Insomnia is a medical condition wherein the person has an extremely hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting enough sleep necessary to wake up the next day feeling recharged.
The following are some of its common symptoms:
- A hard time focusing
- Sleepiness during the day
- Waking up very early in the morning
- Waking up during the night repeatedly
- A hard time falling asleep
Insomnia can be classified into two types: chronic or acute.
Chronic insomnia can last for one month up to several years.
Acute insomnia lasts for one to a couple of nights.
This article would discuss several tips to help you battle insomnia and fall asleep at night.
Take Natural Supplements
There are various natural sleeping aids that you could try.
Examples include melatonin and valerian.
These two are among the most highly recommended.
However, their effectiveness is still not established.
Lower the Temperature and Dim the Lights
Nothing is more conducive to sleep than a bedroom that is cool and dark.
Use blinds or curtains to block any light from coming into the room.
Set the room’s temperature to somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
You may experiment until you find the best temperature for you.
Keep your laptops and mobile phones outside of your room.
Even the small amount of light emitted by these gadgets is enough to disturb your sleep.
Make sure to dim any lights at least two hours prior to bedtime.
In addition, choose “warm” yellowish lights, instead of bright, white lights.
Rest Your Mind before Sleeping
You’ll never stand a chance against an active mind.
Thus, before you go to sleep, make sure to rest your mind.
Avoid any activities that could work out your brain such as watching a stimulating movie, reading complex books, playing mind games or puzzles, or simply thinking too much about anything.
Such activities will keep your mind active.
You will find it very hard to fall asleep then.
Do Not Drink Any Liquor
While some actually believe that drinking will make you fall asleep faster, it can actually backfire because it doesn’t usually result in a good night’s sleep.
Your sleeping cycle can be disturbed later in the night.
You could still have a drink or two before you sleep though.
Just make sure to have it with your supper (on or before 6:00 PM).
Turn Off Any Gadgets
Electronic devices with screens emit an artificial light commonly referred to as “blue light.”
This blue light triggers daytime hormones, thus disturbing the body’s preparation for bedtime.
One hour before you lie down to sleep, make sure to turn off any gadgets such as computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and TVs.
Eat Dinner Before 6:00 PM
Eating a heavy meal just a while before bedtime has been associated with difficulty falling asleep.
Thus, do not eat any more meals after 6:00 PM.
Have your dinner before then.
Try Out Relaxation Exercises
If you always find it hard to fall asleep at night, you could try relaxation exercises such as meditation.
As a matter of fact, there was a study that showed that individuals who meditated improved significantly in the quality and amount of their sleep.
Other activities that promote relaxation that you could try include progressive relaxation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga.
These activities have also been proven to promote peaceful sleep.
Choose Foods Good for Sleep
There are certain foods that promote good sleep.
Examples include the following:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Foods rich in Vitamin B-complex
In addition, the following supplements are believed to help:
- Vitamin B6
Get Sun Exposure During the Day
If you increase the amount of exposure to natural sunlight, you will achieve a healthy balance of melatonin.
This contributes to falling asleep quicker at night.
Take Short Naps During the Day
Even a nap of just ten to twenty minutes during daytime can recharge you and boost your memory, creativity, and make you feel rested.
However, you should not take a nap beyond 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Doing so will make it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
Avoid Caffeinated Beverages
While it can be tempting to have a cup of coffee whenever you feel tired due to lack of sleep, fight the urge to do so.
Consuming coffee or other beverages containing caffeine can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Furthermore, this can result in an endless cycle.
If you really have to have coffee, take it early in the day so that it will completely be eliminated from your system by the time you are preparing to sleep.
Worrying Should Be Done During the Day
Dedicate fifteen to twenty minutes of your time for your worries.
An example of how to do this is by writing them down in your journal.
This is so they won’t suddenly pop up in your mind when you’re about to sleep.
Engage in Physical Exercise During the Day
It has been shown by a number of studies that the quality of sleep of those who have insomnia can be improved significantly by engaging in moderate aerobic exercise.
It is recommended to exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime to give your body enough time to relax before sleeping.
If you are a smoker and you find it hard to fall asleep at night, now is a good time to quit.
It has been shown that smokers usually experience symptoms of insomnia.
This is most likely because a smoker’s body goes into nicotine withdrawal during bedtime.
Select the Appropriate Mattress
If your bed is uncomfortable, then good luck getting a good night’s sleep!
Choose a mattress that is comfortable for you.
This will surely improve your quality of sleep.
Observe Correct Use of the Bed
Your bed should be used for two things only: sleeping and making love.
Do not use your bedroom for doing any job-related tasks.
This is guaranteed to discourage a good night’s sleep.
Come Up with Regular Bedtime
Try your best to come up with regular activities to do to wind down before bedtime.
In addition, adhere to the same activities and same sleep-wake time, even during the weekend.
Try Out Cognitive Behavior Therapy
If nothing of the abovementioned tips work for you, you can try cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia.
Here’s another article that provides more techniques to help you fall asleep.