How to Sleep Well

Recently I happen to present a talk on "How to sleep well"(on spiritual perspective) at a sleep disturbance forum organised by the Perak Mental Health Campaign Group at Heritage Hotel, Ipoh.

Before my sharing, Dr. Rajinder Singh, the consultant psychiatrist of Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh, made his debut.

During his presentation one phrase kind of intrigued me. Sleep Hygiene. Being responsible for preparation of Standard Operating Procedures for Personnel's Personal Hygiene, I could only relate hygiene with detergent, water, hand dryer, etc.

And sleep hygiene has nothing to do with the cleanliness of your bed sheet, pillow case, bedroom or washing your hands and feet before retiring to bed, etc. It's simply the Do's and Don’ts before retiring to bed or rather Tricks of the Trade! Let's seduce sedation with some of them listed below,

1) Sleep only when you're sleepy.

This reduces the time you are awake in bed.    
2) If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do some light activities until you feel sleepy. 

Sit quietly in the dark or read something boring under  a dim light. Don't expose yourself to bright light while you are up.

3) Avoid naps This will ensure you are tired at bedtime.

If you can't do away with it, sleep for 30 to 45 minutes, before 3 pm.

4) Have A Bedtime Schedule.

Try to fall asleep and wake at the same time each day including the weekends.  

Even on nights you don’t feel tired it's a good practice and your body will appreciate it. Once your body gets used to a routine, it will naturally gets in tune with the designated time.  Keep your biological clock going in the right direction, otherwise you will be fighting against it.

5) Exercise at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. 

Regular exercise is recommended to help you sleep well, but the timing of the workout is important. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon will not interfere with sleep.

6) Your Bed is only for sleeping.

Many people tend to read, work, watch television, some even eat in their beds. Let your mind and body identify that comfy spot with sleep.

7) No TV or computer 30 minutes before sleep.

Also, don’t watch TV or even so much as look at a computer screen at least 30 minutes before you lie down. The light from both a television as well as a computer monitor mimic the same intensity of light as sunlight. This fools your body and brain into thinking it's nowhere near time for sleep. 

8) Don’t Eat Before Sleep.

A light snack may be sleep inducing, but a heavy meal too close to bedtime interferes with sleep as digestion takes lots of energy and will keep you awake. Foods containing tyramine (aubergines, pepperoni, raspberries avocado, nuts, soy sauce, red wine) might keep you awake at night. 

9) Develop sleep rituals.

It is important to give your body cues that it is time to slow down and sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing for 15 minutes, brush your teeth, set your alarm.

10) Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine (tobacco).

Caffeinated drinks and food such as coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate will keep the mind stimulated.
Alcohol is a depressant; although it may make it easier to fall asleep, it causes you to wake up during the night.
Nicotine is also a stimulant and should be avoided near bedtime and if you wake up during the night.

11) Take a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime.

A hot bath will raise your body temperature, but it is the drop in body temperature that may leave you feeling sleepy.
12) Create an Ambiance for sleeping.

A cooler room, 16 to 22*C along with enough blankets to stay warm is recommended. Have dim lights in your bedroom and switch them off before retiring to bed. If noise bothers you, wear earplugs.
13) Relaxing.

Relieving tension and stress will help you clear your mind before bed so you can concentrate on sleep and nothing else. Play soothing music-even ambient noise will drown out street noise-while aromatherapy also has relaxation qualities, so you may put a drop or two of soothing essential oil of lavender or Roman chamomile on your pillow.
Meditation also can take your mind off of other things and you'll be in lala land in no time. It has been shown to produce deep rest, reduced anxiety, and very effective relief from insomnia.

14) Keep a Gratitude Log or simple journal

The best way to fall asleep is to clear your mind of all thoughts. The last thing you want is to lie in bed awake and thinking. By keeping a gratitude log you can thank each and every event or person for teaching you a lesson and then gently releasing yourself into peace. You can write this log for 5 - 10 minutes before retiring to your bed. You can close your account for today and be ready for a new day tomorrow! Incidentally, maintaining a regular gratitude log can make you 25% happier.

Well, the 14th is my personal addition. I am not sure if it would qualify as one but I find it very useful and fruitful. So, are you hygienic? Please share your comments!
Share on Google Plus

About HoliHealth

    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment