Addressing The Sleep Dilemma
Sleep, as opposed to what we commonly believe, is an active process and not a passive one. Having a good sleep ensures that we are resetting our body every day to function at our full potential. The usual sleep time for a three-month-old baby is around three to four hours at a stretch, only to wake up for a feed-in between.
From six months to one year, it is around fourteen hours, two to four years, it is around eleven to twelve hours and a five to eight-year-old, it’s around eight to ten hours, with daytime sleep decreasing with activity and age. A healthy adult needs around six to seven hours of sleep.
It’s important that from the first day of their birth, babies are trained to identify the difference between day and night, by decreasing the light and the sound stimulation around them by the end of evening. For kids who experience a poor night’s sleep, you need to ensure that you are not interacting with them when they are awake and let them get back to sleep on their own, or with a lullaby. A hungry child cannot sleep well, however never disturb a sleeping child for feeding.
When it comes to adults, primary sleep disturbance is actually rare, as sleep disturbances are usually secondary to stress, medical illnesses or erratic behavioral patterns. Nevertheless, it’s important to treat primary sleep issues, be it medical or psychological to ensure a good night’s sleep. Pharmacotherapy along with psychotherapy might be needed if the problem is psychological.
Dos And Don’ts For Good Sleep
- Avoid using laptops and phones, or watching television on the bed before sleeping
- Try writing the list of things which are on your mind to attend to them the next morning
- Make sure the room is dark
- Avoid caffeine drinks, colas or excessive alcohol in the night
- Have a light dinner
- Fix a wake up time in the morning, no matter when you are sleeping in the night and avoid sleeping in the afternoon
- Avoid exercising late in the evening
- Make sure you have a good balance of relaxation and work to avoid a stressful day
- Understand your limitations and plan your day to ensure peaceful sleep