Sleep today is luxury. For some, there aren’t enough hours in the day, for others, insomnia rules. Sleep is a basic need that is said to be even stronger than food and water. Today we scrimp on sleep just so we can do more with our precious time. This will only lead to more harm in the long run.

Once upon a time, 8 to 10 hours of sleep was considered normal but today we survive on just 5 to 6 hours or less. It is time to break this bad habit and start practicing Sleep Hygiene which is all about improving our sleep environment and prepping our mind and body for the rest it craves.

Here we have 10 sleep-inducing solutions that will lull us into dreamland. Just be disciplined and break an old habit with a better, brand new one. If suffering from insomnia, this could help too instead of popping pills.

• Regulate your sleeping hours. Go to bed early and wake up at about the same time every day.

• Use the bed only for sleep or sex. TV, laptop or even reading a page-turning novel is a no-no.

• Avoid stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening. These substances can keep you awake or lead to disrupted sleep later in the night.

• Think about what relaxes you and establish a bedtime routine. For example, take a hot shower before some light reading or opt for brain-numbing activities like watching a reality TV show.

• Start winding down at least half an hour by turning off the television set and computer before getting into bed. The blue component of the light from the screen will suppress melatonin, which promotes sleepiness.

• Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.

• Daily exercise makes it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep better but refrain from it three hours before bedtime.

• Keep your alarm clock away from your head and bed, especially those digital ones with the bright, neon glow.

• If you do wake up in the middle of the night, don’t check the time – it will only make you more anxious as you count the remaining hours you have before sunrise.

• Daytime naps are a treat but they aren’t encouraged. If you cannot resist, give yourself only 20 minutes.


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