How to Sleep Well

29 08 2006

 

The Following excerpt has been taken from WikiHow.com – A great and sometimes funny site to tell you how to accomplish different tasks.

So, sleeplessness is a common issue now a days, here are a few tips to avoid this problem. Hope you are going to like it….

Steps

  1. Practice good "sleep hygiene". Get yourself ready for sleep by relaxing a few hours before bedtime — take a bath, drink some warm milk or herbal tea. Generally the room in which you sleep should not be overheated…your body temperature drops as you sleep and for most people a cooler room is best. Turn down the lights and try to spend your final hour before going to bed in reduced lighting.
  2. Turn your alarm clock away from you so that you cannot see the time. Avoid knowing what time you went to bed or took a nap.
  3. If you are worried about tasks for the next day, make a written list and place it near your bed – this will "free" your mind from worrying about tasks you "need to remember" and thus reduce your stress level about sleeping.
  4. Make sure you have a comfortable bed in which you can get a good night’s sleep.
  5. Position yourself comfortably on your back in bed, with your arms by your side. If you are uncomfortable with any way your body feels on the bed, correct it immediately, e.g., your body’s weight on your arm is too strong, or your hip feels awkward—change position quickly until you’re completely comfortable.
  6. Close your eyes.
  7. Move your tongue so that it rests on the bottom of your mouth.
  8. Open your mouth slightly.
  9. Open your hands if your fists are clenched
  10. Starting from the very tips of your toes, imagine yourself sinking into the mattress.
  11. In your mind, begin to "acknowledge" everything around you that all your senses are experiencing. For example: Say to yourself (not out loud), "I hear the clock ticking. I smell the lotion I just applied to my hands. I feel my legs’ weight on the bed. I hear my spouse/partner breathing. I see different shades of black. I hear the dog barking in the distance. I hear myself in my own mind talking.", etc. This should help to clear your mind by slowly acknowledging everything and subsequently dismissing it.
  12. Stay on your back, sunk into the mattress until you feel it is time to roll into your desired position.
  13. Try relaxing each and every muscle in your body. Don’t be tense.
  14. Breathe normally.
  15. If you must get up in the middle of the night (bathroom trip) try to keep light exposure to an absolute minimum (zero if possible). For some people, a urinal bottle near the bed may allow you to avoid bathroom trips (and possible exposure to light).
  16. If you must have mild illumination in your bedroom (eg, glowing face of digital clock, night light), remember that red wavelengths of light generally are not as disruptive to sleep cycles as blue or green wavelengths.
  17. Place a water bottle next to your bed. Some people find that if they awaken in the middle of the night a drink of water is refreshing and helps them drift back to sleep.

 

