How to develop sleep hygiene? Tips from psychiatrist

Avoid brain-stimulating beverages such as tea, coffee, and cola after 4 pm. Photo: Shutterstock

In our childhoods, we were all taught the importance of 'burning the midnight oil' for success. But, what is wealth, if you have no health? And to be healthy, regular sleep is one of the most important factors to be followed. Getting at least eight hours of continuous sleep a night can help boost brain activity. By getting continuous, uninterrupted sleep, the brain accurately stores what we have done and read during the day and this will help our memory to improve. The waste products created by the metabolic processes in the brain due to the activities carried out during the day are eliminated during sleep at night. Continuous sleep is helpful for this process. There are some good practices we can adopt for getting a good night's sleep. They are called sleep hygiene exercises.

• Always go to bed at the right time. Wake up on time
• Avoid brain-stimulating beverages such as tea, coffee, and cola after 4 pm.
• Do exercises like brisk walking for 45 minutes in sunlight five hours before going to bed.
• Take a cold water bath after exercise.

• Avoid visual media, including mobile phones, an hour before bedtime.
• Do deep breathing exercises 25 times and then go to sleep. Close your eyes sit on a chair and inhale and exhale 25 times, very slowly, before going to bed. Repeat this exercise when you wake up in the morning.
• Do not vary the bedtime. Go to bed at a regular time and also wake up in the same fashion.
(Courtesy: Arogyam/Dr. Arun B. Nair, Professor of Psychiatry at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and honorary consultant psychiatrist at Sree Chithira Thirunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology)

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