It’s 1:30am in Delhi. I’m normally asleep by 11 in the night. However, since I returned from Canada, I’m up until — well — now
It’s been a week that I am not able to sleep at nights. Guess the fancy word “Jetlag” is to be blamed for my sleepless nights.
What if there was no Jetlag or business anxiety or rare days of gastroenteritis? But the inability to sleep was a daily battle to fight? –
Welcome to the world of Insomnia!
Well Insomnia, defined as habitual sleeplessness, can affect any of us and it will have a ripple effect on your mood, communications, relationships, work performance and many more things. Sounds scary? Well I won’t bore you with the side-effects or anything else. Let’s dive into what can be a possible solution to it.
Since sleep is a beautiful relationship between your room, your bed & you, so I’ll focus around them only.
Your room – Consider it a sacred place with no possible distractions
- No mobile, laptops or other electronic devices inside your room at bedtime
- Make it a dark room - switching off all the lights and use curtains
- In case you frequently need lights then use dim orange ones instead of regular LEDs which are alarming and bright
- Keep the clock out of your sight – yes, no tick tocks
Your bed – This is the platform / device / thing on which you spend most of the time ~ 30% So be mindful of that
- Bed is meant for sleeping. Period. If you read / work / chit-chat/ call / text / eat / watch TV on the bed then when you get in it to go to sleep your body has no idea what it should be doing
- Pick the soft mattresses. Tip to check softness of the same while shopping – After laying 5min on the mattress, if you need to cross your leg, it means the mattress is hard
- Use Spoonk - a type of acupressure mat, sixteen inches wide by twenty-six inches tall, which is soft but covered with hundreds of sharp, plastic spikes
You – Well you are the center of everything. Be it a solution or a problem :)
- Fix sleeping schedule – Start waking 15 min earlier and gradually increase this time to 1 hour
- Exercise - The benefits of exercising daily are amazing, even if it’s a quick workout at home. It has a therapeutic effect and can help make us naturally and more importantly, physically tired in the evening. Keep a gap of minimum 4 hours between your exercise & sleep
- Eat better and at least 2 hours before your intended sleep time
- However, sometimes the culprit is low blood sugar, so having two tablespoons of organic almond butter (or peanut butter) on celery sticks before bed can help a lot
- Avoid coffee or any other form of caffeine after 4 in the evening
- On the other hand, you can try drinking Chamomile tea before hitting the bed
- Practice relaxation techniques - Start by inhaling deeply, tensing your toes for a few seconds, and then gradually relaxing them while you exhale. Then, work your way up
- Listen to calming music – You can try “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy, or Etude in E Major by Frederic Chopin. Alternative to it can be Binaural beats, which have become the go to option for many for their popular effects, such as increasing focus, improving sleep, and lightening your mood. Wearing headphones, you listen as two different tones play in each ear to create an illusion of a third tone: the binaural beat
- Jot down your thoughts - Important upcoming events can sometimes interfere with sleep. keep a pen and paper near where you sleep. You can write down anything: personal reminders, anxieties, or pressing issues on your mind. Making a note of things on mind helps in getting things off your mind and makes relaxing easy
- Reading - A habit to read each night is calming and low-key, and gives us something new to learn in 20 to 30 minutes of reading