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Rachna Chhachhi

Rachna Chhachhi is a certified holistic cancer nutrition and yoga expert, and author of four bestselling health books. She treats across 27 countries.

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BW Businessworld

The Insomniac’s Guide

Check your B12 & magnesium: Lack of B-vitamins and magnesium in the body can lead to restlessness and insomnia.

Photo Credit : AP


The biggest bane of the successful working executive is compromised sleep. Sometimes you get less, sometimes you just can’t sleep. At senior levels, I’m coming across more professionals of the second category, where they sleep for 3-4 hours, and then just lie awake, tossing and turning, checking their phones, over thinking the day’s problems. If that sounds like you, you’re compromising your heart, blood sugar levels and accelerating your body’s ageing process by inadequate sleep.

For most of us, depending upon our lifestyle, age and gender, 7-9 hours of sleep is required. Women need more sleep than men, but end up getting less due to dual responsibilities of work and home. Those who work out vigorously and regularly need 8 hours to repair and rejuvenate, while those who don’t work out have a tendency to become insomniacs as their bodies aren’t adequately tired. Listed below are a few tips to help you sleep better, so that you can be fresh and energized at work.

Stop stimulants after 5 pm: Coffee, tea, colas, chocolate have caffeine and can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Finish your caffeine quota before 5 pm.

Eat small & early: Heavy meals divert the body’s energies towards digesting the food, hence leading to less oxygen available when you sleep, and you end up with a blocked nose, sleep apnea and snoring. This can lead to a disturbed sleep.

Restrict drinks to 1-2: Small. Though 1-2 30 ml drinks or 2 glasses of red wine can lull you into a slumber, consuming more can wake you up after 3-4 hours of sleep and cause restlessness. And finish your drinks two hours before sleeping, as alcohol dehydrates you, leading to a dry mouth and nasal tract that can interfere with sound sleep.

Check your B12 & magnesium: Lack of B-vitamins and magnesium in the body can lead to restlessness and insomnia. These are nerve vitamins and minerals, and calm down your nerves and brain signals, pushing you into deep slumber.

Exercise. Work out for 40-45 minutes, at least 5 hours before bedtime. A lot of working people don’t get the time, and hit the gym by 8 pm. This can keep the body temperature raised and interfere with sound sleep. To save time, go to the gym straight from work, or from home in the morning.

Make bedtime cosy. Slip into bed with a herbal tea like chamomile, add honey as that calms the body, and do what relaxes you: have a conversation, listen to music, watch some songs on TV—don’t watch an engrossing movie, that can keep you alert.

Do all the above, and you’ll wake up refreshed every morning after your beauty sleep.

Send in your questions to

I recently got diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. Will it impair my activity level permanently? I have been put on steroids and methotrexate, which have serious side effects and would like to stop these if there a natural cure. Please help.

— Abhay Verma, 27, Mumbai Dear Abhay,
As you’re aware, AS is an auto-immune disease with no treatment in medical science, only management. However, I have seen nutrition and oxygenation cause changes that reverses this disease by up to 90 per cent. Get on a raw foods, fresh juices diet, eliminate milk, milk products, which are inflammatory and start yoga and pranayama. This will help reduce inflammation and keep the spine flexible so that further damage can be prevented.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 25-01-2016)