Insomnia is a widespread sleep disorder that affects many people around the globe. According to a study, nearly 1 out of 5 people have a problem with insomnia. In some, the condition may be temporary, lasting anywhere from 1 to a few weeks. In others, it may be a single episode that keeps recurring between periods of quality sleep. Insomnia can also be chronic. There are three basic types of insomnia: associated insomnia, primary chronic insomnia, and acute insomnia.
Insomnia risk factors range from genetic and constitutional predispositions to psychological features such as fatigue, irritability, anxiety and depression, mood and mental disorder, cognitive characteristics and behavioural changes, among others. Identifying the underlying cause of insomnia is critical in determining the right treatment. However, there are various things you can do to avoid insomnia and get a sound sleep at night. Below is a brief look at seven tips:
1. Make the bedroom comfortable and inviting
The sleeping environment aspects such as lighting, noise, and temperature can affect both sleep quality and motivation to sleep. Therefore, you should make sure your bedroom is conducive to falling asleep. Buy a comfortable bed, mattress, pillows, and covers. Make sure the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. Dim the lights and get rid of any disruptive noise that may affect your sleep. You should also keep the TV and radio off to encourage sleep.
2. Go to bed at the same time every day
Establishing a defined sleeping pattern can help to overcome temporary insomnia. It trains your body to fall asleep and wake up at specific times every day. You should make sure you sleep and wake at a similar time, even over the weekends when you are tempted to stay awake/asleep longer than usual. This will not only give you consistency but also train your body to naturally calm down into sleep mode just around the time you usually go to bed.
3. Avoid caffeine, stimulants, and alcohol
A study reveals that stimulants and caffeine have lasting effects that may disrupt your sleep. The results of caffeine, in particular, can last up to 24 hours, making it hard to fall asleep. Alcohol and cigarette smoking also have adverse effects on sleep quality. After the initial sedative effects of alcohol wear out, you may experience frequent arousals and disruptions that make it hard to focus on sleeping. It is also essential to speak to your doctor about any medications that behave like stimulants. Some Canadian Juice Monsters take pre-workout supplements which contain a huge amount of caffeine. It disturbs their sleeping pattern. So to treat such chronic cases of insomnia, they can use sleeping pill medications like Zopiclone, which are useful in promoting quality, non-disrupted sleep.
4. Avoid bedtime activities (use the bed for sleep and sex alone)
When in bed, the priority is to fall asleep and enjoy your rest. To achieve this, you should avoid bedtime activities that increase alertness. This includes watching television, listening to music, browsing or playing games on your phone, studying or any other activity that is not for the bedroom. Apart from sleep and sex, you should do everything else in a separate room. This will train the body to associate your bed with sleep and naturally calm down when you lay down to rest.
5. Reduce stress and worrying thoughts
Stress, depression, and anxiety can all affect your sleep patterns and quality. According to a study, several relaxation techniques aim to achieve mental and physical relaxation for better sleep quality. These include progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, imagery, deep breathing, and biofeedback, among others.
Establish a ritual for unwinding in the evenings. Within this time, you should seek to eliminate troublesome thoughts and worries. You can also participate in enjoyable activities such as listening to music and watching a pleasant film. Do not go to bed if you still have to review the day and think about tomorrow. Instead, set a period to get all your worries over before going to bed. Eliminating these sets of concerns will reduce your wakefulness during bedtime and increase your likelihood of falling asleep.
6. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise is a healthy practice that can improve sleep quality and duration. However, you should exercise within the day. Since physical activity will stimulate your body, doing it immediately before going to bed can hurt your ability to fall asleep. Make sure you exercise for at least three hours before going to bed.
It is relatively simple to understand how exercise impacts sleep. Just like any strenuous physical activity, exercise works up our muscles and tears down tissues causing maximum exhaustion. Since most growth and tissue repair occur during sleep, the body will naturally go into a deep slumber for this purpose. It also allows you to wake up feeling healthy and energized for the day. As such, regular exercise can help you establish a healthy sleep-wake pattern that eliminates any insomnia symptoms.
7. Limit daytime naps
Napping can help you catch up on missed sleep. However, you should not use it to replace regular sleeping hours. Frequent napping can affect the quality of your nighttime sleep. It is crucial to establish a consistent bedtime and associate it with cues such as darkness and silence. Taking occasional naps is not a bad idea, especially if you did not get a sound sleep at night. However, it may lead to difficulty falling asleep if you practice it more often.
Sound sleep is vital for general health and wellness. Without quality sleep, your performance and body functions will not be at optimum levels. There are several other minor things you can do to encourage healthy sleeping patterns. Avoiding food and too much liquid at night can reduce the frequency of bedtime bathroom visits. Occasional massage can also help relax your sore muscles.
Essentially, make sure you achieve total relaxation, both physically and mentally, before going to bed. If you have an underlying medical condition or you are under medication, it is important to consult your doctor on viable ways of reducing your insomnia symptoms. Nevertheless, the above tips will help you create a healthy routine that supports sound sleep at night.