Hey peeps!

I need your help with something!

So, before you help me, let’s figure out my problem.

Last month my sleep was disrupted like anything. 
I remember going to bed at around 11:00 pm and would keep staring the walls till 1:00 pm or 2:00 pm. Out of all the things which affect my mental well-being, sleep tops the list. If I am not able to sleep for minimum 7-8 hours, my next day would be spent in feeling frustrated and lethargic. 
I remember in my initial office days, I tried hard to reduce my sleep time (after all all the productive people sleep for only 3-4 hours!), but failed miserably. Sleeping less never worked for me. It started affecting my performance at work, relationship with everyone, food habits and many more things. Most of the times, the effects are so subtle that we don’t even realize that we are getting affected!

 

Sleep is important but Why?  What happens when you sleep? 

While you are asleep, your brain is busy updating and rebooting. It takes the information you have gathered throughout the day unconsciously  and processes it into explicit, conscious knowledge. Research says that sleep promote the removal of waste products from brain cells. This activity can’t happen when the brain is awake. In short sleep rewires your brain to function appropriately for the next day.  Along with proper functioning of brain, it helps the body to restore, and heal. While there wouldn’t be many quick side affects, in a longer run it can cause depression, seizures, high blood pressure, infection and many other disorders (study).

 

Any ways, coming back to my last month’s sleep disorder, I went to my Naturopathic doctor and here are the few things she suggested. I have started implementing it and things are improving, a little more every day.  Let’s see if it can help you too!

  • Download f.lux :- f.lux is a free download that warms up your computer display at night, to match your indoor lighting. I have read it thousand times that one should reduce the screen time before bed, but it’s easier said than done! This app helps to make the digital screens less blue at night.
  • Use the BetterMe iPhone app:- Now, this is funny, and I haven’t used it, but in case you are interested! 😋 If you can not stop snoozing at your own, BetterMe posts to Facebook every time you hit snooze on your phone’s alarm clock. The public shame should get you out of bed earlier.😄

  • Curb naps:- I have this habit of sleeping in the afternoon, but I noticed that sleeping for more than 30 minutes in the afternoon affected my sleep pattern in the night. Now, I am trying to reduce my nap time to less than 30 minutes.
  • Drink Chamomile or Lavender Tea:-  I have got the pills for Lavender Tea from my Naturopathic doctor, but you can buy these herbal teas. It will help you feel relaxed and make it easy to hit the sheets.

  • Clear your mind:- I have been a meditation practitioner for the last 2 years or more. Initially I used to meditate 15 minutes before going to bed, and I was easy on sleeping. For the last one year, I changed my habit and started meditating in the evening. For me understanding this effect has been a game changer. I have now started meditating for as little as 5 minutes before bed, and slowly I am getting there.

  • Embrace white noise:- White noise is better noise. By technical definition, white noise is a consistent noise that comes out evenly across all hearable frequencies. White noise is just an equal amount of frequency at every frequency, from low to high, that a human being can hear. It acts as a masking noise and tries to neutralize loud or sporadic sounds that keep you up at bedtime.

  • Bathe at night:- Okay, so I don’t do it but, I have heard it helps people get better sleep. Take a hot shower before bed. For me, I just out my legs in a bucket of warm water with little bit of salt. This relaxes the nerves and in turn the whole body making the transition to sleep much easier.

  • Try essential oil:- There are a number of essential oils which can help mind ease and sleep better. For me, the best choice has been Frankincense oil. The smell calms my mind, and helps me drift in deep sleep. However, there are other options too, you can try. Kris Carr, a Wellness advocate promotes Lavender Oil and Rose oil in her to-go list.

  • Watch your caffeine intake:- Caffeine hurts! I have tried drinking tea unconsciously before going to bed, and it kept me awake whole night. Ouch! If you too are doing to unconsciously, make a small change and stop drinking coffee, caffeinated tea after noon. Caffeine can also decrease the amount of restful sleep that happens at night.
  • Supplements:- Melatonin is a supplement I take everyday to get better sleep. Along with that, taking little Magnesium before bed helps to sleep better too. However, I would advice your doctor before you take any supplement.
Out of all the above points I have mentioned, the most effective for me has been ‘Clearing my mind’. 2 years ago, I was meditating before bed and I would sleep like a baby, only that I was doing it unconsciously. Now that I have realized how much effective it has been, I have resumed this practice. I also have a habit of reading something spiritual before going to bed, not sure if this helps though.
 
Slowly, I am learning to sleep well. I am still not a pro though, and I would love to listen what’s working for you!

Can you help me out in the comment section?

Peace and big joy,

Ankita

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