WORDS LIM TECK CHOON
Sunway Medical Centre
ADD MAGNESIUM-RICH FOODS IN YOUR DIET
“Magnesium plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, such as muscle and nerve operation, protein synthesis, glycolysis, and blood pressure regulation,” says Celeste Lau.
She explains further that this mineral aids in the conversion of protein into chemicals that induce sleepiness, promote muscle relaxation, and maintain gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter responsible for promoting restfulness.
You should consume between 100 and 350 mg of magnesium daily for optimal sleep support.
Celeste recommends adding sources of magnesium such as walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, salmon, and mackerel into your meals. It is recommended to consume between 100-350mg of magnesium daily for optimal sleep support.
“Additionally, refrain from consuming a heavy meal in the evening. It is recommended to have dinner 2 to 3 hours prior to your bedtime,” she adds.
MICHELLE CHONG HUI YEE
Sunway Medical Centre
Michelle Chong explains that restfulness is a deliberate act of nurturing yourself—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It is characterized by a feeling of peacefulness and contentment, often accompanied by a sense of relief from stress, worries, tension, or fatigue.
Mentally, restfulness means quieting the mind, letting go of worries, and embracing a sense of mental stillness.
- Learn to embrace mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
- Grounding yourself in the present moment. This heightened awareness allows you to detach from worries about the past and anxieties regarding the future as well as to foster a sense of presence that can alleviate stress and enhance your awareness of immediate experiences.
- Practice deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) methods to heighten your body awareness and release muscle tension, focusing on achieving a state of ‘physical rest’.
- Prioritize relaxation techniques that calm the mind before bedtime. “Activities such as mindfulness meditation and journaling can effectively declutter the mind and reduce stress hormones, creating a more seamless transition into sleep,” Michelle says.
DR NURUL YAQEEN
Consultant Respiratory, Sleep & Internal Medicine Physician
Sunway Medical Centre Velocity
START SLEEPTIME RITUALS
- “Do not use your bed as an office to answer calls, respond to emails and avoid watching television in bed,” advises Dr Nurul Yaqeen.
- Instead, reserve your bed for sleep. Remove electronic devices (televisions, computers, smartphones, etc), from the bedroom.
- Try to start a sleep ritual as rituals help signal the body and mind that it is time to sleep. Some suggestions from Dr Nurul Yaqeen are drinking a glass of warm milk, taking a bath, or listening to calming music to unwind before bed.
- “There is also the 10-3-2-1 method to help you rest better at night,” she says, “which is no caffeine 10 hours before bed, no food or alcohol 3 hours before bed, no work 2 hours before bed, and no screen time 1 hour before bed.”
GET THE AMBIENCE RIGHT
- “Keep your room cool at night,” says Effendy Nadzri. “The ideal temperature in the bedroom should be between 20º and 23º Celsius.”
- If you have an air conditioner at home, he recommends switching it on at night to signal to your body that it is time for sleep.
- Set the perfect ambience with dimmable or mood lighting to enhance your bedroom space and create the desired mood for a restful evening before you retire to sleep.
- “You may want to have aromatherapy or essential oils that can help you relax at night,” Effendy adds.