Tips

  • Wear comfortable, clean night garments, and buy a decent mattress. A mattress is worth more than you think, considering you use it every night, so don’t hold back!
  • When awakened in the night, try and keep your eyes closed and your mind clear, then simply drift back to where you were.
  • There is an over-the-counter drug called melatonin that is incredibly safe (your body produces it naturally). Melatonin will help you fall asleep if you take it at the same time each day before you go to sleep. As we age, melatonin levels decrease so melatonin may be more helpful from an age related perspective. Some people may find taking melatonin in a "staged" manner helpful: take half a melotonin tablet before going to bed, and the remaining half if you awaken in the middle of the night.
  • Many people find tryptophan (available in health food stores) to be a safe and reasonably effective sleep aid, probably due to its ability to increase brain levels of serotonin and/or melatonin (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan for more info).
  • Prescription sleep aids may be necessary for some people and should only be used under a physicians supervision. Ambien and Lunesta are commonly advertised, but Sonata may be useful for those who fall asleep easily but may awaken early.
  • Valerian, an over the counter herbal, may also be considered. Valerian has mild sedative effects and is generally safe for most people and appears not to cause grogginess upon awakening.
  • Lavender is well known for its sleep inducing qualities. Try a lavender neck pillow,or a few drops of essential oil on your pillow slip.
  • Making your bed every morning will aid in not having to fight with your blanket every night.
  • Music can help people fall asleep. However, if death metal knocks you out and you live in an apartment building, make sure there’s a timer or the like on; your neighbors will thank you.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
  • Wearing a blindfold can help to put your mind to rest. On a subconscious level whether your eyes are open or closed, a blindfold tells your brain "nothing to see" and helps to relax.
  • If you have trouble blocking out sounds around you (especially in an apartment building) then wear a set of earbud headphones to bed with some language tapes running. Listening to the language tapes provides you with a soothing voice that is talking in a very mellow tone and has the bonus of reinforcing your knowledge of the language while you sleep.
  • If you lie awake in bed for more than 20 minutes get up, go to the couch and read. Train your body to associate the bed with sleep.
  • If nothing works, get out a really boring book. Start reading it. You’ll get bored of it and your brain will think "I’m getting tired of this book, I better go to sleep" It actually does work!
  • Try to keep to a sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends. This also trains the body.
  • Try an over-the-counter sleep aid. Unisom is highly effective, just make sure you have a full 8 hours to sleep. Unisom and Sominex have the same active ingredient as Benadryl, but Benadryl (an antihistamine)is cheaper (especially generic).
  • Try a two-week regimen to get your body into the habit. Create a nightly ritual, brush your teeth, bathe, etc. Utilize sleep aids and the tips above for the entire two weeks, going to sleep at the same time every night.
  • Adjust the temperature so it is cooler than usual, but not too cold. Make sure to stock up on blankets if you do this.
  • Use your imagination to start dreaming (i.e. picture yourself on a beach).
  • Try counting backward from 1000…you won’t get far.
  • Try to keep a regular sleep schedule. When your body gets regulated, it won’t have a hard time getting to sleep.
  • Make notes if you discover patterns of sleep or going to bed that work. For some people, sleep can be highly ritualistic…cultivate the rituals that produce your best sleep experiences.

 

Warnings

  • Without a clear mind, you cannot sleep well.
  • If your feet are warm, sleeping is much more difficult.
  • If you have trouble sleeping over an extended period, seek medical help.
  • Do not have any beverages 2 – 3 hours before sleep that contain caffeine or taurine. Some studies have suggested that caffeine as early as noon can disrupt sleep cycles in sensitive people.
  • When in bed, don’t put the TV on. Make sure there are no distractions. A bedroom should only be used for sleep and sex.
  • Don’t expose yourself to bright light as that wakes you up and lowers the quality of sleep that you do get. Even *brief* exposures can "reset" your sleep cycle.
  • Avoid cat naps during the day. Even 15 minutes can severely disrupt sleep schedule later that night.
  • Upon awakening, try to get exposure to daylight (or blue wavelength light) to help "set" your awake portion of the day.

 

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Hum AAZAAD Hain!

19 08 2006
Last day, it was the Independence day of Pakistan.
14th of August, 1947 was the day when the decade long struggle of the Indian Muslims came to a victorious end, and the British rulers divided the Indian sub continent to two countries, one of them being called "Pakistan".
Since that day, we are an independent nation who have their own rules, own people, own leaders, own idealogy, own currency, etc….
 
Ok, whatever I said above is summarized as

“WE ARE A FREE NATION

Lets take an in-depth look at the word “FREE” and how it applies to us.

We are free in a lot of ways that other nations or individuals could only dream of.

  • We are free to cheat
  • We are free to lie
  • We are free to steal
  • We are free to blow ourselves up in public – No Questions Asked (until the judgment day)
  • We are free to blow each others up in public – No Questions asked (until the judgment day)
  • We are free to take out our gun and rob a passer by of his hard earned belongings. And if the victim fails to respond, we are free to leave a bullet in his body.
  • We are free to be robbed by any passer by.
  • We are free to quarrel
  • We are free to abuse each other in public.
  • We are free to be called Terrorists
  • We are free to be humiliated by any nation and we just laugh
  • We are free to speak whatever we would like to – but keep in mind that the others who we speak against are free to do whatever they want to do. So think before you speak or you might end up being a corpse in a rotten sack on a deserted road.

I guess, the list is going long and long… So, the question that I want to ask you is “Do you feel proud of being free ?”

If you are going to ask me, I would say “Hell Yeah! I am proud to be free. I was born free and I’m loving it!!!”

So, Lets together sing the National Anthem of our great country who gave us an identity and a motive to live a free life.

Pak sarzamin shad bad
Kishware haseen shad bad
Tunishane azmealishan arze Pakistan
Markazeyaqin shadbad.

