Scrolling meaninglessly on social media because you can’t drift off to sleep no matter how hard your try? You eventually succumb to slumber but keep hitting the snooze button in the morning and feel sluggish the entire day at work. Do you remember the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and all pumped up to seize the day? At times you get up in the middle of the night and just can’t go back to sleep so you keep tossing and turning in bed and lie down for hours.
There was a time when you could doze off in an instant, sometimes even when you weren’t supposed to but now sleep seems hard to come by. While this may be a common problem, it’s no joke either as insomnia can wreak havoc on the body. A lack of good sleep can do more than just leave you irritated. It can lead to a number of health problems such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and others.
Now, there could be a number of reasons for the lack of sound sleep. Here are some of the major and most commonly observed causes for poor quality sleep.
- Too much stress
While it’s normal to feel a little stressed out from time to time, too much of it can impact your sleep deeply. Now, stress can be work-related or due to financial or other personal problems but no matter what the cause for stress is, it can keep you up at night. Sleep meditation can help you wash away some of the stress, making it easier for you to fall asleep quickly.
- Mental wellbeing
Anxiety, depression and other psychological problems can take a toll on your sleep. These problems can also manifest themselves in bursts of emotions such as anger or grief. It’s essential that you get in touch with a mental health expert to determine the root cause of the issue and get it treated as soon as possible.
- Improper diet
When the midnight cravings strike, it can seem almost impossible to not give into them. You get overwhelmed by them and often end up eating too much. Also, research shows that what you eat could affect your sleep. Consuming foods that contain high levels of sugar and carbohydrates close to bedtime are known to make it more difficult for you to nod off.
- Lack of physical activity
Sedentary lifestyle devoid of regular exercise can be a hindrance to a good night’s sleep. Exercise helps improve sleep quality and also makes it easier for you to snooze. Now, we are talking about 30 minutes of moderate activity. In addition to regular exercise, you can also try practicing yoga nidra exercises for sound sleep.
- Bad sleeping habits
Perhaps the most common reason for lack of good sleep are bad sleeping habits. We stay up late watching a movie or browse social media. Drinking coffee or energy drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine, smoking or even drinking can drastically affect your sleep pattern. Inculcating healthy sleep habits and a proper sleep Hygiene for fitness can go a long way in improving your sleep quality.
Healthy Sleeping habits and Yoga for better lifestyle
While it’s recommended that you get about 7-8 hours of sleep every night, it differs from person to person. It’s possible that you don’t feel rested even after getting more than the adequate number of sleeping hours. You can bid goodbye to restless nights by making small changes to your lifestyle and inculcating some good sleep habits. Here are some of the best sleep habits you can follow to get a good night’s sleep. Read on:
- Have a steady sleep schedule
Changing your sleep schedule overnight isn’t possible. You need to make changes to it gradually so that it becomes easier for your body to adapt to it. Go to bed at a fixed time and ensure that you wake up at a particular hour too. Stick to this schedule as much as possible.
- Exercise regularly
You should ideally try to break a little sweat everyday. Start your day by going for a run. Try not to do any intense exercises close to bedtime as it can have the opposite effect. On the other hand, doing something like yoga before going to bed can help you sleep like a baby. Watch this tutorial on exercise Yoga nidra by Shobhit Raj if you find trouble sleeping.
- Practice Meditation
Meditation can help create all the right conditions conducive to a good night’s sleep. It not only helps lower the heart rate and slows down breathing but is also a great way to relieve stress. Our mind can often go into an overdrive where we are riddled with unwanted thoughts and distractions as we try to go to bed. Guided meditation techniques can help you deal with such thoughts and relax the mind and body for sound sleep. Meditation for Yoga Nidra is one such powerful tool that empowers you to go into a state of mindfulness and relaxation, making good sleep inevitable.
- Avoid napping during the day
Just a little afternoon power nap, we tell ourselves but that often turns into a siesta. Taking a nap during the day can make it difficult to fall asleep at night and interfere with your sleep schedule. However, if you must, try to limit your nap to half an hour at the most.
Healthy Yoga practices for a good night’s sleep
Your lifestyle plays a key role in deciding your sleep schedule and whether you will wake up feeling rested the next morning. Take your first step today towards a healthier you by indulging in healthy yoga and meditation practices. Here are some of them that will surely help you get the much-needed rest you deserve:
- Mindfulness meditation
Do you find yourself caught up in endless thoughts or can’t seem to let go of past events? Practicing mindfulness meditation can help. It teaches you to focus on the present moment and let go of any other thoughts that might pop into your head. While there are several mindfulness meditation techniques, they all include breathing exercises that make you more aware of your mind and body.
- Listening to sleep stories
Remember how you used to fall asleep listening to soothing stories as a kid? Stories if told in the right way can have a calming effect on the body and mind. These stories create visual imagery and transport you there with the help of powerful storytelling skills. You can listen to sleep stories by Dr. Shyam Bhat to experience it for yourself. If your kids have nightmares or are generally restless, you can make them listen to sleep stories for kids by Prasiddha Ramarao to help them sleep better.
- Breathing exercises
When you regulate your breathing, it signals your body that it’s time to go to sleep and breathing exercises help you do just that. Abdominal breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, 4-7-8 technique are some of the popular breathing techniques that you will come across. Pranayama can also aid your sleep by reducing anxiety.
This is a technique that you might already be familiar with owing to its immense popularity and simplicity. You can count down from any number as per your wish and can also use imagery to supplement it.