According to a Harvard study, an alarming 23.2 percent of the population suffers from insomnia and that costs an estimate of 11.3 days of loss in productivity among such insomniacs.
It is pertinent to note that over and above the loss in productivity, sleep deprivation has serious medical implications such as increased probability of heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, mood swings, high blood pressure, weight gain, poor balance, weakened immunity, probability of accidents, among others.
The number of hours of sleep an individual requires, despite contrary belief, differs from individual to individual. An associate professor at McGill university in Montreal, while discussing an effective manner of determining the number of hours of sleep an individual requires has been quoted by BBC to state “When you’re on holiday or have no commitments the next day, go to bed at a reasonable time and let yourself wake up naturally. Note how many hours you sleep: that number is your new nightly goal. Also note when you fall asleep and when you wake up. Those times are important.”.
If you are confused about the number of hours you need to snooze, you can always use a sleep cycle calculator. While tossing and turning in bed can seem endless, provided below are seven innovative ways to improve your sleep:
Music helps you relax
The quality of your sleep is directly related to your emotional equilibrium, which can be balanced with the aid of music. Studies have noted that music slows down your heart rate, lowers blood pressure, eases muscle tension, relax the nervous system, and trigger the production of sleep-friendly hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin. What is important to note, while taking the help of music to fall asleep, is that the music is calming in nature and not further stimulating.
A study concluded that relaxing classical music is an effective intervention in reducing sleeping problems. While the study was conducted with music and audio-books, audio books did not improve sleep in while music significantly improved the quality of sleep among individuals. It is pertinent to note that the benefits of listening to music while sleeping can be expected to be seen over a period of 3 (three) weeks.
While taking to music as an aid to improve sleep quality, it is critical to note that one must never use in-ear earphones/ headphones as the same can be very dangerous and one should resort to playing music on the speaker at a reasonably low decibel.
The right mattress goes a long way
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a study to conclude that 92% (ninety-two percent) individuals find the right mattress to significantly improve their sleep.
It is pertinent to note that the fact that you may be tossing and turning to get sleep may be a sign that you need to change your mattress. While the mattress that is right for you differs from individual to individual, a medium-firm mattress with a softer pillow top is most recommended. Such medium-firm mattress not only give the spine the right balance but also aid in improving sleep. These days you can also choose non-toxic mattresses from brands like Awara to avoid coming in contact with harmful chemicals and substances while you sleep.
Feng Shui is key
The Chinese live by Feng Shui, which is now becoming a way of living across the globe. Feng meaning wind and Shui meaning water, both essential for attracting good fortune and protecting against negative energy. Feng Shui is an ancient concept known for balancing the energy of space.
While Feng Shui boasts about management of spaces basis direction, which has co-relation to the energy one attracts, it also aims at managing spaces in a manner to bring about balance. As per Feng Shui for bedroom, the placement of the bed is rather critical. Over and above that, Feng Shui focuses on the basics such as good ventilation, chasing the right artwork, keeping spaces organised and clean etc. Further using subdues colours and fragrances such as lavender can also attribute significantly to improved sleep. You can also use intentionally calming bedroom decor to help you relax every night.
Declutter your space
Decluttering has a direct correlation with improved sleep. In a cluttered space, our brain interprets the clutter as visual stimuli as tasks that need to be completed, causing stress and thus releasing a hormone called Cortisol, i.e., a hormone produced in response to stress. It is critical to organise you space and de-clutter your clothes, surface clutter, books and paperwork, reduce artwork in the room, get rid of your clothes from your area rugs and most importantly remove tech devices to the maximum extent possible.
Healthy and Hygienic Lifestyle
The merits of a healthy lifestyle are not given enough credit nowadays. A healthy diet can contribute extensively to improve one’s sleep cycle. Eating healthy and eating at the right time go hand in hand. One must time their meals in such a manner so as to not eat for at least 2 (two) hours before bed time. Additionally, caffeine must not be consumed at least 6 (six) hours before sleeping.
Exercise is a critical component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and improving sleep and regulating the sleep cycle. Interestingly, as per one study, a hot bath 90 (ninety) minutes before going to bed improved sleep quality and helped people get more deep sleep.
Wind up for the day. Ease into the transition to sleep time by spending the last hour of your day reading or meditating, among others. Essentially, the idea is to pick an activity that relaxes your brain and de-stresses it. It is critical to avoid stressful or simulating activities like using laptops and watching television at least an hour before getting into bed since the light emitted from the screen of these devices activates the brain, thus making it difficult to sleep.
Use of Technology
Technology, a boon and bane, plays a critical role in deteriorating and interfering with our sleep cycle. According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 95% (ninety five percent) individuals use some sort of electronic device within an hour of bed time. Further, an alarming 75% (seventy five percent) of the parents reported that their children sleep with at least one electronic device. Usage of electric devices, apart from emitting high volume of radiation that is harmful for the brain, increases anxiety and cortisol levels, both known as stress inducers.
To make the best of technology, one must to the best possible extent, remove electronics from the bedroom, stop using electronic devices at least 60 (sixty) minutes before bedtime, turn on the ‘do-not-disturb’ mode, use dimmer/softer lights at night etc. Practicing and incorporating theses habits in our daily lives can materially improve our sleep. If stress and anxieties continue to disrupt your sleep, invest in Blanquil weighted blankets that use the power of pressure touch technology to relieve stress and sleep better.
Quality sleep, once was considered routine is now a luxury. A large number of individuals are either facing issues falling asleep or are facing issues wherein they wake up multiple times through the night.
It is essential to acknowledge sleep just as important as eating healthy and exercising and taking steps to correct and improve one’s sleep cycle and quality. A good night’s sleep can significantly improve concentration and productivity, maximise athletic performance, reduce heart disease and strokes, improve immunity and helps improve social and emotional interactions, among others.