Dream, sweet dream
Updated: 2013-04-30 02:00
By Li Yang (China Daily)
The media has created a false image that associates sleeping less with success, which is dangerous and misleading, said Han Fang, chairman of the Chinese Sleep Research Society.
"More than 1 million Chinese die of heart attacks each year, 30 percent of whom pass away in their sleep," Han said.
"People having sleep disorders must go to see a doctor for professional treatment, especially those with hypertension and heart illnesses. Everyone should pay attention to developing healthy sleep habits to protect their physical and mental health."
She says that 38 percent of Chinese have sleep disorders compared to the world average of 27 percent.
A hospital in Xiangyang of Hubei province teaches patients how to do pillow exercises to improve sleep quality. Gong Bo / Provided to China Daily
"There are more than 80 kinds of illnesses related to sleep orders, which should not only be solved through medical means but also social and psychological methods," Han said.
Han recommends that people with sleep problems regularly exercise but not right before sleep and find more ways, such as singing, dancing and talking with other others, to relieve stress. Someone who successfully manages one's own sleep is also a good manager of time and stress, she said.
Waruna Chandrakeerthi, a man from Sri Lanka in his 40s who is now studying at the Communication University of China in Beijing, agrees with Han's suggestion.
"I don't like to work at night. I prefer to do my all work in the daytime. Nighttime is for sleep. Even small birds know it. To fall asleep within minutes and have a sound sleep like a baby, you should have a calm and quiet mind," Chandrakeerthi said.
"As a Buddhist, I know we are suffering. But, I try to keep my mind calm. For this, you don't need to go to a dedicated meditation center. You can do this while you are walking, while you are having a daily shower. There are so many ways to tame your mind. If you take your all troubles seriously and walk around with them, you definitely go to bed with them too."
The report from the doctors association suggests Chinese people should attach more significance to creating a favorable environment for sleep. Environmental conditions, such as temperature, noise, light and bed, play an important role in people's sleep and deciding their sleep quality.
Chun Tian, 28, a broadcaster at a radio station in Beijing said she has learned how to create a good sleep environment.
"I always fall asleep at 11 pm and wake up at 7am the next morning," she said.
"I often change the pillows and put on new bed sheets to give myself a new mood before falling asleep. Luckily, I live in a very quiet residence community. My neighbors do not create noise, and there are no environmental factors that disturb my sleep."
According to the World Association of Sleep Medicine, healthy sleep habits include establishing a regular bedtime and wake-up time and that daytime sleep should not exceed 45 minutes. People should avoid stimulating their nerves and stomachs with alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and spicy or sugary foods and drinks for four hours before going to bed.
Lastly, it is recommended that beds only be used for sleep or sex and not for work or general recreation.