Essential Elements of Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is important not only for the body but also for the mind. If we do not have proper sleep, the next day will be a bad day. It will give room for anger and frustration including mental depression. It will silently lead to many a disease for some. At the same time, peaceful sleep will provide healthy life according to the medical experts.
The expert ‘Sleep hygiene’ doctor, Ramakrishnan opines that a good sleep largely depends on our lifestyle and food habits. He further says that the following measures can be adopted to have a good and proper sleep:-
Habit of going to bed at a particular time:-
Some people will go to sleep and get up anytime they feel which is incorrect. It is a good practice to cultivate going to bed at the right time. If we do this practice, we will be able to sleep peacefully and wake up at the right time. In due course, this will happen as per our biological clock. The brain balances the level of harmones serotonin and melatonin and ensure that we are able to sleep the right way.
Night food is important:-
It is ideal to have our night food at least two hours in advance so that it will get digested before we retire to bed. Moreover, we should refrain from eating curd, egg, meat, fried items and fast food items which will take more time to digest.
Take care of bed room environment:-
The bed room should be conducive in terms of air and ventilation. The environment should be as dark as possible while sleeping. Dark black screen can be used to prevent blinding light environment. Based on one’s body requirement, the temperature can be had in the bed room.
Music – the comforter:-
Mental peace is the real tonic for a good sleep. It is difficult to have a peaceful sleep with a heavy heart. For this purpose, one can have a friendly chat with relatives and friends or listen to some soft music. Music is a great comforter for many.
Yoga will be helpful:-
Yoga exercises like meditation, breathing exercise etc. will relieve one of stress and tension. As a result, it will assure sound sleep.
Say NO to coffee and tea:-
It is better to say a big ‘NO’ to coffee, tea and other liquor beverages especially after 5 PM. The caffeine in coffee may stimulate energy in an individual; but at the same time, it will spoil the sleep in the night and hence it should be avoided.
A cup of milk is worth:-
It is not an exaggeration to state that a cup of milk is really worthy to drink before one goes to sleep. The tryptophan that is available in cow’s milk will balance the neuro transmitter in the body and will facilitate good sleep. Fruit salad with apple and banana will do a lot of good in getting deep sleep.
Lying posture is equally important:-
Lying supine with face up or on one side is better than lying prone with face down. Similarly, the bed and the pillow must be suitable; one should not go to bed with wet clothes or tight wearing.
Bed time books:-
No serious books, novels, thrillers, action stories etc. should be read before going to sleep as they will induce our brain to be more active. These books or pictures will disturb peace resulting in loss of sleep.
No mobile please:-
Not only mobile but also other gadgets like laptop, computer, I-pad etc. should be avoided in the bed room. Some people may use these gadgets until they go to sleep which will be unnecessarily prolonged.
Avoid day sleep:-
Sleep during afternoon or evening should not be encouraged as it may certainly disturb the regular sleep in the night. Similarly, if the sleep is disturbed in the night, one should not think of the next day’s routines.
Waling is always good:-
No serious exercise must be done an hour before one goes to sleep. However, a short walking practice in the evening will enable and promote a good slumber in the night.
(This article written in Tamil by G Lakshmanan has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)