Insomnia is a problem in our go-go device driven world causing more and more people to stay awake at night and feeling sluggish in the morning. Sleep is a necessity for our mental and physical health, so it’s quite frustrating if we’re not able to get it despite being tired at the end of the day.
If you or a loved one is suffering from insomnia, there are a few ways to go about fighting it. Sleeping pills are an option, but it’s best to try and fall asleep as naturally as possible. Below are some of the best ideas to get that rejuvenating sleep back into your life:
Get a White Noise Machine
Many times, we get distracted by the tiny sounds that the night brings with it. Even the clock ticking could be a tortuous sound, not letting your mind rest. The traffic outside, those tiny creaks in the house, and anything else could be a serious deterrent to your sleep.
In order to drown out those pesky sounds and lull yourself to sleep, you might want to consider investing in PICTEK’s White Noise Machine. This device will play non-looping sounds that will soothe your mind and block out all the external noise. You can get it here:
The sounds here include sounds from nature, including the rain, lightning, jungle, cuckoo, waves, etc. There are also more modern options such as that of an old record, a copier, electric fan, bathing, and many more. You can choose to leave the machine on all night, or set it to turn off automatically after a certain period of time.
There are several other white noise machines to choose from, but you might want to make sure that your final choice also has several power options like this one. This power source could be a USB cable, a power adapter, or AA batteries. If the machine is also non-toxic and odor-free, it’s always a plus point.
It´s amazing how much noise surrounds us every day and night. This can distract the brain from relaxing fully. Try wearing earplug when you go to bed at night. You might be surprised how deeply you sleep and how relaxed you wake up in the morning. Just make sure that you set the volume of your online alarm clock to the maximum volume!
Earplugs will block out all the sounds that surround you and make you unable to sleep. Many insomniacs need absolute silence before they can rest properly. It’s not just falling asleep that’s the problem; insomniacs also have trouble staying that way. With some proper earplugs, you can drift off and not be jolted awake in the middle of the night.
Can´t sleep? Get up!
The worst you can do is lie awake and try hard to fall asleep with thoughts like: “Oh man, I´m screwed tomorrow if I can´t finally fall asleep NOW!”
If you don´t fall asleep after half an hour of trying, stop trying! Get up and do something calm and relaxing, such as reading a book. Watching TV is not recommended, as the blue light from electronic devices can make your brain even more wide awake. You might have some screen time if nothing else would do, but watch something relaxing and calming. The horror and thriller genre is not a good idea here.
Once you’re feeling tired and sleepy during an activity, set the alarm and go to bed. You might find it easier to drift off this time.
The body and mind are connected, so it´s very hard for the brain to relax if your body is in a stressed-out state! Take a warm bath, rub your stomach gently to help with digestion, breathe deeply, do some yoga exercises, get a massage; in short, do whatever it takes to relax your body.
In fact, it might be a good idea, to have some relaxing activity as part of your bedtime routine. Schedule your yoga session after dinner or just before bed. If you don’t feel up to moving about much so late in the day, go for that warm bath or even a hot shower. The warmth will soothe your tired body and make it easier to fall asleep in your comfy bed.
One of the biggest sleep killers is to turn problems over in your brain. Will my boss fire me tomorrow morning? Does my husband have an affair? And why in the world is there no off switch in my brain? One good way to stop this loop is to take a piece of paper and write down everything which worries you right at that moment. After writing your sorrows down, you will feel super relaxed and ready for dreamland.
Limit your bed activities
Your bed should ideally be a place for sleeping and intercourse, nothing else. Working, watching TV, trading gossip on the phone, checking Facebook, crossword puzzles, knitting, and other activities should not be conducted in that place. Let your brain identify the bed with snoozing, relaxing, slumbering and snoring only.
Cool Fresh Air
Cool fresh air makes you tired and provides the ideal climate for a refreshing sleep. Remember how difficult it is to sleep on a hot summer night? A room that’s too warm makes you toss and turn. Crack open a window or install a screen for that fresh air.
If you can afford it, get a mattress that has cooling gel technology that can prevent your body from heating up during the night. Alternatively, a pillow or mattress topper will also have a similar effect.
Set the Alarm for the Same Time
When you’ve been missing out on sleep throughout the working week, you might want to sleep in on the weekend. However, this is actually going to mess up your schedule when Monday rolls around. If you do have insomnia, it’s highly recommended that you try and get up at around the same time no matter what. Once your body is trained to sleep and wake on a certain schedule, it’s more likely to relax and rest when you need it to.
If your insomnia is severe, consider eliminating all caffeinated drinks altogether. Some studies suggest that the after effects of tea, coffee, or energy drinks can last for a whole day, so see if you can do without our morning caffeine fix.
Caffeine consumption will not only keep you up at night but will also result in a disturbed sleep even if you do manage to doze off. The same goes for alcohol, which might make you sleep for some hours but have you waking up quite frequently throughout the night.
As another precaution, check the medication you’re taking on a regular basis. Many decongestants, asthma inhalers, and even nutritional supplements have caffeine in them, which might be adversely affecting your sleep. If you find any stimulants in your medication, talk to your doctors about getting your dosage or prescription changed.
If you’ve had a sleepless night, it might be tempting to crash in the middle of the day. This might happen just after lunch when you’re full and feeling sleepy. However, what’s really important for an insomniac is to maintain as regular a sleeping pattern as possible. Your body should associate sleep with darkness and nighttime.
Taking a nap might refresh you at that point, but it would also make it more difficult to fall asleep the same night. This would simply lead to a vicious cycle that won’t do anything to enhance your sleeping schedule.
Make up an exercising schedule and stick to it. This can improve the quality as well as the duration of your sleeping hours. Don’t schedule exercising just before bedtime if you’re an insomniac, though. This can act as a stimulant and keep you awake. Finish your exercise regime at least a few hours before you plan to go to bed.
No Eating or Drinking Just Before Bed
If you have an after-dinner snack, a late dinner, or something heavy to drink before bed, this can keep your digestive system active and hence keep you awake. Avoiding any eating or drinking just before you have to sleep is quite detrimental, especially if you also suffer from heartburn issues.
You should also limit the water intake a couple of hours before bed. Too many fluids can put pressure on your bladder, requiring you to get up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom. This can disturb your sleep, and you might not be able to nod off again.
If you’re not comfortable in your bed, the chances of you falling asleep are quite low in any case. If you’re suffering from insomnia, you should make sure that your surroundings are as conducive to sleep as possible. If your pet is making too much noise, have it sleep in another room. Invest in a new mattress if your old one is lumpy and hard. You might have to make a few investments and adjustments, but getting a good night’s sleep will make it all worthwhile.
Insomnia can be a highly disturbing and debilitating problem, which can lead to several issues other than sleeplessness. It’s hence essential that you get this situation under control as soon as possible. If the tips above don’t work, you might have to go for cognitive therapy or even medication. Follow the steps above first, though, as they’ve proven effective for a lot of insomniacs to date.