“Ya, we know you are trying to sleep, but then isn’t that what you do each night? So, what’s new?”
Each night you find it a “little” difficult getting sleep, the moment you want to sleep. And when you actually want to sleep, no matter how soft your family members talk, even their whispers seem too loud to you and you shoo them away from your room. No matter, how dim the night lamp may be, it would seem to you no less than the raring sunshine, and you would immediately have it off, so you can “sleep”.
No this does not mean you suffer from insomnia or from any other underlying disorder, it simply means that you find it difficult to get that initial sleep kick.
Good quality sleep is essential as lack of it, studies show, can lead to more than just feeling tired: everything from traffic accidents and poor work performance to crankiness, illness, and a gloomy appearance can be the result of poor sleep. And remember that by improving your sleep you will have a dramatic impact on your body composition, performance and health.
By poor quality sleep what we mean is the absence of approximately seven to nine hours of deeply restful sleep each night. And by good quality sleep we mean, sleeping like a baby!
These simple tips promise you a great night sleep….
The ambience is important
Now, this is something basic and obvious, because if you are trying to sleep, with lights on, the TV on, people talking, then you are bound to remain awake, until you pretend to be asleep. So, ensure that the room is dark, clean and has good ventilation. Make yourself completely comfortable, and only then jump into the bed.
Once in bed, you should not have to get up for anything as that would break the link between "about to sleep" and "asleep". And if it is not possible to off the light and avoid the talks, use ear plugs and a black band.
Avoid the “C”, “A” and “T” letters
Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and sleep! Wrong combination! These will keep the mind stimulated much longer than some people think. And they will do all that they can to keep you awake, when you so want to sleep. Alcohol is a depressant; although it may make it easier to fall asleep, it causes you to wake up during the night. Nicotine is also a stimulant and should be avoided near bedtime. Having a smoke before bed, although it feels relaxing, is actually putting a stimulant into your bloodstream. All the more, when you drink tea, so as not to feel sleepy at work, how could you even think having tea, at bedtime would induce sleep?
Let your muscles move
Chances are that this is the zillionth time somebody is telling you this. But then even if it is, listen to it, at least this time you might want to take it seriously. People whose work keeps them physically on the move, experience fewer problems with sleep. Get good amount of exercise early in the day so that by bedtime, you will naturally be tired and that would mean getting easy and sound sleep.
Mould it the right way
Your body is flexible to the extent that you can mould it the way you want to. So, and this is true for bedtime too. Why not make a schedule, a pattern and keep it that way? Once, if you make your body used to sleeping at a certain time, it would adapt itself and make you want to sleep at the same time each night. Same goes for waking time too. Unless you set your biological clock, you will be fighting against it.
Go to sleep with a blank mind. You are not going to do anything interesting at all, 30 minutes before going to bed. Do what bores you totally, like watching the animal planet or reading a journal. These kind of activities, will tell your mind, it’s better to switch off and go to sleep rather than bear with the boring scientific stuff that you never liked since school anyway.
Milk, massage, bath, music, anything that can make you sleep….
Try taking a warm tub bath an hour before bedtime, and see the difference! You would not only feel fresh, you would feel relaxed enough to sleep well. And to top it with a glass of warm, masala milk, will be the perfect signal telling your body that it’s time to sleep now. Milk contains an amino acid that increases the levels of 'serotonin' in the brain which slows down brain activity.
Another idea is to have a relaxing back or a head massage before bedtime. This will make you forget all that happened in the day, the files, the projects, and everything else. Playing soft music, too, can help your mind relax and can be effective in inducing sleep.
Meditate to sleep
No, don’t cross your legs and hum, but focus on relaxing. Take deep, long breaths. Relax each muscle one at a time from head to toe. Focusing on doing this takes your mind off of other things and you’ll be between the stars in no time. The Transcendental Meditation technique has been shown to produce deep rest and reduced anxiety.
Sleep only in the night
Think about this. You already find it difficult each night to get sleep quickly, still, you decide to sleep during the day, on the pretext that you are tired. And this habit has become a never ending cycle, which you now need to stop.
Munching before bedtime
A light snack may be sleep inducing, but a heavy meal too close to bedtime interferes with sleep. This is because it takes time and energy for your food to get digested and in between if you sleep, then neither of the two things would get done properly. Spicy and fatty foods may cause heartburn, which may lead to discomfort throughout the night. But if you do get hungry close to bedtime, try eating something light and some such thing that triggers the hormone serotonin, which makes you sleepy.
However, despite trying these tricks if you still find it difficult to get sleep, there may be some underlying disorders, or you may be suffering from insomnia, and it’s is then, time to visit your doctor.
Good night. Sleep well.