How To Beat Insomnia And Get Good Night’s Sleep
There is nothing as refreshing as a good night’s sleep, but what happens when you just can’t seem to drift off? Struggling to get to sleep – don’t worry you are not alone.
Each year, millions of people struggle with insomnia. Some people are lucky enough only to get it on the odd occasion while others seem to spend every night battling the condition.
If you suffer from insomnia you may struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. Insomnia can be triggered by many things, from loud noises outside and struggling with chronic pain to financial worries and dealing with a death in the family.
Whilst treating the condition with sleeping tablets may seem like the easiest option, in the long-run it isn’t the most beneficial way to deal with it. Think about it – do you want to have to rely on tablets to get off to sleep each night?
For our guide to insomnia and our top tips to beating it naturally, have a read of this.
What are the impacts of insomnia?
Not only can insomnia cause you to feel exhausted, it can also impact on your daily life and make you anxious. How will you cope at work with little or no sleep? How can you get everything done when you are tired? How can you deal with the kids when you are exhausted?
As well as making you exhausted, insomnia can also have a significant impact on your health. People who suffer from insomnia are four times more likely to become depressed, are more likely to develop a serious illness and are more likely to be involved in an accident.
What can you do outside the bedroom to help yourself sleep?
Eat a healthy and balanced diet
You may not realise it, but what you eat can have a significant impact on your mental health and wellbeing. It is a good idea to avoid sugary foods, instead choosing healthier options, like fruit and vegetables. As well as non-processed carbohydrates and lots of protein.
Exercise on a regular basis
Exercising on a regular basis can help to reduce some of the stress and tension that has built up over the course of the day. Things like running, swimming, cycling, and going for a walk are all good ways to get you heart rate up, burn some energy and reduce your stress.
Make sure that you don’t take part in any vigorous exercise close to when you go to bed, as this can keep you up all night. If you want to exercise before bed, opt for a relaxing or meditational form of exercise, like yoga or Pilates.
Cut out caffeine
While you may love your coffee, it is a good idea to at least reduce your caffeine intake if you struggle to sleep.
Caffeine that is found in tea and coffee can interfere with the body’s process of falling asleep. Many people do not realise, but caffeine can affect your body for up to 24 hours after consuming it, so if you are struggling to sleep this could be a factor. Swap to decaffeinated tea and coffee or have a herbal tea or a milky drink instead.
Learn about the condition
Instead of wondering what is happening to you and why you can’t sleep, take the time to learn about it. Head to your local library and do some research, find out as much as you can about insomnia and try to understand what the causes are.
Identify what you think may be causing your sleep problems. Look at the psychology behind insomnia and work out what could be causing your issues. Once you have established what it is that is keeping you up at night, you will find it easier to deal with it.
If you are a smoker, it may be a good idea to cut back or even give up for a while. People who smoke take longer to fall asleep, they have more disturbed sleep and often wake up frequently throughout the night.
What can you do in the bedroom to help yourself sleep?
Make yourself the perfect environment
Create yourself the perfect sleeping environment. Ideally, a room that is dark, quiet and comfortable, it also shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. If you live near a busy road or have noisy neighbors, wear ear plugs to keep any noise out.
Make your bedroom your sanctuary, it should only be used for two things: sleep and having sex. Things like doing work, eating dinner and arguing with your significant other should be reserved for the rest of the house.
Ensure that your bed is as comfortable and cosy as it can be – make sure you mattress is not too hard or too soft and that you pillows are as comfortable as possible.
Set a schedule and stick to it
One of the most important things for people who suffer from insomnia is to set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
Choose a time each night when you will go to bed and a time each morning when you will wake up, this should be the same for weekends too. For example, if one night you struggle to sleep, get up at your usual time the next day and don’t nap at all. When you go to bed that night you should be exhausted and should fall straight to sleep. No matter what, try not to alter your sleep schedule.
Create a bedtime routine
Create a bedtime routine that reinforces the fact that it is time to settle down and go to sleep. For example, taking a bath a couple of hours before bed will relax you and make your body ready to go to rest. Once you have finished your bath, you could then change into your pajamas, read a book and enjoy a hot, milky drink.
Of course, everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Finding the perfect bedtime routine may require some trial and error, but once you have found something that works for you, you should find getting to sleep much easier.