Have you been tossing on the pillow without any sleep lately? This lack of sleep is known as insomnia. Everyone has their own sleep patterns and the amount of sleep you get decreases with age. Stress is the main disrupter of sleep and one has to find out ways to control it and ensure that they get a good night’s sleep. If you go without sleep for more than a week you need to consult a doctor or a sleep specialist. Remember, lack of sleep can cause a host of health problems like cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure and obesity.
Here are some tricks to help you have a good night’s sleep so that you get up fresh every morning:
1. Wake Up on the Same Time Each Day:
We all love to snooze for a longer time during the weekends. However, if you suffer from insomnia then you should make it a point to get up on the same time each day. It will be very difficult at the beginning but you will get use to the routine.
2. Avoid Stimulants like Nicotine and Caffeine:
If you smoke a cigarette or have caffeinated beverage in the evening then you are bound to stay awake the entire night. The effect of both nicotine and caffeine stays for 24 hours and it directly affects sleep. You should not drink coffee and colas after noon. Drinking alcoholic beverages also hampers a good night’s sleep. If you are taking medicines like decongestants and asthma inhalers then you should consult your doctor regarding the time you should consume them so that it doesn’t affect your sleep at night.
3. Don’t Nap Frequently:
Sometimes we try to take power naps to feel fresh and make up for lack of sleep. However, taking long naps frequently can affect your sleep pattern. You have to train yourself to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time to cure insomnia.
Exercising is not only good for health it can also cure insomnia by improving your sleep quality. However, don’t do vigorous exercise just before sleep as it acts like a stimulant. Make sure that you schedule your exercise atleast three hours before hitting the bed.
5. Reserve Your Bed Only for Sleep:
Do not watch television, listen to radio or take phone calls on bed since these activities make you alert. Reserve bed only for sleeping and resting. You can put a sleep inducing instrumental music that can relax your mind and help you to sleep. Make the room dark enough and put on the music for desired results.
6. Don’t Eat and Drink Right Before Sleeping:
Having a late dinner can activate your digestive system and prevent you for getting sleep. You should also prevent yourself from drinking too much fluid before going to bed since the fluids will fill your bladder and you need to frequently get up to go to the bathroom. This will definitely disturb your sleep. Those who suffer from digestion disorders often should make it at point to finish their dinner early. Don’t over indulge before going to sleep.
7. Correct Your Sleeping Environment:
Your bedroom should be located in the quietest part of your house so that no noise enters there. Make sure your bed is comfortable (the mattress shouldn’t be too hard or soft, good quality mattress and bed linen ensures sound sleep) enough to relax your body and put you to sleep automatically. If your pets tend to make noise make separate sleeping arrangements for them.
8. Keep Your Worries Aside:
If you tend to think about the tasks you have to complete the next day while sleeping you have to stop the practice right away. Keep sometime before dinner to set your goals for the next day or early in the morning before going to office. Don’t sleep thinking about anything, just give complete rest to your mind and body.
9. Reduce Stress:
Stress has become an integral part of our lives and everyone suffers from it. We shouldn’t let stress control our lives rather we should conquer it. There are many techniques like deep breathing and meditation to control stress.
10. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:
Sometimes, negative thoughts creep into the mind and prevent you from sleeping. Having sleeping pills is not a very good idea since it might have side effects, instead try cognitive behavioural therapy which involves making some lifestyle changes and creating an environment perfect for a good night’s rest. It is the best cure for insomnia.
11. Take a Warm Bath:
A warm bath helps to induce sleep by relaxing the body and mind. It is refreshing after a tired day at work.
12. Find Out Some Me Time:
Most of us bring the tension of work back home, after we reach home we find more work to do. It becomes very hard to find time for your own self. It is important to devote atleast twenty minutes to yourself from this busy schedule. Calm yourself down and unwind before going to sleep.
13. Making Love Induces Sleep:
You must have heard that people get conked off after sex, research proves it correct. During sex men’s body releases a hormone named prolactin that induces sleep. Women’s body releases a hormone called oxytocin which is a perfect formula for a good night’s sleep. Well a great excuse to get cozy quiet often!
14. Keep Phones and Gadgets at Bay:
According to the University of Basel research the blue wavelengths produced by your smart phone and other gadgets like laptop and ipad interfere with the production of melatonin in the body, this hormone makes you sleepy. While Osaka University research reveals that light emitting gadgets stimulate the mind and prevent you from getting sleep.
Just sprinkle some aromatherapy oil on a handkerchief and take deep breaths. Lavender oil acts like a sedative and induces sleep. However, if you are completely stressed out then you can use essential oils like spikenard, vetiver, myrrh, clary sage and frankincense to relax your mind and ensure that you get a restorative sleep.
16. Yoga Always Helps:
Though vigorous exercise is not recommended just before going to bed, you can still practice some sleep inducing asana like the corpse pose (sab asana), happy baby pose (balasana) and gentle forward bends. Yoga is more versatile in addressing different health woes and can be done at any time of the day.
