Adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep per night so getting a good night’s sleep is an important part of your overall health. If you find yourself having difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night, this could be a sign of insomnia, a common sleep disorder that makes it hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia can affect both your physical and emotional health because if your body doesn’t have enough proper rest, it can affect your mood and ability to concentrate and it can increase your risk of conditions like depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. To help reduce the signs of insomnia, here are 10 safe ways to reduce the effects of insomnia and how they will help you sleep better:
10 safe ways to reduce the effects of insomnia
Insomnia can have a lot of negative effects from causing major diseases to negatively impacting your mood and concentration. This can affect your relationships with your family, friends and partner, as well as have an impact on your work life and your livelihood.
While you may be able to cope with a little insomnia every now and then, it’s not something that can continue for periods of time as it can end up affecting so many things. Sometimes you may know the cause of your insomnia and be able to fix it yourself. For example, it may be a temporary life or work stress that will resolve itself. Other times, the cause may not be so obvious and it could be environmental or behavioural, in which case there are a few things you can try to help fall asleep naturally and safely without resorting to a pill from the doctor.
Relax before bed to sleep easier
The more you worry about sleep, the more difficult it can be to fall asleep and overcome insomnia. To reduce the stress you put on your body, try to get your most demanding tasks or challenges finished earlier in the day and prepare your bedroom ready for relaxation by dimming the lights, lowering the temperature, and minimising any noise. To really help you unwind, why not try the best therapy gun on the market, treat yourself to a pamper evening or a new set of bedding from brooklyn bedding review?
Why exercise helps prevent insomnia
Exercise is obviously good for your health, but research also shows that it helps to improve your quality of sleep. Getting in some daily physical activity is one of the best remedies for insomnia as exercise releases endorphins that make you feel awake and energised, perfect for earlier in the day so you are ready for a well-earnt sleep later on.
Create a bedtime routine for better sleep
Getting your body into good sleep habits can help you overcome insomnia so try to stick to a regular sleep schedule every day and train your body to adapt. Establish a regular bedtime and a set time to wake up so that your body gets into the habit of sleeping during those hours. It is also a good idea to avoid napping throughout the day so will be more tired when it comes to your bedtime.
Change your diet to help with insomnia
Eating a healthy diet has many advantages, so what you eat and drink can play a big part in your sleep quality. It is recommended to make sure you don’t eat big meals within a couple of hours of bedtime or consume alcohol and caffeine as these can affect the quality of your sleep or make it hard for you to fall asleep, so try to stop drinking caffeine and alcohol by mid-afternoon. Instead, drink valerian or chamomile tea before bedtime as both of these are believed to have effects on the brain that make it easier for you to fall asleep naturally.
Darkness to help with insomnia
Perhaps your bedroom environment needs changing to help promote better sleep. Put up thick curtains or blinds in your bedroom to block out light that may wake you up since a dark room can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Some people prefer sleeping with a sleep mask if their room is prone to lots of light. This goes for artificial light, too; avoid watching TV or using your phone before going to bed since they have a stimulating effect which makes it harder to sleep.
Melatonin for insomnia
A naturally occurring hormone, melatonin helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle in the brain. It is produced at night when the light is low by our bodies. It’s more commonly taken in tablet form to treat jet lag or those who work late shift patterns but is also known to treat insomnia in people over the age of 55. Timing with this supplement is important. It shouldn’t be taken in the morning as this can disrupt normal sleep patterns. Instead, it should be taken in the afternoon or early evening to help regulate your sleep cycle.
Acupuncture for insomnia
Whilst there is no solid scientific evidence that acupuncture is good for treating insomnia it has shown promise in helping people regulate their sleeping cycles. An acupuncturist will seek to find the root of sleep deprivation and treat it with a number of sessions delving into some of the possible causes of your insomnia. These could be work and home stresses, diet, general health and other lifestyle factors. Acupuncture is a safe alternative to pharmaceutical products with little to no side effects. Your doctor may recommend this before looking at alternative methods or medications.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for insomnia
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a therapy program that can help get to the root cause of sleep issues to resolve them. CBT for insomnia focuses on thoughts and behaviours that might be causing insomnia and teaches you how to change your mindset about these in order to sleep better. It is much more effective than taking pills as it identifies and fixes the underlying issues causing sleep disturbance.
Practice deep breathing exercises before bedtime
Try some calming deep breathing exercises before bedtime to prevent insomnia and help you fall asleep easier. Sigh heavily as you inhale, then exhale slowly, deeply and silently. Deep breathing exercises help in calming the mind and preparing one for sleep. It also helps in reducing stress, anxiety and tension in the body which are linked to insomnia. A recent study found that practising deep breathing exercises before bedtime can reduce stress, anxiety and tension
Yoga for insomnia
The benefits of yoga before bedtime include a more relaxing sleep, better breathing patterns, less anxiety, and increased energy and concentration in the morning. Yoga is an effective alternative to conventional exercises and also provides mental relaxation.
The final word on ways to reduce insomnia
Insomnia is a common problem that many people suffer from. It can affect the quality of life and it is a risk factor for other health problems.
There are several causes of insomnia, including circumstances, medical conditions and mental disorders. These include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
The main symptom of insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep for an adequate amount of time. People with insomnia may also have difficulty napping or feeling tired during the day.
According to the NHS, you may have insomnia if you:
“find it hard to go to sleep
wake up several times during the night
lie awake at night
wake up early and cannot go back to sleep
still feel tired after waking up
find it hard to nap during the day even though you're tired
feel tired and irritable during the day
find it difficult to concentrate during the day because you're tired”
Most people will experience insomnia at some point in their life. The first step in reducing insomnia is identifying what might be causing it. Once you identify the cause, you can try different strategies for reducing insomnia like CBT, acupuncture, changing your bedroom environment or relaxation even techniques like deep breathing or yoga. There are lots of natural ways to sleep better.
Though insomnia can be a chronic condition for some people, it doesn't have to mean a life of sleepless nights and constant exhaustion. If you have trouble sleeping at night, there are many safe ways such as the 10 examples shared above to reduce the effects of insomnia and get a better night's sleep.