Requirement of sleep
- Just born baby – 16 to 18 hours per day
- Infants (below one year)- 12 – 15 hours per day
- Up to 3 years – 12 hours per day
- Up to 7 years – 10 hours per day
- Up to 15 years – 9 to 10 hours per day
- Up to 21 years – 8 to 9 hours per day
- Above 21 years – 8 hours per day
As age advances the sleep requirement decreases. If we don’t get required sleep, we feel dull and sluggish. It may cause fatigue, malaise, head aches etc. if loss of sleep becomes a routine, then it leads to serious consequences both mentally and physically.
Types of sleep
There are two types of sleep.
- Rapid eye movement REM sleep, this is not a deep sleep. In this phase the dreams occur.
- Non-rapid eye movement NREM sleep. This is deep sleep.
At least 4-5 hours of deep sleep per day is essential for healthy life and to be fresh and active. Loss of sleep is termed as insomnia
Our sleeping habits from childhood becomes rhythm with the body, sets a biological clock with the environment. If we travel to a different time zone the rhythm is disturbed and can cause what we call as jetlags.
Tips for good sleep
- Avoid seeing Televisions and computers at least two hours before bed time
- Do not overload yourselves with heavy thoughts about work
- Eat lightly at night
- Exercise is good for sleep but not before going to sleep
- Breathing exercises are best before sleep
- Meditation would be useful
- If can’t sleep the prescribed hours one day due to unavoidable reasons, think it as sleep dept and compensate it in following days
- Don’t go very early to bed
- Read the books of your interest but do not strain too much
- Wear loose cotton clothes unless it is a very cold night
- Cotton mattresses are better than coir mattresses
Diet for good sleep
- Have glass of milk an hour before bed time. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid essential for sleep
- Eat bananas. They contain substance which maintains the balance of neurotransmitters.
- In your diet add sweet almonds. They contain magnesium essential for nerve conduction
- Potato also contains tryptophan
- Leafy vegetables also contain substance that induce sleep
- Having honey helps to have nice sleep
So, sleep well, eat well and think well