Lack of sleep can have disastrous results. Certainly not related to good health. It can lead to memory loss, chronic tiredness, a weaker immune system and susceptibility to sickness and depression. It is estimated that over the past century, our sleep cycle has been reduced by more than two hours. Sleeping hours are sacrificed in favor of some activities during daytime that we think we should not skip doing.
Perhaps most common sleeping disorder is insomnia. Insomnia isn’t a disease, but a symptom of an underlying physical or mental problem. It can be caused by excessive worrying or over anxiety, depression, and problems of health in asthma or allergies, poor eating habits, smoking, drinking or lack of exercise. For some, insomnia is a temporary, one-night condition while for others, it could last weeks or months, and for many people it could last years. It is advisable to see a doctor if you’re worried about your inability to get proper sleep.
Here is some bedtime Do’s that might help in getting a good night sleep
The bed is for sleeping – we all love to read while in bed. But if you’ve having trouble sleeping, try reading somewhere else and head for the bed only when you’re really sleep. If you want a light snack before going to bed, have food that release hormones melatonin and serotonin — a glass of warm milk, crackers, or bread and cheese.
Meditate – You can try on your own routine. Lie on your back and slowly pull your knees up to your chest, hold fo a few seconds while you breathe deeply and release. Or clasp your hands in front of you, fingers intertwined and palms facing the wall, and raise them straight up over your head for a few minutes. And besides! Meditation can contribute to a good health.
Get a Massage – 10 minutes of deep-tissue massage to your neck, shoulders, back, arms and legs are definitely therapeutic. If you sleep alone, lie in your bed and close your eyes. Alternating between the left and right side of your body, tense and release your hand and forearm muscles followed by your biceps and triceps, face and jaw, thighs, and so on until you reach your feet. Do this for 20 minutes to half an hour.
Create an Environment that is conducive to Sleep – If you must sleep with the lights on, use a low-wattage bulb. Get some earplugs if you live in a noisy neighborhood and a mask if the light is too bright. Avoid sleeping pills, they may cause grogginess and prevent you from functioning properly the next day.
The DON’Ts — the big No No!!
Don’t drink coffee too late – Many people find it hard to sleep if they have taken caffeine six, 10 or 12 hours earlier. Find your time limit for coffee and stick with it. That goes to alcohol as well.
Don’t go to bed angry – Happy couples have better and longer sleeping patterns than ones with less satisfactory relationships. Let go of your anger and make sure your mind and heart is clear before attempting to sleep.
Nicotine is a stimulus just like caffeine
Exercise in the daytime – Studies show that people who do strenuous exercise two or three hours before bedtime often have trouble sleeping.
Be disciplined enough to follow the do’s and don’ts of sleep. Remember that in the long run, sleeping well is part of a healthy and well-balanced life style.