Sleep as we all know is one of the key bio rhythms and normal, adequate quality and quantity of sleep is essential for our overall well being both for mind and body.
Disturbances in sleep are the earliest sign and symptoms in many health problems and also sleep disturbance is may on its own contribute and also cause several health problems.
Over last few years especially with the changes due to pandemic lockdown and work from home we have had a huge impact on our sleep patterns. Many people complain of having either less hours of sleep sleeping late or having disturbed sleep and poor quality of sleep.
We are now sleeping later and lesser than before. Also there are some people who complain of feeling sleepy through the day and take nap in the afternoon or wake up very late in the day.
Here are some tips which can help in improving the quality/quantity of sleep.
1. Try and keep a consistent sleep schedule. Do not change schedules to often. Try to get between 6 and half to 8 hours of sleep every night. Fix the time of waking up irrespective of when you sleep.
2. Exercise regularly but try to avoid rigorous or strenuous exercise late evening. Try doing stretches/relaxing walks in the evening and cardio or strength training in earlier parts of the day.
3. Limit coffee or tea intake and avoid alcohol.
Limit tea and coffee after 5 to 6 p.m.
Alcohol is notorious in disturbing normal sleep patterns.
4. Avoid napping during the day. If you need take a power nap for 15 to 20 minutes that too only till 3:00 p.m.
5. Manage stress before going to bed. Write down the worries. Make a to do list for the next day. Counting backwards or stress reducing grounding techniques.
6. Create a relaxing environment for going to bed. Dim the light by at least 50%. Switch to yellow dim lights instead of white CFL or L E D. Do gentle stretching. Put on soothing music. Read a book.
7. No electronic device at least for 1 hour before intended time of sleep. Put off notifications. Or switch to silent mode.
8. Go to the bedroom and sit or sleep on the bed only when ready to sleep. Don’t stay in the bed if you are not getting sleep. Go to sitting room and read the book in a chair and return when you are feeling drowsy. Don’t watch TV mobile or talk on phone when you are in bed.
9. If possible control the temperature and noise of the bedroom you may switch on the AC. Try taking warm shower in the cold weather. You may take cold shower in hot weather. 1 Degree Celsius difference of temperature helps in switching on the sleep centre.
10. Try doing progressive muscle relaxation techniques.
– Dr Nischol Raval , MD .Psychiatry