Skip to main content

Know how to nod off

Set your (body) clock
The human body comes with its own internal alarm clock; all you have to do is know how to set it. The most important sleep hygiene measure is to maintain a regular waking and sleeping pattern. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day sets the body’s internal clock to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on weekends as well to avoid a Monday morning sleep hangover. Waking up at the same time each day is the best way to set your clock; even if you did not sleep well the night before, the slight sleep deprivation will help you sleep better the following night.
Keep out the clutter
It may help to limit your bedroom activities to sleep. Keeping the computer, TV and work-related material out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.
Create a sleep-inducing environment
A quiet, dark and cool environment can help promote sound sleep. If light in the early morning bothers you, use heavy curtains, blackout shades or an eye mask to block light — a powerful cue that tells the brain that it’s time to wake up. Any distracting sounds that might make it difficult to fall asleep or cause awakening during the night should be eliminated. Keep the temperature comfortably cool/warm and the room well ventilated. And make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable.
Develop sleep rituals
It is important to give your body cues that it is time to slow down and sleep.
Indulge in some relaxing activities an hour or so before bed. Light reading before bed is a good way to prepare yourself for sleep; taking a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), practicing relaxation exercises or having a cup of caffeine-free tea (chamomile is ideal) are some ideas. Engaging in the same ritual each evening prior to going to bed can actually train the body that it is time to fall asleep.
Avoid stressful, stimulating activities, for example doing work or exercise or discussing emotional issues, etc right before bed. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness.
Don’t go to bed unless sleepy
Just lying in bed and trying to sleep for hours and hours simply creates a more stressful situation making it more difficult to fall asleep. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, engage in some activity that might help you relax, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep.
Nap early or not at all
Many people have a habit of taking a nap during the day. However, if you find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night think again — your afternoon nap may be one of the culprits. This is because late-day naps decrease sleep drive. If you must nap, it’s better to keep it short and early. If you didn’t sleep well the night before, a nap during the day may seem a good idea but it can actually make the situation worse by continuing to disrupt a routine sleep-wake cycle.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and other chemicals that interfere with sleep
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some prescription and non-prescription drugs contain caffeine — a stimulant that can keep you awake. So avoid caffeine for four to six hours before bedtime.
Similarly, refrain from using tobacco products too close to bedtime.

Can’t go to sleep and spend half the night tossing and turning in bed? Thinking of getting a prescription for sleeping pills? Then read on to discover the secrets of sleep hygiene and enjoy a good night’s sleep; wake up refreshed, ready to take the next day head on

Take care what you eat
If your stomach is too empty, that can interfere with sleep. However, if you eat a heavy meal before bedtime, that can interfere as well. Finish dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause indigestion. If you feel hungry at night, snack on food that won’t disturb your sleep, perhaps dairy foods and carbohydrates. But remember, chocolate has caffeine.
Balance fluid intake
Drink enough fluid at night to keep from waking up thirsty — but not so much and so close to bedtime that you will be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.
Exercise early
Regular exercise is recommended to help you sleep well, but the timing of the workout is important. Exercise stimulates the body by secreting the stress hormone cortisol, which
helps activate the alerting mechanism in the brain. So, try to finish exercising at least three hours before bed or work out earlier in the day. However, a relaxing exercise, like yoga, can be done before bed to help initiate a restful night’s sleep.
Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, May 25th, 2014

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Humanity, Religion, Culture, Ethics, Science, Spirituality & Peace
Peace Forum Network
Over 1,000,000 Visits
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Popular posts from this blog

A historic moment in the Arab world

لحظة تاريخية في العالم العربي
As a democratic revolution led by tech-empowered young people sweeps the Arab world, Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera's director-general, shares a profoundly optimistic view of what's happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond. In the first talk posted online from the TED 2011 conference in California, Khanfar describes the powerful moment when people realised they could step out of their homes and ask for change. "كما ثورة ديمقراطية بقيادة الشباب التكنولوجيا ذات صلاحيات تجتاح العالم العربي ، وضاح خنفر ، الجزيرة المدير العام والأسهم وجهة نظر متفائلة بشكل كبير ما يحدث في مصر وتونس وليبيا وخارجها. وفي اول حديث له نشر على الانترنت من مؤتمر تيد 2011 في ولاية كاليفورنيا ، خنفر يصف لحظة قوية عند الناس أدركت أنها لا يمكن الخروج من منازلهم ونطلب من أجل التغيير." This talk was given on March 1, 2011 in Long Beach, California. TED 2011 is taking place between March 1 and Mar…

Our Captured, Wounded Hearts: Arundhati Roy On Balakot, Kashmir And India

With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it.  Keep reading  >>>>

India has built around itself an aura of a global power whose time has come. For at least the last t…

Kashmir Jihad - Analysis & Options


Kashmir is an incomplete agenda of partition of India. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars on this issue. According to UN resolutions, Kashmiris have to decide their accession to Pakistan or India through impartial plebiscite, which could not take place due to Indian reluctance. Recently, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special autonomous status to Kashmir, it was done to unilaterally integrate occupied Kashmir. This is a violation of the UN resolutions and the Simla bilateral agreement, which demands to maintain status quo until the final settlement. The US and world powers are emphasizing that Kashmir should be resolved bilaterally, though India has refused to hold talks with Pakistan. In the present scenario, while India has turned Kashmir into the largest prison of 9 million people, denying basic human rights and oppressing the Kashmiris' who want freedom from India, Pakistan cannot watch as a silent spec…