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Ask the Doctor: What’s a sleep ritual, and why do I need one?


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Q: I've been reading a lot about sleep rituals. I'm tired right away at night, so I usually browse social media on my phone or watch TV before bed. Does this count?


Dr Yeoh: High stress levels can cause you to have difficulty falling asleep. And then once you do, stress can affect your quality. This is where having a sleep ritual helps. Like a healthy diet and exercise, this is something you must PLAN and DO for yourself.


Try this: thirty minutes before you go to bed, place all gadgets outside the room, relax and wind down. Try listening to music, reading a book, lighting a candle or having a hot bath. Another great idea is to keep a journal. Journaling helps to overcome negative emotions, especially if the week has been stress-filled. You can also consider sleep supplements (not sleeping pills) such as magnesium, tryptophan, melatonin and even herbal supplements such as valerian and chamomile. Good sleep hygiene and stress lowering tactics can significantly improve your quality of life. The benefits are huge, including more mental alertness and less stress and illnesses. Externally speaking, getting your beauty sleep (at least 7-8 hours) does wonders for our skin and is the secret to looking and feeling great. Expect firmer cheeks, clearer skin, with less dark circles or under eye puffiness when you wake up in the morning.