Good night sleep is equally essential to doing exercises and eating a healthy diet. Sleep deprivation in both adults and children can cause weight gain and increase in the risk of heart disease. Over the past few decades, even if human efforts at work has decreased due to automation, both sleep quality and health have declined. Many people regularly get suffer from Insomnia.
Most common sleep disorder – Insomnia, in countries like the USA, China, and India. According to a survey, more than 10 million cases of insomnia appear in India every year. More than 50-70 million people in the USA suffer from a sleep disorder. About 30% of US citizens suffer from a sleep disorder of Insomnia. 7–9 hours of sleep per day for healthy adults, and school-going children require 10–11 hours of sleep per day, as per the National Sleep Foundation suggests.
Following a few healthy sleep habits can make a huge difference in your quality of life. Having good sleep hygiene is referred to good quality and quantity of sleep. These tips must be followed in sleep practices on a consistent basis:
Follow a Sleep Schedule & Stick to it
The human body has its own set loops on circadian rhythm functions. Researches have proved that irregular sleep patterns can change your circadian rhythm and levels of melatonin, which signal your brain to sleep.
The body aligns itself to work and to sleep according to sunrise and sunset respectively. Going to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends is essential.
Sleep schedule helps the inner body clock not to get confused about the rest time and work time. Irregular sleep time can lead to drowsiness and exhausted feeling throughout the day.
Stop Caffeine Before Sleep
More than 85% of the people in the world consume coffee in the form of coffee with a meal in a day. About 75% of people who drink coffee regularly are addicted to it. 9 out of 10 school students say they have trouble sleeping due to caffeine consumption.
Caffeine is considered suitable for people at work since it enhances focus, re-energizes and activates body potentials. Though Caffeine is deemed to be ideal for work, it is highly not recommended to consume it a few hours before sleep.
Caffeine can stay elevated in blood for 6-8 hours which disrupts the sleep cycle. If consumed in the latter half of the day, the stimulated nervous system stops the body to relax at night. If one is addicted to coffee, stick to decaffeinated coffee as a substituent of it.
Reduce Daytime Naps
Although power nap in the daytime is proved beneficial in increasing focus at work, irregular naps are considered to affect your night sleep adversely. Sleeping for a long time in day confuses the internal body clock and ultimately results in feeling insomniac at night.
Researches have shown that people end up more sleepy in the day after taking daytime naps. It is recommended to sleep for just 20-30 minutes in a day. Consider putting an alarm to wake you up but not more than 30 minutes. Also taking a nap early in the day is beneficial.
Use Clean Mattresses
It is essential to see if mattresses and pillows are comfortable enough according to your sleeping position. Even a good mattress has a life of 9-10 years. After that, it should be replaced with a new one.
One should take note of whether the mattresses are clean or not. Hygiene affects the quality and quantity of sleep. Arranging pillows according to the sleeping position is essential. For eg., try sleeping with a pillow between legs if you have back pain.
Standard exercises performed daily can help elevate the quality of the sleep cycle. Although doing exercises just before sleep time is not recommended as it warms up the body negating the chances of sound sleep.
You can try various mind-body exercises like yoga before getting into bed. Trying meditation is proved beneficial.
Sleep Meditation is a great way to help get sound sleep that everybody needs. Many different types of meditation have proved effective to promote sleep. One way is guided meditation, where you listen to an audio track of a person reading the instructions. One has just to follow the instructions and induces sleep. It’s good for people who’ve never done meditation before and beginners.
Many mobile apps such as Calm, Headspace provide guided meditation services and have proved beneficial. What you have to do is get into bed comfortably, plug your earphones and listen.
In 2012, a band named ‘Marconi Union’ released an 8-minute song ‘Weightless’ in collaboration with sound therapists. It consists of harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines to help slow down a listener’s heart rate, reduces blood pressure and also lowers the levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. Results showed that there was a 65% reduction in the overall anxiety of listeners. The song is highly effective for people with a sleep disorder. It induces the listener to sleep within the first 2-3 minutes itself.
Take a relaxing shower
Studies have shown that taking a bath or shower before sleeping can improve quality of sleep and help fall asleep faster. A hot bath of 90 minutes before bed improved sleep quality and helped participants get higher amounts of deep sleep, a study showed.
Taking a bath before sleep is proven effective in elderly people. If you don’t want to shower, try bathing feet in hot water as it releases stress and anxiety, increasing quality of sleep.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Having drinks or smoking a cigarette can adversely affect your sleep and hormones. Studies have shown that alcohol induces sleep disorders like sleep apnea and snoring since liquor alters the melatonin production. Melatonin – the hormone that helps your body know when it’s time to sleep and wake up.
Alcohol consumption and tobacco are seen as potential troublemakers in hindering circadian rhythm and has many other vital functions.
Apart from these tips and trips, individuals can be affected by sleep apnea, snoring, and many other sleep disorders. Sleep disorders can lead to many other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and stress. It is recommended to consult a sleep doctor for diagnosis and treatment. If you want optimal health and well-being, then you should make sleep a top priority in your life. Follow these tips for attaining sound sleep.