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Sleep, Sleep, Where are you?


A young man trying to sleep
Sleeplessness is common

In our encounters with patients, we see many of them struggling to get sound sleep and we know how distressing it can be. Lack of sound sleep can make a person feel grumpy and tired all day. The quality of sleep plays a crucial role in all aspects of our lives - from physical health to cognitive functioning and emotional well-being. 


Sound sleep goes much beyond simply closing our eyes and drifting off into unconsciousness. It encompasses the quality, duration, and continuity of rest. Sound sleep involves cycling through the various stages of sleep, including light sleep, deep sleep, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, in a natural, uninterrupted pattern. It leaves us feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle the day.


It takes intentional effort and practice to get to that ultimate mode of sound sleep, which most crave for. But consistently using the following Sleep Hygiene tips can significantly increase the quality of sleep. Try the following for at least 2 weeks to see the results.


1. Regularizing timings of sleeping and getting up - Setting your body clock gives our brain the message that it’s time to sleep and it’s time to wake up. When not being able to get sleep, rather than tossing around in the bed, get up and sit on a chair and try to listen to soothing music or read a book (not an electronic book) until you get sleep and then go back to bed. Use the bed only for sleeping and avoid sitting on the bed to do your work. This way you are training your brain to associate your bed to a place only meant for sleeping. If you are napping in the afternoons, keep it short.


2. Regular exercise (especially in the mornings) - Exercise has a positive impact on sleep quality and duration. Regular movement routine can help you fall asleep faster, experience deeper and more restful sleep phases, and you will wake up feeling more energized. Exercise releases endorphins, also known as 'happy hormones', which interact with brain receptors to reduce the perception of pain and stress. This can lead to a calmer mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. Morning exercise, coupled with exposure to natural light, can help regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promote better sleep at night.


3. Regularizing mealtimes - Especially important to finish dinner at least 2 hours before sleep. We see a lot of patients having sleep issues due to acidity problems when they eat close to bedtime. It’s also advisable to avoid fatty foods for dinner.


4. Avoiding caffeinated drinks after 5 pm - Caffeine in your favorite drinks like coffee, tea, hot chocolate and coke keeps the brain alert, therefore it’s best to finish drinking them before 5pm.


5. Avoiding alcohol - Let’s bust the myth here, ‘Alcohol helps me sleep’ is not true. Although alcohol induces feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, the consumption of alcohol, especially in excess, has been linked to poor sleep quality and duration. (Look forward to our next post for more on this!)


6. Avoiding stimulating activities at night (TV, physical activity etc.) - Although following a regular exercise routine is advised, avoid doing it late into the night as it stimulates you. Disconnect from all electronic devices like TV, mobile, laptop at least 2 hours before bedtime. The blue light emitting from these devices interferes with the production of sleep hormone, melatonin which regulates sleep.


 7. Setting the right environment for sleep (temperature, lighting, comfort etc.) - Setting the room is another aspect of getting good sleep. Drawing the curtains, dimming the lights, comfortable bed, right temperature all these can go a long way in inducing restful sleep.


Winding down for the day can help signal your body and mind to prepare for sleep. Having a nighttime routine like taking a shower, drinking milk, playing soft music, reading a book etc., can help. Although these are general tips, Sleep Hygiene may have to be customized to your needs for maximum benefits. Get in touch with our Support Team if you need help with it.


Sound sleep is not a luxury; it's a fundamental pillar of our overall health and well-being. By prioritizing quality sleep and adopting healthy sleep habits, we can reap the many benefits that come with it, including improved physical health, cognitive functioning, emotional well-being, and productivity. Let's recognize the importance of sound sleep and strive to create environments and routines that support restorative rest for ourselves and those around us. After all, a good night's sleep is the foundation upon which we build our best selves.





At Ashok One Hospital, the Support Team is available to help patients in their journey to wellness by educating, supporting, and helping customize Sleep Hygiene for them, along with relaxation techniques.

Connect with our Support Team today @ 8591001826


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