Sleep faster- this seems to Number 1 issue facing the majority of people, especially post Covid. This blog provides a high-level introduction to the importance of sleep and 9 Suggestions to sleep faster.
- No 1 to Sleep Faster: Consistent sleep schedule.
- No 2 to Sleep Faster : Avoid Coffee after 1 pm
- No 3 Get Sunlight in Morning
- No 4 Avoid Blue lights in night
- No 5 to Sleep Faster: Guided Relaxation before sleep
- No 6 to Sleep Faster: Exercise or Yoga in Morning
- No 7 : Journaling before going to Sleep to empty your mind
- No 8 : Removing anxieties for better sleep
- No 9 : Look for Patterns to fix your sleep issues
“A well spent day brings happy sleep.” – Leonardo de Vinci
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” – Irish Proverb
“Sleep is the best meditation.” – Dalai Lama
The prevalence of sleep disorders in India is high. A study has pegged the percentage of insomnia to be as high as 33% among adults in India. The impact of sleep deprivation on health is deep and extensive. The impact of sleep deprivation is much more in Covid-19. Observed a prevalence of maintenance insomnia significantly increase during COVID-19 reaching 40%. 27.8% showed depressive symptoms, while 34.3% showed anxious symptoms, in particular in students.
Sleep deprivation impacts all areas of our life. We spend around 1/3 of our life sleeping. We can stay without water for around 4 days, we can stay without food for around 25 days, we can stay without sleep for around 5 to 6 days. So we see sleep is much much more important than food.
- Sleep deprivation impacts us at the Physical – body level. We feel a lack of energy during the day.
- Sleep deprivation impacts us at the Mind level. Our brain slows down 30%, next day.
- Sleep deprivation impacts us at an emotional level, We become moody, impulsive, irritated next day
All of us have struggled to get deep, restful sleep throughout the night with no interruptions…
Nine Suggestions to sleep faster
Suggestion No 1 to Sleep Faster: Consistent sleep schedule.
New research published in the journal Scientific ReportsTrusted Source points to adults not only needing to get enough sleep every night but also needing to maintain consistent sleep routines. What they found was an association between sleep irregularity and chronic health problems.
“The more irregular these sleep patterns, the higher the risk for obesity, hypertension, and elevated blood sugar, and the higher the projected risk of developing heart disease over the next decade,” “This suggests that keeping bed and wake times as consistent as possible may have benefits for health.”
“Light, time, and melatonin are the main factors that impact the circadian rhythm. Therefore, inconsistent bedtimes may disrupt one’s circadian rhythm, which may lead to weight gain and metabolic disturbances,”
By sleeping at regular times — in addition to getting enough sleep — is likely to have a large impact on overall wellness, as well as a person’s mood, stress, and energy levels, and ability to function well during the day.”
Suggestion No 2 to Sleep Faster: Avoid Coffee after 1 pm
Cut out caffeinated coffee, tea, and soda ideally 10 hours before bedtime — and chocolate, too. It blocks the signal to the brain that tells our brains- it is time to sleep.
Normally, adenosine builds up in the brain the longer we’re awake. The more it builds up, the sleepier we become. When caffeine blocks this process, we remain alert and vigilant. Research has also shown that caffeine interferes with circadian melatonin rhythms, delaying the onset of sleep if consumed close to bedtime.
It is also a little-known fact that caffeine can stay in the system for up to 12 hours. So try not to have any past lunchtime and have decaffeinated coffee after dinner. One note of caution: Be careful if you are a big caffeine person and you cut yourself off too quickly because you will get headaches, which of course will keep you awake.
Suggestion No 3 to Sleep Faster: Get Sunlight in Morning
Getting morning sunlight for 15 minutes can help you sleep faster and deeply at night. That might not seem to make any sense. However, there’s evidence that it’s true, especially if you have a circadian rhythm disorder.
Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep.
Light exposure also can be helpful in people who suffer from difficulty sleeping as a result of insomnia by helping to regularize the patterns of sleep and wakefulness.
