Thursday, August 18, 2022

Are you struggling with your sleep routine?

Society at large has set the rules to almost every human behavior.

From the time you are born, the very first thing the doctor tells the new mum, “Get your child into a regular sleep pattern,”

So the baby from enjoying a sleep pattern of his/her choice is now pushed out of the mother’s protective womb and nourished with love, food and a forced new sleep pattern.

We then go through life with a routine of waking up at dawn, engaging ourselves in constructive activities till dusk and then wind down to a rest mood and a seven-hour sleep mode. This has been society’s dictate for achieving success.

Those who do not fall into these norms are left wayside.

Pretty judgmental I say.

What the world does not take into consideration is that every human being is uniquely made and not everyone can comply with society’s norms, after all if you do not have a restful night, it can be very very difficult to perform at work or even function effectively the next day.


Do you know that millions of people around the world suffer from sleep disorders? 

Be it chronic sleep deprivation, insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, or delayed sleep phase syndrome, every human being needs sleep, deep restful sleep.

Sleep relaxes, rejuvenates, and heals the body. Just one night of bad sleep can put you into a funk, so when it is a recurring pattern of deprived sleep night after night, the effects on life can be devastating.


Do you know that adults who sleep less than the recommended seven hours per night are more likely than solid sleepers to report at least one chronic health condition?

Arthritis, depression, blood pressure, chronic pain, and diabetes to name a few.

Being in the service industry for twenty years of my life, where work hours were erratic and around the clock, I must say that my body has adapted to the “Art of sleeping at every given opportunity.”

So yes I have not followed the dawn to dusk work schedule and I am happy to announce that with my erratic work hours, sleep comes easily ninety nine percent of the time, but that one percent of the time when I lay awake in bed visiting the toilet any number of times or munching on readily available snacks hoping and praying that my mind will calm down and I Will be able to get in a few hours of sleep or waiting to hear the birds chirp to embrace a sleep deprived day.

I can just imagine what it feels like (maybe not) to be in the shoes of those who have to embrace sleep deprived days, day after day, it sounds insane to me, but it is truly the reality of millions of people.

Identifying sleep disorders —

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome — “is a disorder in which your preferred sleep time is at least two hours later than conventional bedtimes. One usually falls deep asleep in the early morning hours until noon.”

Chronic Sleep Deprivation — “refers to the case of getting insufficient sleep or experiencing sleeplessness over an extended period of time, to an extent that an individual routinely sleeps less than an optimal amount for ideal functioning. Chronic Sleep Deficiency is often confused with the term insomnia and can vary in its severity.”

Insomnia — “The three types of insomnia include transient insomnia (less than one week), acute insomnia (short term), and chronic insomnia (long term). Insomnia is the most common type of sleep disorder and it involves problems falling asleep or staying asleep, or getting quality sleep, despite adequate opportunity to do so.”

Obstructive Sleep Apnea — “In adults, the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity, which is associated with the soft tissue of the mouth and throat. During sleep, when throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed, this soft tissue can cause the airway to become blocked and in turn disrupting sleep.”


What to do if you’re struggling with a sleep routine?

  • A good night’s sleep is more important than getting your regular eight hours. The REM cycle is the period when you sleep soundly and get the best rest for your body. The main cause for disruption of the REM cycle can be drinking of alcohol just before bedtime
  • Information Overload is a common cause for afternoon slumps; a power nap of thirty–forty minutes can restore energy for the rest of the day.
  • Sleep is vital for reparation, restoration and retention for both, your mind and physical body. Make sleep a priority — set a sleep routine, dim the lights and stop all food and drinks an hour before bedtime, sleep in a cool, dark room and, comfortable bed.
  • 10pm-6am sleep is more restful for the body than the 1am-9am sleep pattern.
  • Foods rich in Melatonin are natural sleep enhancers —

Fruits and vegetables such as — bananas, Goji berries, grapes, tart cherry juice, corn, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranate, olives, grapes, broccoli, cucumber.

Omega-3 foods such as — fatty fish, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds, flaxseed.

Tryptophan-Infused Foods such as — turkey, milk, cheese, eggs, oats, barley.

So if you find yourself constantly yawning, a tendency to doze off when not active for a while, (watching TV or reading a book) waking up groggy, irritable, low concentration levels, mood changes, or a sleepy disorientation throughout the day — chances are you do have or are heading for sleep deprivation disorders and with the constant cycle you will experience health conditions. It is a vicious cycle and the most effective way to resolve both sleep disorders and health conditions that come out of it —

Calm down your nervous system

Force yourself to rise early (a study found that early risers had a 12 to 27 percent lower risk for developing depression and late risers had a 6 percent higher risk, compared with intermediate risers.)

Exercise to release happy hormones.


It takes four days to fully recover from one hour of lost sleep

Choose to shape your sleep world.

It’s a powerful perspective.

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Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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