Nothing is more satisfying than waking up after a long, full night of sleep to see the sun rising, hear the birds singing and have a refreshed, renewed energy to start the day. It’s a beautiful image in your mind, but not your reality? The National Sleep Foundation reports that over 30% of the population has trouble sleeping through the night, some not being able to fall asleep at all. This unfortunate problem has a name, Insomnia, and is defined as a sleep disorder in which one has trouble falling asleep and being able to stay asleep for long periods of time. This disorder is debilitating and awful for those it affects. Some of us suffer from a culmination of a few bad habits that are preventing us from a getting a good night of rest and we aren’t even aware! Ready to try and improve your shot at a full night of restful slumber in dreamland? Let’s take a closer look!
What You Can Do To Help Your Insomnia
We go through a process everyday to meet our physical needs. Food, rest, exercise, repeat. We try and eat well, work hard, exercise, unwind and rest, but in the process we are actually preventing our bodies from getting the sleep we are so desperate for. How is that possible? It’s crazy to think that some of our own daily habits are sabotaging our sleep. What are some ways to help us fall asleep, improve our sleep, tackle our sleep problems head on, and stay asleep?
- Make sure you get regular exercise and get in a good workout to improve your sleep habits. Don’t make the mistake of exercising right before bed though, that can have a negative effect on your ability to fall asleep.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule – go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Keeping a constant sleeping and waking pattern will help you rest better overall and improve your sleep quality.
- Reduce your exposure to blue light/screens in the evening. Put down the phone, tablet, and laptop close to bedtime, and try and turn off the television a while before you are ready to go to sleep.
- Avoid alcohol consumption at night, it interferes with melatonin production that helps you fall asleep.
- Don’t drink caffeine late in the day, like after 3:00 pm. The effects of caffeine can last for hours, keeping you wide awake when you should be asleep.
- Don’t smoke before bed. Nicotine is a stimulant and can cause you problems when trying to fall asleep.
- Make your bedroom comfortable for you – Set the temperature to a cool setting so you aren’t getting hot and block out artificial light and noise.
- Take a warm bath or shower to help relax you and help you fall asleep.
- Don’t eat late at night, and if you eat large meals for dinner make sure you eat a good 4-6 hours before bedtime so your body has time to digest the food you’ve eaten before you fall asleep.
- Make sure you have a comfortable pillow, mattress, and bedding. Having your bed be a comfortable oasis will improve your sleep quality.
- Expose yourself to natural light during the day. Get outside as much as you can during the day, if you can’t sit by a window. Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps regulate your wake and sleep cycles. It is controlled by the exposure you get from light, thus making sunlight and your time in it a big deal. This is why those who cannot experience much daylight or have trouble sleeping will take a Melatonin supplement.
- What you eat during the day can affect how you rest at night. Make a conscience effort to scale back on sugar and refined carbs, they can cause you to be restless at night and keep you from deep sleep.
- Keep your bed as your BED, not your office or your laundry room, it’s for your sleeping purposes!
- Find ways to help you relax and calm down before you try to fall asleep.
- If you have tried these helpful solutions but still struggle with insomnia, go see your doctor and get checked out. Insomnia is a common problem for a lot of people and there are great treatments that your doctor can discuss with you.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 26 to 64 year old need an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, while adults ages 65 and older need 7 to 8 hours.. Young Adults from ages 18 to 25 need 7-9 hours, whereas teenagers ages 14 to 17 need 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Research shows, the younger the age the more sleep the body requires. Every person is different so only you can know the right amount of sleep for you and what you need to be energized and active, rested and ready to do all you need to do each day..
Sleep Is Your Fuel
In our world of “overwhelmed and overworked” sleep almost seems like a waste of time. Eight to nine hours a day? You could work a second job in that timespan! Don’t laugh, some people have tried it and some are having to live in the reality of it. Going without enough sleep for enough time is the true catalyst that shows us how much our bodies desperately need sleep. Your car won’t go any further after it has run out of gas, your body is no different. Thankfully we live in a time where there are many solutions to the growing calamity of insomnia. Here’s hoping these tried and true tips bring rest and peace to your life!
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