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A psychiatrist shares 5 tips to beat lockdown insomnia and sleep better tonight

Updated on:2 October 2020, 15:57pm IST
If the pandemic is still giving you sleepless nights, then these tips will help you sleep better.
Dr Sameer Kalani
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If sleep is becoming a stranger, try these tips. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

An average person spends 2,29,961 hours sleeping in their lifespan. Sleeping enough and sleeping well ensure that our body is functioning properly and our physical as well as our mental health is in good shape. The lack of it, however, can lead to lower levels of productivity, more emotional imbalance, and increase in body weight. 

It is scientifically believed that people who suffer from a lack of sleep are more prone to gaining weight because insomnia leads to bigger appetites. This happens due to a drop in their leptin levels (an appetite-regulating hormone), which further increases their appetite.

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There’s more to lack of sleep than just this however. While we are shut in our homes due to a pandemic, we are surrounded by on-demand channels like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more to keep us wide awake at 3 AM. Eating habits have shifted vividly, a lack of discipline is keeping us away from having proper sleep cycles, and irregular physical activities are affecting our mood, brain, heart health, immune system, creativity, and even energy.

And if so, if you find yourself in a state of flux with your sleep cycle, then here’s some help. Here are some tips to help you induce sleep and improve your overall health:

1. Avoid caffeine
As any espresso lover would know, caffeine is an energizer that can keep you conscious. So, maintain a strategic distance from it in whichever form you may like to take It (like espresso, tea, chocolate, and soft drink) for four to six hours before sleep time.

insomnia home remedies
Coffee makes you an owl. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Additionally, smokers should forgo tobacco items excessively around their sleep time. In spite of the fact that liquor may sometimes help you to sleep, in a couple of hours post sleep phase, it turns out to be an energizer, increasing the chances of you having little awakenings throughout the night. It is in this way best to abstain from drinking within three hours of sleeping.

2. Control the artificial light around you
Your room must replicate a Zen castle for you to sleep better. A lot of commotion, light or interruption can make sleep more difficult to come. So, make your room as dim as it could be. Throw some dark and thick curtains or blinds to reduce the moonlight from coming into the room. On the off chance that natural commotions trouble you, try ways to reduce “background noise” by using ear plugs.

Ensure your bed is comfortable. Spending every night on an old, droopy or squeaking bed and mattress can repress your desire to sleep. In the event that you can’t sleep, don’t simply lie there, but get up and change your location. Try inducing sleep by reading a book or tuning in to some instrumental music. When you are prepared, move back to your room and sleep.

3. Exercise regularly
Exercise speeds up your digestion process, lifts the body’s heat levels, and invigorates hormones like cortisol. This isn’t an issue in case you’re exercising in the morning or evening, however excessively exercising around bedtime can meddle with your sleep cycle.

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Attempt to complete a moderate to heavy exercise schedule at any time before three hours of your usual sleep time. In case you’re encountering sleeplessness, move your exercise schedule even before that.

4. Sleep at the same, every night
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day sets the body’s “inward clock” to a time and after a while, your body knows when to sleep. Attempt to stick to your daily schedule as much as possible, even on weekends to maintain a distance from a Monday morning unrest headache.

Waking up at the same time every day is the absolute best approach to set your inward clock, and regardless of whether you rested well the night before.

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5. Use your bed only for sleeping
Our brain associates places with activities. So, if you use your bed for other activities other than sleep, like watching television or eating, the brain will no longer uniquely associate the bed to be your place for nighttime sleep. Hence, keep your digital gadgets far away as possible and try to sleep for as long as it takes. The more you do it, the faster your brain will come around

Some of these tips will be simpler to practice for your daily sleep schedule than others. Nonetheless, if you stick with them, your odds of accomplishing a sound sleep will improve. All things considered, not all sleeplessness issues are so easily treated and could connote the presence of deeper unresolved psychological issues, like apnea, restless legs condition, or narcolepsy. If your problem doesn’t improve through these tips, you might need to consult with your doctor.

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Dr Sameer Kalani Dr Sameer Kalani

Dr Sameer Kalani is a senior consultant psychiatrist at Sukoon Hospital, clinically governed by Fortis Healthcare.