What can you do to sleep better? (In local parlance it will be ‘what can you do to help your ministry?’) Experts term this as sleep hygiene.
- For snorers, try finding a remedy for the snoring. I hear there are devices or medication these days to help with the problem. Ask your doctor.
- Stay off sleeping pills. Lucky enough in Nigeria, it’s no longer an OTC medication. These pills will cease to have any effect after prolonged usage and will only lead to an addiction.
- Do not smoke within six hours before your bedtime. I reserve this to those who have refused to heed the warning that smokers are liable to die young.
- Do not take food, medicine or drinks that contain caffeine or other stimulants six hours before bedtime
- Avoid heavy meals just before bedtime. Your delicious akpu and vegetable soup or asaro (yam porridge) does not make the cut. A light snack will do.
- Do not drink alchohol six hours before your bedtime.
- It helps to have a regular sleep routine, so go to bed and wake up the same time every day.
- While staying active and exercising regularly is highly recommended, strenuous exercise four hours before bedtime is not. In fact, exercises are more helpful to your sleep routine if done earlier in the day.
- Check your medication: If you cannot sleep and you take medications, it might be a good idea to see that your drugs are not the cause. If you check with your doctor and it is, it may be possible to get an alternative yet effective medication.
- Say no to drugs! Street drugs, obviously.
Other titbits include making your bedroom an enabling environment for sleep; eliminating noise (if that is possible in Lagos); turning off the lights; not watching television in your room; making sure your bed is comfortable (believe it or not, an old sagging mattress can affect your sleep); a warm drink or reading may help you get to sleep; and lastly, avoiding mentally demanding tasks such as studying before sleep time (I can hear the outcry of students reading this)
With the myriad of information on insomnia out there, no-one should suffer needlessly from a lack of sleep unless one chooses to. Sleeping and sleeping well should never be a luxury but always a necessity for anyone who wants to be more productive and live a better quality of life.
Golly, 2am already? I really must get to bed. Good night! Sleep tight!
*This concludes the article