Making a few lifestyle changes might be all you need to get good quality sleep. Here are ten tips that can help you beat insomnia.
1. Have regular sleeping hours: Make it a habit of going to bed, and waking up, at specific times. Be sure to pick a time when you are likely to feel sleepy and tired. The regular sleeping schedule programs the body’s internal clock thus enabling you to fall asleep easily.
2. Create just the right sleeping environment; lighting, temperature, and noise should be controlled to help create a restful environment while you sleep. If you have pets in your bedroom, make sure they don’t disturb you in your sleep. If they do, have them sleep in a separate room.
3. Ensure the bed is comfortable enough; The bed will determine whether you’ll get good quality sleep or not. This is particularly important with the mattress, and size of the bed – if you need a new one try Bensons for Beds.
4. Take on regular exercise; Moderate exercise such as walking, swimming, or even jogging help keep the body in shape and also relieve mental tension. While exercise is good for your health, you might want to exercise in the early hours of the day and not too close to bedtime. This is because exercising in the evening triggers wakefulness.
5. Lower your caffeine intake – Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and colas all have caffeine in them. Caffeine is a stimulant that makes it harder for one to fall asleep, hence should be avoided towards bedtime or the evening. Consider herbal tea or a warm glass of milk if you have to take something.
6. Don’t over-indulge – Helping yourself to a large plate for supper, or drinking too much late at night could interfere with your sleep patterns. While alcohol may knock you to sleep, you will have to deal with bathroom runs deep at night.
7. Avoid smoking – Cigarettes contain nicotine, which like caffeine, is a stimulant. Smoking a few hours towards bedtime will only cause sleeplessness, hence should be avoided.
8. Practice relaxation techniques before going to bed – A warm bath, yoga, or even listening to quiet relaxing music sets the perfect mood for sleep.
9. Set your worries aside – While it is easier said than done, you can actually put your worries aside. One way to do this is by writing the worrying factors away, then make plans for the next day. Try to avoid thinking about these stressors when in bed.
10. Don’t force yourself to sleep – If you have been tossing and turning on the bed, get off and find something to do. Experts recommend doing something light enough to help you fall asleep, such as reading a novel or even taking a warm shower.
If you have been struggling with sleeplessness for weeks, you might then want to see your GP for help.