Few things in life can feel as traumatic as not being able to sleep properly at night. The hours seem endless, and a feeling of tiredness lingers on during the day too. Let us here focus our attention on some effective ways to counter sleeplessness.
Is the feeling of tossing about in bed, not being able to drift off to the world of dreams, a familiar one for you? Those with such sleeping disorders are often in the habit of popping a couple of sedatives before going to bed. Although this might be effective for a few nights – over time, such sleeping pills cause serious nerve damages. Not being able to sleep even after having these pills, of course, is an even greater harrowing experience. We here list out a few easy strategies to mitigate your sleeping disorders, in a healthy manner:
1. Don’t be too impatient
Babies and kittens can fall asleep practically whenever they want – but human beings, generally have to wait a bit, before that cherished feeling of drowsiness creeps in. If you have had a pretty laid-back day, you might not feel sleepy at all, to start with. Curl up in bed with a good book, a picture album, or interesting mobile apps. As the minutes tick by, you will feel your eyes starting to droop.
2. Don’t have tea or coffee just before hitting the bed
It has been proven beyond doubt that caffeine-addiction is one of the main causes of insomnia. Even if it does not make you suffer from complete sleeplessness – your slumber will be disturbed, for you will feel the urge to visit the loo rather frequently at night. Tea has almost the same effects, albeit to a lesser degree. Stay away from these beverages at late hours.
3. Meditation and yoga will help
Regular meditation relaxes the nerves, drives away daily accumulated stresses and makes your body conducive for sleep. You can either meditate for an hour or so at home or join a reliable yoga centre in your locality. Unless you are a big-time fitness fanatic, trying exercises that are too strenuous won’t be necessary.
4. Have a regular bed-time
Kids generally have the least sleep problems – and that’s probably because they are sent to bed at a certain fixed time every day. There’s nothing wrong with having a late night out on weekends – but on all other days, you should fix a time by which you should be in bed. Follow this self-imposed schedule religiously. Your biological clock would soon get used to the routine, and you will start feeling drowsy at around that time, every day.
5. Say ‘no’ to drinking and smoking
There are zillions of reasons to quit smoking – and being able to have a sound sleep is one of them. It’s a complete myth that having a drag of the dreaded white sticks calms the nerves. Drinking too many pegs of liquor before going to sleep is inadvisable too. Alcohol is bad for the liver, and bad for your sleep habits as well!
6. Take a nice shower before going to bed
This often works like a charm on people who cannot sleep properly otherwise. If you have long hair, avoid getting it wet during the pre-bed bath (you don’t want to catch a nasty cold, after all!). If there’s a chill in the air, have a warm shower. After getting out of the bathroom, put some lavender oil on your neck and around your wrists. You’ll feel nice as sleep overcomes your senses.
7. Do not be mentally bogged down
Corporate life is demanding, work-pressure is tremendous, and it is natural to think about office work even at home. For those involved in software making, app development, or other such technical/programming-related professions, this tendency is rather common. Do not have work-related conversations (unless necessary) at home, before going to bed. If your mind stays pre-occupied, you will invariably face problems to fall asleep. That, in turn, might force you to reach for a bottle of sedatives – which is never a good idea.
8. Have a gap between your dinner and bed-time
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Jumping on to the bed immediately after having your meal has two-pronged adverse effects. Firstly, you might be feeling too full to be able to lie down in a comfortable sleeping position. Also, since the rate of metabolism becomes a lot lower when a person is asleep – indigestion problems might also crop up. Have a slender meal (the more massive your dinner, the more sleep obstacles you will experience!), wait for an hour or so, and then head for the bed.
9. Is your bed clean?
Let us not even go into the ‘eww’ factor of beds with soiled linens, kept unchanged for days on end. Lying down on an unclean bed would almost surely make you feel rather uncomfortable, and would do no favours to your hygiene either. Change bed covers, pillow covers, mattresses, linens regularly, do not pile up other unnecessary stuff on it and make sure that the bed is not damp. Unless you can relax, you and sleep will remain miles apart.
10. Start dimming the lights
This is yet another trick to usher in the feeling of sleepiness gradually. About 90 minutes before your scheduled bed-time, put off the bright tube-lights and lamps in the room, and keep only the dim night light on. In case you are in the habit of reading in bed, turn off the lights the moment you feel even slightly drowsy. The sight of people fall asleep with a half-open book on their faces might look endearing in movies, but it is far from being healthy!
11. The fear factor
Do you believe in the paranormal power, resulting in ‘Phasmophobia’ at night? If you do, ask a family member to sleep in your room. The nearness of somebody in the room often frees the mind of such unjustified fears, and sleeping becomes a lot easier.
12. Follow a healthy diet
There are several medical books as well as health-related Android and iPhone apps – which offer holistic information about food ingredients that play their part in helping you enjoy regular, undisturbed sleep. In general, include food items that are rich in Vitamin B, magnesium, and other important minerals in your everyday meals. In other words, consume leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, and other such tasty and hygienic stuff every day. Your digestive system will thank you, and your craving for sleep would be fulfilled more easily.
Avoid keeping the television set on till late at night, and keep your mobile phone a fair distance away from bed (ideally, switch it off). Drinking warm milk can prove to be of help – but only if you do not have lactose-related problems. Make sure that the room temperature is just right – neither too cold, not stiflingly warm. Follow these tips, and do not be overly concerned about insomnia. Sleeping disorders are common, and are not at all difficult to get rid of!