Sleep Quest

Simple Tips to Induce and Maintain Sleep

Sleep is an essential need of every human brain and body. For every adult individual, at an average 8 hours of sleep is required. However sleep quality matters more than sleep duration. There are two types of problems people usually encounter while sleeping. First is the difficulty in falling asleep and second problem is to stay asleep. Both aspects of sleep are different and depend on different factors.

How to fall asleep?

In general, most normal people fall asleep within half an hour of lying down on bed. However, some people have difficulty in falling asleep and requires hours of tossing and turning on bed, before they can actually fall asleep.

In order to induce sleep and decrease the time required to fall asleep, simple tips may help a lot.

Smart Napping

If you are not used to taking naps during the day time, you will not feel drowsy in days you take naps. So, in case you want to take a nap during day time, do not extend it more than an hour and moreover place the timing so that you finish your nap before it is late in the evening.

When you take a nap, you feel refreshed, and so is because brain does not signal any stimulus that you are tired or need any sleep at night, when you actually want to sleep.

Let Melatonin Function

If you don’t know what melatonin is, let me just briefly explain you the functioning and role of melatonin in sleep. Melatonin is a black pigment or hormone produced by brain cells that function as a sleep stimulant. Melatonin is produced in darkness, i.e. when it is dark, brain cells increases the production of this hormone and you feel drowsy. This explains why you feel sleepy during winter and rainy seasons.

If you want your melatonin to function properly, enjoy sunlight during daytime. This simple behavioral therapy has proved to be very effective. During daytime, do not use window blinds or curtains and let the sunshine come in to brighten your day. This way, your brain will be able to differentiate between day and night.

Try some pleasant Sound Effects or Music

There are different types of people, some require no sound or light in order to fall asleep and there are some who enjoy little music or noise. It is generally believed that sound of running water or water-fall is very soothing and induces sleep in no time. There are a number of night lamps that come with this function and to add more visual effects, actually produce sound of running water, so try one for yourself.

How to Maintain Sleep?

Once you are asleep, trouble is in staying asleep till morning. Generally one or two awakenings are considered normal in one night.  However trouble is encountered once you have difficulty in going back to sleep after waking up. Normally it takes just minutes to fall asleep again after each awakening, however for some troubled folks, it takes the whole night to reconnect to their dreams.
If you have this issue, consider what are the reasons of your awakenings at night and look for the solution in order to fix it.

Some common causes that make it difficult to maintain sleep throughout the night are:

  • To go to bathroom
  • Thirst
  • Any noise
  • Partner
  • Pain
  • Nightmares

Among the listed ones, most reports going to bathroom as the most common reason for awakenings at night. The solution of problem depends on the problem itself. If your problem is the need to use the bathroom, decrease the consumption of water or beverages before going to bed. If cause of your awakening is thirst, keep a glass of water by your bedside, so you don’t have to leave the bed or room. If your cause is noisy sleeping environment, use ear-plugs, if it is pain, take your medicine before sleeping and if it is partner, throw him off the room. Just joking, there is a solution for every problem and this one I leave on you to figure out what can be done.

I hope this will atleast give you some good sleeping tips to help you in how to fall asleep. Any comments or queries will be appreciated.

• Meet the Author • Rabia Sikandar

Dr. Rabia is an MBBS doctor working at Pakistan’s most famous “Shiekh Zaid Hospital” for two years. She is also a research scholar, writing and publishing research articles in almost every well known medical journals. Her articles have been published in hundreds of medical and biochemistry blogs and websites worldwide. Her current focus is in sharing her knowledge about various health issues.

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