It’s not easy getting a decent shut eye these days. And a lot has to go with our faulty sleep hygiene. Overtime at work, late night phone calls with besties and addiction to social media have all been cutting into our sleep time. The unfortunate part is, we barely prioritise sleep. We don’t think twice about skipping sleep the way we do about skipping meals. And a recent study validates this: Sleep is not a priority for 60 percent Indians. But in case you really care about catching your forty winks, here are six good sleep habits you should inculcate.
1 Fix a time to go to bed
It’s best not to confuse your body by going to sleep at different times during the week. Fix a time for bed and stick to it. If you don’t have a fixed time to go to bed, your body clock will go haywire. Inconsistent routines prevents your body from releasing hormones that signal your body to sleep and to wake up. That’s why, it’s important to go to sleep at the right time.
2 Indulge in relaxing things before bedtime
An hour before bedtime, unwind with some relaxing activities like taking a hot bath, listening to soothing music, reading a good book or sipping on a non-caffeinated beverage like chamomile tea. And no matter what you do, don’t scroll through your social media feeds if you want to avoid nagging thoughts of your rich friends holidaying somewhere. Also, the light from the screen can mess with your melatonin levels rob you of good sleep.
3 Conserve sleep
By that we mean don’t nap during odd hours. An afternoon siesta may be good for you, but hitting the bed at 5 pm for a quick nap can ruin your sleep for the night. So conserve your sleep and avoid forcing yourself into a nap.
4 Don't go to bed with a full stomach...or an empty stomach
Two things that are bound to keep you awake at night are a full stomach and an empty stomach. So make sure you have eaten just the right amount for dinner. Some people insist on keeping a 2 hour gap between dinner and bedtime to avoid sleep disturbances.
5 Sun yourself during the day
Be sure to catch some early-morning sun rays. Not only will it help you replenish your vitamin D reserves but also help you sleep well. Studies say that exposure to direct sunlight between 8 am and 10 am is said to improve your quality of sleep at night.
6 Avoid looking at the clock
Looking at the ticking hands of the clock can have a hypnotic effect on some. But in many cases, it can become a distraction and make you wonder why you are wide awake at 2 am. Watching the minutes turn into hours can trigger anxiety and worsen insomnia.
If you are among the 60 percent of Indians who think sleep isn't important, here's some news for you. Sleep deficiency can make you age faster, reduce your cognitive skills, trigger headaches, worsen depression and even cause weight gain. So put these good habits to practice and make sure you never have to compromise on sleep ever again.