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Sounds contradictory, I know.
Everyone knows sleep is as important as food and water. Getting enough sleep keeps your immune system strong and helps your mind and body recover – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The problem here is that everyone needs sleep but many can’t get enough quality sleep due to insomnia.
In case you aren’t familiar:
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder characterized by the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. This sleeping disorder can gravely impact your daily life. Not only does it affect your performance at work, but it also throws your sleep-wake cycle into disarray even if you can sleep in the next day.
As someone who battles insomnia constantly, I know exactly how frustrating it is to lay in bed – failing to sleep – until your alarm clock goes off at 8 a.m.
Win the Battle for Bedtime
Insomnia can be caused by different factors. Noise, light, temperature, losing your job, divorce, death of a loved one, jet lag, a new work shift, or bad habits can all be possible causes. If you want to win the battle against insomnia, follow the seven tips listed below.
1. Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment
If you want to get some sleep, you have to make sure your environment lets you do so. The temperature, lighting, and noise in your room are all factors to falling and staying asleep.
Maybe turn the lights off or switch to a night light. Is your bed comfortable enough or do you need to buy a new one?
If you keep your phone on while you sleep, you might want to silence all notifications like incoming calls and texts (except your alarm clock). If your pet sleeps with you and keeps waking you up to go out at 3 a.m, you might want to let them sleep in a different room.
2. Limit What You Do in Bed
The only things you should be doing in bed are sleeping and having sex. Doing anything more than that can contribute to insomnia. You may even want to extend this rule to your entire bedroom.
When you’re in bed, don’t even think about studying, making phone calls, checking people out on Tinder, or balancing your checkbook. You might also want to turn off your television or radio and stop watching epic fail videos on Youtube.
If you find that you worry too much about your plans or only remember ideas when you’re in bed, just list them down in a notepad that you can keep near your bed. It has to be a notepad as writing them down on your phone can cause you to keep using your phone after writing your notes.
3. Cut Down on Caffeine
If you’re like 63% of American adults, you drink coffee daily. Most coffee-drinking adults drink at least 2 cups of coffee every day. This is understandable as most of us need that extra kick to get us going in the morning and the afternoon. The problem is if you consume TOO MUCH caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which is why it makes us feel active and alert. But taking in too much of it can cause insomnia — it even says so on those energy drink cans. You may be thinking about switching to decaf but even that isn’t 100% caffeine-free so don’t be fooled.
The good news for you coffee addicts out there is that you don’t have to cut out caffeine. You can still enjoy your daily cup of mojo as long as you don’t drink any after 12 noon.
4. Quit Smoking
While on the subject of stimulants, let’s talk about nicotine. You want to keep away from this stimulant as much as possible, especially before bedtime. Nicotine keeps you from falling asleep longer, wakes you up more frequently, and often disrupts your sleep.
Furthermore, studies prove that smoking increases the likelihood and severity of both snoring and sleep apnea. The researchers believe that this is due to harmful chemicals and pollutants present in cigarette smoke that irritates and swells the airways, especially those lining your throat and nose. Smoking also damages the lungs which can lead to other problems as well as lower oxygen levels at night.
What’s worse is that even second-hand smoke can cause the same problems, especially in children. So you might want to avoid anyone who smokes even if you don’t smoke yourself.
5. Exercise Regularly
Science proves that regular exercise can help ease the built-up tension you feel at the end of the day. Exercises like walking, swimming, or biking can do wonders, especially when done moderately.
Regular moderate exercise is good but strenuous activity is a whole different thing. Exercises like running, martial arts, or lifting weights should never be done before bedtime.
Exercising immediately before bedtime keeps you awake due to the leftover adrenaline acting as a stimulant. To prevent this, finish your exercise at least three hours before bedtime.
Don’t Trust Alcohol
If stimulants like coffee and nicotine keep you up, then you should drink alcohol before bed to help you sleep, right?
While alcohol does make you fall asleep, an alcohol-fueled sleep is not the kind you’d want. 55% of alcoholics suffer from insomnia. This is because our bodies process alcohol while we sleep and wakes us up once processing is done – which should be in a few hours after sleeping.
Since alcohol is a depressant drug, you’ll suddenly feel fully awake after waking up. This is called “rebound alertness,” which disturbs our REM sleep – the restorative stage of sleep. Besides, if the alcohol leaving your body doesn’t wake you up, the constant need to use the bathroom will.
7. Wake up at the Same Time
Sleeping at the same time every night helps you prevent insomnia. But did you know that that’s only partly true?
Sleeping at the same time won’t provide much help if you don’t wake up at the same time in the morning. Waking up at the same time ensures that you got the optimum amount of sleep your mind and body needs. Nothing more, nothing less.
In most instances insomnia is self inflicted and can be self cured.
Health by choice, not by choice.
You’ll definitely wand to check out “Can’t Sleep Without Counting Sheep? How To Cure Insomnia Forever!“