Is this something that you would say more than 3 days in a week? When you are wide awake staring at the fan and then at your phone trying to find a friend, who might be awake to talk to, you might feel that you’re the only person who does not get sound sleep.
But insomnia and sleep disorders are more common than you might think
- More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
- One in three people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime.
- Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men
- 90% of people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia
So how much sleep do you need? This actually depends from person to person but the general guidelines recommended by the National Sleep Foundation states that adults between ages 20-65 need 7-9 hours of sleep. A person suffering from insomnia or some sleep disorder finds difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when he has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.
While sleep medications are prescribed by a doctor in chronic conditions, it is still a drug that you could potentially get addicted to. Here are a few natural methods that will help you to sleep well and experience all the benefits that come with a good night’s sleep!
Consume foods that help improving sleep
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your body’s sleep and wake cycle. There are some foods that contain naturally occurring substances that promote the production of melatonin and help you to sleep better. ,
Include foods like walnuts, almonds, dairy products like milk, butter, and cheese, lettuce and rice in your diet to help with better sleep.
You might recall your grandmom saying “A glass of warm milk before bed will help you sleep better”. Calcium in dairy products help manufacture melatonin which triggers sleep and the calcium also regulate muscle movement which promotes sleep.
Also, avoid sugar and caffeinated products just before sleeping. Try to eat at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Acupressure points to promote faster sleep
There are specific points on your body if pressed or massaged gently just before sleeping, will help in sleeping faster. They are as follows –
- There is a small depression just below your brows right above your nose. Apply gentle pressure to that point using your thumb for 1 minute.
- On top of your foot between your first and second toe, there is a depression. Press that area for 1-2 minutes
- Massage both your ears for 1-2 minutes
Make your environment conducive to sleep
Having a conducive sleep environment plays a very important role in quality and faster sleep. Make the room completely dark. Have dark curtains if there is too much light coming in from the windows. The temperatures should be slightly lower than what you normally like. Use a soft comforter or blanket to cover yourself. Do not have your phones or laptops/tabs around your bed. There are also specific devices/gadgets available that will help you sleep better if you are suffering from a chronic problem
Maintain a routine
Having a fixed routine, for the day as well as just before sleeping is very important.
- Your routine must start with getting up at the same time in the morning no matter what time you slept, for at least 4-5 days in the week.
- Keep hydrated.
- Get atleast half hour of sun exposure daily.
- Include some form of exercise in your daily routine.
For the bedtime routine, once dinner is done, indulge in activities that will help you slow down. So, dim the lights, start listening to some slow calming music. Use a diffuser with lavender oil in your room. Lavender is known for its soothing effects and helps in sleeping. Take a warm/ hot shower. Give yourself a small massage post the bath, including the acupressure points and you be will be ready to sleep.
You can get aroma oils and a diffuser here
Listen to prayers/ chants or meditative music
Listening to meditative music, or prayers or chants is another effective way to help calm yourself before bedtime. Lie down on the bed and play the same music/ chant on loop. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. And along with helping you to sleep, this also brings in a lot of positive energy in your homes.
Yoga for better sleep
Regular practice of yoga is known to cure several ailments, including insomnia or abnormal sleeping habits. Yoga helps unwind at the end of the day and gives better sleep at night. Asanas like Standing forward bend (Hastapadasana), Cat stretch (Marjariasana), Child pose(Shishuasana), and Legs-up-the-wall pose (ViparitaKarani) are very beneficial.
Adding theses simple and effective diet, routine and exercises are definitely going to improve your sleep time as well as quality. Do let us know if you have some other simple tips that help you sleep faster and better