Tag menstrual

11 Tips for Deeper Sleep

Sleep does not differentiate us from animals, sleep hygiene does!

Overworked humans are not only getting insufficient sleep but also poor quality sleep secondary to their poor sleep hygiene.  And what exactly is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene is your personal set of habits that together determine the quality of your sleep. Sleep hygiene helps you stay healthy by keeping your brain (most importantly, the executive center) and your body rested and strong. In order to get the most return on your investment in sleep, you will have to follow sleep hygiene fanatically.

The following tips will help you improve your return on investment in sleep:

  1. Create a sanctuary for sleep. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
  2. Reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex only.
    Keep work related items out of bedroom. Do not take Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations to bed. Keep Smartphone and laptop out of your bedroom.
  3. Use the might of Mother Nature to your advantage. Going against Mother Nature by ignoring circadian rhythm will result in reduced duration of your deep sleep (stage three and REM sleep). Always maintain a consistent time to rise, even when circumstances prevent you from going to bed at your normal time. And, yes, that includes weekends. There is no point in going to bed two hours late on weekends and waking up two hours late the next day. There is no net gain. In fact, there is a net loss because it disrupts your intrinsic rhythm, the sole cause of reduced productivity on Monday mornings.
    Alcohol robs you of your deep sleep.
  4. Recognize that alcohol induces sleep, but is a poor quality sleep marked by frequent arousals, leading to lighter sleep at the expense of REM sleep.  Alcohol induces sleep but robs you of your deep sleep. Because of this, general recommendation in sleep medicine practice is to avoid consuming alcohol six hours before bedtime.
  5. Make every effort to quit smoking completely because it affects your sleep, too. Nicotine is a stimulant that would rob you of your deep sleep. But if you cannot quit, certainly avoid smoking within three hours of your bedtime.
  6. Avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime because the process of digestion will interfere with falling asleep and may reduce the amount of deep sleep.
  7. Sweat for sound sleep.  Regularly exercising even for twenty minutes a day has been shown to improve your sleep architecture. Not only does it make you fall asleep quicker, it also increases the duration of deep sleep and thus makes your sleep immensely more restorative.
    Caffeine has a 24 hour duration of action. It robs you of your deep sleep.
  8. Stay away from caffeine, certainly after one o’clock. Caffeine has the duration of action of twenty-four hours, so a cup of coffee in the morning will still be lingering in your bloodstream when you are trying to go to sleep at ten o’clock. Some of my colleagues argue, “I can drink a cup of coffee and go right to bed and fall asleep.” The fact remains, though, that it is still going to rob you of your REM sleep, making your sleep non-restorative. Please taper caffeine off slowly over three to four weeks to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Switch to decaf coffee if you must drink it.
  9. Follow the 2-20 rule of napping. Do not nap after two o’clock, and do not nap for longer than twenty minutes. A ten to fifteen-minute power nap in the early afternoon can energize your day and give you two days in one. But even a brief ten-minute nap in the evening will deconsolidate your sleep at night.
  10. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Listen to the music. Read a nice book. Take a warm shower because the cooling off promotes sleep. Cookies and a glass of milk can help, too, because milk contains tryptophan, a naturally occurring sleep-promoting agent.
    Prayers lead to positive emotions, which get amplified during REM sleep.
  11. REM sleep is a powerful amplifier of emotions, especially negative ones like fear, anxiety, hatred, and anger. To use this amplifier to our advantage, we need to focus on positive emotions all day and then, at bedtime, purge our mind of whatever negative emotions it has collected all day. This is where even a short prayer comes in the picture. Matthew 18:23–26 says, “Have faith in God. I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” Faith drives away fear. Also, do not carry a grudge to bed with you. Bedtime is not the time to review your anger against others who have hurt you in some way. Luke 6:27–29 says it best, “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also.” Forgiveness always brings peace, and there is no better sleep aid than a soul that is at peace. Forgive yourself; forgive others.

Ignore Sleep, Ignore Life.

Sleep Well, Lead Well.

Love Coffee? 8 Tips from Your Sleep Doc!

Caffeine has a 24 hour duration of action. It robs you of your deep sleep.

I was seeing a middle-aged patient, husband of my kids’ elementary school teacher,  in the clinic for snoring,  daytime fatigue, and tiredness. He already had a sleep study done which was negative for sleep apnea but did show increased arousal index ( number of times brain waves show wakefulness activity lasting for 5-10 secs.) Increased arousal index can be seen with arthritis, sedentary life,  fibromyalgia, alcohol usage, and leg movements of sleep. I went over sleep hygiene instructions, reassured him that he did not have sleep apnea, and as I was leaving the exam room asked him what he did for fun. “I grind coffee beans,” he replied with a wide smile on his face! His fatigue and tiredness disappeared soon after he eliminated bedtime coffee and switched to decaf coffee in the morning!

Here are a few more tips from your sleep doc:

1. Avoid caffeine after 1 PM.

2. Smell, sip, and  enjoy decaf coffee same way you enjoy a glass of good wine.

3. If you are a morning person, you do not need coffee in the morning. Go with a glass of orange juice.

4. If you are not a morning person, enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning to kick start your day. My personal favorite though is “bed to bike” routine. Jump on the stationary bike as soon as the alarm goes off. Do not let your mind talk you out of it. You can read on the bike, watch news, or check emails (you can get a very nice laptop stand which can work with bike or even with your treadmill. I bought one from http://www.airdesks.com and I love it.)

5. The surest indication for a strong cup of coffee is drowsy driving. Coffee here can be life saving. Go ahead. Enjoy it. You have my full support. Power nap can also provide similar benefit without robbing you of your deep sleep (REM sleep and stage 3 NREM sleep.)

