Your Guide to Healthy Sleep

Sleep is the best source of your vital force. Not only does it give you relief from work, but also replenishes your energy.

Duration of sleep:

Nature cure states that the depth of our sleep keeps fluctuating while we sleep. In the first hour it deepens, after which it lightens and then continues gradually until morning or your waking time.

Theories of sleep:

Sleep is known as the temporary loss of consciousness, and to explain sleep many theories have been put forth. The oldest theory states that sleep is brought upon by a fall in the blood supply to the brain or to the conscious centers. This is called the ischemic theory. This theory is supported by the fact that we feel drowsy after a meal because the blood supply is diverted from the brain to the digestive organs.

A second theory, called the chemical theory of sleep, states that fatigue that brings on sleep is a mild form of blood poisoning or toxemia due to experiments in the metabolism of the person asleep. This toxemia is due to the energy spent by an individual in his waking hours.

When the waste from our system is broken down and got rid of through the bowels, it causes our mental and physical alertness to be disturbed. Since the waste products must be reduced to retrieve the lost energy, we feel tired and sleepy.

Our sleeping positions:

It is true that we change our sleep positions while asleep. If we do not do this, we would be lying on one side till we woke only to have stiff muscles in the morning. The best position to sleep in is on one’s side with one or both legs placed well up and the head and shoulder placed slightly forward.

One should avoid taking sleeping pills when you don’t get sleep, as these form ugly habits and become less effective, if taken continuously. Besides, over time, they can also lower your IQ, dull the brain and prove fatal if you take an overdose or before or after alcohol. Other side-effects include indigestion, skin rashes, lowered resistance to infection, circulatory and respiratory problems, poor appetite, and high blood pressure, among others.

To sleep well, you need to combine good healthy habits and mind control. Add to these a clean and relaxed body and mind, physical exercises, and dietary control. If you are disturbed by quarrels at home, watching a horror movie or listening to loud music, it will create anxiety, fear, excitement and worries in you, and stimulate the cerebral cortex, causing you to keep awake and worry.

Where to sleep:

Always sleep in an airy and noise-proof room. Neither should your bed be too soft, nor too hard, but comfortable, and so too your pillow. Wear loose and light-colored night clothes and remember not to eat heavy food just before bed time.

Naturopathy advocates simple living which means rising and sleeping at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and smoking, and making exercise a part of your daily schedule. Only then can you enjoy your sleep every day of your life.