"Sleep is a health necessity, not a luxury" says sleep expert Dr Esther Lau Yuet-ying in a recent article published by the South China Morning Post (See: Sleep). In Hong Kong, insomnia is on the rise. Current estimates claim that close to 25% of the Hong Kong population is suffering. According to the Sleep Foundation, typical causes of insomnia include anxiety, depression, pain, and hypertension.
A study conducted by Ohio State also linked the use of mobile phones and computers prior to bed to this condition, as well as reducing sleep quality for people who do not have insomnia. Hong Kong has the highest rate of mobile phone usage in Asia, making it no surprise that such a high insomnia rate comes with it.
Everyone wants to sleep better and here are 5 simple habits to form that will help:
(1) Electronic detox for at least an hour before beed - remove all electronic devices away from your head when you sleep. Either put them across the room or out of the room entirely. Turn off the TV and try reading a good old-fashioned book (not an iPad). Here's an article telling you why this works.
(2) Make sure you are getting enough magnesium in your diet. Make sure you're eating dark green leafy veggies (e.g. kale, spinach), nuts, seeds, fish, beans, avocados, bananas, and dark chocolate. A magnesium supplement, such as Natural Calm, before bed can also help.
(3) Go to sleep between 9-11PM - your body goes through cycles and based on those cycles, this is the best time for sleep. Here's an article where you can read more on those cycles and why it's important to sleep before 11pm. Looking for a western source to confirm this? Check out this article.
(4) Deep breathing exercises - 30 deep breaths, hold for 5 seconds and breath out. See our article on breathing tips here.
(5) Cold shower before bed. See our article on cold showers and ice baths here.