It’s the time again where we all have promised ourselves a healthier life. But, whilst all the gym memberships and diet charts are in place; have you thought of a sleep regime to comply with your New Year goals?
You read that right and it’s surprising that ‘good sleep’ does not appear in any of our New Year Resolutions list. The matter of fact remains that sleep is as important as diet and exercise for a healthy lifestyle. Deep, restorative sleep is an easy way to keep yourself healthy, wise and agile. It’s so easy, you can do it with your eyes shut!
“Sleeping isn’t being lazy and good amount of sleep is required to improve memory and learning, boost metabolism, maintain healthy weight, enhance well-being and help beat diseases” says Dr Irshaad Ebrahim of The London Sleep Centre Dubai.
Sleep loss, a highly prevalent — and often strongly encouraged — condition in modern society could be a risk factor for major chronic diseases, including obesity and diabetes.
Recent studies indicate that sleep loss may adversely affect glucose tolerance and involve an
increased risk of type 2 diabetes.Sleep is not only for the brain but also for the rest of the body.
So while you still plan to stick your New Year resolutions loyally, incorporate these new habits to commit yourself to better sleep.
1.Make sleep your priority! Do not treat it any lesser than your other commitments. Let’s put it this way – you will feel upbeat to chase your routine tasks and challenges only if you have had a good night’s sleep.
2.Stick to your sleep routine even on weekends. Maintaining your sleep and wake time helps regulate your body’s clock and could help you stick to daily routine. Try wearing ear plugs as they can significantly improve sleep quality by preventing awakenings from external noises at night.
As we sleep we cycle through different sleep stages and around every 90 minutes we will go through a light stage of sleep where we can be easily woken – wearing ear plugs help us to stay asleep during these light sleep cycles.
3.Having a ‘wind down’ hour before bed where phones/laptops and stimulating activities are banned will help sleep onset by allowing our natural sleep inducing hormone melatonin to be released.
Not only will it help you to fall asleep easier, but having an hour away from your phones and work emails does wonders for your stress levels! Indulge in a good book or listen to some relaxing music and remember how relaxing life used to be!
4.Fix those snores now! You sure don’t want to wake up amidst noisy snores that could take away your good night’s sleep. It’s best to visit a sleep specialist who will help you address underlying causes and treat it effectively.
5.Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow. Make sure they are comfortable and supportive. Make your bedroom inviting enough so that it becomes your sleep retreat. You could play around with curtains, lamp shades and cosy blankets until you find the perfect combination that helps you sleep.
6.Get yourself into the habit of taking a warm water bath before you sleep. This will help raise body temperature a bit before it finally cools down to help you sleep better through the night. It also relaxes the body to get ready for sleep.
7.Avoid alcohol, give up cigarettes and don’t dine on heavy meals as they hinder sound sleep. Its best to finish your dinner at least 4 hours before you sleep and if required snack on something light before you sleep. A glass of warm milk can do wonders to your sleep.
8.If you are still finding it hard to find your way around sound sleep, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a sleep specialist, who can help you determine underlying causes and prescribe line of treatment accordingly.
Sleep curtailment is a hallmark of modern society, one that is often considered harmless and efficient. The advent of artificial light has permitted the curtailment of sleep to the minimum tolerable and an increase in the time available for work and leisure.
In our 24-hour-a-day society, millions work during the night and sleep during the day, a schedule that generally results in substantial sleep loss. It surely will help to pledge ourselves a healthier sleep routine this New Year.
Lest we forget, sleep is associated with rest and time for mental regeneration. Restorative,
protective and energy-conserving theories of sleep are popular and educate us on its
good-effects on our body and system. So for a successful, energetic and fulfilling 2017, calculate your shut-eyes and make sure you get it!