An average adult needs about 7-8 hours of sleep per day, children need about 9-11 hours based on the age and activity. Close to 1/3rd of our life is spent in sleep and most of growth and bodily functions take place while we are asleep. Yet, most of us take it as an after thought or something that doesnt need any attention. We couldn’t be further from the truth. Close to 50 Million people in US alone suffer from some kind of Sleep disorder or sleep apnea, which basically involves not just the quantity of sleep but the quality as well. Nearly 30% of US population has suffered from insomnia in last 2 years. While, you should try and make changes to your lifestyle to be able to get the necessary bed time, below are 5 simple ways you can improve the overall quality of your sleep.
- Avoid Caffeine (Coffee, Alcohol, Tea, etc) 90 minutes before the bed time. Caffeine is known to stimulate adrenal glands, which are responsible for making your mind and body extra active, which is absolutely not what you need to feel sleepy.
- Avoid Digital Screens like TV or your computers, just before going to sleep. Bright visual images from LCD and LED screens leave unwanted and unnecessary data stimulation for your brain to process and waste time on. A Good movie or a TV show can be very stimulating and enriching but dont mix it up with your sleep. Get over with it, with at least 20 minutes before you hit the bed.
- Avoid working from your Bed. You and everyone of us understand the importance of work, but keep it away from bed at all costs. Just like how bad it is to fall asleep on your desk at workplace, bringing your work on your bed is equally bad, if not worse. Maintain the Sanctity of your bed.
- Invest in a comfortable bed / mattress. Comfort doesnt necessarily mean expensive. Just a moderately firm yet soft mattress that your body can adjust to is good enough. You spend 1/3rd of your life on the bed. Why not give it the importance it deserves. Nothing can be worse than fighting with the old, uneven, tattered mattress. Believe me, you cant win ever.
- Exercise. Yeah for those who don’t do it regularly, this can come as not-so-easy option. But it is extremely beneficial and very effective. Yoga has shown to have tremendous impact on people suffering from insomnia. When your body is tired, it will fend of all the signals and games that mind wants to play and force it to shut down, just what doctor orders for a good sleep.
- Meditation. It doesnt need to be the ultimate life calling or following any spiritual visions. It could just be sitting idle and relaxed. Mindful and aware for a few minutes in a day. Gradually training your mind to be passive, which means being aware but non-participating in thoughts, you can gain tremendously in the department of controlling your anxiety and stress. Those two being the biggest contributors of sleep related problems.
Try out these and tell us what you think and your experiences.
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