5 expert-approved ways to help you sleep better, stay healthy

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Sleep plays a very important role in keeping you healthy. And a lack of shut-eye can raise the likelihood of developing diseases like diabetes, stroke and obesity. “Getting good sleep is important for your overall health. It may reduce your risk of chronic illness, keeps your brain and digestion healthy, and boosts your immune system,” says nutritionist Raheela Hasan.

And for those who feel groggy after lunch and find it difficult to stay awake, the solution is not to drink copious amounts of coffee. “There are two sleep cycles at night, and the one in the afternoon depending on whether an individual sleeps late or rises early,” says Dr Deepti Bagree, Head of Department, Healthcare, Reset: Holistic Living Concepts. You can blame the post-lunch grogginess on the body’s internal clock that makes us sleepy, although food does play a role in secreting sleep hormones. “The phenomenon is quite natural and the best way to address it is not by forcing yourself to stay awake by sipping on coffee/tea, but to catch a quick power nap,” she says.

Take more power naps.

A nap should ideally be 10-20 minutes long to improve alertness, concentration and boost your mood. Bear in mind, napping in excess may lead to sleep inertia at night. “A 20-minute nap prior to exercise (if you are tired) also helps gather energy and focus for a power-packed exercise routine,” says Dr Bagree.

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