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Get a good night’s shut-eye

Get a good night’s shut-eye
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First Published: Tue, Mar 24 2009. 01 15 AM IST
Updated: Thu, Apr 09 2009. 11 38 PM IST
Now I lay me down to sleep…
1. Sleeping on your side is the best position for your lower back. You can keep a pillow under the leg on top, bending it at the knee to stop your lower back from rolling forward. Remember, your spine must be straight, not rotated.
2. Lying on your back is also good. If you have any back pain, though, it would be a good idea to place a soft pillow under your knees to take some of the strain off your lower back (caused by tightened hamstrings at the back of your knees).
3. Sleeping on your stomach is a position best avoided, though it’s easier said than done for those accustomed to it! If there is a good mattress, this position will not put a lot of load on your spine; but if you habitually sleep on your stomach, put a pillow under your hips or stomach. Bend one arm upwards and place it under your pillow. This will help alleviate stress on your back and neck by propping up your body slightly on one side.
Turn the lights down
Keeping the lights on disturbs your circadian rhythm and the body’s internal cycles. Either no light or very dim light is advisable while you sleep.
Working all night is bad
This is bad news for people in India working to US or European clocks as they are messing around with nature. As much as my HR friends would not like me to say it, there is no substitute for a sound night’s sleep.
Work up a good sleep
If you have a sedentary job, lack of physical exertion may be reducing the quality of your sleep. The human body uses sleep to repair and recover. If there isn’t much from which to recover, your body’s sleep cycle could be disrupted. A decent dose of physical exertion (such as taking a run or swim) can make for deeper and more restful sleep. Don’t exercise right before bedtime though. It tires your muscles too much and the endorphins leave you wide awake to boot.
Still can’t snooze?
Many other factors can contribute to poor sleep, including stress, certain illnesses or short-term post-traumatic stress. Have there been any recent events or changes that have been troubling or otherwise preoccupying you? These issues may be following you around in your subconscious and interfering with sound sleep. If the issue itself cannot be addressed or resolved directly, consider employing relaxation techniques such as meditation.
March has been declared Sleep Awareness Month by the Indian Sleep Disorders Association (Isda), in association with Abbott India Ltd. Here are some myths Isda would like to rectify:
• “In sleep, your brain shuts down.” In fact, the sleeping brain is more active at certain times than it ever is during the day.
• “Worry is the primary cause of insomnia.” In fact, insomnia can occur due to various physical and mental conditions.
• “Insomnia affects only the elderly.” Insomnia affects people of all ages, though usually just for a night or two.
• “Our body has the ability to adjust to different sleep schedules.” Actually, the human biological clock is programmed to sleep at night and be active during the day.
• “Insomnia can be cured automatically.” Insomnia actually requires proper treatment. Staff Writer
Philips is entering the home health care market in India, introducing the Philips Respironics products for management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and home respiratory care. India is the first country where the Philips Respironics portfolio has been launched formally since its global acquisition of Respironics in 2008.
OSA is a condition characterized by the repeated cessation of breathing during sleep, resulting in snoring as well as poor oxygen flow in the blood. It is estimated that in India, for example, close to 4% of the adult population suffers from moderate to severe OSA, with only a fraction being diagnosed.
The new Respironics products being introduced also include non-invasive ventilation and oxygenation technologies for home use by patients with respiratory problems. Staff Writer
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First Published: Tue, Mar 24 2009. 01 15 AM IST
More Topics: Sleeping | Snooze | Stomach | Pillow | Stress |