How to sleep better?

At some point in our lives, we all face some sleep related problems. Sometimes it might be difficult to fall asleep, sometimes we might wake up in the middle of the night covered in cold sweat and are not able to sleep again, and sometimes we sleep more than usual and still do not feel rested. If this happens from time to time, do not worry – it is normal.

There could be many reasons for sleep disturbances such as fear, too much work or stress in the office or negative thoughts. Often natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, landslides and facing violence or death cause sleep problems too. Finally, effects of some medicines also induce sleep disturbances and in such cases, it is essential to consult the doctor who has prescribed the medications.

Here are some tips on how to sleep better:

  • In order to feel mentally healthy and refreshed it is better to sleep at least 7-8 hours a day. If you have a habit of sleeping for a long time, then it is helpful to devise a work schedule and keep ourselves busy and physically active. The busy work schedule keeps us healthy and renders adequate fatigue required by our body for good sleep.
  • Quality of sleep is also equally important. To enjoy good sleep, choose a quiet place, sleep on a clean and fresh bed.
  • Try to keep the sleeping place and environment constant and comfortable to you. Usually, it is the best to keep the room dark, but if you prefer make sure there is your preferred amount of light in the room.
  • Try not to eat too much 2-3 hours before bedtime as slow digestion might cause trouble sleeping.
  • Limit caffeinated drinks, such as green tea or coffee and sodas in the evening. Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco before bedtime too, because it worsens the quality of sleep too.
  • Natural or manmade disasters often cause worry, fear and nightmares which are natural reactions in such situations. They may affect your sleep, but try not to worry too much, these negative effects most likely will pass naturally over time.
  • Remember that in these circumstances, if family members, friends and neighbors stay together, assure and help each other, it helps everyone to feel stronger, feel less afraid and sleep better.
  • In case of disaster related fears and sleep problems, it is also better to stay away from news and visual images on television and other media that show audio visual content related to disaster and death. Especially, keep the children away from the news and images of violence and disastrous accidents.
  • When you cannot fall asleep, try counting techniques. For example, slowly count backwards from 100 to 1. If you forget to count and your mind wonders, do not worry and start again. If you find it difficult to count from 100 to 1, count backwards from 10 to 1 again and again until we fall asleep. The results will be better if you put one hand on your stomach and feel your breath when inhaling and exhaling.

If these coping methods do not help you and your daily life becomes increasingly difficult, please seek professional help from a psychosocial counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

For more information please contact TPO Nepal.