Sleep: Hazards, Hygiene and Health

By |2013-10-15T11:31:29+00:00October 15th, 2013|Categories: Mental Health, Sleep|2 Comments

Hi all! If you have read my previous blog post on “The importance of sleep”, this is a continuity of the same. As I had said earlier, sleep is a state that has restorative and regenerative functions, sometimes erroneous or inadequate sleep can lead to multi-faceted problems. This blog post will impart you an outline on sleep disorders, how you can maintain good sleep hygiene and sleep health to manage these disorders or keep them at bay. Now let’s see some common forms of sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia: Is one of the common sleep disorders in the world and there are two types of insomnia: Hypersomnia (sleeping too much) or Hyposomnia (sleeping too little).
  • Somnabulism: Have you seen a person who walks in his sleep? There are plenty of such examples either in TV soaps or daily lives. If you have seen this, then such a person is experiencing or suffering from somnabulism or sleep walking. It is an altered state of sleep. Precaution: If you have a friend, relative or a family member who is suffering from somnabulism, don’t forget to danger-proof your house. Keep all the sharp tools, sharp kitchenware, electric machines, and other dangerous things inside and out of reach.
  • Sleep Apnea: This is one of the deadliest sleep disorders leading to death in sleep and is characterized by pauses in breathing. It is common in people with respiratory and heart problems.
  • Snoring: Most of you would be spending sleepless nights due to snoring problems of your family members, relatives or partners. So I would share some tips to help yourself and help them too:

a) Ask the person to sleep to his side rather than sleeping flat on his back. Sleeping to the left should be preferred more.

b) Light clothes should be worn at night. Very tight clothes, dark colored clothes should be avoided.

c) The bedroom or the sleeping area should not be congested. It should be airy.

d) Prefer some light exercise before going to bed.

e) If snoring problem is too intense then you can buy anti-snoring products too.

A note on snoring: I read a story on snoring in a magazine a few years back. It was basically a compilation of different stories of ladies who were disturbed due to the snoring habits of their partners. On the final phrase of the compilation there was a line said by one of the members. She said: “Snoring is one of the sweetest music in the world. Ask any widow.” This changed my perspective on people who snore and who get disturbed due to it. Hope it gives strength to you too.

Sleep disorders can be very well managed and prevented if you maintain good sleep hygiene and sleep health. Following are some of the important ways of maintaining a well-balanced way of sleep hygiene and sleep health:

  • Try to maintain a routine or fixed timing of sleep.
  • Do not go to sleep right after having food.
  • Sleeping after a light exercise, walk, soothing warm bath before sleep are some of the healthy ways of getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Wear light clothes while sleeping. Dark colored clothes should be avoided.
  • Before going to sleep you can also try dipping your leg in warm water mixed with salt. That will absorb all your tiredness for the day and any negative energies encircling you.
  • Try relaxation meditation, Shavasana or listening to soothing music before sleeping.
  • Avoid watching TV just before going to seep. Watching TV right before sleeping will tense up your mind by making it to follow many racing thoughts. This will add more difficulty to your sleep regime.
  • Eat light and do not over-fill your tummy at night.
  • If you are sleep deprived during the night, then try taking short naps or power naps of short duration during the day.
  • Sleep in a dim light, well-ventilated room.
  • Shades of blue, violet, and other cool colors should be preferred for the bedroom. If that is not possible then you can seal your bed lamps with plastic sheets of these colors.
  • Try sleeping to your left. Sleeping on your stomach should be avoided.
  • Sheep counting, reading a book may sound kiddish and old. However, these two have magical effects in making you fall asleep.
  • Do you know that acupressure and color therapy can help you to improve sleep and sleep health? Here is what you need to do. It’s a very simple process:

Figur_1_2 copy

The figures represent the thumb and acupressure-colour therapy points. For sleep induction you need to follow no. 2. Take a blue ball-point pen and make 2 circles representing your eyes in your thumb, color them with blue color with the help of your blue pen. Medium pressure should be applied while coloring it, the pressure should be applied in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. This process should be done for 5-7 minutes. Similarly for making yourself alert or staying away from sleep you need to follow the same procedure but you need to use a black ball-point pen.

Precautions: Acupressure should not be done immediately after taking food. It should not be done on very small children, very old people or people who are very sick. Moreover acupressure should be avoided during menses too.

With the daily practice of the above techniques you will not only enjoy a good siesta but also an overall increase in your physical and mental health. So wishing you all a great slumber time!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

2 Comments

  1. Richard Batchelder March 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    An overnight sleep test at a medical facility will confirm whether or not you have sleep apnea. One common treatment prescribed is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) mask and machine. The air pressure prevents the air passages from collapsing during sleep and keeps them open. My wife has one, and said it took a bit of getting used to, but is well worth it. Untreated, sleep apnea can lead to all kinds of series health problems, and can even be fatal.

    • Sareeta April 1, 2014 at 9:07 am - Reply

      Thanks Richard for this input to our readers. 🙂

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