You know that you should be getting that good quality sleep tonight, but insomnia rears its ugly head and things end up out of hand. Not getting enough sleep could affect your waking hours too, your productivity is weakened, you can’t focus on simple things like driving, you feel easily tired and your mood is really sour. A lot of people suffer from insomnia in its many forms too, they can’t fall asleep, or they can’t stay asleep. Either way, a lot of people experience it almost every night. However, before you write it off as one of life’s unsolvable mysteries, it turns out that simple tweaking of your daily routine can help your quality of sleep at night. Here’s what you should know regarding how to treat insomnia.
Comfort is Key
It might be difficult for you to fall asleep in the first place if your bed is too hard or even too soft. In many cases, you might even be repeatedly awakened all throughout the night by loud noises. When you groggily wake up, you might not even realize which sound woke you up.
You might want to try sleeping in a quieter room, or even wear earplugs. An environment which is conducive to sleep is one that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. When you’re in the bedroom, you should limit your activities in there to sleep and sex only – no work, no eating and no television even. Your bedroom should be a simple place for sleep and relaxation; nothing more, nothing less.
Steer Away from Caffeine and Alcohol
Some people think that sleeping problems can be relieved by alcohol – after all, it does make you drowsy after a good dose. However, it also pulls you out of sleep with a headache, a stomachache, or a full bladder. In addition, once that sedative effect wears off, it’ll be difficult for you to fall asleep again and you’re left nursing a hangover.
Caffeine of course, stimulates your brain. If you really need your coffee early in the morning, limit your intake to two cups a day. After lunch, make it a point not to consume any food or beverage that contains any sort of caffeine.
Work It Out
There are a lot of myths out there regarding sleep and exercise. Before, people would advise you to avoid exercising at night since the adrenaline rush would keep you awake. Unfortunately, the studies prove otherwise. Research shows that regular, healthy exercise improves sleep. If you are an insomniac, picking up on a regular exercise routine will allow you to sleep better and give you more energy all day. Of course, it would depend on your schedule. If working out at night inevitably interrupts your sleep, go for a run in the morning instead; it’s that simple.
Keep a Routine
One important rule for people suffering from insomnia is to keep a strict sleep-wake schedule. This means that keeping this schedule even at the weekends. If you have trouble sleeping one night, get up at your usual time the next morning and avoid naps. Taking naps will get you in trouble instead, since you will have difficulty with sleeping the next night and an unhealthy cycle will repeat. In the event that you have trouble sleeping, it will be better to get yourself good and sleepy instead, so that you’ll sleep easy the next night.
At first, it might be difficult for you to find a routine that works for you. You could keep a ‘sleep blog’ wherein you write all the methods you have tried and if that method worked or not. Of course, when you try a new method or routine, remember to give it a good week for you to be able to know if it is effective or not.
Relax after Work
If getting home means facing a mountain of bills and noisy children, then relaxing can be next to impossible. However you should establish a routine, even if it’s just 5 minutes. You can brew yourself a warm cup of tea, take a good soak, or just spend some time alone. It only takes a few minutes for you to unwind and calm yourself down before you prepare for bed.
In fact, you might have already been programmed before by your parents regarding your sleep schedule. When your mom bathed you or read to you a story before bedtime, she was actually reinforcing a signal that it’s time to settle down and get ready for sleep. Establishing a routine would depend again on your schedule and your living conditions, nevertheless, a ritual could help you fall asleep fast.
When you soak up some soap suds, it’s also a good time to meditate. It might sound like a long shot or something uncommon, but meditation works and that’s why we recommend it. Meditation sends signals to your nervous system, disengaging you from the ‘fight or flight’ response you’ve been experiencing all day. You’re basically telling your brain and body that it’s alright to relax now.
Get It on Before Bed
There are a lot of jokes out there about how men fall fast asleep after sex. However, after sex, men’s bodies flood with a relaxing hormone which is also released during sleep. Of course, after all that hard physical exertion the man’s body also needs to relax itself, meaning a deep sleep for men. For women, they also produce and release their own relaxing hormone, in even larger quantities. This is the main reason why getting some action in bed can be very beneficial for you and your partner before you both go to sleep.
As a general rule, you should have already finished your meal two or three hours before bedtime. However, that comforting snack of milk and cookies could actually help you fall asleep fast. Sweet foods eaten 30 minutes before bedtime can act as a sedative and you feel better when you wake up as compared to using those sleeping pills. You can also use honey and mix it with your warm tea or milk before going to bed.
Keep Your Phone Away
You basically keep your phone with you all day, so you’ve got to take a break from using it. The same also applies to your laptop and tablet. These light-emitting devices engage and can easily stimulate your mind. You might not even be aware of it, but if you place your phone somewhere near you, you can easily pull it out and play games or browse the night away. Bedtime should be a time of relaxation for you so putting your phone out of arm’s reach is definitely a good way to get rid of that simple but effective distraction.
There is no one formula or single trick for getting that perfect sleep. You have to remember that your situation and personality is different so what relaxes you might not even be outlined here. However that’s what we’ve also been suggesting, try to experiment with different methods on treating insomnia to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Once you nail that perfect sleep regimen, you’ll be kissing those sheep goodbye.