Are you listening to me? I asked my friend who was looking at me pensively while I was narrating the incident of how perfect my date night was last night with all the enthusiasm and she just pulled off the conversation narrowly by responding groggily, of course, I am listening. From the tone of her response, I knew she probably wasn’t cued in while I was talking to her and then I looked more closely at her; she was not her usual-self; was tired; anxious; she is generally quite active and alert, but her responses were foggy and has she also put on some weight? So, when I asked her worriedly if everything was ok; I was dumbstruck when she said everything was alright it’s just that she hasn’t been able to sleep properly since the last couple of days.
Can few nights of restlessness have such damaging impact on our health? Turns out yes; “Sleep is a basic biological necessity – just like eating – and it has an impact on every aspect of your health and your life,” says Lawrence Epstein, Chief Medical officer of Sleep Health Centers. Good sleep not only increases energy levels and immunity in our body it also helps in maintaining good mental health. Here are some of the tried & tested ways for a restful slumber through the night: –
- Brewing herbal tea can improve your sleep quality due to the presence of elements like flavonoid apigenin which has a calming effect on our brain; few of the most recommended herbal teas are Chamomile tea, Passionfruit Tea & Valerian Tea.
- Majority of us sets an alarm to wake-up; you might want to set-up an alarm to sleep. Following a regular sleeping pattern even on weekends helps in setting our internal clock to prepare our body & mind to slowly transition from our day to night mode.
- Talking about the transition from our waking up hours to sleep hours; experts suggest having a pre-soothing hour or so before bed. You may want to take a bath, read something light (fiction novels or suspense thrillers are a big No), practice relaxation exercises or listen to some soothing music (my personal favorite is the sound of flowing water).
- How about some mental math; honestly if you are just tossing and turning in your bed; start counting backward from 300 in 3s. Numerically keeping the track of the math will not let your mind wander off to any other thought and by the time you will go through 10-12 rounds of the calculation, the boredom of the exercise will make you drowsy enough for a sound sleep.
- I am sure most of us are aware of the effects of taking a hot bath before bed; but do we also know changing into our favorite night clothes is also a step closer to a sound sleep. So is putting on a pair of clean socks as warm hands and feet has an impact on how quickly you may fall asleep.
- If you didn’t take some time out to clear the mental clutter before climbing into your bed, chances are sound sleep would be elusive to you; so keeping a journal and just writing down all the worries; things which needs to be taken care of the next day or certain unpleasant feelings going on in a loop in your mind before you start your pre-soothing hour will help to put your mind at rest and quickly fall into a cozy slumber.
- Try Aromatherapy, put few drops of lavender oil in your pillow and feel its magical fragrance pulling you towards a deep sleep.
- Last but not the least is the importance of creating a sleep-inducing setting in our bedroom; it must be dark, cool and quiet for a sound sleep, your attempt should not only be restricted to keeping it neat and clutter free but also technology free. The mattress, pillow, and sheets on your bed are equally important as the overall aura of the bedroom. So, invest some money in ensuring that you have a good, comfortable bedding which will aid your sleeping needs.
So, next time when sleep like a baby sounds like a cliché to you; try some of these tips; it may be several rounds of trials before you find what works best for you but once you do you will never regret the trials. As for me, I am sipping my cup of warm milk & honey and just about ready for a sound slumber.