If you’re reading this to know how to sleep better, you are not alone!! Having a sound sleep has been a distant dream for many. Though worries keep many awake, many others struggle to find the reason for their sleepless nights. Here are some important points on why sleep is important for you and what you need to do to have a better sleep.
Why Is Sleep Important?
Sleep is a distinct state of mind and body being deeply at rest. It is during sleep that the metabolism is lowered and the mind becomes unconscious in the external world. We spend almost a third of our lives sleeping because it serves an important purpose. Sleep recharges our run-down bodies and allows us to recover from physical and mental fatigue. We need sleep to function at our best.
Sleep in Children
Over 90% of adolescent children don’t get the recommended amount of sleep on school nights. Quality of sleep acts as the revitalization of mind and body enabling us to function at peak levels during our waking hours. Getting enough good-quality sleep is important during this period because sleep is vital for thinking, learning and concentration skills.
Providing nutritious food to children also promotes good sleep. Especially the foods that are high in fat and protein should be avoided during night time as they need time to digest. High-fat meals, sugary foods, and spicy snacks are not at all good for anyone’s goodnight rest.
Melatonin, released by the Pineal gland, is the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to light stimulates the nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to the hypothalamus in the brain, which initiates signals to other parts of the brain that controls hormones, body temperatures and other functions that play a role in our sleep-wake cycle. The body temperature rises and the stimulating hormones like cortisol function during day time. The release of melatonin gets slowed down in day time and gets increased during late night.
Tips for a Healthy Sleep
‘Sleep hygiene’ is creating the right environment to sleep. It includes creating habits and patterns so that your body and brain shall expect to sleep, when in bed. If you can do the following strictly for three weeks, it will be effective. For a sound sleep and a fresh morning, follow certain things that are healthy and helpful. Though you don’t believe in them, implementing them for three weeks in your life can show tremendous results.
Most importantly, resolve your issues or give a temporary solution that you need not worry at least till the next day and assure yourself that you can now sleep peacefully, before going to bed. If you are unable to control your racing thoughts or apprehensions, try penning them down, or meditate for a certain time before going to bed. Every living being needs rest, for it is in the rest, your body gains the ability to work at its best.
Maintaining a consistent daily schedule of sleep and wake hours habituates your body to follow certain conditions. This conditions both your body and mind to sleep and wake-up at certain timings. So, make it a habit to follow perfect sleep timings.
The properties of Caffeine keep you active for a long time. Starting from nearly 30 minutes after your caffeine consumption, it keeps you active until 5 hours. So, if you want a good sleep, it’s better to avoid sipping a cup of coffee, late in the evenings.
Sugar and Sleep
Sweets made out of sugar or beverages that contain sugar, are sure to keep you active for a long time. People who consume more sugar at night are less likely to experience deep, sound and slow-wave sleep that is essential for the restoration of body, mind, and soul. Sugar intake increases inflammation in the body, creating exacerbate pain and stiffness in the body resulting in difficulty to relax and sleep.
Consumption of alcohol, high-fat meals, caffeine, sugary foods, and spicy snacks during late nights can spoil your goodnight’s sleep. Knowing what to eat when can help you maintain good digestion and great sleep.
It is a far-widely known fact that the light rays emitted from any electronic gadget like television, computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone cause digital eye-strain. Along with that, they keep the sensory nerves in the eye active for a long time, delaying the sleep. This disturbance will not let you sleep though you try to maintain the sleep timings. Hence, a strict no-gadget mode should be maintained at least one hour before going to bed.
Read a book
In case, you are feeling bored switching off your TV and phone, one hour before going to bed, it is advisable to give a pleasant and soothing read. Reading books relating to interesting crime thrillers or suspense or tricky plots makes your brain active and you won’t feel like sleeping. So, choose a simple not-so-attractive or edge-of-the-seat kind of stuff.
Always keep your stomach in mind. Not literally, though. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach or an empty stomach. Keep your dinner light and have it at least two hours before going to bed. This would aid in your digestion process as the metabolism rate also gets slowed down during the nights.
Break a Sweat
Engage in regular exercise. Every morning, try to walk or jog for some time. Working out regularly boosts your metabolism, improves your health and activates your natural sleep and wake cycles. Doing exercise in the morning helps your immune system and regulates the hormonal secretions in your body.
Maintaining good ambiance is essential for a sound sleep. Keeping your bedroom clean and tidy makes you feel relaxed. Having the room dark and quiet, promotes peaceful sleep. Also, select a cozy mattress and pillow for a comfortable sleep. In case, you are having muscle cramps or neck problems like spondylitis, go for a cervical pillow.
Our mind is a great source for us to remember things, to schedule timings and to maintain them. Train your mind to wake up at a particular time rather than using normal alarm clocks. Though initial you depend on them, after some 4 to 5 days, try telling yourself that you are going to wake up at that time and you will!!
In this way, you are training your body and mind for a sound sleep which helps you both physically and psychologically. Deep sound sleep in the night helps you have a fresh morning.
Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you having nightmares or sleep disorders like insomnia? Walk-in or book an appointment with our experienced psychologists to find a solution for your sleep problems. We are here to offer help either online or offline. Log on to book an appointment, today.