Abhay has extra work pressure and tons of deadlines. Rohan has the tension of school exams, which are just ten days away. Kanu has an entertainment show lined up next week for which planning is to be done. With each one of us bogged down by some task or the other, how well are we able to handle the pressure? Our heart and body might be willing to take the challenge but is our mind prepared for it? Yes, of course we can, but usually at the cost of sleep.
Sleep – a Need that is a Must
A poor night’s sleep always ends up disturbing our mental and physical faculties. In scientific terms, it is known as ‘Insomnia’ where elements such as fatigue, short temper and lack of focus all add up to the irritation because of sleep deficiency.
Factors behind lack of sleep
There can be many factors behind it, both professional and emotional grounds. But it is your sleeping pattern, daytime habits, and physical health that also contribute to sleeplessness. It is therefore important to understand and identify the causes of poor sleep. Once they have been figured out, the treatment for insomnia can be done accordingly to yield better results. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Are you facing too much of stress, depression, anxiety or worry?
- Have you been through a traumatic experience of late?
- Is your sleep environment comfortable enough to give you good sleep?
- Do you have the same sleeping pattern every day of going to bed and getting up the next day or is it twisted to wrong timings?
- How much time do you spend in sunlight during daytime and in darkness at night?
- Are you facing any health problems that you think may be interfering with your sleep?
- Are you on medication that might be affecting your sleep hours?
What can Sleep Deficiency do to your body?
Sleep deprivation can affect your body on a physical and mental scale. Let us check out what it can do to our overall health and being when it happens:
Affects concentration: Often it is the nature of our task and work hours that leave us deprived of sleep. This is what pilots and surgeons have to keep in mind before it ends up affecting their speed and alertness.
Affects health: Research shows that poor sleep due to our passive lifestyle affects our eating pattern, thereby increasing our food consumption and causing obesity. Increased blood pressure, hypertension, and chances of heart attacks are the natural fallouts of it.
Lowers stress limit: When you are tired owing to the workload and hectic hours, even minor things such as grocery shopping at a store close to your home or travelling in public transport to reach office might seem a huge task.
Ages our skin: Lack of sleep leads to puffy eyes. Since our body releases excess of stress hormone cortisol, it can cause breakdown of collagen, the skin protein responsible for smooth and elastic skin. This can over a period of time cause fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles under the eyes.
Decreases the level of sociability: Staying awake at a stretch due to a set of reasons affects our interaction and connection with friends and community. When this happens, it slowly and gradually makes us feel isolated and withdrawn.
Causes Accidents: Studies have revealed that poor quality sleep in the night time is likely to lead to injuries and accidents while you are on way to work. That is because sleepiness affects our concentration level when we are travelling and leads to mishaps and injuries.
Home remedies to get sound sleep
There are various factors that are making poor sleep a common problem in households. Some of it is due to lifestyle disorders such as staying up late and watching television, chatting and internet surfing, making long distance calls at night to avoid hefty phone bills during daytime, catching up with books and magazines, making children study and complete their class assignments etc. Naturally, one will have to seek the help of a medical practitioner to help fight out insomnia. However, there are a couple of home remedies that can be the best alternative in this situation:
Bedroom Ethics: A bedroom is meant for sleep so there should be no hindrance. Try and avoid keeping electronic gadgets such as TV, computer, music system and others in the bedroom so that when you come back from work, you get into a zone of 100% uninterrupted sleep.
Warm Bath: Your body needs relaxation and rejuvenation after a tiring day. Give yourself the benefit of warm tub bath. This will help you wash out the stress of everyday life. Better still, add a few drops of essential oil (lavender or chamomile) to enjoy the soothing benefits of aromatherapy.
Meditation: Hitting the sack is an obvious choice after coming back from work. But do spend some time to meditate and clear your thoughts. This will help in bringing you the much needed good sleep.
Lemon Balm: If you want an instant lift in mood and relaxation, utilise lemon balm. One of the ancient herbs used for centuries, lemon balm helps you get sleep through its physical and mental health properties. A relaxing tea made out of it is good in mood uplifting.
Warm Milk: Take a glass of warm milk before going to sleep. It relaxes your nerves and is a mild soother too that helps you unwind mentally and physically.
Drink Tart Cherry Juice: This one is a natural sleep aid, so drink half to one cup to make the most of it.
Feng Shui: This is an art of living that is more than just decorating your living space. It teaches you the philosophy of how to arrange your room, furniture etc. to ensure maximum flow of energy in the spaces so that a positive feeling leads to sound sleep. Therefore, it is essential to keep the room neat and clean with least clutter and trash.
Cut down on caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco: Caffeinated beverages should be avoided at least eight hours before bed. Similarly alcohol should be avoided as it interferes with the quality of your sleep. Avoid smoking at night.