World Sleep Day: Having trouble sleeping soundly? Follow these 10 dos and don’ts
If you’re suffering from insomnia, or finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, read on.fitness Updated: Mar 16, 2018 08:57 IST
A crucial aspect of overall health and fitness is getting quality sleep. If you’re not getting your 8 hours a night, you’re likely to be stressed out, irritable, and in poor physical shape. On World Sleep Day, let’s take a look at 10 things you can do to change that.
1) Breathe in, breathe out
Yogic breathing exercises have been shown to have beneficial effects on your sleep as well as mood. Do at least 10 cycles of pranayama, or just take deep, slow breaths for five minutes. Practise this for a week or so, and you’ll sleep like a baby.
2) Get off your gadgets
Smartphones, laptops, tablets, television, and even Kindles interfere with your sleep. The blue light emitted by such electronic devices tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, even when it’s not. Half an hour before you’re set to sleep, switch off your gadgets and feel the results.
3) Music therapy
Put on some gentle music as you’re getting ready for bed. Once you’re ready to sleep, focus fully on the calming sounds. Pick from a range of music available easily and freely on the internet. For instance, birds chirping, rainfall, forest, etc. You can even find 8 hour long soundtracks that you can play throughout the night as you sleep.
4) Pay attention to your habits
Are you one of those who just can’t fall asleep without a dose of reading a thrilling novel or watching a bit of a mystery movie? That may be why you’re not able to sleep peacefully. Dark or disturbing content just before bed time can project violent images into your subconscious mind, making it difficult for your mind to rest.
5) Analyse your diet
Avoid having a heavy dinner as it’ll make you feel bloated and uneasy, making it difficult to sleep. Before calling it a day, go for some chamomile tea, or munch on a handful of almonds and walnuts. These will help you sleep better.
6) Reaffirm your motive
Once you’ve made up your mind to get a full night’s sleep, keep affirming that to yourself. Throughout the day, and especially before you sleep, set a few minutes apart. Repeat some positive statements like ‘I am ready to have a peaceful sleep tonight’, and ‘It’s okay to rest, I am safe’, and watch the magic unfold.
7) Create a ‘feel good’ atmosphere
Your bedroom could be the reason you’re finding it difficult to get your beauty sleep. Make sure your bedroom is done up in the right way. Paint your walls a pastel colour (nothing too bright), ensure the lighting is minimal and soft, and you could also make use of some essential oils to sleep better.
8) Destress and relax
If you are prone to high levels of stress, worry or anxiety, then it’s little wonder that you sleep fitfully. Try and address the root cause of your fear or worry which is keeping you awake. It takes a bit of emotional work but the end results are worth it.
9) No afternoon naps
A lot of us are in the habit of afternoon or day time naps. While a power nap is fine, anything more than that is likely to interfere in your nightly sleep cycle. Cut out your day time sleep and you’ll automatically want to sleep earlier in the night.
10) Consult a doctor
If all else fails, book an appointment with a specialist. It’s worth checking if you have clinical or chronic insomnia. In that case, an expert will guide you best on the options you can explore, including whether you need prescription medication.
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First Published: Mar 16, 2018 08:42 IST