6. Never drink just to drink. You will not take medication just to take medication. Caffeine is no different. It has to be taken for a reason; to maximize alertness while driving or attending an important meeting.

7. After dinner coffee is suicidal for sleep. I feel like getting up and yelling a loud NO when the waiter offers coffee after the dinner.  Please help me stop that life-robbing tradition.

8. Avoid caffeine before and during menstruation as it worsens both the PMS and also the insomnia associated with menstruation.
What is your routine? How do you feel about decaf coffee? Does after-dinner coffee disrupt your sleep?
This is post is dedicated to my daughter Priyata (a Starbucks’ enthusiast) and my medical assistant Barb Reinhardt and other caffeine lovers around the world in the hope that they will consume caffeine judiciously and selectively.

Excelling despite PMS and Menstruation

Sleep Well, Lead Well even during PMS & Menstruation

Female leaders are unique. Besides fighting male dominance in their ascent to the top, female leaders, while shouldering more than their share of family responsibilities, unfortunately, also have to fight insufficient deep sleep during premenstrual syndrome, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, menopause, and even after menopause. If you add inadequate sleep hygiene to the list, what you get is severely suboptimal leadership. So it is of paramount importance that female leaders follow sleep hygiene with fervor and fanaticism. We will describe several useful interventions that can help female leaders improve their sleep during these unique times. And, as always, learning about these deficits and being aware of them is half the battle.


Half of menstruating women complain of disrupted sleep for three days each menstrual cycle according to the National Sleep Foundation’s women and sleep poll. For female leaders suffering from premenstrual syndrome, sleep disruption and the resultant drop in daytime alertness are even worse. Also, progesterone hormone, which peaks in the second half of the menstrual cycle, exacerbates fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness. These recurring challenges can take a toll on leadership and the life of our female leaders.

The following tips can help. Remember that, if you master these interventions, you get recurring return on your investment month after month throughout your career.
• Follow sleep hygiene with a fervor. Mother Nature is not helping you, so you will have to help yourself.  Maintain regular sleep-wake schedule, avoid alcohol within 6 hours of bedtime, keep work related material out of bedroom, and keep your bedroom cool, quiet, and dark.
• Remember that exercise will help you fight PMS symptoms and improve your REM sleep too.
• Gradually taper caffeine off completely. Besides disrupting your deep sleep, caffeine contributes to premenstrual bloating.
• Drink more during the daytime. Drink plenty of fluid all day, but stop drinking in the evening to avoid nocturnal urination.
• Avoid the it-is-just-PMS attitude. Take your PMS seriously, and consult your physician to reduce PMS symptoms of bloating, breast tenderness, back pain, cramping, irritability, nervousness, and grumpiness.
• Schedule lightly. You may argue that this is not always possible, but, with proper planning, you might be able achieve this. Try to squeeze in a PREM(Patel’s REM) nap in your busy schedule if you can.
• Do not let pride prevent you from seeking support. You know you are fighting Mother Nature, but no one else does because you cannot share this with your male colleagues. But this should not prevent you from seeking support from your female colleagues and, for sure, your family members.
• Learn mindful meditation. This will help you deal with untoward emotions. It will also treat that feeling of powerlessness that you as a leader hate. To learn mindful meditation, you can watch this simple and useful video by Jim Malloy of http://www.meditationcenter.com.

Run, Sleep, Lead.

Vanguard Blog

Insights and opinions from Vanguard leaders

who is bert

a dialogue on mind, consciousness and existence


Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!


Five true stories, every five weeks.

Talkin' Reckless

Thoughts on feminism, health, and education

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Nursing Clio

The Personal is Historical


Support for survivors of domestic violence, rape and fraud

The Vedic Philosophy (ऋषिचिंतन)

Veda || The Received Name for The Highest Spiritual Truth of which The Human Mind is Capable

Proactive Indian

Reflections on everyday life in India and elsewhere

Life's Little Banter

Right now is the oldest you have ever been and the youngest you will ever be...

The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

My life and everything that touches it....


The memory improvement blog

Inspirational Quotes | Motivational Blog | Images | Pictures

Quotes For Kids | Success Quotes | Bob Marley Quotes


“When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch". Bette Davis


Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different


Breaking news and updates from Time.com. News pictures, video, Twitter trends.


News and reviews from the world of gadgets, gear, apps and the web


Opening doors to enhanced life experiences by uncovering the unseen

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Suzanne Askham

Intuitive meditation


Form, Flow and Grace


Knowledge and Happiness(K&H) multiples by dividing it. More you share, higher and bigger they grow.

Taozi Tree Yoga

The seeds we water are the seeds that grow.


Snap pictures, tell stories

Love. Life.

It's simple, yet powerful.


adventures in living my yoga, untethering my soul all whilst not giving up on chocolate or wine

Seven Spheres

Aqua Terra Ignis et Aer

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Personal Branding for Professional Sucess

The Premier Personal Branding Blog in India

Egyptian Streets

Independent Media


A pulmonary & sleep physician, I blog @ sleeping soundly, working happily, leading humbly, & living fully. http://yatinJpatel.com

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Depression Time

A journal about depression, panic, and creating a life of clarity, balance, and meaning.


Just the good stuff.

Șic și clasic - "Chic & Classic" luxury fine arts, entirely handcrafted, original design

Cand cumperi arta nu cumperi doar ceea ce vezi si pipai cumperi sufletul unui om, sufletul artistului pentru ca el/ artistul s-a uitat in sufletul lui si a scos de acolo ce a gasit

Basic Maths

A thoughtfully designed and well-constructed grid theme.


I'm a writer writing for the joy of it.

British Asian Woman

Daily life and current affairs from a cross-cultural perspective

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

%d bloggers like this: