Sleep is integral in order for our body to function properly, yet we often neglect to improve our quality of sleep. Not getting enough sound sleep can have detrimental long-term consequences not just on our physical, but also on our mental health. It’s to raise awareness about this and educate people on matters relating to sleep, that the Sleep Research Foundation was founded in collaboration with Master Moltyfoam and Master Celeste. According to Sleep Research Foundation, the quality of sleep matters more than the quantity and good sleep not only has a restorative function for our body, but also helps replenish our energy and assists in memory consolidation. It’s for this reason that we asked the people who always give the best suggestions (you guys!) on what you think one should do to get good sleep. Scroll down to read all about it, along with the opinion of the experts at Sleep Research Foundation:
Put Your Phones Away!
A lot of you suggested this, and for good reason. A psycho-therapist working with Sleep Research Foundation, Dr. Raheela Ahmed, says that if you are exposed to the light on your phone for too long at night, you won’t be able to sleep immediately. Exposure to the blue light on your phone screen means that melatonin – the hormone that sends your brain the signal that it’s time to sleep – is not produced effectively. Checking your phone constantly before bed can also lead to anxiety so as a rule, try to put all screens away at least an hour before bed!
‘Put your phone awayyyy’ – @shazzasaeedofficial
‘No screen time 30-60 minutes before bed’ – @qudsia.k
‘Avoid use of phones at least one hour prior to sleeping’ – @maitreyeechowdhary2
‘Put your phone on airplane mode’ – @mariamkhank
‘No mobile phones or devices before going to bed or sleep’ – @rumellous
‘Go to bed without your phone’ – @saba.irfan.131
‘Avoid using laptops, phones and tablets for at least 30 minutes before going to bed’ – @hajramateen39
Ambiance Is Important
The atmosphere around one makes a difference when it comes to the quality of sleep, as Sleep Research Foundation reminds us. When sleeping, it’s important to make sure the environment is comfortable; this means having a suitable temperature, a good mattress, calming scents and of course – a dark room. Just like with your gadgets, the light from a bulb or anywhere else will hamper your ability to fall asleep! According to Sleep Research Foundation, one needs to ensure that their mattress is the right fit for them. They recommend going to an orthopaedic and finding out what mattress they need. P.S. Needing a firm mattress is a myth; while some people might need it, everyone doesn’t!
‘Dim lights’ – @mahnoors_artistry_
‘Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature’ – @ayeshakanwal
‘A cozy bed with soft pillows all around and a comfy blanket’ – @maryumhussain
‘The right mattress and pillow is so important! Otherwise one ends up tossing and turning all night and not having a sound sleep. It even helps me if I keep a consistent temperature in my room throughout the night. Constantly switching the AC off and on in the middle of the night causes my sleep to be seriously disturbed.’ – @zahabhagat
‘Spray a good fragrance on your pillow or room such as lavender’ – @gunaydin.tk
‘Comfortable bed sheets!’ – @rose.goldcouture
‘Lavender drops on the pillow cover really helps me relax’ – @warda_679
Certain mental exercises can really help calm someone down and put them in the right mindset to sleep. In fact, Sleep Research Foundation highly recommends counting backwards as a technique to fall asleep. A normal person should count from 50-1, someone who has trouble sleeping can count from 100-1 and if someone suffers from insomnia, counting from 500-1 can make a difference. Like most things, one needs to be consistent with this for at least 20 days in order to see the change it makes in one’s quality of sleep. Alternatively, breathing exercises and thinking positive things or meditating, can also help one to fall asleep faster.
‘Winding down exercises really help!’ – @aye_shq
‘Counting backwards’ – @manahilmukhtar28
‘Breathe in and out freely by taking a deep breath again and again’ – @hibba_azhar20
‘Start counting from 1000-0’ – @t.aimen
‘Just visualise yourself relaxing and all the tiredness of the day evaporating from your body’ – @naima_sajid
‘Close your eyes, focus the sounds of your breath and meditate’ – @subiia
Drink Warm Liquids
Research suggests that warm liquids can help one to unwind and relax after a long and stressful day. Sleep Research Foundation recommends certain herbal teas such as chamomile due to its sleep inducing qualities, or valerian root tea. Sleep Research Foundation says, ‘Research shows that from 128 people, those who received 400 mg of liquefied valerian root reported a decrease in the time it took for them to fall asleep, fewer nighttime awakenings and overall improved sleep quality, compared to those who did not receive the extract.’ Other teas they recommend are those of lavender and passionfruit. Alongside herbal teas, luke warm milk is also a popular choice by many in order to relax their body before bed!
‘Chamomile tea’ – @zarvaf.usman
‘Have a glass of lukewarm milk as it contains a chain of amino acids that stimulate sleep’ – @samra.imtiaz18
‘Chamomile tea!’ – @tanimakapur
‘Drink warm water and relax your body’ – @eman.sajjad11
‘Drink a cup of warm green tea before bed’ – @zimalfaisal09
Getting some kind of exercise throughout the day can have an extremely positive impact on your sleep cycle. Exercising means you have expended energy and so you’ll be more tired and ready for bed. It also stabilises one’s mood and raises body temperature – both things that help you fall asleep faster. By raising your body temperature by a few degrees, feelings of drowsiness can be triggered later in the day when your temperature drops back to normal.
‘Keep yourself active throughout the day’ – @beeyajee
‘A day full of physical activity’ – @huzaifachalkoo
‘Work out before sleep’ – @rehmeen_21
‘Stretching’ – @hafsaashraf77
‘Go for a walk before’ – @umme_ashmal
‘Do exercise’ – @mrmuhamadaliabbas
Sleep Research Foundation Is The Initiative Pakistan Desperately Needed
Sleep is the most important thing in order for us to maintain a healthy body and mind. Most of our illnesses and worries stem from not getting enough sleep, and while we may talk about it casually, bad quality sleep can negatively affect us in more ways than one. It can increase body weight, makes you more prone to heart diseases and strokes, age your skin, affect your immunity, and more. That’s why the initiative the Sleep Research Foundation has taken to educate and raise awareness amongst people on the importance of sleep, deserves to be commended. Their blog, youtube series, and short TVC’s featuring Mahira Khan, are just the content you need to go through if you’re having trouble sleeping!