The importance of a good night’s sleep has been well established by now. But many people struggle to sleep peacefully at night, the reasons for which can be many. If you, too, have been facing the same issue, here’s some help from Dr Dimple Jangda, an Ayurveda and gut health coach.
“Your circadian rhythm or internal body clock determines your sleep drive, or your body’s need for sleep, at any given time. Sleep/wake homeostasis balances our need for sleep, called a ‘sleep drive’ or ‘sleep pressure,’ with our need for wakefulness. Each morning, as sunlight creeps in, our body temperature begins to rise and cortisol is released, increasing our alertness and causing us to wake up. In the evening, as it becomes dark outside, melatonin levels rise and body temperature lowers,” she explained in an Instagram post.
According to the expert, melatonin stays elevated throughout the night, promoting sleep. “As long as our eyes perceive light, the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) — which regulates circadian rhythm — responds by suppressing melatonin production. This explains why evening exposure to light, such as that from indoor light or electronic devices that emit blue light, such as a computer or television, make it harder to fall asleep,” Dr Jangda added.
Tips to ensure restful sleep at night, as suggested by the expert:
*Aim to sleep by 10pm
*Switch off electronics one hour before going to bed
*Our body goes into deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep between 10pm to 2am, after which we have active dreams between 2-6 am where our mental faculties are sharp. Hence this is called the hour of creation or meditation.
*For sleep issues and insomnia, you can drink 1/2 glass of warm milk (dairy based/vegan) boiled with 1/2 glass water and a pinch of nutmeg. Or you can have milk with turmeric. This promotes sleep.
*Massage hands and feet with warm sesame oil to increase blood circulation and keep body warm
*Keep the room relatively cooler, and completely dark. Use a thick blanket as a heavy blanket envelopes the body giving a sense of security like in a womb, Dr Jangda said.
However, if problem of sleep persists, seek medical help, she advised.