MBBS, MD (AIIMS, Gold Medalist), Diploma in CBT (Glasgow)
This is one of the commonest problems associated with any kind of emotional disturbance. Nothing can beat a refreshing, good night's sleep, isn't it?
But many of us are not lucky enough to have it!so what can be done to have a good night's sleep naturally?
Here is how it works:
The human body has an internal clock that is constantly reset by the activities you do and exposure to light. The clock determines for instance, that it is night if there is low light exposure, decreased activity and so on. So, if our routine is variable, the clock is confused.So the first thing to remember is to have a reasonably fixed time of going to bed and waking up.
The amount of sleep for a given 24 hour period is limited, akin to a mobile recharge with validity. We need to spend it wisely.So if you sleep during the day, you may not have a good night's sleep; if you spend data on unnecessary things, you wont have enough when you need it!
Remember the restaurant where you had some really delicious biryani. The moment you walk into it, your mouth waters in anticipation. So too, your bed must make your body anticipate sleep; not work, tv or something else.In other words, reserve the bed for sleep, not for working, watching tv etc.
Sleep is a state of relaxation. Anything activating disturbs sleep.So do not take coffee, tea, cola after say 7 pm in the night!
There are other ways in which the body can feel activated, and therefore also interfere with sleep.Avoid watching action movies and listening to heavy music before sleeping time. Of course, the bed room must not be brightly lit or noisy.
What about exercise, it is always healthy right? yes, but exercise must be done well before the sleeping hours; lets say no exercise after 7 or 8 pm in the night. Why? while exercise during the day keeps you healthy, gets you tired and promotes sleep, if done late in the day, its activating properties interfere with sleep!
What if I don't fall asleep? then I keep checking the time, keep rolling in the bed forcing myself to fall asleep. Bad idea! the more you try to fall asleep, the more you become alert, a phenomenon known asparadoxical intention!so what should you do? if you don't fall asleep, get out of the bed, sit on a chair and read a book.Don't do anything activating though.Onceyou start feeling drowsy, get back to bed.Besides invoking paradoxical intention, you are also preventing the body from associating bed with struggling to sleep.
What aboutalcohol, it helps you fall asleep right?right and wrong! while it does apparently put you to sleep, it is associated with poor sleep quality. So you have slept without the benefits of having slept!
Avoid heavy meals just before sleep
A warm water bath may be helpful
Now for the practically most important advice!if you fell asleep late, you must still wake up at the scheduled time, even if it means feeling tired and drowsy the next day. You will feel troubled for a day or two, but will start having good sleep, at the desired time, at night. Also resist the temptation to take a nap during the day. If you wake up late (or take a nap during the following day), the whole cycle of sleeping late and waking up late will continue, over and over again!
So, these are some of the important points friends!
Hope it was helpful!