My child is 5 yrs old & at night he refuses to go to sleep. What can I do to make him sleep early?
This can usually be due to some faulty habits & practices that are interfering with sleep (Sleep hygiene).
You can follow simple tips to make him sleep better:-
- Fix a bed time routine for your child & make sure it is followed
- Avoid the use of computers, mobile phones, video games & television close to bedtime at least an hour before going to bed.
- Make your child sleep in comfortable night wear
- Have a age-appropriate nap schedule for your child
- Minimize light, noise & extremes of temperature in the bedroom
- Avoid giving your child food & drinks containing caffeine (chocolates, sodas etc.)
- Ensure that your child spends quality time outdoors.
Kids ages 5 to 12 require almost 10-11 hours of sleep each night, so you can fix the bed time according to the time your child needs to wake up.
How does coffee interfere with sleep?
Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant that blocks the receptors such as adenosine (adenosine is a substance that promotes sleepiness) & interfere with sleep.
How does smoking before bedtime interfere with sleep?
Apart from its health risks, nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant that increases the heart rate, blood pressure & also stimulate the brain activity that interferes with sleep.
I am a working individual, my dinner is usually heavy. Can it affect my sleep?
Yes. Heavy meals before bedtime overloads your digestive system at night, which may also cause heart burn (acidity), regurgitation of food, acid reflux etc. This can make you uneasy in getting asleep & may disrupt your sleep. It is advised to have a light dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed.
I have heard that sunlight is beneficial for sleep. Is it true?
Yes. Sunlight is a regulator of circadian rhythm (which is the internal body clock or biological time keeper) which maintains sleep-wakefulness; light influences our internal clock through specialized light sensitive cells in the retina which tell the brain that its time to wake up & our sleep patterns are set accordingly.
Lack of sufficient exposure to sunlight results in poor sleep. It is generally advised to spend at least 30 minutes outdoors to get your daily dose of sunshine
I have a habit of sleeping after having alcohol; recently someone told me that this may interfere with my sleep. Is it true?
Yes. It is not advised to use alcohol as a sleeping aid; as research shows that although you may feel sleepy after having alcohol within 2 - 3 hours of bedtime, but this may lead to impaired sleep & frequent arousals.
It is seen that having alcohol prior to bedtime tends to relax the muscles of throat, which may again lead to snoring, sleep apnoea episodes & arousals are more likely.
I get 7 - 8 hours of sleep daily, but my bedtime fluctuates on weekends. Is it Ok?
No. Despite of the fact that you take required number of hours of sleep, if your sleeping time & wake up time fluctuates on weekdays & weekends, it is generally seen that this can reset your body clock (biological clock) to a later time.
This means you will take longer to fall asleep & your wake up time will also fluctuate, leading to changes in your cycle.
I have a busy schedule & I only get time to exercise at night. Is it fine for my health?
No. Although exercise is beneficial for your health but it is advised that it should not be done late, as in the late evening ( due to the circadian rhythm ) the core body temperature begins to decrease which helps you fall asleep; but when you exercise 2 - 3 hours before bedtime, your body temperature rises, that activates the brain which causes you to stay awake & interfere with your sleep.
Which is a good pillow if I have neck problems?
An ideal pillow is one that keeps the spine in natural alignment by providing adequate comfort & support. There are numerous causes of neck problems & one of them is using a wrong pillow. As neck problem is a medical condition , you are advised to visit your doctor & based upon his advise on soft or firm, you may choose the best pillow suited to you on the basis of your desired comfort , support, age & personal choice by experiencing wide range of Sleepwell products.
I dream a lot during sleep and wake up feeling tired & sleepy all day. Will this affect my sleep ? I have already tried all sleep hygiene tips .
Yes, excessive dreaming can affect quality of your sleep. Because of this you may feel tired & sleepy during the day, as dreaming is a continuously active state of mind.If in spite of following good sleep hygiene practices this is still persistent, I would suggest you to visit a sleep specialist. For information e-mail at email@example.com.
I am a 30 year old man, how much sleep is adequate for me?
The amount of sleep required varies according to the age. Normally adults require about 7-9 hours of sleep .
What are the indicators that I am not sleeping well?
If you experience daytime tiredness, irritability, sleepiness, inability to concentrate on work, fatigue, etc are common indicators that you are not sleeping well at night.
What can I do to avoid sleeplessness?
There are some common mistakes that people make which interfere with their sleep like eating a heavy meal, drinking coffee, exercising, smoking, drinking alcohol, using electronic gadgets etc. just before bedtime.
Avoiding these can help to avoid sleeplessness. In addition to that your bedroom should be dark, quiet & your mattress should be well suited to you according to your age, weight & preference.
Does sleeplessness ever go away on its own?
Yes, in cases of transient insomnia which is due to stress, there may be normal sleep after the stressful situation passes. However in some cases the sleeplessness may last longer which requires treatment.
What is circadian rhythm?
The regular recurrence of biological processes of the body in 24 hours cycle is known as circadian rhythm. It is also responsible for hormonal secretion, sleeping, feeding, sensitivity to drugs and stimuli, etc. This rhythm seems to be set by a 'biological clock' in the body. It also acts as a biological time keeper that works according to daylight and darkness.
Is it OK to take sleeping pills, If I am not getting proper sleep?
Sleeping pills do help in getting good sleep but it should be taken strictly on physician's advice. They are generally habit forming in nature & gradually the person becomes dependent on them. Sometimes patients are unable to get sleep if they are stopped. Hence it's advisable to follow proper sleep hygiene & try to find out the cause of insomnia.
Is it true that stress can lead to sleeplessness?
Yes. Stress is one of the most common cause of sleeplessness. The high levels of anxiety, depression etc. can cause stress. The person may think of the stressful situation while lying in bed & his sleep is compromised. So it is very necessary to find out the cause of stress.
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene refers to the routines & practices that we should follow to prepare ourselves for a better night sleep.
Now a days many sleep problems are due to poor sleep hygiene for eg. staying up too late at night, working on laptops, using smart phones or even watching television just before going to bed. Not only this, excessive caffeine, alcohol & tobacco intake, sleeping in a noisy bedroom etc are all habits that interfere with your sleep.
How to prepare myself for a good night sleep?
Which sleep position in worst for the back?
It is generally seen that people sleeping on abdomen i.e. on prone position, their spine is not fully supported in natural curvature that may lead to uneven pressure distribution on the body surface. It may cause pain, stiffness, tingling in muscles & joints.
At the same time while sleeping in this position the neck gets unnaturally turned on either side leading to stiffness & neck pain.
I have back issues, will a soft mattress worsen my condition?
Generally it is seen that people with low back pain prefer firm mattresses If the mattress is very soft then the contact area is large, the heavier parts like pelvis may sink in the mattress, limiting mobility, that may require more energy to change posture while asleep this leads to unsatisfactory muscle relaxation, thus worsening backache.
The sleep system should be suited according to the age and body weight so that changing posture is easy, offers stability & support, gives relaxation & ensures a quality sleep.