How to measure sleep? How do you know whether you had a good sleep? How many times in last month have you felt like a fresh born baby when you woke up? Effectiveness of sleep can only be measured on how we feel after waking up. Have you observed that on days when you wake up in a certain way, the whole day seems to work like magic? Just about everything you come in touch with works your way.
Recent research suggests that a lack of restorative sleep can affect neurological processes1. It has been proven that good sleep also can give your neurons adequate charge to keep up with the turbulences during the day. However, irrespective of what research says, we all know that having a good night sleep make us feel better and keeps us in an active mood for a long time. If sleep plays such an important role in our life, is it not important that we make sure that we consistently improve the quality of our sleep.
One of the critical factors that determines the quality of sleep is how we “Prepare” to sleep. Did you observe how athletes prepare or warm up before an important game. It gets them into a zone where they are ready to go out and give their best. Similarly, to have a good sleep a few, yet effective routines can help you sleep well. Everyone needs to develop their own routine or a good sleep ritual to ensure that sleep provides the necessary support for our wellbeing.
Creating an atmosphere where your body feels relaxed is one of the important aspects. Though keeping the bed clean (relatively) is a popular way, it gives a good boost when you see cleanliness around the bed too. So, tip number one is to clean up the entire room even so slightly before sleeping. Just observe if there are any idle plastics or any objects out of place that are lying around and tidy up the place a bit. Some find it good to have their pets or plants around them. Keep the room and air fresh so that body automatically feels relaxed once you enter the space.
Taking a bath before the sleep also brings in a certain level of relaxation. Having water flow over the body takes out the fatigue and brings some aliveness into the system. Wearing fresh clothes adds to the feel-good factor before going to bed. In some cultures, there is an entire code on how to dress up to sleep.
Ideal temperature also plays a vital role. In tropical climates it is best to have the room temperature, so it is advisable not to keep your AC at chill or jet cool mode, but to somewhere closer to room temperature. It is generally 50 above or below the temperature outside, depending upon where you are. Body naturally adapts to that temperature and you need not wake up in the middle of the night feeling too cold or too hot.
It cannot be stressed enough on how much important it is to keep the mobile aside. Spend some time where you are by yourself where you can reflect on your day. Keep all the digital devices away, and just let your body settle down into the relaxation mode. We are exposed to so many afflictions throughout the day. If you like writing, spend some time writing a dairy, or just sit quietly and give yourself a mental detox. Pull yourself away from all those situations you went through, mentally, and emotionally. One simple way is to express gratitude to all those (good or bad) who came across our way during the day. Just be by yourself few moments before sleeping. It is even more important if you are a binge watcher, the series might stop on your device screen, but it keeps playing on your mental screen! In this IPL season, make sure that when you stop the match, it should stop in your head too.
There are many other ways which can help you prepare for a good night’s sleep. It is important to find an appropriate ritual which suits you and consistently follow it for best sleep results. The best measure is to see in the mornings how you are feeling after waking up as no device can ever match your own experience in terms of quality of sleep. Devices can only measure quantity of your sleep. We will dig deeper into quality vs quantity of sleep in our next blog. A comfortable bed, a good ambience, a peaceful mind, and a relaxed body are just the basic requirements for a good quality sleep. Let us make every night a good night!