A good quality sleep is what everyone desires. A good sleeping pattern sets everything right – whether it is physical stress, emotional imbalance, weight management or waking up quality. Sleeping well is an art and so, we need to know the simple science that works behind training our minds for a better bedtime.
The Science Of Sleep and Its Stages
Our body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm is regulated by chemicals released in the brain’s ‘executive network’ and these rhythms develop as we grow older. ‘Melatonin’- a sleep hormone released in the body makes us feel sleepy and eventually, the activity of our brain diminishes helping us stay asleep during nights.
There are different stages of sleep that we pass through daily, ranging from mild, active to deep sleep where dreams also play an active role. Each stage has its own role to play and lasts anywhere between 10-40 minutes.
During sleep, our body develops a different mechanism, where in, it functions smoothly and calmly to enhance recovery and growth. Then growth hormone is released and the body develops a stronger immunity with a good quality sleep.
Below are 10 bedtime tips that you can follow to improve the quality of sleep.
#1. Sleep-wake management
A consistent sleep-wake pattern is key to develop good quality sleep. Just like other activities, getting sleep-ready is also a routine that needs to be set and maintained regularly.
#2. Keep away from bright lights
The sleep hormone is released in dark and thus keeps you alert for longer when exposed to light. Avoid late night television, bright screens exposures, and try to keep your room dark to get long, peaceful sleep.
#3. Minimise day-time sleep
To get sleepy by evening and maintain a consistent sleep routine, it is important to not sleep for long hours during the day. While babies can sleep despite day-time sleeping, older kids may find this difficult, thus disturbing their natural cycle.
#4. Eat right for good sleep
Eating too much or too little can adversely affect kids’ sleep quality. Early, filling dinner is ideal to have a goodnight sleep. This will also help in active digestion and wake up fresh ready for a healthy breakfast.
#5. Exposure to natural light
More the kids are exposed to natural sunlight, the more awake and active they will be through the day. Physical activity during daytime will make kids sleep-ready in the evening and hence enhance sleep quality.
#6. Eliminate noise
Noise reduction before sleeping is equally important as eliminating light, to keep your kids’ minds calm and relaxed before sleeping. Minimise talking loud, television or loud music prior to few hours of sleeping.
#7. Develop reading habits
Reading books and novels are good habits that can relax the kids’ mind for a quick and good sleep. For babies, adding an extra bedtime story will just do the job well!
#8. Practice praying/meditation
Even kids develop stress as their minds are tender and get distracted very easily. Inculcate the habit of praying or meditating before going to bed helps reduce such stress and have a peaceful sleep.
#9. Eliminate caffeine
Chocolate, cola or energy drinks should be completely avoided post evenings, as it contains Caffeine which supresses the release of melatonin, causing sleeplessness.
#10. Quality time
It is important to spend atleast 15 minutes talking to your kid and giving the attention that they might have been deprived of due to your busy work schedule. This will develop better bonding and also help them get rid of any stress they might be going through.
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