Whether due to illness, altered work schedules, or other concerns, there could be different reasons which have a bearing on a good night’s sleep and every individual’s experience is unique. Stress and anxiety makes it much harder to get good sleep while erratic sleeping habits, too, can also disturb your sleep routine.
Some alternate therapies like meditation and yoga can help if disturbed sleep is a recent phenomenon. Researchers say, daily yoga practice does help people with insomnia while medical experts stress on the importance of good sleep hygiene – the habits that put you in the best position to have a full night of quality sleep.
The key signs that you are not getting good sleep include taking too long to fall asleep, waking multiple times with difficulty falling back asleep, overall light and restless sleep, and drowsiness during the day. While each person must adopt consistent sleep hygiene practices that work for them, here are some guidelines that you can follow to sleep better:
Avoid bright screens and stimulants like caffeine, alcohol or nicotine close to bedtime.
Exercise during the day so the body is ready to rest later. Be mindful of timing; exercising too late in the day can disrupt sleep.
A light snack is ok but avoid heavy meals or spicy food before bed.
Drink a glass of water before sleep since dehydration can disturb the sleeping mind.
Practice a restful activity before getting into bed. For example, do gentle yoga or slow breathing exercises, read a book, pray or meditate.
If your nighttime sleep is poor, avoid napping during the daytime.
Quieten your thoughts by first visualising all your worries, then placing that package on a shelf in your mind. You’ll be amazed at how many are gone, solved or improved by the time you wake up.
Lie on your stomach, turn your head so your right cheek is on the pillow. This automatically opens your left nostril to bring in cooling, calming energy. Practice long, deep breathing in this position. Then block your right nostril completely with your hand and continue long, deep breathing through the left nostril.
Once you feel drowsy, turn to your preferred sleeping position on your back or side. Continue long, deep breathing until asleep.
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