Published on Jun 26, 2019 and last reviewed on Sep 11, 2019 - 5 min read
A good night’s sleep is very important for the normal functioning of the body. When a baby is born, it sleeps for 12 to 15 hours, but as we age, getting and staying asleep for 6 to 7 hours becomes a challenge. Recent researches suggest that people who do not get 7 to 9 hours of sleep face many mental and physical problems later in life.
Slows the degenerative process of the musculoskeletal and neurological system.
Helps detox the body.
Improves concentration, memory, and efficacy.
Helps boost the immune system.
Promotes the proper functioning of the circulatory system.
Helps in the healing of minor injuries by inducing endorphins and encephalin, which are natural painkillers.
Facilitates proper calcification of bones.
Decreases the incidence of mental illnesses.
To help you fall asleep as fast as possible, here are some methods that you can try:
This method was used to help pilots fall asleep in 2 minutes or less. It might take some time to master, but it was found to be effective. The steps involved are:
Relax your face, muscles in the mouth, legs, thigh, and calves, and let your hands drop to the side to release tension from your shoulders.
Relax your chest by exhaling and clear your mind by imaging something peaceful for 10 seconds.
If you are still not relaxed, repeat the words “Don’t think” for 10 seconds. You should fall asleep.
This is a breathing method that helps you relax, which you can also use when you are anxious or stressed. The steps are:
By placing the tip of the tongue behind the upper front teeth, exhale through your mouth making a whoosh sound.
Then, while mentally counting till four, close your mouth and inhale through the nose.
Count to seven while holding your breath, and while counting to eight, exhale through your mouth while making a whoosh sound.
Repeat this at least three times.
It is training your body to get up and sleep at the same time every day. This makes the body’s internal clock alert during the day and sleepy at night. Make it a habit to sleep 7 to 8 hours every day.
Keeping the windows of the room open or maintaining the temperature of the room around 23 ℃ helps you fall asleep. As you fall asleep, the core temperature decreases, and the temperature of your hands and feet increases, which might make getting sleep difficult if your room is hot.Taking a hot shower before going to bed also helps.
Studies show that people who perform yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises are better sleepers than people who do not. Yoga and meditation help you relax and calm your nerves. Meditation also increases levels of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
It is commonly seen that people who suffer from insomnia tend to sleep during the day as they feel tired and sleepy. The longer naps you take during the day, the harder you will find to fall asleep during the night. So fight the urge to take a nap during the day.
Avoid watching television or playing video games or using tablets, phones, and other gadgets for half an hour before you go to bed. Avoid watching television in your bed. Switch off all electronic devices and place them away from the bed, as the light from these devices can interfere with your sleep.
Avoid drinking coffee and all other beverages that contain caffeine for at least 6 hours before you go to bed. Instead, try drinking herbal tea like chamomile and hibiscus, which help you relax and promote sleep.
If you keep getting up in the middle of your sleep or you are not able to sleep at all, avoid looking at the watch. Patients suffering from insomnia are known to get anxious and more stressed when they look at the clock and realize how late it is, which makes things worse.
Consuming high-carbohydrate and low-fat for dinner might affect the quality of sleep. It has been seen that consuming a high-carbohydrate meal results in a disturbed sleep. While it has been noticed that consuming a high-fat meal promotes deep and restful sleep.
People who exercise daily are known to sleep better. But low-intensity workout in the morning is more effective than high-intensity workouts in the evenings. Exercise reduces the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and increases the levels of serotonin, which is necessary for good psychological health.
The quality and depth of sleep are remarkably improved if you use a comfortable mattress and bedding. Get orthopedic pillows that perfectly fit the curve of your neck and use a medium-firm mattress.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to relax the body. Many studies have shown aromatherapy to improve the quality of sleep. Lavender and damask rose are commonly used to promote sleep.
If you find that your brain is hyperactive, then try to visualize about things and places that calm you down. You can think about waterfalls, greenery, mountains, etc., to relax.
Supplements that enhance sleep-promoting hormones are found to be helpful. The supplements include Magnesium, 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), Melatonin, Theanine, and Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Turn off all lights and electronic devices at night. The pineal gland in the brain releases melatonin when it is dark, which is a hormone that induces sleep. This hormone sends signals to the brain that it is time to sleep.
This might not work for everyone. If you find that listening to relaxing music before going to bed helps, then do it. Some people find listening to music too stimulating, which can result in anxiety and sleeplessness.
Many people find it difficult to fall back asleep after getting up in the middle of the night to pee. So it is a good idea to use the toilet before you go to bed. But if you are getting up multiple times to empty your bladder at night, then it might be a sign of urinary tract infection or diabetes.
It is not a good idea to drink large amounts of alcohol at night. It makes people restless and nauseous, which can interfere with sleep.
A proper and comfortable sleep position is essential for good night sleep. Find a comfortable position and sleep, as it will prevent you from frequently changing position and disturbing your sleep. Sleeping on the side is considered to be the most comfortable position.
Some other things that you can try are reading a novel and acupressure. Difficulty sleeping might be frustrating and can affect mental and physical health. If you are still finding it difficult to sleep even after trying everything, consult a sleep medicine physician online.
Query: Hi doctor, My 6 year old girl is showing unusual behavior from the last few weeks. She has a problem in sleeping. She says that she could not sleep. Sometimes, she wakes up after 2 hours of sleep and starts crying. It will last for at least 2 hours, and then she again goes to sleep. She says her t... Read Full »
Query: Hi doctor, I am taking psychiatric medicines for a long period. Recently, I had been taking Sulpitac, Xet CR plus, and Pregabid NT. A few days back, I quitted all the medicines. Now I have symptoms of paranoia and insomnia. I do not want to take many medications. I need an antipsychotic to fall asl... Read Full »
Query: Hello doctor,I have depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, lack of energy and sleep, excess sweating, fast heartbeat from last 18 years. I have tried several ayurvedic treatments, then went to psychiatric treatment but no benefit. Previously doctor prescribed me Nexito Forte and Pronol 10 in morni... Read Full »
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