before going to sleep.
3. Set a sleep routine – brushing teeth, making the bed, etc.
4. Avoid reading disturbing things at night.
5. Avoid sleeping during the day.

SleepNutrition

1. Eat a light dinner. Consume food in moderation, as a good night’s rest depends upon a balanced food intake. Dinner should be

eaten a minimum of two hours before sleeping.

2. Consume alcohol in moderation. Alcohol may initially help you to get sleep, but eventually spoils your sleep pattern.

3. Drink chamomile or jasmine tea.

4. Eat nuts and oilseeds as snacks.

5. Drink a glass of warm milk to aid sleep.

6. Cut down on stimulants like excessive tea or coffee.

7. Avoid overconsumption of nicotine and pan masala.

8. Avoid drinking too much water before bedtime.

9. Take a bath before going to sleep.

Herbs for sleep: Take these any time during the day

Chamomile: Chamomile oil can be put in bath water (5-6 drops) to soothe nerves, or diluted to 2 per cent to make a massage oil, or used as an inhalant. Dose: Tea, 1 cup, 2-3 times daily; tincture, 30 drops, 3 times daily.

Lavender: Add a few drops of lavender oil to a bath before bedtime. Or the oil may be used as a compress or massage oil or simply inhaled to alleviate insomnia. Dose: Tea, 1 cup, 2-3 times daily; essential oil may be inhaled, massaged into the skin (use 10 drops essential oil per 15 ml of vegetable oil), or added to baths (3-10 drops).

Tagara: A useful herb for insomnia.

Valerian: An excellent herbal sedative. Dose: Tea, 1 cup, as needed; tincture, 2-5 drops, 2-3 times daily.

Progressive relaxation, music and meditation
Learn progressive relaxation techniques and follow the steps to relax all parts of the body.
Listen to soothing music.
Meditate for a few minutes and release the negative emotions of the day.
Chant any sound or mantra depending on your faith.
Do alternate nostril breathing while listening to soothing music.

From HT Brunch, August 7

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