Ernest Hemingway once said,
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know !”
The fact is, your life also tends to fall apart when you don’t sleep well. By ‘well’, I mean 5/6 hours of good, undisturbed sleep – the prescribed amount for humans, to get their bodies and brains functioning normally. A thing we frequently tend to ignore, in our quest to fulfill our targets. But we forget, that we have been designed to function with the optimum amount of sleep, and not without it.
And people, who do pay heed to that fact, sometimes tend to suffer from recurrent bouts of insomnia. I have often heard patients complaining that they are not being able to sleep well.
A closer inspection of several cases has led me to conclude that we often tend to commit grave sins that lead to this problem. Like, having caffeine within an hour of going to bed. It can, and does wreak havoc with our sleep cycle. And I kind of know this from personal experience!!
What are the other things to follow to avoid waking up stoned, despite being in bed for quite long? There’s something called sleep hygiene, which needs to be maintained, for a perfect sleep.
Here’s a list :
(ok, counting sheep will also do. But you don’t want to end up counting thousands! )
- Avoid heavy meals 2-3 hours before sleep.
It puts our metabolism on full throttle, and as a result the brain is too busy to go into hibernation mode.
- Avoid rigorous exercises in the evening, which puts our bodies and minds on overdrive. And they usually take 4-5 hours to settle down.
- Don’t nap in the evenings.
Long naps in the evenings/afternoons is a strict no-no !
4. Switch off that television set at least half an hour before going to sleep. Watching bright screens (even mobiles/ tablets/ eBook readers) set our brains on high alert – as a result we have problems switching down gears and sleeping afterwards.
- Listen to some music.
Soft, instrumental types. But not hard rock / metal. Which will have the exact opposite effect I’m afraid !
- Read a book.
There can’t be a better advice for insomniacs. Read that book you like for 30 minutes before going to bed, and you are halfway there. In not too bright a light though, and avoid the LEDs. They are good for the electricity bills, but not for your sleep.
- Avoid drinking lots of water at night.
For obvious reasons 🙂 You don’t want to wake up for that loo visit multiple time at night, do you ?
- Give some attention to making your bed comfortable.
And clean. You should not like have your dinner on it, and end up leaving scraps of pizza !
A cool and nice environment in the bedroom also helps. So don’t get into arguments with your wife/gf in it 😀
9. Maintain a regular routine.
You should always maintain a good sleep schedule. That trains the brain when to shut down each day!
10. Leave your brain alone.
Yes. Let it wander. Don’t lie down and think about office work ! And don’t try too hard to fall asleep ! Ordering your brain around isn’t very helpful !
If you are still facing difficulties, repeat steps no 4 and 5.
11. Read our blog.
As you have realized by now, that’s the ultimate pill for a good night’s sleep.