Recharge Yourself With Some Zzzz

Just like our electronics need to be re-charged, sleep recharges and resets the body, brain & gut for optimal functioning

“I have work!”

“I can’t seem to fall asleep!”

“I wake up within a few hours of sleeping and then toss & turn!”

If any of the above statements apply to you, you have sleep issues. Without 8 hours of sleep, you are ageing faster. In a study of 22,330 adults from 13 countries, less sleep has been linked to weight gain, obesity, depression, suicidal thoughts, higher tempers, hypertension, prediabetic status, hormonal issues, acne and heart disease. Health professionals all over the world are now insisting that we have to stop seeing skipping sleep as a sign of strength. Less sleep cannot only damage your health, skin, waistline and make you an older person before the years hit you, It can push you to temper tantrums, cranky behaviour, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Here’s what you can do to streamline your sleep and get better heart health, skin, slimmer waistline and reduced risk of inflammation and lifestyle diseases:

1. Fix your bedtime.

Whether you are sleepy or not, keeping a fixed time and switching off the lights helps you break the habit of late sleeping. Over a period of a few weeks, you will naturally begin to fall asleep at that time. Of course, for the first few days, you will toss and turn. The next point will help you reduce that.

2. Bring chamomile tea to bed. 

Half a cup of soothing warm chamomile tea releases anxiety and induces a calm state of mind. As we start relaxing, the brain starts to slow down and prompts itself into winding down for the day. If you suffer from high-stress levels and have trouble unwinding, start drinking chamomile tea starting 5 PM. This will start preparing you towards the end of the day so that you can switch off mentally when you hit the bed.

3. Stop caffeine at 5 p.m.

Love your tea or coffee? Have a couple of cups in the morning and afternoon. Caffeine interferes with sleep if had after 5 p.m. , so either quit it or don’t drink it after this time. Are used to be a coffee lover, now with the introduction of jasmine green tea and chamomile tea, I don’t even feel the urge to get my caffeine shot! 

4. Eat a light and early dinner. 

A heavy dinner makes your gut unsettled. And when your digestive system is not comfortable, you will not sleep well. Do remember that the digestive system is connected to the brain via the Vegas nerve. Hence, they both have a direct channel of communication. So eat a light and healthy food, and finish your dinner by 8 PM under any circumstances. This will ensure that when you hit the bed by 11 PM, you have left your worries outside the bedroom.

 5. Breathe consciously.

 Practising conscious breathing and cooling pranayamas like Anulom Vilom streamlines even the most difficult of sleep issues and insomnia. Do this twice a day, once in the morning and once when you reach home, just before dinner. Remember, when we enter step into our home, we need our brain to transition from the frenzy of work to the haven of our home so we can bond with our family, enjoy our dinner and relax in our safe environment of a home. Conscious breathing helps you do all that. Learn from a certified yoga practitioner to get the right technique or it can be counter-productive.

Sleeping for eight hours a day is like bathing, brushing your teeth and clearing your stomach. It's basic hygiene. Without the habit of good sleep, good work output is not possible. Effective leaders are compassionate, calm and take deliberate and intelligent decisions. All this can only happen when you have a rested brain. So fix your daily sleep habits to stay youthful, healthy and excel in your work. You will notice that you will be more efficient in getting tasks done and your colleagues will find you a nicer person to work with.

Sleep to lead.

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