Sleep is one of the most important part of our daily routine and is directly and indirectly affecting our health and overall wellbeing.
A sound sleep relaxes and rejuvenates our body and plays a crucial role in strengthening and maintaining immune system and essential metabolic activities in body.
Usually, a sleeping time of 7 to 8 hours per day is considered to be ideal. It’s not only duration, but the quality of sleep is what matters.
Our modern and hectic lifestyle is filled with lot of emotional and mental stress which affects the quality and duration of our sleep.
The four main stages of a Sleep Cycle are:
- Light sleep (which covers maximum duration of our Sleep Cycle and is characterized by relaxed heart rate and brain impulses)
- Deep Sleep (Our body repair and restore immune system, muscles, brain and many metabolic functions)
- REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage in which we usually dream.
Ideally 4 to 5 cycles per night are done by our body, repeating all four stages.
The duration of each stage and the number of sleep cycles in night vary from individual to individual depending on their overall health, stress (physical and mental), emotional factors etc.
There are various practical and easy ways to improve sleep during night time:
Follow strict sleeping schedule: Follow a regular time to go to bed every night and try to complete all daily routines before that.
Avoid drinking excessive water or drinks before sleeping: Drink water or any fluids more than 1 hour before going to bed as it can reduce the urge to go for urination during late night.
Restricting daytime naps to 30 min: Though the daytime sleep nap is beneficial for heart and other body functions but sleeping more than 30 min in daytime can affect your night sleep.
Avoid heavy food 2 to 3 hours before night sleep: It may help in completing initial steps of digesting your food when you are awake and can reduce digestive and other metabolic issues which can affect sleep.
Make a dark and calm environment in room: Make your room dark, silent, and cool before going to sleep.
Go to bed just before u want to sleep: Try to avoid watching movies and surfing on mobiles in bed. Restrict the use of bed for just sleeping only.
Avoid Caffeine and related energy drinks in night: Caffeine can show its stimulating effect even 6 hours after it is consumed. So better to avoid it at least 6 hours before you plan to sleep.
Avoid High Screen time before Sleep: Blue light from mobile screen can confuse the body that its a day time and thus affects the release of melatonin in body which usually helps in getting a good sleep.
Alternatively, we can change blue lights screen to normal lights in our mobile by going to Settings>Display.
Mobile apps like Flux, Twilight etc. are useful in reducing blue light emission from display.
Taking bath or putting feet in warm water: Taking bath with Lukewarm water or just putting feet in warm water can help in relaxing body and provides good sleep.
Supplements: Magnesium supplements can be useful in improving sleep. Naturally magnesium is available in green leafy vegetables, banana, dark chocolates and many other grains and cereals. Magnesium provides calmness and thus good sleep.
Apart from Magnesium, other herbs like Ginkgo Biloba, Ashwagandha, Valerian root and Lavender are also useful in providing good sleep, as they help in in reducing stress and anxiety
Apart from the above-mentioned ways, listening to relaxing music, Yoga, eating healthy food can also help in improving sleep.