01 July 2009

Sleep~

A child sleeping.Image via Wikipedia

If you have not read the facts before, perhaps you have not realised that we humanbeings on average spend 1/3 of our lifetimes sleeping! Just do a simple Maths, a day consist of 24 hours, and normally we sleep for 8 hours, so it's 1/3 of a day we spend on the bed.

I guess I don't need to elaborate more the importance of sleep. If you tried to stay awake for 24 hours or more, you will feel the crunch of not having enough rest, sleep. Your robust body needs to be turn off for some time for the "factory" to do some maintenance works. Having not enough sleep for a long term will eventually causes certain mental disorders in later life.

Everyone needs to sleep, but not everyone can get the quality sleep they wanted easily. It's not uncommon that city dwellers having a tough time to get asleep. It's either they have to stay up late night to work, or couldn't fall asleep due to the stress in urban life. Without quality rest, one's productivity and creativity will drastically been affected.

I had issues of insomnia before, and from time to time I had written the sort of experience in this blog, especially during my college days.
Here I would like to share some tips on how to relax yourself to get a good night sleep.

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#1 Clear your mind off

It's important that you set your mind off thinking of nothing prior you gets into sleep. I find that sometimes the brain would work "over time" the moment before sleep, which can be a good thing and a bad thing.
Good: spice up some new ideas or inspirations.
Bad: force your brain to keep on working that it won't stop easily, thus making it harder to fall asleep.

I would suggest that you tried to gain control of your thoughts, think of nothing and left it blank. When you're tired and your mind is blank, you can easily fall asleep.

I take the example of a computer:

If you've been running on lots of programs, it may take a while to get it shut down. If you have been running less or no programs, it shut downs almost immediately.

Same concept applies to human mind. If you use it lesser, it will enter "sleep mode" faster than you had been thinking things, especially things happened recently.

The key is to relax~ In what sort of methods you can relax, I'll follow up on the following points.

#2 The lullaby: MUSIC

(de) Klavier, Tastatur; (en) piano, keys.Image via Wikipedia

Listening some chilling and relaxing music before sleep is one of the another method I employs to get my mind to relax. One of the key is to find for the perfect song to calm your mind down, the lullaby.

As a fan of instrumental music so naturally I would have a few pieces of relaxing instrumental songs at my disposal to relax a little before heading into the dreamland.
Some of the artists' songs I would listen at this moment would be Jim Brickman, Yiruma, Yanni and some other musicians.

Some recommended pieces:
Yiruma "River Flows In You"
Jim Brickman's "Angel Eyes"
David Lanz "Cristofori's Dream"
Yanni "Felitsa"
Yanni "Nightingale"
Yanni "Whispers In The Dark"
Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata 1st movement"
Enya "May It Be"
Enya "Tea House Moon"

I've embedded the Youtube links for the songs which you can easily enjoy it. Do click on [HQ] for higher quality playback, which will enhance the listening experience.

You may wonder why I did not include some of my favourite musicians such as Kenny G and Joe Hisaishi or sort. Well I would say that listening to their songs would make me stay awake instead of falling asleep, there's the energy in their songs, you get what I mean don't you.

There are a few times where I dozed off into slumber while the earphone still sticking in my ears. I would be awaken by the music when it switches to another song once the song finished.

I strongly believes that music can interacts with the mind in some ways that it could make the brain to calm down slowly into rest.

#3 The basics

Why would I call it the basics? I think it's actually things that one would easily overlooked when it comes to solving sleeping problem. These are actually simple things that would make you more comfortable to sleep in.

Some examples:
- A warm shower.
- A cup of milk or hot chocolate (in Malaysia's case, Milo).
- Do the "toilet business".
- Prepare the bed.
- Wear comfortably.

A few more details to take care off, set the sleeping conditions.
- Noise: the quieter the better.
- Light: the darker the better.
- Temperature: 18~24'C would be good.
- Comfort: the blanket, pillow, mattress factor.

Reading might work for some people but it doesn't for me. Reading book is good but it would only makes you sleep later because you'll be sucked into the reading realm, to keep the brain working.

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When one would have enough sleep, naturally the mood will gets better. In a good mood, people can do a lot of great things like brainstorming, interacting etc etc. Never underestimate the power of sleep, heh.

All these above are written based on my own experience, so if you have any other tips or tricks to induce sleep feel free to share around~ :)

5 comments:

  1. i suffered from insomnia right after reading this post yesterday night.
    Hope that i wont have the same problem today, haha.

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  2. LOL backfired eh? i hope people with sleeping problem can benefit from this post. :)

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  3. If insomnia is wreaking havoc in your life and in spite of your consistent efforts you are unable to sleep at night, you should soon approach a doctor. After a thorough examination, your physician may prescribe sleep inducing medicines such as ambien or sonata. However these medicines should never be taken without a proper prescription from a doctor as they tend to yield side-effects which at times can be serious.

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  4. Hi jeffrey,

    I have been taking generic ambien for more years than I can count due to insomnia and nightmares. I have experienced the "sleep walking" activities, mostly repetitive conversations and eating which have been benign and harmless. Fortunately, I have family that is up later than me so they keep me from doing anything too outrageous. Sometimes I have a vague memory of my activities if my husband brings it to my attention, but if I am particularly stressed or anxious the side effects are amplified and my memory is gone. As for morning grogginess, a shower usually perks me up.

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  5. When I go on vacation and sleep on a harder mattress, I take Zolpidem 5 mg at bedtime. Then I usually wake up 4 hours later and take 5 mg more.

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