According to a report by the Indian Council of Medical Research, 10.8 per cent of the deaths in India can be attributed to hypertension. Hypertension can be caused by a variety of factors both genetic and lifestyle induced. The lack of quality sleep is an extremely significant cause of hypertension too.

It is necessary to make changes in our daily habits to enjoy sound sleep and in turn, a healthier lifestyle. Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Director, co-founder, Wakefit.co, shares some simple steps that can be taken to improve the quality of one’s sleep:

1. Prioritize at least six hours of sound sleep
We recognize the importance of time-tables or to-do lists when it comes to achieving professional goals. Applying the same method to our daily routines can help us ensure adequate space for activity as well as optimal rest. Studies have found that less than 30 per cent Indians get 6-7 hours of sleep every night. While the National Sleep Foundation sets seven hours as the baseline for sound sleep among adults, prioritizing at least six hours of sleep every night is the need of the hour.

2. Posture and support matter
Sleep posture is crucial to the quality of sleep. Experts opine that it is ideal to lie on one’s back as opposed to lying on one’s stomach during sleep. The wrong kind of sleep posture can result in back pain, neck pain or hip issues owing to the uneven distribution of pressure. It is also important to choose the right kind of mattress such that the body is well supported even during the movements of sleep. Memory foam mattresses, for instance, take the shape of the body during sleep thereby enabling the equal distribution of pressure across the mattress. This, in turn increases blood circulation and enhances the quality of sleep.

3. Control the ambience in your bedroom
Some people prefer to have white-noise sounds play as they sleep while some prefer to go without any background effects. Maintaining a quiet and peaceful ambience will be ideal in ensuring optimal rest through the night.

4. The ‘Avoid ACE’ Principle
A stands for alcohol, C for coffee and E for electronic gadgets. While alcohol has been mistakenly associated with sound sleep, it can disrupt an individual’s REM sleep cycle. The consumption of coffee can hamper sleep. The use of electronic gadgets prior to one’s sleep can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm and make it relatively difficult for one to fall asleep.

A balanced diet, sufficient physical activity and adequate rest are three important components of a truly healthy lifestyle. Crafting out a routine that prioritizes adequate sleep can not only ensure greater energy and focus during the day but can also help in reducing the risk of conditions like hypertension, obesity and reduced cognitive abilities.