There is no doubt that sleep has a very important role to play in defining the overall health and wellbeing of a person. Just as food, exercising and positive mental attitude is important, so is the importance of sleep. A normal and healthy person would need at least seven to eight hours of sleep and anybody who is deprived of this minimum sleep would most certainly face a lot of health challenges.
The temperature in the room has an important role to play as far as determining quality of sleep is concerned. If your bedroom is hot, stuffy and humid, you can be more than sure that your sleep will be totally impacted. You will be sweating and fuming and turning from one side to another. Hence, the onus lies on ensuring that the temperature is comfortable and does not lead to sweating or make you feel hot. On the other hand if the room is too cold for comfort then too you will most certainly find it impossible to sleep. While setting temperature for air conditioners these points should be always kept in mind. The air conditioner temperature should be set properly. Normally during summers it would be fine if you set the temperature of your air conditioner at around 17 degree Centigrade. During winter the temperature of the room heater should be such that it is able to maintain the room comfortably warm without being too hot or too cold. This is an important attribute when it comes to answering the question how to sleep better.
Light And Its Impact On Sleep
Many experts who analyze sleep pattern have opined that light has a very important role to play. It could negatively impact the quality of sleep. It can have both direct and indirect impact as far as sleep is concerned. It could prevent a person from feeling asleep even if he is tired and exhausted. It also has an indirect role to play. It influences the internal clock and thereby directly impacts the timing which we choose daily for sleeping. There are some light sensitive cells in our eyes and if the same are not comfortable, it would be virtually impossible to fall asleep. These cells when they are exposed to too much of light send the wrong signals to our brain and this prevents us from falling asleep. The invention of the electric bulb might have helped us to overcome darkness but it has come with its own share of problem. It has artificially started impacting our brain and as mentioned above wrong information is passed to the brain and the result is there for all to see.
Noise and sound could play a very negative role when it comes to our sleeping patterns and also could impact the quality of sleep. The most common example is snoring of the partner. It could well and truly wreck one’s sleep and over a period of time it could also wreck the relationship and push married couples to seek divorce. Though unfortunate, snoring is one of the biggest reasons for discord and problems between couples. Our brain needs a silent and quiet environment to sleep and if this is disturbed it is bound to create problems. The noise need not be big in decibel. Small noises like creaking of the bed when moving sides, or noise emanating from fans and air conditioners could certainly go a long way in spoiling sleep fully or partially. Noise emanating from the outside could also impact the quality of sleep. It could be sounds emanating from passing cars, noise coming out from barking dogs or it also could be music playing at a distance. Different persons have different sensitivities to noise and therefore the same should be remedied for quality sleep. Using sound proof walls and windows could help filter noise from the outside and keep the room quiet.
Timing of sleep perhaps is one of the most important attributes for those who are keen on getting quality sleep. By timing we do not mean the number of hours that we spend sleeping. It is about the normal time in which we go to sleep and the time in which we wake up. Our sleep always follows a pattern and if the same is disturbed, the quality of sleep also goes for a toss. In most cases we feel sleep around 10 to 10.30 in the night though there could be some exceptions to the rule. This would depend on the age of the person, his or her general health and other such factors. If the person is not able to fall asleep during the set time, he or she might find it difficult to fall asleep later. The typical example is about those thousands of employees who work night shifts and then try to make up for their lost sleep during the night time. This is difficult because the biological clock gets affected negatively and such persons often suffer from insomnia and other related problems.
We may not be aware, but the fact of the matter is that the type of food we take, the time at which we take and the regularity with which we take our food could also play a role in determining the quality of our sleep. If you are suffering from insomnia or inadequate sleep and you are confused about the reasons behind it, you would do well to tell your doctor about the kind of foods which you eat. Following healthy timings for dinner is important. You must make it a practice to eat at least two to three hours before you sleep. Further, your dinner should be light to the extent possible. You must try and avoid spicy foods as much as possible during the nights. It could cause acidity and you could also suffer from GERD – Gastro Esophegal Reflux Disease. Further you must also try and stay away from alcohol and smoking before going to dinner. Unhealthy and fatty food should also be avoided to the maximum extent possible, especially before going to sleep. Drinking too much of water before sleep could lead to frequent urination and disturb your sleep.
