Yawn! In the middle of a high strung meeting, that’s how one goes and suddenly there is pin drop silence. Everybody stares and finally someone tries to crack a half hearted joke followed by a faint apology and the proceedings trudge forward. However, the yawner knows that this is not the end of it and he has to face the consequences of this untimely yawn. He would be branded inattentive, tardy and lethargic. And all this would reflect on the appraisal.
Not a nice situation indeed. But why do these yawns happen particularly at most inopportune moments. In most cases the diagnosis is fairly simple. Like for me. If I have had a late night and have not been able to make 6 to 7 hours shut eye time in bed, chances are I would be groggy and sloth the following day. This happens all the time – on work days, over weekends and especially almost every night during the festival season.
And at times I have great intentions. I would have an early dinner, wind up my phone calls, change into comfy night wear, draw the curtains and go to bed with a relaxing book highly charged up about the sleep ritual. But then – as the proverb goes – there is many a slip between the cup and the lip, the bed and the sleep in this case. It is 2 hours and I am lying wide awake. I have tossed and turned, moderated the air conditioner temperature a million times, counted stars and sheep and any other item I could think of. And yet I lie there – wide awake. All my sleep dreams have gone kaput and I know I will be a sleepy Tom throughout all festive events the next day. Not a nice situation again.
Why do such things happen to me or for that matter any of us? How can we prevent this? Is there anyway we can have better sleeping habit so that our next morning is more fun?
The crucial question is how much sleep we need to function optimally. There have been innumerable studies and the jury is still out on this. That said, babies, infants and toddlers need more sleep (about 14 to 17 hours) than most because they’re experiencing rapid mental and physical growth. In later years, these changes are gradual, and don’t require as much time dozing for the body to recover. People need less sleep as they age and an adult requires 7 to 9 hours to function optimally.
With that info in place, how do we actually fall asleep and ensure that we are resting throughout the night?
Experts say “Go to bed as soon as you are tired even if it is 6 p.m.” Make the room sleep friendly: dim lights, as sound proof as you can, keep a moderate temperature in the roof that this neither too hot or too cold, and most important, have no technology such as mobiles, tabs or laptops in bed.
Have an early dinner and ensure there is some gap between your food and bedtime. Some of us have this habit of exercising late. That raises our adrenaline levels and it is difficult to fall asleep with high energy level. Exercise early so that there is sufficient time for the adrenaline to wear off. A pre sleep ritual, perhaps a warm shower, may help.
It is the festival season and in all this merry making, a good sleep pattern would help a long way to keep you bright, fresh and energized all throughout.
So, do try the above practices and make sleep a Fun-Do this season and forever.