All of us love our sleep. Our dreams are made up of our ambitions and our sweat of the day. They say that the best things in life are free and what more stands proof of this fact than the fact that sleep comes to us unbiased off our wealth, fame, gender, choice to be or the bed we lie on.
It hoodwinks us for very different reasons. And the day you can buy sleep off the market, I’d lose respect for involuntary actions that nature has blessed us with! Jokes apart, sleep or rather the “no sleep” era is dark and looming. A new age disease, an epidemic that has spread its wings amongst the young quickly and willfully.
While there are a hundred remedies to remedy your sleep there is just one ingredient that is pertinent and an absolute requirement, the intent to sleep. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1) You have to want to sleep well, you have to prioritise sleep. You have to pamper it enough on your lashes for it to be of utmost importance just as it was in your childhood, unquestionably irreplaceable.
2) Keep your dinners moderate, neither too heavy nor too light. Just enough for you to sleep before hunger hits. A bowl of salad is good enough but enriched with a few nuts, a little fat, small amount of protein. Just a veg soup and salad may leave you wanting for more. A simple whole grain meal without the use of any protein could also do the trick.
3) Switch off all blue lights half an hour before bed and watch how 50% of the insomniac population finds solace in sleep. The exciting blue lights from phones and laptops navigate the message of “daylight” to the brain not allowing it to succumb to sleep. Allow yourself to wind down into what should naturally come to repair and prepare your body for the next day.
4) Tryptophan based foods: Foods containing tryptophan like peanuts, a slice of cheese, eggs, spinach, seeds, a glass of milk are all foods that contain the amino acid, tryptophan can boost serotonin production. Serotonin is imperative for brain function and the pendulum of sleep.
5) Gut health: Probiotics, little wonderful beings that do a world of good, right from setting our digestion right to holding up the platform for sleep.
The right amount of stomach fire (acid in the tummy) a fair ratio of good bacteria, boycott of processed foods can skyrocket your digestive health. The gut being your second brain, surprisingly sending more messages to your king brain than vice versa can influence sleep more than you can imagine.
6) Sleep routine: It’s not enough to sleep long, it’s important to sleep right too. Sleeping and waking up at the same time everyday allows the sleep wake cycle to function at its best. Sleeping at 4 a.m. for 7 hours can never bribe sleeping at 11pm. for the same number of hours, thanks to a sensitive body clock. The body’s repair agents function best at night allowing the body to cross the 5 stages of sleep effectively which along with repair can build new learning pathways in your brain.
Work and ambition today occupy a chunk of the real estate on your time. No doubt. But health, effectivity, focus and energy are key ingredients to live a fruitful life which will only hold the umbrella up for those very ambitions.
So before you trade sleep, step back to realise that in the bargain you lose probably 25% of the precious 24 hours of your day in effectivity, constructive thought and balanced decisions.
Sleep well, dream big!!
Anupama Menon is a nutritionist and food coach based in Mumbai and Bangalore offering sustainable nutritional plans with 3 chEATs per week.