Sleep well to stay well

Sleeping disorder

Your dinner should be heavy on soups and light on carbs for a good night’s sleep .

There are days when you struggle to sleep no matter how tired you are. Sometimes you even wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, anxiously watching the clock, counting sheep to lull you back into sleep. If this is how your errant sleep pattern goes then you could possibly be suffering from insomnia – a common problem that takes a toll on one’s energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. 

Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems. But simple changes to the lifestyle and daily habits can put an end to these sleepless nights. Insomnia is actually the inability to get proper amount of sleep (ideally eight hours), where one wakes up feeling rested and refreshed the next morning. However, different people need different amount of sleep because insomnia is defined by the quality of sleep and not the number of hours of sleep. 

Dr Jatin Chaudhary, director, Sharnam Healing Centre, that specialises in naturopathy, Yoga science, acupuncture and ayurveda, says, “One can practise shav and tad asan to improve their quality of sleep. Pranayam and meditation are also beneficial. These asanas soothe the nervous system and body, improves blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain, which in turn reduce stress and helps in getting a good sleep.”

“One can also take Gingko Plus medicine if they are facing insomnia. It is a herbal medicine and has absolutely no side-effects and anyone can consume it. Also, one should practise the asanas for at least 40 days to get rid of insomnia completely,” added Chaudhary.

According to Dr Kalpana Gupta Shekhawat, a medical nutrition consultant, “food items which are high in fat, sugar, preservatives and chemicals disturb the balance of neurotransmitter in the brain,” and disturb sleeping patterns.

“Food items like carbonated drinks and chips can further aggravate sleeping problems. One should have raw nuts like walnuts and almonds with no salt content before sleeping. A cup of skimmed milk is also helpful,” says Dr Shekhawat. She also puts great stress on sleep hygiene. “Sleep hygiene is also important and one should take a shower and wear clean clothes before going to bed. Regular exercises can be beneficial too. Sedatives like alcohol, caffeine and smoking should be strictly avoided,” she says.

“People facing sleeping disorder should also avoid having too much of animal products in dinner because it disturbs the metabolism rate. More of salads, soups and high protein grains should be consumed to get a good night’s sleep,” added Shekhawat.


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