If you're someone who suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and wants to know ways of managing it naturally, you have to pay attention to the amount of sleep you're getting. Getting enough rest is important. If you were to ask me to rate the factors that are critical to managing PCOS in their order of importance, I’d put diet first, sleep as a close second followed by exercise. Sleep allows the body to heal and ‘reset’ itself after a day’s worth of work. It’s important that you get good quality and length of sleep. Quality is dependent upon the time at which you go to bed and how well you sleep in the night. The very first thing that happens to me personally when I don’t get enough sleep is a massive dip in my energy level throughout the day. My brain just doesn’t work and caffeine, rather than making me focused, makes me jittery.

When I was running my startup, I had the craziest schedule. We served clients in the US and I live in India. Since I handled the business side of things, my days started at 1 pm, IST and ended at 2 am, IST. I went to bed around 3 in the morning and woke up at 9 or 10 am. Though I got 6-7 hours of sleep on most days, I still felt exhausted through the day and my body hurt though I just couldn’t fathom why. Stress, of course, played a part. When I met my nutritionist (I believed that my diet was the culprit), she mentioned something interesting. She said that I might be feeling tired the whole day because I wasn’t following the circadian rhythm. In a simplified manner of speaking, the circadian rhythm is the internal body clock that dictates the sleep/wake cycle. It’s controlled by the gland in the brain called Hypothalamus and is heavily influenced by external factors such as light and darkness. This is why it tends to coincide with the day and night cycle. When you disrupt your circadian rhythm, you’re going to feel out of sorts and over a prolonged period of time, as if you’re constantly energy sapped. What I wanted to emphasize with that little side story was that it’s important to not only get an adequate number of hours of sleep but also follow a sleep/wake cycle that allows you to get 6-8 hours of sleep when it’s dark outside (nighttime).

Here are a few tips to set right your sleep patterns:

1. Don’t have any caffeine after sunset. It will help you wind down and sleep better.
2. Have a before-bed routine. It could be having a shower, doing some meditation or reading some fiction. Anything that can help your brain know that it’s time to start switching off and get some rest.
3. Keep the bedroom for sleep-related activities only. You don’t want your brain to associate your bed with watching Netflix or working.
4. Eat light at night. The heavier you eat, the harder it will be to fall asleep. The quality is impacted too.
5. Eat at least a couple hours before you go to bed
6. Sleep at the same time every day. Preferably even on weekends.
7. Listen to your body. If it needs more sleep on certain days, please give it that sleep. So on those days, go to bed early or sleep in the next day if you need to.
8. If you can, try to wake up naturally without an alarm.

I'll leave you with a quote by Ariana Huffington on sleep, “By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.”

Author's Bio: 

Ranjana TN is a Bangalore-based writer, author, entrepreneur, vegan, fitness enthusiast, and dancer. She explores a wide range of topics from personal development to life as your girl-next-door through her books and blog. She's the author of The Complete Guide to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: How to heal PCOS through simple, natural, powerful ways. Find out more at https://ranjanatn.com/ebook-complete-guide-to-pcos/