_“Life has a tendency to fall apart when you’re awake, so stay in bed!”_

It is said that sleep is the best meditation. It helps calm your nerves, refresh and recover from your stress and tension. I, for one, never took that advice seriously and always neglected my sleep.

For two years in my life, I took my sleep cycle and rest for granted. Not only did this cause heavy physical changes, it also brought with it many emotional and mental problems. So here is why I recommend that you make time for one of the most essential necessities of the human body and mind: SLEEP

I would never rest for more than a few hours every day and that certainly never helped me carry on with my work for the day.  There are a plethora of benefits that one gets from getting adequate rest and sleep:

  1. It reduces the risk of heart attacks as lack of sleep is associated with higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  2. Sleep helps reduce stress and inflammation both of which are known to be causes for many diseases.
  3. Sleep enables you to be more active and alert in your work as well as helps consolidate and improve your memory. .
  4. It is time your body repairs itself from damage caused by harmful exposure.
  5. Injuries tend to heal faster when you get more rest and sleep. Your pain threshold is proven to be higher with more sleep that you get.

After doing some research, I narrowed down on the cause of my dissatisfactorry grades, reduced enthusiasm for socializing and frequent injuries: my appalling lack of sleep.

The symptoms that I chose to ignore, that hindered my normal functioning everyday were:

  1. Both the inability to sleep for long hours and sleeping in for long are signs you need to fix your sleep cycle.
  2. Tiredness despite resting all night.
  3. Sleepiness during the day which disrupts your day-to-day activities.
  4. Loud snoring, irregular breathing or gasping when you are asleep.
  5. Trouble moving your arms and legs after waking up or itchiness in your body.

Over time, I am happy to report that these symptoms have all but disappeared.

I didn’t have to do much to tackle my sleep woes because work and traversing through Bangalore’s traffic ensured I crashed into my bed at 9 and was well-rested every day. But sometimes it might not be that easy to get rid of your sleeping troubles.

So here are some tips to help you sleep better:

  1. Picturing relaxing sceneries and taking your mind off stressful thoughts and things that might worry you.
  2. Avoid any bright screens when you are trying to sleep, as the blue light emitted from technological devices kicks you into wake-up mode instantly.
  3. Get on a sleeping schedule and follow it strictly.
  4. Avoid daytime napping as your body gets falls under the impression that it has rested and it reduces the quantity and quality of nighttime sleep.
  5. Go out during the day, exercise and meditate to help ensure you are fit and can get rest.
  6. Drink soothing beverages and limit your caffeine intake.

After two years of 8–10 hours of sleep a week, I have finally realized how important it is to get rest and take care of yourself. I am no longer lazy, tired or weak and I have more energy to carry forward with me every day.

Alka Gupta

Lover of all things organic - digitally and otherwise