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Why don't you sleep on it!

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It's important to follow healthy sleep cycles during self-isolation; read on for ways to do so

By IANSlife Features

April 5, 2020 (IANSlife) Sleep, is vital for good health and wellbeing; which is often overlooked while we're in the rat race.  But in times of COVID-19, many who don't usually get the luxury to sleep in, or for long hours, have finally got the chance to catch up on their snooze time. 

When one is home and stress looms large, it is imperative to get good sleep, rather than get anxious about situations which are beyond your control. 

Don't allow yourself to fall into the trap of a Catch-22 situation --  hard to get quality shut eye because you're too anxious or then allowing the anxiousness of not enough sleep getting the better of you. 

Stress can affects the quality of sleep tremendously, making it elusive. Over a period of time chronic sleep deprivation can lead to other health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart issues. It is important to get enough sleep to stay healthy, says Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO of health and fitness brand GOQii.

Sleep keeps our immune system strong to enable it to ward off exposures and infections. It plays an important role in cellular repair functions and helps to repair the body. Our body produces extra protein molecules while sleeping that help strengthen the ability to fight infection. 

Another benefit of good sleep is that it helps lower blood pressure and reduces levels of stress hormones; a natural result our present situation. Sleep helps regulate the hormones that affect and control appetite. When you are sleep deprived, the normal hormone balances are interrupted, and your appetite increases. One of the great benefits of sleep is that it allows the brain to better process new experiences, increasing understanding and retention.

So, next time take you hear "Why don't you sleep on it", take it seriously. 

Adults should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, as well as a regular schedule for eating and exercise. Nowadays, there are many Apps one can download which track and help you sleep better. 

"The big question is can we practise or manage regular sleep cycles during this lockdown? In fact, I would say now is the right time to get into a good habit of sleeping on time and sleeping enough. Hacking your sleep routine is essential. People spend loads of money going to a therapist or doctor to treat issues related to sleep. Try simple hacks and you will be able to get over your sleep issues easily," Gondal adds. 

Here are few tips to fall into a lather sleep pattern:
1. Start the day with exercise, which release hormones that signal your body to stay awake.
2. Pay attention to what you eat. Avoid spicy foods, especially at night. Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed as it may cause discomfort and might keep you awake.
3. Green leafy vegetables act as a natural sleep aid. You can have magnesium rich food sources like sunflower seeds, almonds and pistachios to relax your muscles and hence get a good sleep.
4. Avoid eating two to three hours before bedtime—it can throw off your internal clock and lead to reflux, which is disruptive to sleep.
5. Preferably, stick to the same bedtime and wake-up time every day.
6. Taking a warm bath just before going to sleep, also induces a good sleep because the sudden rise and then fall of body temperature makes you feel drowsy. 
7. Try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations or thoughts which may give you stress and affect your sleep.
8. Meditation helps. Five to ten minutes of meditation with deep breathing can help you decrease your stress, relax your mind and body and help you get a sound sleep.
9. One can also listen to binaural beats before going off to sleep that helps to harness the brain’s responsiveness to sound, to move you into a state of deep relaxation, relieve anxiety, and help you sleep better.
10. Your sleep environment is equally important for you to be able to manage your sleep. Do not turn on any electronic devices-televisions, mobiles or tablets because the blue spectrum light emitted from such objects is known to impede sleep.  

"How have I managed my sleep? I have learnt to hack my sleep, I apply an essential oil to my pillow, adjust the temperature in my room to about 18-19 degree, keep it dark and keep my phone outside the room. This has helped me sleep better. Try these techniques and it should help you manage sleep better. I also listen to binaural beats before going off to sleep," he signs off.

 

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