The light/dark cycle of the sun has a powerful effect on the circadian clock, sleep, and alertness. This gives us key insight- we can use light exposure to help ourselves sleep faster and better at night and be more alert during the day.
Keep in mind your circadian clock uses light and dark signals to predict what to do in the future: when to prepare you to be active and when to prepare you to sleep.
The circadian clock is most sensitive to light from about 2 hours before usual bedtime and through the night, until about 1 hour after usual wake-up in the morning (this is the sensitive period). Exposure to light during these times will affect when your body naturally gets sleepy and is ready to fall asleep.
Suggestion No 4 to Sleep Faster: Avoid Blue lights in night
Light therapy, and blue light, in particular, can help realign the body’s circadian rhythms and help sleep faster Blue light suppresses the body’s release of melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel drowsy. While this may be helpful during the day, it becomes unhelpful at night when we’re trying to sleep. Blue light also impacts our eyes.
Blue light messes with your body’s ability to prepare for sleep because it blocks a hormone called melatonin that makes you sleepy.
We spend an average of 7 hours a day on electronic devices. That’s a lot of time staring at blue light. Worse yet, many admit to reaching for an electronic device at least several nights each week shortly before bedtime. That could be an invitation for insomnia.
The light from your devices often appears white. But they can give off wavelengths in the range of 400 to 490 nanometers, which is blue light.
Indoor sources of blue light include:
- Gaming systems
- Fluorescent light bulbs
- LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs
- Computer monitors
Some suggestions to avoid the impact of Blue light includes :
- Blue light-blocking glasses. They’re widely sold online. Amber or brown-tinted lenses may help best.
- Cut back on screen time starting 2-3 hours before bed.
- Dim the brightness on your devices. This is often called night mode or dark mode. It changes the background from white to black.
Suggestion No 5 to Sleep Faster: Guided Relaxation before sleep
- GUIDED RELAXATION : This technique can relax our body and mind before sleep, can also be done in Yoga Nidra/ savanasana.
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes very softly and very gently.
- Let’s begin with the toes. Wiggle your toes. Now feel them relax.
- Relax your ankles and feet. Feel energy move up from the earth… up your feet to your knees relaxing the legs.
- Relax your thighs.
- The energy moves up your legs… relaxing them. Now, deeply relax your hips… stomach … and waist.
- Relax your back. Fromthe top to the bottom the entire back isrelaxed.
- Relax your chest … and shoulders. Feel yourshoulders simply melting away… Relax your upper arms. Relax eachmuscle in your forearms … your hands… right up to your fingertips.
- Relax the neck muscles. Move your awareness up to your face.Relax the jaws… mouth … nose …eyes … earlobes … facial muscles … forehead … all the way to the top of your head.
- Feel how your whole body is now completely relaxed.
- Move your attention to your heart.As you rest there, gently have the idea that the Source of Light is illuminating your heart from within and is attracting or pulling your attention inward…
- Feel immersed in the love and light in your heart. Remain still and quiet, and slowly become absorbed in yourself.
- Remain absorbed within this deep silence for aslong as you want, until you feel ready to comeout again.
- Source : Heartfulness Relaxation
Suggestion No 6 to Sleep Faster: Excercise or Yoga in Morning
You may not want to exercise vigorously just before bed. It may be best to exercise late in the afternoon. Still, some studies have shown that exercise right before bed is not as bad as was once thought, unless you are the type of person who becomes more alert with exercise.
Ease into a restful night with a quiet yoga practice focused on deep breathing to calm your mind and release physical tension. This combination of breath and movement activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps counteract stress.
Over 55% of yoga practitioners3 report improved sleep and over 85% report reduced stress. Many studies demonstrate that yoga can improve sleep for a variety of different populations. These studies typically focus on one’s quality of sleep rather than quantity, as increased amounts of sleep do not necessarily correlate with quality sleep and overall wellbeing. While the definition of quality sleep varies among sleepers, it usually includes feeling energized for the day and a lack of disturbances
Some of the Yoga poses that help in deep sleep are :
- Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) …
- Plow Pose (Halasana) …
- Child Pose (Shishuasana) …
- Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) …
- Corpse Pose (Savasana) …
- Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Left Nostril Breathing.
