Hectic work schedules, lack of downtime or a change in the seasons can all lead to late night insomnia. Insomnia can cause deficits in attention, concentration, memory and the ability to “stay on task. ” It can also impair social and occupational functions, can lead to poor quality of life, increased risk of accidents or injuries, and higher health care costs.
Sleep deprivation is also linked to weight gain and poor functioning immune systems. Here are 10 ways to improve your sleep:
1. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
Caffeinated food and beverages like coffee, tea, soda and chocolate will keep your mind stimulated much longer than you think. While an alcoholic drink before bed may feel like it’s making you sleepy, that sedating effect won’t last the whole night, the same goes for tobacco.
2. Use cognitive behavior therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy attempts to help you to overcome mental and physical problems that may be causing insomnia. Cognitive behavior therapy can be used alone or in conjunction with prescription medication. It combines cognitive therapy and behavior therapy.
3. Create a sleep conducive environment
Where you’re sleeping is vital to your sleep quality. Make sure your room is dark, clean and has good ventilation. For best sleeping conditions, try to keep the air fresh and the temperature between 60 and 65 degrees. You also need to make sure you have enough blankets and pillows. If you’re not comfortable, you’re not going to get much sleep.
4. Don’t nap during the day
Yes, you are looking for ways to get some sleep, but taking a nap during the day may keep you awake late at night. Try to avoid taking catnaps and get a good night’s rest instead.
5. Exercise regularly
Working at the office might bring out those mental beads of sweat, but it’s not working your body enough. People who have physically strenuous jobs experience fewer sleep problems than those with office jobs. Try working out for at least 20 minutes and you’ll feel stimulated. Exercise also increases your oxygen intake, helping you to relax more. However, be sure that you don’t exercise too close to your bedtime. You need to give your body and mind time to wind down.
6. Have a bedtime schedule
Your life may be anything but routine, however your body likes routine. Try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day, and yes even on the weekends. Figure out how many hours you need to feel rested and arrange your sleep times accordingly. Even if you don’t feel tired, go to bed at your pre-arranged time anyway.
7. Your bed should be strictly a place for sleeping
Many people tend to read, work, watch television, and even eat in bed; but your mind and body should only associate your bed with sleeping. You also shouldn’t read or watch television at least 30 minutes before bedtime, it will keep your mind stimulated. The best way to fall asleep quickly is to clear your mind of all thoughts. The last thing you want to do is lie awake in bed with your mind racing.
8. Use medication
While it usually stems from stress or anxiety, insomnia can also be caused by physical disorders. If you find some of the above methods don’t work, perhaps it's time to see a doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe drugs that can help you sleep. However, remember that medication have possible side effects and may not always work.
9. Use relaxation: massage, warm bath
There are a number ways to get yourself to relax and unwind, but we don’t do it enough. Simply taking a warm bath, a nice massage after a hard day at the office, or even a quick back rub from your spouse can do the job. Relieving your pent up tension and stress will clear your mind before going to bed. You can also listen to soothing music and light some aromatherapy candles to help wash your worries away.
10. Drink warm tea or hot milk
The calcium in milk helps you to relax, while the warmth soothes you. However, if you’re lactose intolerant you should try a cup of warm tea instead. There are many herbal teas that are specifically marketed as sleep aids. However, if you don’t feel comfortable trying a sleep aid tea, chamomile, anise, fennel and lavender teas are known for their natural relaxing qualities.
Olu Bicoy after struggling with sleeping disorders has become an expert on the topic. Olu offers intelligent advice and useful tips regarding sleeping disorders and natural relief and is dedicated to solving sleeping problems in his articles for Medgen . Here you can find more great information and products for sleeping disorders .