Did you know there’s something known as Sleep Hygiene? Hygiene is the practice to maintain health and prevent disease. Likewise sleep hygiene helps one maintain health, have a good night time sleep and prevent illness. Sleep hygiene must be practiced by all of us for a rejuvenating sleep.
10 Tips to have a good night’s sleep
1. Know how much sleep you need
Sleep requirement depends on the age of the person, and also differs in each individual of the same age. Sleep requirements as we notice, are more in children, say about 9 hours, whereas in adults some require 6 hours and some require 8 to 9 hours. There have been various studies that suggest, that grownups who should sleep for about 7-8 hours for a healthy living.
2. Go to bed a similar time each night
This is indeed one of the most important habits that should be inculcated. The sleep is controlled by the sleep centre in the brain. This centre has its own rhythm known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm is for 24 hours, and the sleep cycle is repeated every 24 hours. The circadian rhythm is regularised if one decides to sleep at a fixed time. This is very helpful, as the body functions and the sleep centre are IN SYNC.
3. Find a calm spot to sleep
Your room ought to be as calm as possible. A few people find absolute silence awkward, in which case some music is helpful. A calm spot will always help you to get a good sleep.
4. Keep your room cool and dark
The best temperature for dozing off is in the low-to-mid 60 degrees Fahrenheit. (18-20 degree celsius). The circadian rhythm control is better attained when the body is exposed to the dark. It helps in activating the sleep centre, and thus inducing sleep. Likewise, we see, many people get up to the morning light like in the old times, without any alarms. Their sleep centre is inhibited as the circadian rhythm control is exposed to light.
5. Upgrade your Bed, Mattress and Pillow
Little do we spend on our bed, mattress, or pillows! Invest in your sleep. It is going to be one of your best investments. Having a good bed, mattress, and pillow makes a difference.
6. Limit screen time before hitting the bed
Addicted to your cell phone, laptop or television? Well there has been tremendous research suggesting that reducing the screen time, especially 2 hours before the sleep, has a lot of positive effects on your sleep. You can even take it like, the screens don’t allow the exposure to darkness, and hence the sleep centre is not activated. Many people do practice keeping their phones away and not at their bedside.
7. Watch what you eat and drink, and when
There are certain substances, which increase the alertness of your mind. They are the ones that need to be avoided. Like Coffee for instance. Alcohol is known to reduce anxiety, but beware, heavy drinking, disturbs your sleep cycle, even though you go to sleep in a shorter time, but the quality of sleep and the sleep maintenance is affected. Heavy dinner has also been found to impair the sleep.
Haven’t you noticed it for yourself? The endorphins released during exercise give you a sense of accomplishment. The emotional satisfaction that you get after exercise is due to the endorphins released. They also help you relax, mentally as well as physically. This has been found to have a positive effect on the sleep. But defiantly one should avoid, heavy exercise right before sleep. There should be a gap of at least 2 hours between exercise and bed time. People who have a sedentary lifestyle, do not tend to have a sound sleep.
9. Bask in some sunlight
As already stated, our sleep-wake cycle is firmly associated with our circadian rhythms. It has been found in many patients specially, the one’s who have been cut off from natural light, like those in ICU, or those who are bed ridden and not exposed to sun, that these patients have altered and disturbed sleeping pattern.
10. Stay calm and composed when you can’t sleep
The best of us have problems falling asleep. At these times many follow their own instincts. The following are the habits followed by many people to help them tide over the situation, like reading, watching television, going out for a walk, praying, or meditating. DO NOT RESORT TO PILLS TOO QUICKLY. Reduce your pill burden!
Consult the Neurologist if you sleep problems persist!!