Quality Living Styles

Sleep and Health

A Quality Night's Sleep

Everybody looks forward to a good sleep at night, especially after a long tiring day. Some attest to falling asleep the moment their head touches the pillow.

But for others, sleep does not come so easily. It may be that after an exhausting day, which does not end until the moment of going to bed, they are still “wound up” and are unable to relax & fall asleep. The responsibilities & activities of the day may play on in their heads or they may also be planning for the next day, instead of being in the present and unwinding.

Being able to relax, sleep well & feel rested is in fact the best way to prepare for the next day. Here are some suggestions on how you can get a quality night's sleep.

How do you unwind?

These tips are from my own experience, those of relatives and friends and mostly advocated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The National Institutes of Health,
Your Guide to Healthy Sleep - Get a Good Night's Sleep.

  • Meditation: If you begin the day with meditation it sets the pace for the rest of the day. As you get more practice in meditation you will find that you are more relaxed and better able to cope with stress. For more on meditation click on this link, Meditation
  • Have a Sleep schedule: Set yourself a time to get to bed and to wake up. To strengthen the pattern, do this at the same time everyday including holidays and weekends.
  • Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine for a few hours before bedtime: Nicotine is a stimulant that is present in coffee, soft drinks, tea and chocolates. The stimulating effects may take up to 8 hours to wear off
  • Exercise: Exercise is always good but avoid exercising 5 - 6 hours before bedtime as the stimulation may prevent you from falling asleep.
  • Avoid Beverages and Large Meals Late at Night: It is difficult to be comfortable and to sleep on a full stomach. You may get indigestion or you may need to urinate frequently, thus disturbing your sleep
  • Avoid Alcoholic Drinks Before Bed: Alcohol may keep you in the lighter stages of sleep. When the sedating effects wear off, you may be awake in the middle of the night.
  • Do not Nap after 3p.m.: Naps can help one to get re-energized, but it may prevent you from sleeping for the night if you nap late in the afternoon. Naps should not exceed an hour.
  • If Possible Avoid Medicines that Disrupt your Sleep: These include medications for heart, asthma, blood pressure as well as herbal remedies & over the counter medicines for coughs, colds and allergies.
  • Relax before Bed: People differ in their ideas of relaxation. Try watching television, listening to music or reading. I enjoy reading in bed and it does help me to drift off to sleep. Read for a fixed time or until you can no longer keep your eyes open. Make a habit of the activity of your choice.
  • Bathing Before Bed: The soothing hot shower or a soak in a bubble bath is a great way to relax & help you to feel really tired and sleepy.
  • Remove Distractions: These include bright lights or the flickering lights of a computer. Ensure that your bed and the temperature of your room are comfortable & that you have sufficient pillows and blankets. Electric blankets are very cosy in the wintertime.
  • Sunlight Exposure: Daylight helps to regulate sleep patterns. So ensure that you are outside in natural sunlight for at least half an hour each day.
  • Do not Lie Awake: If you have not fallen asleep after 20 minutes, read or find another way to relax instead of getting anxious about not falling asleep. This will only make it harder to fall asleep.
  • See a Doctor: Do visit a doctor if you believe that you have been in bed for a sufficient number of hours, but you continue to feel tired. You may have a sleep disorder. A sleep specialist will be able to help.
baby asleep

With her favorite bear for comfort,this child enjoys a catnap


There are varying opinions on the value of catnaps. Some swear by how good it is to have a short nap for about 15 minutes as it refreshes & re-energizes them. Others believe that it delays their sleep time at night.

Some have a hard time falling asleep in the daytime. But I believe if it is done in moderation and it does help to refresh you, then go ahead and have the catnap, like this sweet child.

How to Reach Me

If you have any questions or would like to comment on sleep please email me, Nirmala, at pather@qualitylivingstyles.com

The site will be regularly updated with informative articles, tasty recipes, hints and tips. You can also reach me via the Contact Form.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not intended to be medical advice. If you think that you have a sleep disorder you should seek care from a qualified professional. Quality Living Styles.com does not endorse any products or services, including those mentioned in the Google Ads.

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