How to Sleep Better

Your guide to a good night’s sleep

Good night’s sleep is incredibly important to your health. Research says it’s just as critical as eating well and exercise. Quality sleep is the base of a healthy body for the restoration of damaged tissues, the regeneration of cells, the flushing of toxins, and the recovery of lost energy. It also enables our body to remove a lot of negative things that we do to our bodies during the day. We’re sleeping so we can heal and start fresh the next day. Not having enough sleep may have significant consequences for our bodies.

image of a dog yawning

But many of us have serious trouble falling asleep. So what is the best way to sleep? How do we sleep better? We spoke to Dr Mohammed Harriss, specialist Pulmonologist from Medcare Hospital Sharjah to give us some science-backed up tips to guide our body into a peaceful shutdown mode. Here is an excerpt of our conversation with Dr Harris.

What is the best time to sleep? 

This depends on age and circadian rhythm [internal clock] of the patient. But in an ideal world going to bed early and waking up early is the best time. The most important aspect is the amount of sleep you are getting according to your age and circadian rhythm. For children aged 0 to three months, the ideal time is 17 hours, but for people above 60 years, it is 7 hours.

Will showering at night help us sleep better? 

Showering earlier in the evening gives your body a chance to cool off and can even trigger sleep. Warming your body by taking a bath can help induce sleep when there’s enough time to cool off afterward.

image of a woman showering

Is snoring bad for health? 

Snoring can lead to a condition called sleep apnoea where oxygen level dips multiple times during the night. Sleep apnoea can lead to a worsening of cardiovascular conditions and at times lead to abnormality in the rhythm of the heart beating, which can even lead to death.

Does the white noise machine help in better sleep? 

Certain research published in 2012 and 2017 had shown that white noise can filter off surrounding sound waves which alters sleep. In a 2005 study published in Sleep Medicine, researchers exposed sleepers to recorded hospital sounds either with or without a white noise machine. The people exposed to white noise had better sleep. However, later studies have shown mixed results and it is difficult to conclude that this is consistently beneficial. 

Dr Mohammed Harris from Medcare Sharjah
Dr Mohammed Harris from Medcare Sharjah

Should we listen to guided meditation to sleep better? 

Meditation may help you sleep better. As a relaxation technique, it can quiet the mind and body while enhancing inner peace. When done before bedtime, meditation may help reduce insomnia and sleep troubles by promoting overall calmness. Again, there is a variable outcome reported by different groups of researchers.

What’s the best sleep duration? 

It depends on age. For an average adult, it is between 7 and 9 hours.

Do afternoon naps hinder our night sleep?

Adding a short afternoon sleep will not disrupt your normal seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

Is there any sleeping position that is best for a sound sleep? Also, is sleeping on your stomach a bad thing?

To minimize the risk of snoring, it’s usually best to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back may aggravate snoring, but for a smaller number of snorers, back sleeping helps them feel more restful the next day. Sleeping on the stomach may improve snoring in some patients, but it can lead to back and neck problems in obese snorers.

Arti Danihttp://storyoffitness.info
Arti Dani is a journalist by trade, a traveling runner with 5 international marathons, one ultra marathon under her belt. 100 push-ups a day is a simple job for her, even though she's still working to perfect her headstand skills.
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