“Sleep is the best form of meditation” – Dalai Lama
There is a lot going on inside your body when you sleep. More than you can fathom. Sleep time is when the body gets stronger mentally and physically. It builds muscle, processes food, works on your brain and improves your thinking prowess.
That’s not all, the sleep cycles ensure your body is healthy to take on the next day. And for all this to take place without any glitches, you owe your body a few things. Here are three golden rules to follow before bedtime.
An empty stomach does more harm to your body than an overfilled one. Food is broken down and processed during the time you’re asleep. Not consuming food before bedtime affects sugar levels and may lead to overeating the following day. A quick carb snack before bedtime keeps sugar levels in check and makes you healthier. A glass of water before bedtime keeps your body hydrated during sleep time. It also helps the body to flush out unwanted toxins during digestion of food.
While a glass of your favourite drink may help you fall asleep quicker, it won’t be a restful sleep.Intake of alcohol or nicotine before bed reduces the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of the cycle. REM is that stage in the sleep cycle where you sleep deeply and your brain is the most rested.Smoking before bedtime stimulates the body instead of preparing it to relax for resting time. Like everything else that the body intakes is metabolised, so is nicotine. It decreases the levels in the blood stream causing interrupted sleep. People who smoke are also prone to a more severe disorder called sleep apnoea
Sleep is the time when your body winds down and gets ready for the next day. Along with your body, it is a good habit to power down your devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The light emitting from handheld devices messes with the circadian rhythm in our retina thus giving wrong signals to the brain. The brain perceives direct exposure to light as a signal of wakefulness. It is a good practice to wind down before bedtime and let your gadgets rest too.
The best way to get a good night’s sleep is creating a routine. Going to bed at a designated time every day readies your body and mind for the day ahead.