By Dr. Rahul Chandhok, Psychiatry
If you are unable to sleep properly at night no matter how physically or mentally exhausted you are or keep on waking up frequently, it might be a sign of insomnia. This condition adversely affects your energy levels, health, mood and your ability to function. Apart from these apparent symptoms, Insomnia can also lead to severe health problems such as obesity and other serious medical concerns of the heart. The following simple modifications in your lifestyle can ensure that you certainly have your share of a good night’s sleep-
- No Caffeine After Lunch- Avoid excessive caffeine intake throughout the day, as it is a strong stimulant that can make your sleeping plans go haywire. This is because caffeine often prevents the secretion of chemicals that induce sleep, hence keeping you up and awake when you need to hit your pillow the most.
- Prioritize Sleep- Prioritizing your sleep is all about making sure your sleep time gets the importance it deserves. Keep distractions such as mobile phones and tablets out of sight to ensure good quality sleep. The point here is to avoid over-stimulating your brain before you decide to hang up your boots for the night.
- Exercise Regularly- Regular sessions of exercise, especially in the evening, promote better sleep as it tires you out and stimulates hormones that dissipate stress. However, avoid exercising just before bedtime as the adrenaline surge can make it difficult for you to fall asleep; instead, do it at least three hours before you hit the sack.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption- Though alcohol can make you feel drowsy, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to poor quality of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep that is a deeper stage of sleep. It is also known to increase one’s urge to urinate frequently, thus obviously disturbing your sleep.
- Take Time Out for Meditating- Meditation is an effective technique to induce relaxation in the body. It helps calm your mind so that your brain stays a lot more focused throughout the day. This, in turn, helps you get better sleep at night.
- Don’t get stuck up with your phone- Your snazzy smartphone emits a type of a blue light that can interfere with the production of melatonin (the chemical that is associated with the onset of sleep) in your brain, thus hampering your sleep.