Sometimes, all we need to get a good night's sleep is a little help from someone who knows about how to get it. Today is World Sleep Day, so we thought to bring you a list of useful resources that will help you understand sleep…and help you sleep better. A book, a podcast and a guided meditation could be all you need.
Book: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker: Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep (2017) is one of the more popular books on sleep but it can be a stressful read as it spends too much time detailing every awful thing that happens to you if you don’t sleep enough. A gentler, more wide-ranging book is the older Dreamland: Adventures In The Strange Science Of Sleep (2012). Its author, David K. Randall, began his exploration of sleep science after he sleepwalked into a wall one night. It’s well-written, not alarmist, and draws on examples from murder trials, battlefield decisions, children’s bedrooms and athletes’ records. Parts of the book are dated now—in 2012, “wrist activographs” were imagined as a futuristic solution to spot tired soldiers “by 2020” and we now have smartwatches—but the underlying message of understanding sleep in order to get more of it isn’t. —Shalini Umachandran.
Also Read How sleep impacts your mind and body
Podcast: ‘Master Your Sleep’ by Huberman Lab: Increasingly, the best online resources on mental health are to be found in the form of podcasts. While there are dedicated podcasts which offer guided meditation (and also help you sleep), the Huberman Lab podcast deals with the science that animates the mind. Hosted by neurobiologist Andrew Huberman, this particular episode is something of a Sleep 101. Huberman explains the act of sleeping, its benefits and the obstacles that come in the way of sound sleep, in a simple, engaging and enlightening way. If you wanted to know more about subjects like how caffeine affects your sleep, or when you should eat in order to sleep soundly, check this out. —Bibek Bhattacharya.
Guided Meditation: ‘Release Worries For Restful Sleep’ by Sah D’Simone: There are a variety of apps out there which cover a wide array of mental health-related subjects, ranging from stress to sleep. Of these, a couple of popular ones are Headspace and Calm, which help with guided meditation for sleep. Another one is InstightTimer, which brings together a host of popular meditation teachers to create excellent episodes of targeted meditation. The one by Sah D’Simone, host of the wildly popular The Spiritually Sassy Show, is an excellent resource for sound sleep. It’s an 18-minute episode where D’Simone talks you through breathing patterns that are sure to get you to nod off. Apart from this, you could also check out the guided sleep podcast episodes recommended by the sleep health media company Sleep Foundation. —Bibek Bhattacharya.