Anyone who has ever had a bad night’s sleep will tell you how difficult the next day is: You find it difficult to concentrate on anything. You are irritable and get annoyed about minor things. Your eyes feel as if someone has poured sand on them. Your head is aching the whole day and your stomach feels like it’s on fire.

Why is sleep important?

Sleep is an important part of our life. It is when our body and mind gets rest. Sleep is also when the body heals itself. A number of hormones required for the proper functioning of the human body are secreted during sleep. A good sleep helps to promote good health. People who have sleep disturbances are more prone to develop obesity and heart problems.

How can you improve your sleep naturally?

  • Regular bedtime: Your body has its own internal clock, and it follows something called a circadian rhythm. Maintaining a regular bed time and waking time helps your body to understand when to stay awake, and when to sleep.
  • Exercise: Exercise helps you to stay fit. It also causes your body to release endorphins, which help to keep you happy. It also promotes good sleep. However, ensure there is a gap of 4-5 hours between heavy exercise and sleep, as it may interfere with your sleep.
  • Sleep in a dark room: Sleeping in a dark, quiet room helps to promote the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Such conditions are conducive for good sleep.
  • Dietary changes: Add or increase foods rich in tryptophan. This acts as a building block and promotes release of melatonin. It also helps to increase the serotonin levels in the body, which are responsible for general mental well being. Examples of such foods: milk and dairy products, nuts and seeds, chicken and turkey.
  • Avoid caffeine: As much as you love your many daily cups of tea and coffee, cut down on the caffeine consumption for good sleep. Avoid caffeine at least 5 hours before sleep. Switch to decaf coffee or green tea as a healthy alternative.

Try the above methods to get better sleep. These will not only help you sleep better, but help you inculcate a healthy lifestyle, with visible benefits in all spheres. Sleep well!