Sleep would be a very crucial element in the survival of human beings and it is true that a person can go for two weeks without food but not without sleep. A lot of activities happen when a person is sleeping and it is necessary that a person should get that decent amount of sleep for being healthy. Sleep is important as it is the period of the recovery for the brain cells as a result of the metabolism and the activities. It is the time for both physiological and physical restoration.
Melatonin is the key to sound sleep and this is generally released when body is completely relaxed and the environment you are is dim. There are many natural ways which can be used for maintaining a healthy circadian cycle aka day-night cycle.
1. Breathing: Breathing is an important aspect for sound sleeping. Deep breathing helps in the relaxing of the muscles and a relaxed state triggers the release of melatonin. People who are very anxious tend to think about various events and occurrences during bed time and this makes the muscles and the nerves tense thereby resisting the release of melatonin. These people will have a hard time getting into sleep and this can be avoided by concentrating on each breath and feeling it going through the entire body as this will take the mind of other thoughts and help in getting sleep.
2. Lighting: Lighting is a very important factor for the release of melatonin as light triggers our sight and it prevents the release of melatonin. Pineal Gland responds to even the slightest of lights and prevents the release of the sleep inducing hormone. Light acts as the master clock which decides the reactions of the body and other clocks in the body respond to the master clock. This circle is disrupted when the body is exposed to light during night. Blue lights are bad for sleep and this can be rectified by using blue light blocking light bulbs and there are even computer based applications which can block the blue light.
3. Meditation: Meditation is a universal solution and it has countless effects on the various aspects of our body and its activity and one among them is that it induces a healthy and deeper sleep pattern which is healthy for the body. Medication gives that stability to a person in the physical, mental and emotional states. This balance enables a person to be free from being anxious which helps in sound sleeping. Meditation also helps in drifting away from day to day to concerns at the time of sleep and enabling that healthy release of melatonin in to the stream of the blood.
4. Muscle Relaxation: This is another very effective technique which can enable a good night’s sleep. The technique is aimed at relaxing the muscles and is done while laying down to sleep and taking your favorite and comfortable position start relaxing from the toes and start upward. Studies have seen that most of the people who try it sleep off in between the process. Relaxed muscles trigger the release of melatonin and then the person falls into sleep.
5. Food Choice before going to sleep: Food pattern that we follow also have a lot of influence on the pattern of our sleep. Foods also have an impact on the sleep as foods which are stimulant make falling asleep tough. Foods which contain caffeine, anti-depressants or even nicotine prevent the high level release of melatonin. It is also similarly important to take the food on a timely manner to get a good night’s sleep. It is suggested not to have food just before going to sleep as it will reduce the release of melatonin which is essential for sleep.
6. Exercise Daily: Work outs have a big list of benefits and the one of the most important importance among them would be to get a good night’s sleep. Starting a day with a healthy workout increases out metabolism and heart rate to get that blood pumping. This helps in the proper reaching of blood to all the places. The main contributor to sleep is that when someone exercises the muscles are worked and this makes it stiff and when a person is lying down the muscles are relaxed. Muscle recovers during sleep and the body recognizes this need and pumps in melatonin for getting you that deep sleep that you deserve.
7. Right mattress and a perfect pillow: Now you might be thinking really?! Yes! It has an effect on the sleep pattern as the level of comfort that you feel is directly related to the level of a good sleep. Pillows do have an important role in the sleeping as people have preferences in the number of pillows. Certain people use double pillow, one for their head and one for relieving the pressure felt on the back and torso.
8. Early to bed and early to rise: Just as the saying goes going to bed early and waking up early is the best practice as this helps in getting a healthy sleep. The late to sleep routine is not healthy as people tend to be awake even after body starts releasing melatonin. This routine can be changed by either getting up early or going to bed early. Either of steps will make you sleepy at night early and that will result in a deeper state of sleep. This also enables us to get long nights sleep which leaves us fresh and rejuvenated in the morning.
These are some of the natural ways in which you can make your sleep process effective and healthy. Sleep is an underestimated phenomenon as people take it for granted and do not realize the harmful effects of lack of sleep. Sleep is a very crucial process which has a lot of functions in the healthy running of our body. So sleep your way to a healthy life with happiness.