17. Hide Bedroom Clocks:
Play a little game with yourself, set the alarm clock but hide it. See if you can get up on the time that you have set. Keeping the alarm clock away means that you have to get up to switch it off, this will ensure that you wake up at a particular time.
18. Avoid Trying too Hard to Sleep:
If you are not feeling sleepy then don’t try too hard to sleep, the result will be just the opposite. Harder you try you are bound to stay awake. Read a book until you feel drowsy, once you get the signal that it is time to go to bed you will automatically doze off.
19. Get Out of the Bed if you are not Sleeping:
If you are just lying down on the bed and not getting any sleep then get up from the bed and do something that relaxes you. Once you are feeling sleepy then go and lie down.
20. Comfortable Night Suit:
Wearing a soft night suit can instantly make you feel comfortable enough to fall asleep. Just like your bed should be comfortable and clean, make sure your night suit is made of good quality breathable fabric. The night suit is a signal that it is time to switch of the lights.
21. Eat Lean Proteins and Foods Rich in Magnesium:
If you are not feeling sleepy and getting hunger pangs then you should snack on foods rich in magnesium. Lean protein contains tryptophan an amino acid that increases serotonin levels which helps you to get some sleep. Diet and sleep goes hand in hand.
22. Use Ear Plugs and Sleep Mask:
These accessories come handy if you are not getting good sleep. Ear plugs will cut out noise that is distracting you and the eye shades will block your eyes from light that is preventing you from getting sleep.
This alternative Chinese medicine is a panacea to many health problems. It also works for insomnia though more research is needed in this area. The practitioner pricks needles and specific points in the skin so that you get cured from lack of sleep. Don’t worry the needles will not hurt you instead you will feel relaxed.
24. Bed Time Tea:
This trick actually helps you to get sleep. A cup of warm tea is all you need to feel relaxed. You can drink some chamomile tea after bath to get some sleep. It really works!
25. Progressive Muscle Relaxation:
This is a calming exercise that works well if you are suffering from insomnia. Clench your muscles for a minute and then release it, start from the toes and work your way up. Try these calming exercises to get the much needed rest.
26. Set the Temperature Right:
The room should be on the cooler side while you are sleeping, sleep specialist recommend that the temperature should be at 65 degrees or lower. You can open up a window you want proper air circulation in the room especially in the summer months. If you are suffering from hot flashes or sweats (a post-menopausal syndrome) then throw away the covers and cool down. A cooling mattress and wet wipes helps to cure this post-menopausal syndrome and ensures that you get sleep.
27. Conjure up a Relaxing Scene:
Imagine the holiday that you spent in Hawaii. The soft breeze, the blue ocean and the warm sand is a picture that floats into your mind. This imagery will set in the relaxing holiday mood that induces sleep. Well imaging scenes is better than counting sheep any day!
28. Breathing Techniques Calm you Down:
Taking proper breathes can actually calm you down. Reduced levels of cortisol or stress hormone can help you to sleep. These breathing techniques can be useful if you have been staring at the ceiling instead of sleeping.
29. Relax in a Rocking Chair:
Have you noticed that how your grandparents go off to sleep in a rocking chair with newspaper in their hands. The same technique helps babies to go to sleep. Well you can try this method, read on a rocking chair before hitting the bed. The slow rocking movements induce sleep. This also explains why you get good sleep in a moving train, car or bus.
30. Avoid Weekend Sleep-Ins:
This is a very common mistake that everyone makes; we tend to make up for all the sleep by snoozing for extra hours during the weekends. Penn State College of Research suggests that you shouldn’t use weekends just to sleep, make best use of weekends to correct your sleep pattern.
31. Drink Cherry Juice:
The Journal of Medicinal Food states that drinking tart cherry juice may ensure you a restful sleep. Cherry juice is high in melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. Melatonin also helps to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. So ditch alcohol and sip some cherry juice instead.
Everyone has their own sleeping positions, not all are correct. This guide will help you to find the pros and cons of your sleeping position and how you should correct it. Insomnia if not treated at the rudimentary stage can become chronic and a source of diseases that can ruin your general health. If you don’t sleep and oversleep then you will suffer from depression, get angry at little things, lose appetite and feel lethargic. If you feel that you are not being able to sleep then get professional help from a sleep specialist who will conduct a sleep study on you. He will judge your sleeping patterns and point out the reason behind your insomnia. If you are worried then talk to your family and friend or write it down to reduce some burden your mind that is overworked. You can opt for over the counter supplements like Valerian and Melatonin which have mild sedative effects, but remember don’t do self-medication, always consult the doctor. These supplements shouldn’t interact with other medicines you are having, you should be particular about the dose and the time you are consuming it.
Hope these tricks will help you to have a restful slumber and make you feel relaxed throughout the day. Never underestimate the power of sleep and the magic it can do to your mind and body!