More people are feeling lonely, restless and agitated, all the while plagued by sleepless nights.

Stress levels are through the roof now, no thanks to the economic fallout and disruptions from the pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing.

According to studies, this can have deleterious effects on our health and well-being.

These are fraught times and with uncertainty still shrouding much of the pandemic, it is clear to me that we need to take active steps to protect our personal health.

So I’ve decided to share three habits which have helped me to grab my fair share of z’s during this tumult.


A Prayer Before Bed Induces Sleep

Given how I always start my day with a prayer, it is only fitting that I end with a prayer just before bed.

Evening prayer is an opportunity for me to “wipe my mental slate clean” before I get beneath the covers. 

Instead of my usual morning prayer where I seek God’s guidance or help with problems, I prefer to give thanks for all the blessings in my life before bed. 

Ending my day with an  attitude of gratitude keeps my heart light and my soul fulfilled – perfect conditions for me to ease into a deep slumber.


Practice Minimalism 

In today’s fast paced world, our minds are unnecessarily burdened which can often interfere with our sleep.

Just like how prayer gives me the time to clear my mind, I also believe in active habits and choices to help create a simple lifestyle.

It can be hard to stay focused in our consumerist and achievement oriented society.

Setting clear goals about what you want allows you to identify what you need and don’t need. 

By doing so, it helps get rid of the clutter that would otherwise occupy your mind and keep you from a good night’s sleep.

Sometimes, less is more.


Setting Up The Right Environment For Sleep

In order to get the best results at night, it is important to create a conducive sleeping environment.

While there are some that prefer having some white noise to drown out ambient sounds, I prefer a quiet room to sleep soundly.

A dark room is non-negotiable, especially since studies have shown that even artificial light sources like the glow from a streetlamp can disrupt our natural sleep patterns.

Ensuring that the sound, temperature and lighting conditions are optimal is an important first step towards a better night’s sleep.

Lastly it is recommended to be in a calm state of mind just prior to bedtime. Light reading helps but I especially make it a point to put away my mobile devices or the remote control 30 minutes before bed. 

Truth be told, there are many methods behind the anatomy of a perfect night routine, much of which involve the science of deep sleep and understanding things like circadian cycles.

Simply put, there are two types of sleep, the REM sleep (considered to be deep sleep) and non-REM sleep.

Without boring you with too many details, I try to get 7 and a half hours of daily uninterrupted sleep ideally.

Since each REM cycle is about 90 minutes, that works out to be about 5 cycles, giving me a fresh start each morning as I go about my day.