• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Lockdown Causing Sleepless Nights? Try These Tips for Better Sleep

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. 70-80% of healing happens when we are asleep. Several different hormones are released, the blood pressure drops for the heart to take rest, your muscles relax. This is why, when you sleep well you are more active mentally and physically. A good sleep schedule is very important for a healthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, the lockdown has disrupted the circadian rhythm of a lot of people. Many of us are falling asleep 2-3 hours after our usual bedtime, while others are simply not getting their usual 8 hours. If you identify with the latter, you may be looking for answers to the question ‘How to sleep 8 hours in 4 hours’ If you can increase the quality of your sleep then you can reduce the amount of time you spend sleeping and still be fresh.

Regardless of whether you want to focus on the quality or quality of your sleep, here are some handy tips:

Limit Screen Time Before Sleep: Your brain cannot differentiate between the blue lights emitted from the phone and computer and natural light, which tricks it into believing it to be the daytime. The nighttime is for yellow/red light or no lights at all. The lighting in our house plays an important role, every cell responds to light and tells the brain to stay awake or decompress.

Reduce Caffeine Intake: Consumption of caffeine can interfere with your sleep schedule, cause restless sleep and daytime drowsiness if you drink it close to your bedtime. The half-life of caffeine is 5-6 hours, so limit your caffeine consumption only to the morning hours.

A person pouring a cup of coffee.

Reduce caffeine intake if you have problems in sleeping.              Credits: Pixabay


Get Your Movement In: Working out and daily exercises are great ways to improve your sleep. Exercise increases your body temperature and this post-exercise temperature rise helps you fall asleep quickly and promotes better sleep.

Yoga, light stretching, and meditation is a gentle and great way to induce better sleep. A national survey found that more than 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them attain a night of better sleep. Yoga for a sleep disorder is suggested by many experts.

Women doing yoga.

Yoga can be a helpful tool in improving your sleep cycle.        Credits: Pixabay


Get Comfortable: Make your surroundings comfortable. Dim the lights or light an aromatic candle, aromatherapy helps you relax and induce sleep. You can use supportive props like cushions, pillows, blankets, or a soft mattress.

This especially holds true for women. A lot of women suggest that sleeping without a bra helps them sleep better as they impact the blood flow, the underwires may compress the muscles around the breast area and affect the circulation and the nervous system or the other types of bra which might be too tight and uncomfortable may hurt the breast. There is no definitive answer to the question is it better to sleep with or without a bra. Whichever way makes you feel more comfortable should be followed.

Sleeping Direction: It has been theorised by ancient systems of medicine such as Ayurveda and Feng Shui that sleeping direction plays a role in the quality of sleep. According to ayurveda the ideal position to sleep is south-north that is the head points towards south.

Of course, there is no clinical evidence to support their suggestions but it may still be worth a shot!

Magnesium Supplements or Magnesium Rich Food: Magnesium content in the body affects your sleep schedule quite a lot. People who are deficient in it suffer from sleep issues and disorders.

Taking magnesium supplements or food rich in magnesium like Green leafy vegetables, nuts, bananas, etc can improve sleep quality. Magnesium increases the GABA, a neurotransmitter that encourages relaxation and better sleep.

Bunches of Bananas

Bananas are rich in magnesium.        Credits: Pixabay


Set Your Body Clock: Make a specific schedule for your sleep time and waking uptime. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. The routine will help your brain and body get used to it.

Keep your alarm clock away from your reach, preferably at a height. This will make sure you do not snooze and will make you get off the bed and stretch to reach the clock.

Eat Right at Night: Avoid heavy meals or big meals during the night time. Eat something light, the heavy food overloads your digestive system and makes it difficult to fall asleep or how well you sleep. Eat your dinner at least an hour before your bedtime, you may even take a walk. This will help you to get a night of better sleep.

Free Your Mind:It will be very difficult for you to sleep if you are stressed out or are constantly thinking about your work or any decisions. You need to relax before you sleep, for this, you can read a book before your bedtime, listen to soft music, meditate a little by breathing in and out for at least ten minutes.

Avoid Sleeping During The Day: If you sleep in the afternoon, you will find it very difficult to fall asleep at night. But if you have to snooze at noon you can take a power nap and limit it to 15-20 minutes and then wake up, drink a glass of ice water, take a walk, and continue with the day.

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