Pak sarzamin ka nizam quwate akhuwati awam
Qaum, mulk, Sultanat
Painda ta binda bad shad, bad man zele murad.

Parchame sitarao hilat
Rahbare tarraqio ka mal
Tarjumane mazishane hal jane istaqbal
Sayyai, khudae zul jalal.

 

PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

I know the situation is tough, but its up to us people to stay loyal and stay strong. coz this leadership is going to do nothing.

May Allah bless this land of the pure. Amen.





Me in Ascii!!!

9 08 2006
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When it rains, it pours

8 08 2006

Monsoon- A season of rains.

A season of wobbling heartbeats

A season of  fun – A season of sufferings

 

This season has always been memorable for me as my childhood is full with sweet memories of this great season. But I seem to have despised this lovely season as I have grown up. Ok, despise is a bit harsh word to say, Lets take it the other way: “It seemed that I has stopped noticing the rainy season until this very season when I saw things in a totally different perspective”.

I think I should start from the beginning (as far as I know) of my thoughts about the rainy season…

 

As far as I could remember, the rainy season has opened a whole new world to me.

I spent my childhood in the rainy region of the Northern Punjab where it really used to rain like cats and dogs, soaking everything, making everything cool, green and pleasant. During this season, we kids used to get mad, would desert our studies and start hopping into the rain drenched streets, would let the cool water wash away the little sins we used to commit. Kids used to sing

 

“Allah Mian Paani De – Soo Baras Ki Naani De”

 

Playing soccer, diving into the puddles of mud and practicing our aim at the frogs that used to swim freely in the natural trenches (coz the area was a plateau).

 

Those were the days when our school used to open after the Long Summer vacation so we used to pray that it should rain so that I could spend the day at my home and we could skip school.

 

My mom used to cook Pakoray and Samosay and Halwa Poori which I used to devour happily.

Ah rains, Indeed  a  blessing of God.

 

Aur Waqt ka Pahiya chalta raha…. Chalta raha….chalta raha… (yeah, similar to the wheel of tonga or sewing machine in an old Pakistani Movie)

 

I grew up and moved to the southern Punjab, a place where rains don’t happen very often. The school that I used to pray to skip was a long gone history, my priorities were studies and find some reasonable job. I forgot about the joys that rains had brought me. What I never forgot was the Pakoras and Samosas and the Halwa Poori that my mum used to cook even in the so-called rainy season when the sun used to beat down on the people. Ah what a variation!! One part of the country Is almost flooded while the rest of the country is waiting for some “Abr-e-Karam” to bless them with the rain. Even if it rained, I never moved out to the streets to enjoy it. Reason ? perhaps my CORPORATE culture didn’t permit this little childhood joy. My heart used to tell me that “this would ruin your well ironed clothes”. So, I stayed away and thus started the time period when I would prefer to go to School to skip the rain…. Yeah people, time changes and it changed for me.

 

Things didn’t stop here at all. In a few years time, I had to move again to my current destination, Karachi – The city of lights. Being the city by the ocean, the weather was pleasant, but a problem arose here….

They never planned this city to withstand heavy rains (what an irony of fate)

And this year, the feared scenario was fulfilled. It rained!

It is supposed to be the biggest rains for a decade, roads got flooded, sewers overflowed, electricity was out, and I saw a cemetery whose majority of graves were submerged in water (before they were dead, the people once thought they were to be buried here to be in peace … huh)

It rained for 5 consecutive days, As I enjoyed a cup of tea at my balcony, I saw young kids running in the streets like butterflies, yelling, playing, singing….

 

Does that ring a bell? A voice asked me…

Yeah, I said. I miss someone. In fact, I miss a lot of them (a lot of them are only grayed memories in my mind)

Would you go out now? The voice asked me again…

No, I said sternly. I have to prepare for my office.

The voice said nothing to me again.

 

Well, the days have gone by, the rains have come and gone, more rains are predicted in the week, but the life is going on. I might not be enjoying the rains by running around in the rain, but I can still feel the good old days in my heart.

 

Have you felt the water strike your face when you are facing towards to sky with your eyes closed? Try it once, I has always been good for me and  I would love to try it again one day when I feel that I have no tension of getting wet in the rain and when I feel like a child in the streets of  the town where I grew up!