7 Ways to Overcome Insomnia and Sleep Better
Do you find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night? Maybe you wake up many times during the night? These are indications that you may be suffering from insomnia or simply have a sleep disorder.
You are not alone, there are thousands of insomniacs worldwide and the good news is that there are several simple steps you can take to get quality sleep.
About 6 to 9 hours of sleep is normal depending on the individual’s requirement. While we are asleep, our bodies actually perform functions of renewing and rejuvenating our body. The body goes through a process of repair and regeneration slowing down metabolic activity. New cells are created in the entire body strengthening the immune system.
Sleep deprivation can have a serious negative impact on your life. You wake up feeling sleepy, weak and irritated. This has a direct impact on your day life manifesting as poor performance at work due to inability to concentrate.
Headaches, fatigue, reduced levels of coordination and falling asleep at odd hours are common complaints that follow. Severe consequences are strain in relationships, accidents during driving and many more.
Common causes of Insomnia
1. Stress, Anxiety or depression
2. Alcohol or drug abuse
3. Certain Medications
4. Heavy Meals before going to bed or starving
5. Consuming caffeinated drinks just before bedtime
6. Noise or light disturbance
7. Strenuous work till late in the night
8. Uncomfortable bed or conditions
9. Irregular sleeping habits
Steps to overcome insomnia and to sleep better
Instead of resorting to pills that offer only temporary solutions and make you drowsy the next day, you can follow these smart lifestyle changes to sleep better:
1. Develop regular sleeping habits
Keep a regular sleep schedule everyday. Do not break this routine even on weekends. Disturbing this schedule disturbs your body clock and the body becomes restless and causes insomnia.
If sore muscles are behind your sleeplessness, try a massage with essential oils. Give a gentle massage to your entire body using essential oil. A massage with the use of lavender essential oil can calm your nerves while relieving your anxiety and induce a restful sleep.
Pure natural essential oils give better results than the sleep medications. Baths with essential oils like jasmine and rose are great ways to combat insomnia. Soaking in and inhaling these healing vapors deeply for about 20 minutes is advised.
3. De-clutter your mind
Take a quite walk to de-clutter your mind. Play some board game or watch a comedy.
4. Eat “sleep-inducing” food
Serotonin is called the “sleep hormone” and it is essential for good sleep. Eating foods that contain ‘Tryptophan’ induces secretions of serotonin. They are milk, beans, fish, cheese, egg etc. Eating a high-carbohydrate meal 2 or 3 hours before bedtime is helpful in getting good sleep. Ice cream, dates, cakes, potatoes, spaghetti, jam and honey are high in carbohydrates.
Eat fruits and vegetables in plenty as they are easily digestible and ease metabolic activity at night. Include almonds, bananas, dates, figs, tuna, turkey or yogurt in the evenings as they promote good sleep. A glass of warm milk taken 15 minutes before going to bed can calm your nervous system. Never go to bed starved.
5. Listen to soothing music
Certain types of music are known to have calming effect on your nerves which help in falling asleep. Relaxation techniques and meditation can also reduce stress levels and improves the quality of your sleep. Self hypnosis is also recommended as a powerful tool for overcoming insomnia.
6. Start a light exercise regime
Getting enough exercise is helpful in overcoming insomnia. But strenuous or excessive exercising will give the opposite result.
7. Make the atmosphere conducive for better sleep
Keep the noise down and dim lights around your sleeping area. Dim all lights, including those from TV or computer screens as they can confuse your body clock and cause sleep disturbance. Proper ventilation and cooler temperatures stimulate restful sleep. Use mattresses and pillows that support good sleep.
Remember, after a good night’s sleep you get up the next morning refreshed and energized to meet the challenges of the day ahead.