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How to Improve Sleep: 5 Ways to Find a Sleep Strategy That Works

Post by on Sunday, July 4, 2021

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Do you have trouble sleeping? Try these 5 easy techniques to get a better night's sleep tonight so you can feel more rested tomorrow. 
Did you know that you'll sleep for nearly a third of your life? Sleep, on the other hand, is frequently overlooked in favour of other essentials such as food and drink. This is most likely why about 10-30% of adults have trouble sleeping or have a sleep disorder at any given point of time.
If you don't receive the necessary seven to nine hours of sleep per night, you're likely to be fatigued or angry throughout the day. Sleep deprivation, often known as not getting enough sleep, puts you at risk for a variety of health issues, including high blood pressure, tiredness, mood changes, memory loss, and weight gain. Driving your car becomes an extremely dangerous activity all of a sudden. Perhaps your connections with your family and friends are also suffering. To put it another way, sleep affects every part of your life. And the farther you get into what's known as "sleep debt," the worse these issues get.
Here are some additional symptoms of sleep deprivation you might notice:
1. Frequent yawning
2. Dozing off in front of the TV
3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Morning grogginess
5. Sudden changes in mood
Recipe for Sleep
For sound sleep, you need to adjust three key ingredients: sound, light, and temperature.
Random bumps in the night or street noises can disrupt your sleep, so consider wearing earplugs or employing white noise to drown out distractions. Make sure your phone is on mute so you don't get woken up at 2 a.m. by a random, unimportant notification.
The darker your room can be, the better your sleep will be. So, block out streetlights and consider decreasing your room lights an hour or so before bedtime. If you look at a computer or phone screen immediately before bed, you may be lowering the amounts of melatonin in your body, a hormone required for restful sleep.
A lower body temperature is required for good sleep. A hot shower or bath before bedtime will help you quickly drop your temperature and calm your mind and body. Keep your room chilly, and try sticking a foot or a leg out from under the sheets to cool down. It may surprise you how soon it can put you to sleep.
Create a Sleep Routine
When it comes to sleeping, consistency is everything. Even on weekends, if your schedule allows, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Staying in bed till noon on a Saturday may feel grand, but it will almost certainly leave you exhausted by Monday. If you establish nighttime rituals, you can also educate your mind and body to remember when it is time to sleep. Reading a nice book, showering, and laying out clothes for the next day might help your body slow down and prepare for sleep mode.
Don’t Fight
If you can't sleep, don't stress yourself out by gazing at the clock. Get up and think about something other than how many hours of potential sleep you still have. Continue reading your book, or listen to a podcast or music. Consider a hilarious TV show or a tale that makes you laugh. Don't go over your to-do list or dwell on your issues the next day. Negative thoughts will gather and keep you awake if you mentally beat yourself up or lay staring at the ceiling.
Make Healthy Choices
What you put into your body has an impact on how well you sleep. Try not to feel too full or hungry immediately before going to bed. Hydrate during the day, but restrict alcohol before bed that cause late-night toilet trips. Also, avoid using nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine soon before going to bed. Exercising during the day can also assist you in getting a better night's sleep. Some people believe that exercising shortly before bedtime keeps them awake, while others believe that it helps them sleep.
Ask for Help
Patients ask professionals about sleep on a daily basis. So, if you're having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor or a mental health expert. Consider keeping a sleep diary for a week and bringing it to your next appointment. People frequently get caught up in discussing other physical issues and fail to report their sleepless nights to medical specialists.
When you begin implementing sleep tactics in your life, keep in mind that it takes time for your body to catch up to your thoughts. You might start a routine and make some changes, only to discover that it takes a long to obtain the eight hours of sleep you've been seeking. Be patient, and don't be hesitant to ask for assistance if you require it. You still have a lot of sleeping to do in your life. Believe that with the appropriate changes, healthy sleep may become a reality rather than a pipe dream.
Random facts about sleep.
Humans spend 1/3 of their life sleeping
This obviously differs depending on the age of the human, but on average it’s around a third, which is quite a lot when you think about it.
The record for the longest period without sleep is 11 days
This was set by a Californian student named Randy Gardner in 1964. This is definitely not recommended, however, as Randy experienced extreme sleep deprivation and others have died staying awake for too long.
Dysania is the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning
We’ve all no doubt found it tricky getting out of bed before, but those suffering from Dysania find it particularly difficult. It’s most likely to be a form of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Parasomnia is a term that refers to unnatural movements during your sleep
Some people have even committed crime due to parasomnia, including sleep driving and even murder.
The sensation of falling when half asleep and jerking yourself awake is called ‘hypnic jerks’
No one is totally sure why hypnic jerks occur but they are deemed to be perfectly healthy. However, they may be increased by anxiety, caffeine or physical activity close to bedtime. They’re more frequent in young people and decrease as we get older.
Dr. Siddharth Chowdhury is a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at VIMHANS, New Delhi and can be reached on siddharthchowdhury@gmail.com

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