Suggestion No 7 : Journalling before Sleep
You’re lying in bed ready for sleep, but instead of drifting off into a peaceful slumber, you begin fretting over a past mistake or worrying about a future problem. As the minute’s tick by, your mind keeps circling around these thoughts, and sleep eludes you.
Studies have shown that people who have trouble sleeping are prone to fretting and worrying at bedtime. These unwelcome thoughts produce stress and anxiety, which make people feel keyed up when they want to wind down. Ordering the thoughts to stop—and getting mad when that doesn’t work—only makes the problem worse.
Gently steering your thoughts in a happier direction seems to be more effective. Journaling about positive experiences helps redirect your mind to the good things in your life. Committing your thoughts to paper may have a greater impact than simply thinking them in your head because writing requires a deeper level of psychological processing.
Suggestion No 8 : Removing anxieties
There are many techniques that can help you calm your mind throughout the day and improve sleep. Mindfulness meditation, yoga, and breathing exercise can help you achieve calm, but it can also be as simple as taking a walk when you have a short break at work. If you practice techniques for calming your mind during the day, then it will be easier to trigger your relaxation response at night.
Sharing Guided Rejuvenation technique ( Ideally done after day’s work is over, or around sunset ). This technique removes all anxiety, stress, worry, impressions gathered during the day. Thus great help to sleep faster and deeper.
- Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and feel relaxed.
- You are mentally cleaning complexities and impurities from your system. Think that they are leaving you. Settle down with the thought that all complexities and impurities are going away.
- Think that they are going out of your whole system, through your back, from the top of your head to your tailbone.
- Mentally suggest that the impurities and complexities are going out of your system from your back in the form of smoke or vapor. It is an active yet gentle process.
- Do not dwell on specific events or things you want to get rid of. Simply brush them off.
- Gently accelerate the cleaning with confidence and faith, and apply your will as needed.
- If your attention drifts, and you find yourself involved in other thoughts, gently bring your attention back to the cleaning process. Apply your will as needed.
- As the impressions are leaving from the back, you will start to feel lightness in your heart.
- At home, continue like this for around ten to fifteen minutes.
- When complexities are gone, you are feeling simple. Impurities are gone and you are feeling pure. Feeling of lightness is entering every cell, every corner of your body. Your whole body is feeling light. Your whole body is now completely purified and has become full of light. As the impressions are leaving from the back, you will start to feel lightness in your heart.
Source: Heartfulness Rejuvenation
Suggestion No 9 : Look for Patterns
A “normal” sleeping pattern involves getting eight hours of restful sleep per night and cycling through all four sleep phases without interruption. It also means you’re able to fall asleep relatively quickly (within 15-20 minutes) after lying down and you regularly wake up feeling refreshed. Does this sound like you? If not, you’re hardly alone.
We can start looking for patterns into what could be triggering sleepless nights. Was it something I was eating or drinking? Was it related to stress or physical activity? Was it due to anxiety or overthinking? Was it due to work pressure and waking up the whole night? Is it one-off our daily pattern. What are my energy levels while I get up? Am I using the bedroom for work, eating, etc?
You may for example realized when you had too many meetings or when was not giving myself the permission to take a break and relax in the afternoon, that was often too wound up to fall asleep later that night. Scheduling my most intense work in the mornings, slowing down post-lunch, and doing mundane tasks, like clearing my mailbox, in the evening has worked wonders. Look for these ebbs and flows in your own day. You may be able to make small adjustments that result in a big difference.
Summary: To me, Top 3 suggestions would be to Get Sunlight in Morning, Avoid coffee, tea after 1 pm and Avoid Blue light exposure at least 2 hours before sleep