How long has it been since you had a good night’s sleep? Maybe you never had one since 9, when you actually hated sleep, but those stuffed toys beside you were just good enough to give you a good nightâ€™s sleep. Several years later now, we crave for the same sleep we got back then, a good nightâ€™s sleep. Sleep is probably the most essential factor in determining our bodyâ€™s capacity to work and handle the daily pressures.
Here are some great benefits of getting a good nightâ€™s sleep:
- You feel fresh the next morning, Ready to go to work happily.
- Your mind is clearer and sharper; you will be able to focus better.
- It reduces your stress massively.
- It keeps your heart healthy, keeps your BP in check and bolsters your memory.
- It helps you lose weight and makes you look good.
No wonder we try really hard to get a good nightâ€™s sleep and in the process become restless which only distances us from proper sleep. Along with a good nightâ€™s sleep you also need to maintain a proper sleep-wake cycle. Once you get accustomed to it, your biological clock will handle your sleep problems for you.
So letâ€™s cut to the chase, I have a few tips for your sleep problems. They can be practiced easily and wonâ€™t strain you in any way. And yeah, they serve for both purposes, to sleep better and to set your sleep-wake cycle. Here they are;
- Practice Pranayama â€“ Pranayama is a type of yogic breathing exercise in which you practice deep breathing. It helps you beat stress, makes your mind sharper and lighter, thus inducing sleep. Practicing pranayama is very easy may require a maximum of 15 minutes a day accompanied with meditation. I recommend you to read more about it here, particularly the 6 different techniques to practice pranayama.
- Sleepers and Wakers â€“ Certain foods possess the chemicals that can delay or induce sleep. To keep it simple, Foods containing the amino acid tryptophan are sleep-inducing (Sleepers) and foods that contain the amino acid tyrosine delay sleep (Wakers). To name a few, Egg yolk, cashew, beef, almonds, bananas and potatoes induce sleep, while peanuts, coffee, sandwiches, protein shakes, soy products and apples delay sleep. You can appropriately delay or induce sleep to set a sleep-wake cycle.
- Music for Deep Sleep â€“ Certain kinds of music can help you sleep better. Hereâ€™s an amazing fact, music in which thereâ€™s a difference of frequency in the range 2Hz-5Hz in the left and right earpieces can induce deep sleep. The difference can also extend up to 11Hz; however it only induces normal sleep or Non-REM sleep. Music with this difference in frequency can be found easily as in soft rock, trance, soul and some kinds of natural sounds like the rustling of leaves and the sound of the oceanic waves.
- Quit Smoking â€“ I know smoking actually is a stress buster, it clears your mind sure but no it is bad if you want a good nightâ€™s sleep. The problem here is nicotine; it keeps you activated for a long time. Iâ€™ll keep it simple here; it destroys certain chemicals that induce sleep, so you ought to quit smoking for better sleep.
- Offer yourself to some comfort â€“ Try to create an atmosphere that facilitates sleep. Firstly try to keep your place cool and quiet. Visualization techniques can be effective; either in your mind or on the walls around you, so try to imagine something peaceful or use posters of calming imagery on the wall. Lastly your bed and pillow to have to be comfortable enough for you to get good sleep.
- Donâ€™t doze off at unusual times â€“ They are the best destroyers of your sleep-wake cycle. At night you have to bear the brunt with no sleep at all. Try to keep yourself up until your usual bedtime. Try sleep-delaying foods, little physical activity (Donâ€™t try anything strenuous), fast paced music and chewing gum too can also help!
- Placebo? â€“ Have you been using any medication to get sleep? How long have you been using it? Placebo is deceptive treatment that usually blossoms from a physician-patient relationship. I cannot elaborate what placebo means and it is also important that you shouldnâ€™t know about this because it depends on your psychological response. So, if you have on medication for a long time, consult your doctor for a placebo effect.
This article was written by Aditya Samitinjay, who is currently studying Medicine. His interests are based in Sports, Reading, Writing and Music. He is an ardent fan of Liverpool FC, delves into the Rock â€˜nâ€™ Roll world and usually writes at his personal blog Mental Health and Lifestyle Tips. You can also catch up with him on Twitter (@foralitelife) and Facebook (/likelitelife)