“Insomnia, defined as “habitual sleeplessness”, is something that many of us experience at one point or another. It can be chronic, where symptoms appear at least 3 nights a week for longer than a month, or on a temporary basis.
Chronic insomnia can be caused by a number of things, such as depression or anxiety disorder, medication, or naturally higher hormone levels.”
Sounds horrifying, doesn’t it? Let’s look at a few things that might help one out if they’re facing insomnia.
1. Read a book
Reading is a good way to calm yourself before bed while avoiding the stimulating effect of electronic gadgets. I find that an hour or so of reading, whether fiction or non-fiction, helps. It’s also a nice way to fit in some time for learning new things.
Regular exercise does wonders for the body, including keeping weight and blood pressures down. It also keeps away other conditions that affect the ability to sleep and lowers stress, a major factor in insomnia. Note, though, that exercise late at night may overstimulate some individuals, making it harder to fall asleep. If you exercise in the evenings and sleep soundly, then keep doing what works.
3. Keep your clock out of sight
Watching the time pass on the glaring light of your bedside clock only increases anxiety and makes it harder to fall asleep. If you rely on your alarm to get up, try putting it somewhere in your room where it can’t easily be seen from your bed.
4. Cut the Caffeine
This should be obvious, but don’t drink caffeine or alcohol before bedtime. Years ago, I realized that imbibing caffeinated drinks after 3 p.m. kept me awake, so I cut them out. Also, it’s not a good idea to eat before going to bed.
5. Try Meditation and Relaxation
Sleep experts suggest that deep breathing, meditation, or other relaxation techniques can help to calm your metabolism and make it easier to sleep. Focus on your breathing. Take a meditation class.
6. Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed
Electronic screens emit a blue light that disrupts your body’s production of melatonin and combats sleepiness. So instead of watching TV or spending time on your phone, tablet, or computer, choose another relaxing activity, such as reading a book or listening to soft music.
7. Avoid naps
Napping during the day can make it more difficult to sleep at night. If you feel like you have to take a nap, limit it to 30 minutes before 3 p.m.
8. Make relaxation your goal, not sleep
If you find it hard to fall back to sleep, try a relaxation technique such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation, which can be done without even getting out of bed. Even though it’s not a replacement for sleep, relaxation can still help rejuvenate your mind and body.
9. Postpone worrying and brainstorming
If you wake during the night feeling anxious about something, make a brief note of it on paper and postpone worrying about it until the next day when it will be easier to resolve. Similarly, if a great idea is keeping you awake, make a note of it on paper and fall back to sleep knowing you’ll be much more productive after a good night’s rest.
10. Reduce stress
There are a number of relaxation therapies and stress reduction methods you may want to try to relax the mind and the body before going to bed. Examples include progressive muscle relaxation (perhaps with audio tapes), deep breathing techniques, imagery, meditation, and biofeedback.
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