Before the digital age transformed the world, the cheapest health and beauty regimen was sleep.
People could disconnect from work and its associated anxieties once they picked up their suitcases and went home. Sure, there might have been some documents read while in bed, but they were nothing compared to how we are now tempted to check emails, send reports, and have midnight work discussions because of the convenience of doing so. As a result, our work and other online preoccupations at night have robbed us of our sleep.
‘Sleep is for the weak’ has become the battle cry of people who believe they can accomplish so much more by sacrificing sleeping time. However, giving up the appropriate number of sleeping hours is not just about giving up time for rest. It also entails foregoing the natural processes of healing our body undergoes when we rest.
As a result, what had been natural have become commodities we have to pay for. We pay so much money to regulate our blood pressure. We pay for medicines to boost our immune system. Skincare has become a lucrative business to keep looking fresh and healthy.
Now that we realize what sleep deprivation entails, especially when we age and our body can’t bounce back so easily, is it still possible to regain what we have lost? Unfortunately, some cells don’t regenerate. If your neurons have been affected, you can’t get them back no matter what supplement you take. Fortunately, you can heal some of your body’s functions. There’s stem cell therapy for organ repair, including the skin
Once you’ve put your body processes back on track, put in some effort in maintaining the benefits by getting enough sleep. Your biological clock might have been already altered by your years of staying up late. Here are a few things you can do to set a healthy sleeping time.
Stop doing strenuous things, both mental and physical, one hour before going to bed.
You can use this time to read a story to your child or read something that doesn’t stimulate your senses too much. Read something you used to have trouble finishing because it bores you.
Some people also use this time to sketch or take out their coloring books. Do whatever relaxes you. Don’t, however, use apps or computer programs for this. The light from your gadgets can keep your brain wired and fired-up so that even when you finally close your eyes, your mind is still very active. Turn off your gadgets at this point. Use an alarm clock if you need to set time limits.
Have a cleansing routine.
It can be physical or mental, or both. As opposed to having a cold shower in the morning to jolt you awake, have a warm bath or shower. It’s relaxing and would ease you into a state of drowsiness. Use bath aromas that promote relaxation, such as lavender and chamomile.
Cleanse not just your body but also your mind. You can take this time to think about what happened during the day. To help you release the anxieties you felt while experiencing stressful moments, keep a journal. Write what you went through, how you felt, all your regrets and disappointments. Journal writing is a form of release recommended if you are hesitant to share your emotions with another person.
If your journal is to unload your emotions for the day, you can also lessen your worries about tomorrow by writing what you plan to do. It gives you a sense of control over the following day and can help lessen your anxieties.
Make sure that your bedroom, especially your bed, is conducive for rest.
Your physical environment will greatly affect the number of hours you’re able to sleep and the quality of your sleep. If your room is near a street or somewhere that is noisy for most of the night, you should think about getting it sound-proofed. In the meantime, you can either use earplugs or drown the noise with soothing music.
Clutter distracts the eyes and can stimulate your brain. It’s best if your room is free of possible distractions. Use relaxing colors such as green or blue for your bedroom walls. Use low yellow light instead of LED daylight bulbs.
Once you have gotten back into the natural rhythm of sleep and waking cycles, your body would automatically shut down at the appropriate time. If you disrupt it again, you will have to go through conditioning yourself again. Remember that as we grow old, our body is not as flexible as to when we were in our prime years. Correct your mistakes while you still can.