Apart from alcohol there are some beverages which could also negatively impact our sleep pattern especially during the night. It would be always advisable to stay away from caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea if you are keen on getting quality sleep during the dinner. Coffee and tea are known to activate some cells in the brain and therefore they could disturb the normal sleep pattern. In fact, many experts believe that drinking a few cups of strong coffee during the night could help a person to stay awake. Many executives and other who need to burn midnight oil for some urgent work often take this route to keep them awake. It also has been found out that drinking soda rich beverages including some brands of soft drinks could also results in poor quality of sleep. On the other side opting for a glass of cherry juice, fresh lavender tea, green tea, and warm milk could help in soothing the nerves and ensuring good quality of sleep. However, there could be a few people who could be intolerant to lactose and these persons would be advised to stay away from milk.
Our body needs regular exercise to rebuild cells and tissues apart from keeping our mind healthy at all points of time. There is no doubt that exercise helps a lot in maintaining our waistline in the best shape apart from improving our cardiovascular functions quite a bit. Apart from that there are many research studies to prove that regular exercising could also positively impact the quality of sleep. Sleep helps in relaxing our nerves and those who do regular workouts at least for 30 to 45 minutes a day have reported much better quality of sleep compared to those who are loathe when it comes to exercising their bodies. Exercise is important because it helps to tire the cells, tissues, joints and nerves in a positive manner. Hence when you lie down for sleep the relaxed state of the muscles and the brain helps in improving the quality of sleep. It also improves supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the various parts of the body including our brain and this in turn plays a big role in helping us to have a much better quality of sleep each day.
Is there a connection between nutrition and sleep? If you are keen on getting answers to the question how to sleep better then you must understand the importance of nutrition. When we talk about complete nutrition, we mean the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins & minerals apart from fluids. There is a well-defined food pyramid which we should follow. We must have the right intake of the vital nutrients as mentioned above. There are some specific nutrients which perhaps can help a person to have a sound sleep. These include Lycopene which is found in tomatoes, papaya, grapes and watermelon. Hence making this a part of your regular nutrition habit could help your slept quality positively. There are other nutrients like selenium, vitamins C and healthy carbohydrates which also are essential for quality sleep. These are found in certain types of fish, nuts, barley, various fruits including papaya, strawberries and even vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Going in for regular but limited quantities of easily digestible carbohydrates like rice, white bread and wheat can also help your endeavor to sleep well.
Though it is a sensitive topic to discuss, there have been many instances where your bed partner could in fact be ruining your sleep. As mentioned earlier in this topic, snoring is perhaps one of the worst habits and when your bed partner is a habitual snorer you can be almost sure that your quality of sleep will be totally disturbed. Snoring has a pattern to it and however much you might try you will not be able to sleep once you hear the other person snoring. Additionally there are people who complain about the sleeping habits of their partner which could also be impacting their sleep quite badly. There are many people who do not like their partners putting their hands and legs around them while sleeping. There are others who have the habit of turning around in their beds regularly and making moaning noises while they move. This could impact sleep badly. Then there are partners who have the habit of waking up regularly and visiting the bathroom. This could also play a role in spoiling the sleep of the partner.
Finally the quality, type, size and color of furniture could also positively and negatively impact your sleep. You may not be aware of it but the electronic items in your bedroom could be disturbing your sleep. The air conditioners, computers and other such devices could have LED lights and the same may blink resulting in disturbing your sleep. The color of the furniture in your bedroom could also be negatively impacting your sleep. For example bright colored furniture could reflect light and if the windows are not sealed properly, the light from passing cars or even street lights could get reflected from your bright furniture inside your bedroom. Further the bed in which you sleep must be comfortable and should not make creaking noises. The quality of foam could also play a role in defining the quality of your sleep. The pillows which you use, the smell or odor emanating from your carpet, sofa and other furniture and fitting could be causing disturbances to your sleep. The worst part is that you may not be aware of the same.
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