Do you often feel you take longer to fall asleep? Is falling asleep always difficult for you?
If yes, then you are not alone. People often feel restless, toss and turn in bed and even get busy on their smart phone for long time, in order to feel sleepy. However, this even makes them more awake & anxious as the night progresses.
Researches done over the years reveal that our last bed time activity has a huge impact on our sleep. There are certain small things that we need to take care to get a blissful sleep. People generally are taking up bed time rituals like deep breathing, meditation and even getting their sleep environment right to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Things you should never do if you don't feel sleepy in bed:
Going to bed even when not feeling sleepy: Generally this will make you restless, as you will take a long time to sleep because you brain is in active mode. Instead, you can do a relaxing bedtime routine like reading a book, listening to soft music or even meditation.
Think about sleep as you lie down on bed: Thinking about sleep also make you anxious which may keep you awake longer. Instead, try changing you focus on positives in your life, as happy thoughts have a tendency to make your sleep sweeter.
Trying to sleep with the lights on or using electronic gadgets like smart phone, LED’s etc till you feel sleepy: Lights send wake up message to the brain by suppressing the release of melatonin which is a sleep inducing hormone. Hence will interfere with good sleep.
Trying smoking or having alcohol to feel sleepy: Apart from its health risks, nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant that increases the heart rate, blood pressure & also stimulate the brain activity that interferes with sleep. Alcohol may induce sleep but this may lead to impaired sleep and frequent arousals. It also increases sleep apnea (pauses in breathing while sleeping).
Eating late heavy dinner: Having heavy dinner overloads your digestive system at night, which may also cause heart burn (acidity), regurgitation of food, acid reflux etc. This can make you uneasy in getting asleep & may disrupt your sleep. It is advised to have a light dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed and avoid having anything heavy instead you may have some nuts or a glass of milk that promotes sleep.
Resting on a sofa till pre-bedtime: Undue time spent on couch may delay sleep timing and is harmful for good sleep. Associate the bed with good sleep, make your bed conductive for good sleep.It is seen that we have a very close psychological association between our bed and sleep. Generally people have good sleep on a mattress that is comfortable as well as supportive to the individual body type.
If after following the above mentioned tips also, you experience sleep difficulty. Then it is always good to get yourself evaluated by a sleep specialist & get appropriate treatment.
Helping you sleep better.
Posted By: Dr. Himanshu Arora