Sleep is the natural pattern of placing your mind and body in a state of rest and is essential for a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. Current lifestyles are such that the sleep pattern is disrupted due to multiple reasons. Irregular sleep cycles, lack of adequate sleep, and poor quality of sleep can affect a person in any of the following ways:
Adopting good sleep habits will provide long-term benefits and even increase life expectancy. If you do not want to increase the risk of diseases and wish to improve overall good health, then you should incorporate the following practices into your life:
1. Create an ambience ideal for sleep – Reduced noise and lower light can create a sense of calm. You can further soothe the mind by placing aromatic lavender in the room to induce sleep. Set the room temperature to neither too cold nor too warm. Once all your senses are relaxed, it will be easier for you to fall asleep.
2. Listen to your body clock – Understand your body’s needs and plan your activities accordingly. Do not sleep more than you need or sleep less than you should.
3. Keep gadgets outside the bedroom – Do not take your entertainment devices into your bedroom. Being connected to the Internet round the clock, watching TV or playing games on other devices can keep you from falling asleep. Even after switching off these devices, your mind will continue to remain active and prevent you from falling asleep instantly.
4. Establish a sleep time-table - Make it a practice to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. Once you make it a habit, your body will automatically adjust to the routine and function efficiently.
5. Make your sleeping space comfortable – Use pillows, mattresses, and duvets that are comfortable throughout the night. If you’re not comfortable while asleep it may result in poor or interrupted sleep. This will further cause physical pain and mental stress with the lack of a good night’s rest.
6. Avoid stimulants before bedtime – Smoking, caffeine, nicotine, and other chemicals stimulate the mind and prevent you from falling asleep at the time that you should. Alcohol may induce sleep but once the initial effects wear off, it becomes a stimulant and makes you wake up many times through the night.
7. Ensure you get minimum hours of required sleep – Every person’s requires at least six of hours of sleep every day, though the ideal sleep time is for eight hours. This gives your body and mind the adequate time required to become refreshed.
8. Limit activities before bedtime – As your day comes to an end you should do smaller activities that are not stressful on your body or mind. Take a nice warm bath or read a book. Working before bedtime and anything emotionally stimulating can keep you awake for longer than necessary.