Sleep Well For Good Health
A goodnight’s sleep is essential for our physical, mental and emotional well being. Atleast seven to eight hours night sleep is required for anybody. Yet many people suffer from insomnia or lack of proper sleep. The reason for lack of proper sleep can be: difficulty in getting sleep, awakening at night and not feeling fresh and active in the morning. When we don’t get enough sleep we get less productive, ability to concentrate and remember things. We become lethargic. Lose interest in our work. Do not feel like doing anything. The whole day will go lousily feeling drowsy. It makes us irritable and cranky. It effects our social and decision making abilities. Without proper sleep immune system becomes very week and can affect overall health status. Even while driving one cannot concentrate.
In order to deepen sleep and minimise the disturbances, we have to create better sleep environment, i.e. a good and comfortable bed with good mattress and pillows. Keep the noise levels in the room very low. No television, computer or any other electronic diversions before going to the bed. Television actually stimulates the mind rather than relaxing. The movies or the scenes disturb mentally and we won’t be able to sleep. Not to talk in a disturbing manner to any body during the day as it will disturb our peace of mind. This also will be at the back of our mind and make us feel unpleasant. Keep the room dark and the temperature should be slightly cool. Reading light and entertaining books or listening to soft music help us to get good sleep. Tea, coffee or milk should be avoided before going to bed.
Measures to be observed according to our scriptures
Everything is written in our Upanishads and Vedas as to how a person should lead one’s life and certain norms to be followed. The following are the recommended measures to maintain good health.
Bed should be clean and tidy.
Walk at least 100 steps before going to bed.
Mattress made of cotton is best.
A pillow should be used under the head for better circulaton of blood.
Head should always be towards east or south.
Before going to bed pass urine, wash feet and dry them with towel.
If you turn to your left and sleep, your digestive system works better.
Those who suffer from asthma and those who snore should always sleep to one side.
Always keep drinking water near you so that in the middle of the night, if need be, one need not get out of bed.
Mosquito coil, room heaters etc should not be kept near the bed. There is danger of bed sheet falling on it and catch fire.
One should not sleep directly under the beam or fan.
It is also written to keep a stick and a hand fan beside the bed (For those who sleep outside their houses).
Say a small prayer before going to bed.
What our modern science says
Relaxation is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those struggling with sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to wind down, calm the mind, and prepare for sleep. Some simple relaxation techniques include:
Deep breathing: Close your eyes and try taking deep slow breaths making each breathe even deeper than the last.
Maintain regular timings: Maintain regular timings for sleeping and waking up.
Visualising a peaceful, restful place: Close your eyes and imagine a place or activity that is calming and peaceful for you. Concentrate on how relaxed this place or activity makes you feel.
Stay relaxed: Some relaxation techniques, such as visualisation and meditation, can be done without even getting out of bed.
Do a quiet, non-stimulating activity: If you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes, try getting out of bed and doing a quiet activity. Keep the lights dim so as not to prompt your body clock that it’s time to wake up.
Don’t stress about it: Hard as it may be, try not to stress over an inability to fall asleep again, because that very stress and anxiety encourages your body to stay awake. Remind yourself that although it’s not a replacement for sleep, rest and relaxation still can help rejuvenate your body. Concentrate on relaxation, not sleep.
By N Sugna