What is sleep? How we sleep? What happens while we are sleeping or if we do not sleep?
There are a lot many question related to this basic necessity of life which come cross our minds, one time or the other.
We know the importance of food, water, air and even clothes but sometimes neglect the worth of sleep and place it under our busy schedule and work load.
By doing so, we are not only compromising with the amount of rest our body and mind needs, but also with a healthy well being in the long run.
Sleep deprivation- overview
Sleep deprivation is a condition when a person is unable to have enough sleep and can be acute or chronic.
A sleep deprived person experiences various health related troubles such as digestive disorders, low immunity, cardiac risks, obesity and sometimes underweight, stress, weaken memory, hypertension etc.
In critical cases like chronic sleep deprivation, a person is unable to sleep at all and ultimately the brain dies. Such can be the outcomes of sleep deprivation.
Also if you are not having sufficient and quality sleep at night, you might be found sleeping in a conference room during a session or during your shift hours which can be dangerous sometimes.
Work accidents and disasters due to sleep deprivation are in news nowadays and have resulted in severe damage to health and wealth as whole.
If a person is unable to sleep properly for a longer period of time, he or she considers sleeping pills to be the ultimate solution.
In some cases, yes they surely are, but one must not take any pills or medication for sleep without medication consultation.
The best way to cure a problem is to treat it naturally. Our bodies have a natural body clock which decides when we are supposed to sleep and how much sleep is required for maintaining the harmony of body and mind.
But when this rhythm of body clock is disturbed, either by improper lifestyle, irregular work schedules, medication side effects or other health conditions like insomnia, it is important to bring it to normal as the nature made it.
So if you are one of those who have trouble sleeping for at least six hours at night (the minimum average sleep required by a normal adult at night), then you must try out some of the following remedies and dos and don’ts for sleep deprivation.
Remedies for sleep deprivation- a natural approach
Sleep deprivation is a common problem today affecting many people worldwide. Optimizing sleep hygiene can be done in many ways but natural way is the best way.
Schedule your sleep and stick to it
This will help you in regularizing your body clock which is equally important as having proper diet and healthy schedule. Go to bed t a fixed time and wake up at fixed time.
Early to bed and early to rise should be your mantra. Even if you are not feeling sleepy, you should lie down in bed and try to fall asleep. This does not mean watching television or working in bed. Just lie down and try to sleep.
Maintain a sleep diary
This will help you understand your sleeping habits and loopholes better. Also when you visit a physician, it becomes easy to analyze your problem.
Note down your sleep timings, factors that affect your sleep and what changes appear if you take any medication.
Sip a glass of milk before bedtime
It is a healthy habit to take milk before going to sleep. This not only helps in maintaining proper digestion and a glowing skin, but aids in proper sleep.
You can also have light snacks like cheese or a brown bread cucumber sandwich before sleep. This will help you sleep better.
Have a bed time story by your side
This might sound a little childish but as far as you can enjoy a good sleep, everything is fine. You can also spray a sleep scent in your bedroom that will set a mood for you to sleep well. Also keep your mood and room cool for a comfortable sleep.
If you have a pet in your house
Try to keep it away from your bed. Furry pets might cause allergies and thus trouble in having a sound sleep. You can use vacuum cleaners to clean your bed area.
As you already know, cleanliness is next to godliness and with clean surroundings you can enjoy a good and comfortable sleep without any trouble.
Decide your sleep position and bed side where you can sleep comfortable
It is scientifically proven that if a person sleeps on his side of the bed, then he can enjoy a good sleep at night. Also use soft cotton or silk pillow and bed sheet and keep them clean.
Aromatherapy and herbs for inducing sleep
Our ancient school of medicine is full of herbs and natural ingredients which are helpful in dealing with sleep disorders.
Some of these herbs are valerian, lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, hops, passion flower, American skullcap, bitter orange and corydalis.
Many of these herbs can be taken with water or food and some can be used as oils. These oils are used in aromatherapy, creating an atmosphere to relax, calm your senses and induce sleep.
There are many spas and aromatherapy centers where relaxing techniques are used to treat stress and sleep disorders.
Along with aromatherapy
You can also have these herbs in the form of herbal tea which is not only effective for sleep deprived people but also helps in maintaining proper health naturally.
Out of many contemporary approaches
the most commonly one used for sleep disorders are meditation and yoga. These remedies help in maintaining mental health, thus decreasing stress levels and enhancing quality and quantity of sleep in a person.
It is believed that human body is surrounded by layers of energy which governs the health of a person, both physically and mentally. Meditation and yoga techniques work with these energies and enhance sleep.
Acupuncture is a technique of pressurizing certain points on the body for the treatment of various ailments including sleep disorders.
Various traditional schools of medicine use this therapy, to help sleep deprived people have a sound sleep. This therapy is performed by trained therapists in specially designed clinics.
The pressure is put using fine needles along with hot stones. The knowledge of points in body is very important in such techniques and thus must be done by a skilled professional only.
Prepare well before going to sleep
If your surroundings are uncomfortable, then you certainly cannot have a sound sleep at night. Therefore, it is important to prepare your bed well, sleep on your side of the bed, have light snack or milk before going to bed or anything that helps to relax and feel sleepy.
This does not mean you will watch TV lying on your bed or work on laptop till you sleep. Your bed is to relax and sleep well, so do not reserve it for anything else.
How to change your lifestyle to sleep better?
A person’s lifestyle affects his sleeping patterns to a great extent and thus it is important to have it on normal track. Some of the tips are given below:
Sleep deprivation can be a result of medication side effect. Thus it is advisable to avoid or reduce the use of drugs, both over the counter and prescription drugs. Take proper medical advice before you start with any medication.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarette consumption. These things contain certain substance which inhibit in sleep and can also damage health in long run. Especially before going to sleep, you should keep your hands off such things.
If you are sensitive for certain foods like pasteurized dairy, sugar and grains, avoid consuming them. These can cause bloating, congestion, stomach upset, gas etc. making you uncomfortable while sleeping.
Exercise regularly. It can improve your sleep and enhance your routine. Don’t exercise near tot your bed time rather morning time is best for it.
Control your increasing weight as this can trigger risks of sleep apnea. Overweight people suffer from impaired sleep which is dangerous for health.
Insomnia and some other sleep disorders are found to be the result of adrenal stress, so have it checked by a good physician.
Hormonal changes can also cause sleep problems, so if you are near your menopause or menstrual cycle, take medical assistance.
Our body is self healing and using natural remedies for sleep deprivation can help speed up the natural process of the body to overcome lack of sleep.
These remedies are not only useful in treating your sleeplessness but will enhance the quality of your sleep and treat stress and anxiety levels, hereby maintaining a complete balance between body and mind which is a necessity of a healthy well being.