Do you ever wake up feeling tired and lacking energy? Do you have trouble concentrating? Do you struggle to feel up to par the rest of the day?
It could be that you are suffering from insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Symptoms include daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability and a depressed mood.
According to the World Health Organization, one third of the world’s population experiences insomnia at some point in their lives. Of that one third, about 5% need medical treatment.
While the severity of insomnia ranges from person to person, there are natural techniques and remedies you can try to better your sleep without the aid of medical intervention.
Here are some ways you can put insomnia, literally, to bed:
Sit and Relax
Before going to bed, take some time to simply sit and relax. You can try listening to some soft music or doing some deep breathing exercises.
Avoid Caffeine Before Bed
It is also best to avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine at least within 3 hours of bedtime. These substances are considered to be stimulants and will keep your system in an active state.
Start a Bedtime Routine
Developing a bedtime routine will help your body and mind associate the routine with going to sleep. When you include specific activities, or “triggers”, in your routine, your brain will know that it’s time to shut it down for the night.
Include Relaxing Activities in Your Routine
You can include deep breathing and relaxing music into your routine every night. You can also try the following:
- Hot milk. Milk contains a protein called tryptophan, which may help to promote sleep.
- Warm bath/shower. A warm bath or shower will lower your internal body temperature which indicates to your body that it’s time to sleep.
- Chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is known to relax the body and calm nerves.
Be sure that the activities in your bedtime routine are relaxing by nature.
Use Your Bedroom to Sleep
Watching TV, reading and eating in your bedroom does not promote sleep, so your body will not associate your bedroom with sleep.
Your bedroom should be a dark and cozy space that makes you feel secure and comfortable. This helps your mind and body relax into a sleepy state.
Write a To-Do List
It is difficult to sleep when your mind is focused on what has to be done tomorrow. To alleviate these thoughts, write a to-do list for the next day.
Also, you can organize your clothes for the morning and prepare lunches the night before.
Or, you can be proactive and get as much done in the evening as possible. Spot clean the house, plan a weekly menu and make large meals that can be eaten as leftovers the next day.
Address Your Anxiety
Many of us have anxieties and regrets that stay with us. Fretting about these situations can interfere with sleeping patterns.
Use a journal to sort out your feelings or speak to a therapist if your anxieties are overwhelming.
Sometimes just getting a worry off your shoulders can improve your sleep.
Read For a Good Night’s Sleep?
You owe it to your health and your family to get a good night’s sleep. Without proper sleep, is it difficult (if not impossible) to take care of yourself and your family.
Stress is above all the number one cause of insomnia. By using the techniques above, you will not only increase your chances of getting a proper but also be able to lower your stress levels as well.
Once you begin this cycle of good sleep and less stress, you’ll be able to say goodnight to insomnia once and for all.