Sleep well to get up on the right side of bed
Photo Credit : happyho,
If we are not happy – we find it difficult to sleep. And if we can’t sleep, we are not happy. Catch 22. Quite a few of us have difficulty getting sound sleep at night. Harder we try, with our eyes tightly closed, more sleep alludes us. It is definitely bad news for our mental and physical health. Our thinking becomes sluggish and our performance suffers. We wake up feeling groggy and end up being irritable – in a way readying ourselves for another night of sleeplessness.
Don’t do that…break the cycle.
A few small changes can lead you to sound sleep and happy waking up.
- Make sure that your surroundings are clean, bed neat and clean and temperature right. If you have to drag yourself out of the bed to manipulate A/C or fan, or you find a small crumb of chocolate you just had on your bed, it impacts peace of mind.
- Have your pick – a small glass of wine or a mug of warm milk. If you are struggling to relax, these come in handy. Both work towards relieving muscle tension and calming the mind.
- Relax your mind and body. Don’t continue challenging work, be it mental or physical, till the time you crash on your bed. Give your mind time to calm down and your body to cool at least an hour before it is sleep time. So that you do not carry your work stress to bed with you.
- A few minutes of meditation as you are getting ready to sleep has a marvellous calming effect. If you are not into meditation – do some slow breathing. Hold your breath for a second or two, then release, counting to four. Focused breathing helps in letting go off tension and calms you. At the same time, deep breathing helps to relax your muscles too.
- Pay attention to your body’s natural clock. Each one of us has a natural clock which governs circadian or 24-hourly rhythm of our body. Our sleeping patterns too are decided by it. Normally, a person would sleep for 7-8 hours starting anytime between 9 to 11 PM. Sometimes we push sleep away due to various reasons. If it becomes a normal practice, rhythm of our body is disturbed and sleep starts eluding us. Listen to your body’s rhythm and sleep when your body and mind signal fatigue and sleepiness.
- Limit caffeine. Caffeine, as is, is not healthy for us. Among other things, it can cause insomnia. As it increases the metabolism of the body till the time it is in our body, it is strictly advised not to have caffeine at least for four to five hours before going to bed.
- Spray lavender oil. If it is stress that is keeping you away from sleep, try using lavender aroma oil or light a lavender candle. However, be sure that if you use aroma oil, use it sparingly. Just a few drops sprayed on your pillow would be enough. If you opt for a lavender candle, keep it at a safe place not too close to the bed. It is known for helping relax your emotional state
- Make sure your dinner is the lightest meal of the day. Avoid food that takes long to digest, or is overly stimulating. Avoiding carbohydrates completely would be a good idea. It does not only aid peaceful sleep, but also helps you wake up lighter and brighter.
- Practice Yoga. There are gentle yoga stretches and exercises that ease you mind and body. Practicing them half-an-hour before you hit the bed would lead you to peaceful sleep. A word of caution though, seek expert advice and do not go for rigorous exercises at night.
- Breathe in fresh air. In the earlier days, people used to go for a gentle stroll post dinner. Do take a short and slow walk post your dinner. It helps cleanse the mind and get the food settled. When you close your eyes to sleep you feel peaceful and in synchronisation with your body rhythm. Make sure to finish all your chores before going for that stroll.
- Warm relaxing bath does the trick. Some of us believe in aura and some don’t. For the believers, a warm bath helps in removing the bad influences of the entire day, making us feel pure and light. For those who don’t believe in it – a nice warm bath makes us feel relaxed and calm.
- Switch off TV at least 30-45 minutes before going to bed. More often than not, news as well as shows make us glued to them by making us emotionally charged. It hinders our sleep. Make sure you are at peace with yourself when you go to sleep.
- In case sleep eludes you for a few minutes, don’t reach out for you mobile to check chats and updates. Better still your cell should not be your bed mate. Keep it away, focus on your breathe and lead yourself to calmness. Peace will follow.
Disclaimer: This article was originally published on HappyHo and is republished here with permission.
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