By Dr Sonia Lal Gupta
Most of us today idolise people who can function on 3 to 4 hours of sleep.
We're living in a fleet-footed world and 24 hours just don't seem enough.
When you don't have something in adequate amounts you should always try and optimise it rather than disrupting everything, especially your sleep.
When your responsibilities seem to overpower you, stop, take a deep breath and make those 24 hours your slave.
How can you do that?
First of all, find out what works for you. People need a different amount of sleep.
You need to find your optimum level. After that, start scheduling your work and leisure timings accordingly.
Do you feel sleepy but still keep tossing around even after getting in bed at the right time?
If yes, this is probably because of your environment and poor pre-sleep discipline. To have the sleep that you are looking for, you need to work hard. Create an environment, which works best for you.
Keeping all the distractions aside mentally and physically, dim the lights and start preparing for your bed.
This will allow your mind to know it's time to sleep.
Set your bedroom temperature
Body and bedroom temperature can profoundly impact sleep quality. Studies reveal that high or low temperatures in the sleeping area can affect sleep quality.
Find out what suits your body for a good and comfortable sleep. In most cases, the bedroom should be cool for optimal sleep.
Take a relaxing shower
A relaxing warm shower is another popular way to sleep better. According to studies, a hot bath before bed improves sleep quality.
If you don't want to have a bath at night, simply dip your feet in lukewarm water for relaxation for improved sleep.
Invest in a comfortable bed, mattress, and pillow
Some people wonder why they always sleep better in a hotel. Apart from having a relaxed environment, bed quality can also affect your sleep.
The best mattress and bedding is extremely subjective. If you plan on upgrading your bedding, base your choice on personal preferences.
Sleep hygiene is important
Blue light from cellphones, TV screens, and laptops can make it difficult for you to fall asleep, so make sure you turn them off at least half an hour before you go to sleep.
Even the bright light from a lamp or the window can affect your sleep pattern; consider using blackout curtains, eye-masks and white noise machines.
The bottom line
Sleep plays a crucial role in health. Common sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can cause sleep loss; people with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or snorting noises, momentarily interrupting their sleep.
This condition can pose serious complications so see your doctor if you are concerned.
Also, sleep loss and sleep disorders are linked to hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, obesity, mental distress, and adverse health behaviours such as cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, and heavy drinking.
Sleeping pills aren't a permanent solution and can lead to addiction.
If you are interested in optimal health and well-being, make sleep your priority.