Insomnia: The ugly word nobody wants to jinx themselves by uttering. Unfortunately, millions of Americans report experiencing insomnia every year. If you are having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep—all while feeling tired throughout your day—you are experiencing insomnia. It is often caused by stress in your everyday life, due to events relating to work or your family and friends. Without a proper good night’s sleep, your whole life can feel out of your control.
There is no long-term cure for insomnia, but healthy sleeping habits and therapies can help. Here are some tips on conquering sleeplessness.
Put Away Anything Stimulating
You know what that means! Put the phone down, get your clocks out of view and stay off of your laptop. Dedicate the two hours before you go to sleep to relaxing. Sometimes we find this to be really challenging. You work hard during the day, so consider it the perfect opportunity to treat yourself at night. Draw yourself a nice hot bath, read a book and have a glass of wine. Drinking too much can negatively affect your sleep, but one glass shouldn’t be a problem.
Get Up and Try Again
If you find that you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and go do something else for a bit. Don’t stay in your bed—you don’t want your mind to associate your bed with stress. Remember that these activities still shouldn’t include getting on your laptop or phone. Try a relaxation technique such as easy yoga moves or drawing in an adult coloring book. Before you try sleeping again, make sure your bedroom is dark, at a comfortable temperature and free from annoying noises.
Attitude is Key
Don’t let yourself concentrate solely on sleeping—or lack thereof. Instead, focus on allowing your body to unwind. Take deep calming breaths, using your chest and your belly, while making each breath deeper than the one before. The more pressure you put on yourself to sleep, the less likely you are to fall asleep.
Take Care of Lingering Tasks
If there is something on your mind, stressing you out about the next day, then just do it the night before. Pick out your outfit and fix your lunch for the next day. Write a to-do list of all the goals you wish to accomplish the next day, and allow your tomorrow self to take care of it. Eliminate your mind clutter and allow yourself to feel at peace.
Try Natural Remedies
Avoid eating heavy meals late in the evening, and stay away from caffeine eight hours before you plan to go to bed. Make yourself a calming valerian root tea, a chamomile tea or a herbal roobios tea to set your mind at ease. Try calming muscle relaxation techniques, such as tensing each of your muscles individually for ten seconds and then relaxing them. Or, find a good meditation podcast and feel the tension leave your body as you listen to the soothing audio. Exercising every day for at least thirty minutes can also help you sleep at night.
Author: Mariel Sahad