Enough sleep: MUST for stress free life

Sleep is NOT an option! It is indispensable!

Consequences of Poor Sleep

Irritability, depression.

Explosive outbursts & mood swings.

Increasesd risk of vehicular accidents.

Poor work performance & memory lapses.

Problems at work; marital and social problems.

Increased risk of acidity and heart disease.

by: Dr C H Asrani

How to know that your sleep is INADEQUATE!

You never wake up with alarm clock or wish to snatch a few extra minutes before getting up.

You plan to catch up on your sleep on weekends/ holidays.

Stay awake during long meetings or after a heavy meal is a struggle.

It takes > 30 minutes to fall asleep/ You wake up repeatedly.

You’re irritable with co-workers, family and friends.

You have difficulty concentrating or remembering important issues.

You wake up groggy and not well rested (Oh! S**T, it is already 7!)

Your spouse complains about your restless sleeping.

Tips for sleeping well

1. First and foremost, protect your need and right to sleep! Don’t feel guilty if you need to sleep for at least 7 hours (Most adults require 7-8 hours. Youngsters require even more sleep!). Going without sleep is not “macho”; instead, it is self-destructive.

2. Ensure adequate time in bed, free from interruptions and demands. The same applies to night shift workers! They may feel guilty if they do not get up after four hours to perform household chores. But…what would be the response if a day shift worker tries to perform similar chores at 2 a.m.?

3. Night shift duty does not and should not deprive one of basic rights and human necessities.

4. Keep regular sleeping habits! (I sleep when I have time). Regularity makes a tremendous difference. Erratic sleep habits prevent training of centres in our brain that helps control our alertness and ability to sleep.

5. Avoid going to bed after midnight unless you work night shift.

6. Go to bed prepared to sleep! Avoid vigorous exercise shortly before going to bed. It impedes the ability to fall asleep. Exercise at least several hours before going to bed has been shown to be helpful.

7. Avoid late afternoon/evening naps, and do not allow yourself to doze off while reading or watching television prior to bedtime. Even brief episodes of such sleep may interfere with subsequent sleep.

8. Do not allow yourself to lie in bed worrying / planning about problems of the next day. All planning to be done on waking up

9. In most cases, the bed should be used for sleep and sex–and not for reading, watching television, working on a laptop or other activities that keep one awake.

10. Don’t sleep too long – Avoid oversleeping and lying in the bed for prolonged periods after your sleep is completed. Excessive sleep tends to be fragmented, unrefreshing sleep that leaves us feeling worse and may interfere with the following night of sleep.

11. Naps may be beneficial–but for people on a normal day schedule, they are best taken in the early afternoon, and in most cases, should be restricted to less than one hour, no later than 3 p.m.

12. You should wake up refreshed in the morning without the use of an alarm clock and feel energetic all day.

13. Dietary tips

a. Don’t go to bed hungry.

b. Avoid large / heavy meals and excessive fluid intake that provoke poor sleep, indigestion, heartburn or frequent awakenings to urinate.

c. Bedtime snacks should be small and non-spicy foods with sedating potential. Eg dairy products (high in tryptophan promote sleep). Apples taken before bedtime may increase sleepiness and ability to doze off promptly.

d. Caffeine and smoking prior to sleeping can worsen one’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Still finding it difficult …

14. Warm baths (not showers) prior to bedtime truly can prove helpful!–as can engaging in relaxing, calming and soothing activities.

15. Play soft/ tranquil music.

16. Make sure that your bedroom is conducive to good sleep!

17. Ensure a dark environment, unless you are reassured by having a night light in the room. More so for night shift workers.

18. Ensure a quiet environment. Use measures to block out outside sounds.

19. If necessary and feasible, especially for night shift workers, put off your mobile phone.

20. Ensure a reasonably cool environment. Overly warm bedrooms are not conducive to quality sleep.

21. Be sure that your mattress is adequately firm and comfortable.

22. If you have allergies to dust, dust mites, and other common features of a typical bedroom, take steps to free your room from these; replacement of old pillows, blankets and carpets; keeping pets out of the bedroom, if needed

Sleep Hygiene

1. Don’t stress if you feel you are not getting enough sleep. It will just make matters worse. Know you will sleep eventually.

2. Bedtime routines are helpful for good sleep.

Avoid looking at the clock if you wake up in the middle of the night. It can cause anxiety

If you can’t get to sleep for over 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something boring in dim light till you are sleepy

Know that the “night cap” has a price. Alcohol may help you to get to sleep but it will cause you to wake up throughout the night

Stick to a schedule, and don’t sleep late on weekends. If you sleep late on Saturday and Sunday morning, you’ll get Sunday night insomnia. Instead, go to bed and get up at about the same time every day

Taking a hot shower or bath before bed helps bring on sleep because they can relax tense muscles.

Don’t rely on sleeping pills. Check with your doctor before using sleeping pills. Doctors generally recommend using sleeping pills for up to a week

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  1. Sue Massey Said,

    December 19, 2008 @ 10:32 am

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work 🙂

  2. Dr Bhavini Mehta Said,

    December 19, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

    very true! it is a very important aspect of life. i have seen that the person getting less sleep is either very lethargic and inactive or very irritable with the surrounding members. a very helpful article which is needed to be circulated

  3. Dr Samir Chaukkar Said,

    December 22, 2008 @ 9:15 am

    There are a number of things that you can do to help overcome insomnia. These are known as sleep hygiene measures and include the following.

    Reduce your caffeine intake, especially late in the day.
    Drink alcohol in moderation. It may make you sleepy, but it will cause you to wake up early.
    If you smoke, try to stop. Night-time breathing problems are more likely in smokers. For more information see Related topics.
    Take regular exercise, but don’t do strenuous activity immediately before going to bed.
    Don’t take naps during the day.
    Try taking a warm bath, having a milky drink or listening to soothing music to create a relaxed mood before going to bed.
    Meditation and exercise such as yoga can have a relaxing affect, helping prepare your body for sleep.
    Try to get into a daily routine to establish a sleep rhythm. Go to bed the same time each night and get up the same time each morning.
    Don’t have heavy or rich meals, especially in the few hours before you go to bed.
    If you can’t sleep, get up and read until you feel sleepy or do something you find relaxing.
    Don’t watch television as this can stimulate the mind, and try not to lie in bed thinking about how much sleep you are missing.
    Mentally dealing with the day’s unfinished business is also helpful. Write down any worries to deal with the next day before you go to bed. This may help to clear them from your mind and prevent them re-surfacing in the early hours.
    Make sure your room isn’t too hot or too cold, and that your bed is comfortable.


  4. Saloni Sharma Said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

    I work in a KPO – fixed day shifts; had a major problem sleeping but these tips really helped.
    Thanks a ton. Keep up the good work

  5. Sunita Abraham Said,

    April 11, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

    This article really helped me catch a good night’s sleep after ages. My stress not withstanding I feel fresh. Thanks a ton, Doctors!

  6. KPO Said,

    March 8, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing this health advisory to us. There are many workaholics out there and they neglect sleeping and in turn, they suffer those consequences especially in their work.

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