Just like eating sleep is a necessary factor for the survival of any species. Proper sleep is required to be healthy, to maintain one’s brain sharp and creative. Sleep gives our body enough rest and prepares us for the tasks ahead during the next day. It is like offering your body and mind a mini-vacation. Lack of sleep induces stress and loss of concentration. It leads to numerous health problems like hyper tension and suppressed immune system. It is also a reason for decreased ability for decision making and math problem solving. Sleeplessness can make one eat more and thus augment weight-gain. Insomnia can lead to increased blood sugar level resulting in diabetes!
How many hours should one sleep? Some sleep 4 hours, others 8 and some on some days more than 10 hours! Opinions vary on the number of hours one should sleep. Very busy politicians sleep about 4-5 hours. There are those lazy guys who snore off for more than 12 hours too. Theories say enough sleep is important for compiling memories for transforming experiences and learning into improved performance. It could be safe to assume that in a 24-hour-cycle the human brain requires 8 hours of sleep. Sleeping 8 hours keeps your brain at the optimum efficiency; skin and body nourished and adds a few extra years to your life too.
There are mothers who spank the buttocks of their kids to wake up by half past five! These children must have had only about 6 hours sleep and they would doze off when they sit to read. The deficient sleep accumulates in the brain and whenever it gets and opportunity, the individual just dozes off. Adequate sleep is necessary for learning anything well. There are so many who struggle in the bed to get to sleep. There are as many advices too. One story goes like this: count from 1 to 100 or more (until you sleep). One lady started counting and she reached thousand without any sign of sleep descending on her. Nevertheless she continued and reached 10,000. Still sleep eluded her and she was still counting when it was dawn!
How to ensure a good sleep? Develop a bio-clock; sleep every day more or less at the same time so that your brain automatically prepares you to sleep by around that hour. Do not engage in strenuous exercises a few hours before sleeping. Shut your mind off from all disturbing thoughts as you lie down; you can earmark a ‘worry hour’ for engaging in worry. Do not read exciting stuff or engage in hot discussions before going to sleep. If at all you want to read, do so something hard, less exciting or boring. Nothing should disturb you as you lie down, neither the sound of TV nor that of typing or conversations and loud shouts from the neighbours. It is good to take some sweet or a little honey before going to bed. Avoid strong tea or coffee; eat at least 3 hours before you go to bed that too a light dinner. The light should be subdued, and the bedding firm and comfortable. When you lie down leave everything aside, free your mind to sleep. Too much alcohol might send you to sleep immediately but the sleep will be short lived and not deep. Engage in half an hour’s physical exertion (brisk walking running or cycling with flexibility exercises) every day and follow a general bio-rhythm. If you keep these points in mind you would be able to sleep peacefully for a duration your bio-clock is accustomed to and wake up fresh and recharged.