Sleep is one of the most important part of a healthy lifestyle. It plays an important role in regulating immune function, gut health and memory regulation. Good quality sleep and duration (7-9 hrs) is necessary for overall health and wellbeing. Healthy sleeping schedule is not only crucial for physical health but psychological health as well.
Lack of sleep is associated with day time fatigue, sleepiness throughout the day, impairment in cognitive function and alteration in mood.
Many studies have shown that,people with sleep deficiency have a greater risk of many health complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, Hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and obesity.
Few tips to improve the quality of sleep
- Eat your meal 2 hours prior to sleep to avoid indigestion, acid reflux and disturbance in the sleep.
- Moderate protein intake in the evening meal is also beneficial to promote good sleep due to presence of tryptophan. Chicken, fish, eggs, Milk and milk products are known to improve the sleep quality.
- Magnesium rich food like nuts can be helpful. Consumption of walnuts/ Almonds an hour before bed could help inducing good sleep.
- Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with sleeping disorder. Hence, it is advisable to take enough sunlight and supplements if needed.
- Avoid heavy meal and spicy & sugary food in the evening as it can lead to acid reflux and disturbed sleep.
- Gadgets emits blue light which affect the quality of sleep by decreasing the level of melatonin. It is better to avoid any gadget 2 hours prior to bed is recommended.
- Chamomile tea and passion flower tea consumption before bed is proven to relax mind and improve sleep due to presence of apigenin compound.
- Nutmeg powder with warm milk or warm water can also help in relaxing mind, reducing anxiety and inducing good sleep.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol and caffeinated drink before bed to avoid disturbance in sleep. Smoking can also affect the quality of sleep, try and avoid smoking before bed.
- Physical activity like exercise / yoga done earlier in a day can also promote good sleep as it releases stress and produce happy hormones.
- Meditation, reading and listening to soothing music before bed can also help in promoting sound sleep.
- Essential oil aroma therapy can be relaxing and may help for better sleep.
- Washing your hands, face, and feet before bed is also helpful in inducing good sleep. Taking a shower before bed can also be relaxing.
Practicing digital distancing 2 hours prior to bed, relaxing techniques before bed and well-planned evening meal can help fight insomnia and promote good sleep.
By Arshi Shaikh (Dietician & CDE)
ARSHI SHAIKH IS A QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED DIETICIAN WITH A DEGREE IN FOOD & NUTRITION WHERE SHE SPECIALISED IN DIETETICS. SHE IS ALSO A CERTIFIED DIABETES EDUCATOR AND NUTRIGENOMIC COUNSELOR. SHE IS A WELL-ROUNDED HEALTH COACH WHO HAS SUCCESS STORIES WITH NOT JUST INDIVIDUALS BATTLING WEIGHT BUT ALSO MANAGING VARIOUS DISORDERS. SHE IS A FIRM BELIEVER IN NOT TAKING SHORTCUTS AND DOING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY IN THE LONG TERM- FOLLOWING A BALANCED DIET. SHE WORKS WITH CLIENTS HOLISTICALLY- HELPING THEM MANAGE THEIR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, STRESS, SLEEP PATTERNS, AND FOOD. SHE STRIVES TO CHANGE PEOPLE’S VIEWS OF DIETITIANS AS SOMEONE WHO HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT TO SOMEONE WHO EDUCATES YOU TO CREATE A BETTER LIFESTYLE.