There is evidence to support that a relaxing sleep is important for recovery from any mentally taxing work. The evidence also proves that rapid eye movement or the dreaming state supports long term learning of jobs that are complex and demand intelligence. This is main purpose of dreaming.
In addition to other nutrients, water and air, sleep is also essential for us. Even then at some time in your life, you may face trouble sleeping; in fact, 1 in 3 adults complain of insomnia at some point of their lives. If you too face difficulty sleeping, changing your lifestyle may help. Here are some tips you can use:
Do not oversleep
If you have had a short sleep at night, do not oversleep to compensate. This is an important rule. Wake up at about the same time each day, especially after the night when you missed your sleep. Even a few days of sleeping in will change your body clock completely meaning you will be getting sleepy later and waking up later in the morning.
Work on your body clock
Light helps in resetting your body’s clock to the daylight phase. When you wake up, go outside and get some sun. If this is not possible, switch on all the lights in your room and walk about for some time. When you walk, the calves of your legs pump up the blood carrying more oxygen to the brain and this gets you moving.
It is crucial that you remain active during the day. This is most important after a bad night’s rest. If you slept less in the night, you must be more active during the next day. When you get less active during the day, it is the worse thing you can do to your insomnia. Engage in some strenuous routines like a jog, energizing walk, swim or a game of squash in the late afternoon to aid a restful sleep. Similarly, an insomniac will usually be motionless some hours before going to bed. Engage in some gentle exercises like a stretching regimen.
Cut down on napping
The night you lost your sleep, avoid a cat nap the next day. If you feel sleepy, get engaged in something. Any kind of chore at home will help. When you are studying, get up often to walk about. A gentle stretching exercise will help. This increases the oxygen flow to your brain and helps you keep awake.
You can arrange your bedtime schedule using these steps:
v Try your best to go to bed at the same time every night. Regularity helps. Due to habit, most people are hungry at the same times always – about 7 in the morning, at noon and then 6 in the evening. Sleep becomes more regular too when you sleep at the same time over the years.
v If you are having trouble sleeping, go to bed much later. If during a bout of insomnia, you are only getting 5 hours of sleep each night, do not go to bed before 5 hours from your waking up time. So, if you wake up at 6 in the morning, do not get into bed before 1 am. Do not take cat naps! The time spent in bed should only be rest time. If you still have insomnia, turn into bed later. As you begin to rest well, start sleeping in early at your regular time. Keep moving your time back by 15 minutes to 30 minutes each night and do it for about a week.
This is actually opposite of what we’d like to do. We like to go to bed earlier to make up for the lost sleep. But you must try to do what sleep laboratories teach – the night after you missed sleep, you must turn in later.