Night owls reign the streets in Pakistan. Whether it’s for food, drinks, cigarettes, or just driving into the night – every conclusion is the same: No one sleeps at night. At least us Pakistanis don’t. Well, this article is all about the Top 10 things that help you sleep better. Read!
5 a.m., cold sweats, waking up, to the sky.
Many of us don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night. And consequently, we’re sleep deprived or worse, insomniacs! The impact of such lack of sleep is frightening, alarming and detrimental to our health.
Also Read: Living With COVID
Tea | Top 10 Things That Help You Sleep Better
A nice cup of herbal tea a bit before bed can be soothing and calming.
Take chamomile for instance, one of the most ancient herbs known to mankind; it’s widely regarded as a sleep inducer and has been used for many years to treat insomnia. It contains a large amount of apigenin, an antioxidant and that binds to specific receptors in the brain to decrease anxiety and encourage sleep.
A study involving 60 nursing home residents, over 28 consecutive days, demonstrated just how much of a sleep aid it can be. People who received a dose of 200mg of chamomile extract twice a day, had a significantly better night’s sleep in terms of quality than those who didn’t.
It’s also proven to be a natural way to reduce a number of health issues including:
- hay fever
- muscle spasms
- menstrual disorders
- rheumatic pain.
Scent is a powerful force, with essential oils like valerian (a common ingredient in herbal teas), bergamot and lavender scientifically proven to help improve sleep quality.
Bergamot makes you feel tranquil and signals to your body it’s time for bed, while lavender has been deemed a powerful catalyst for an excellent night’s sleep. It lowers blood pressure, the heart rate and body temperature – everything you need to initiate sleep.
A study has demonstrated that smelling lavender can not only provide better quality sleep, but can also help treat mild insomnia. With older people, basil, juniper and sweet marjoram were shown to reduce sleep interruptions and improve overall well-being.
Investigators at Kagoshima University in Japan explained that lavender can also reduce anxiety, often a key cause of poor sleep.
Note: Essential Oils are available in select-few markets throughout Pakistan. Chances are, you’d find them in posh stores and cosmetics outlets.
Plants | Things That Help You Sleep Better | Top 10
Plants have amazing health benefits. There’s a stack of research that reveals that they improve sleeping environments.
FYI: Research Stack NASA
According to the research, common indoor plants may provide a natural way to remove toxic agents from the air. It also recommends having at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.
‘What Plant To Buy?’ we hear you ask:
The study indicated that Aloe Vera and green spider plants are among the best when it comes to air filtering.
Get Your Dose Of Vitamins | Things That Help You Sleep Better| Top 10
Vitamin deficiencies are quite often a root cause of poor sleep.
We need adequate levels of key nutrients to get good quality sustained sleep. So, which vitamins should we focus on?
There are many that nutritionists have suggested:
- vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
- omega 3
Be advised: Before you start taking any, please consult with a physician to ensure a prescribed intake. Too much could be bad for you and too little will do nothing for your slumber!
Food | Health Radar
Certain foods can make us sleepy, as some contain those much-needed vitamins, so you might want to rethink that grocery list!
Here’s a list of some of the best foods that will help you catch those Zzzzs:
- Whole grains
- White rice
Fun Fact: Pakistanis avoid eating too much rice – unless it’s biryani – for rice makes everyone sleepy!
All of these foods have one or a mix of calcium, potassium, magnesium, tryptophan and B6 – just what the doctor ordered.
If you suffer with insomnia, you’re going to want to invest in kiwis.
Music | A Surreal Trip
If you’re looking for the perfect treatment to beat sleepless nights then you need music in your life. It’s pretty cheap and has zero negative side effects. I don’t recommend indulging in fantasies while doing so; you’ll be up long after Fajr time!
Let’s get a little technical here.
Did you know music has a direct effect on parasympathetic nervous system?
This is sometimes referred to as ‘the rest and digest system’. Basically, it helps you relax and settle you for sleep. A report published by a group of researchers stated that classical music has been known to lead to more restorative sleep, so you might want to download some Beethoven, Wagner or Bach tonight.
Ninety-four people – aged b/w 19-28 – listened to classical music at bedtime for three weeks. Depressive symptoms faded significantly and there was a reduction in overall sleep problems.
Cut Back On Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is undeniably the most widely consumed psychoactive drug in the world. According to doctors in Pakistan’s top medical facilities, healthy adults should be consuming no more than 400 milligrams a day (roughly four-five cups of coffee) as it can pose a danger to health.
It can also play havoc with the amount of deep sleep and total sleep time.
The time of day you consume caffeine is important too. Even as long as six hours before bedtime can reduce total sleep time of one hour. It’s worse for older adults as it takes their bodies much longer to process the drug.
Mindfulness & Meditation | Train Your Sleep-Clock
Stress and upsetting thoughts can create a night of tossing and turning. On the other hand, mindfulness and meditation can leave you feeling calm, and more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
Meditation has also been reported as enhancing melatonin levels and the quality of sleep, and if that wasn’t enough, it’s been shown to do loads more.
Exercise | Dedication | Reserve An Hour or Two
Exercise is great and considered a ‘virtual fountain of youth’. After pumping iron, you feel good and ready to tackle the world, but the time of day you exercise is really important.
Researchers have explored the sleep patterns of people exercising at three different times:
People who exercised at 7am had a much deeper sleep cycle, slept much longer and experienced up to 75 per cent more time in the ‘deep sleep’ stage at night.
Night time isn’t ideal for exercising; it can leave you feeling wired and unable to sleep. It’s simply because it dramatically changes your core body temperature and it can take five to six hours for it to come down again.
Your shut-eye needs the body to be cool and without any muscular strain! Here’s a tip:
Well, there you have it guys! This was all about the Top 10 Things That Help You Sleep Better. I hope this article was helpful for you!