Are you struggling to fall and stay asleep at night? Do you sometimes feel like you might never sleep again? Well, if you answered yes to both questions, chances are you suffer from insomnia.
People who suffer from this condition have difficulty falling asleep and even if they manage to do so, they often wake up during the night and have a hard time going back to sleep. As a result, they feel exhausted the next day.
We need to get 8 hours of sleep per night so as to function at our highest level. Yet, unfortunately, most of us get less than 8-hour sleep and this negatively affects our productivity and mood.
There’re different factors which prevent us from getting the good night’s sleep we need so as to have a positive and productive day, such as unhealthy sleep habits, stress, financial problems or problems at home, medical conditions, and certain medications.
If you’re suffering from insomnia, then you already know how awful and debilitating this can be. And if you don’t do anything to cure it completely, it can have a detrimental effect on your health, relationships, and work. Fortunately, sleep scientists have found out 5 simple, effective ways to beat insomnia forever. (And these don’t include taking any medications).
Here they are:
1. Turn off your screens.
When it’s time to go to sleep, you instinctively reach for your tablet, phone, or the remote control. You scroll through your phone or playing games on it so as to fall asleep faster. Yet, what you don’t know is that such electronic devices actually prevent you from falling asleep.
Scientists have found out that the blue light which is emitted from phones and tablets interrupts the hormones our bodies produce which tell us it’s time to fall asleep. So, when you reach for any of these electronic devices, you’re, in fact, telling your body and brain it’s time to stay awake.
Neuroscientist Anne-Marie Chang explains why exposure to blue light before bedtime is bad for your sleep. She says that the blue light coming from electronic devices interrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythm (the processes that naturally occur in our bodies for a 24-hour period).
She says: “Participants reading an LE-eBook took longer to fall asleep and had reduced evening sleepiness, reduced melatonin secretion, later timing of their circadian clock and reduced next-morning alertness than when reading a printed book.”
So, make sure you turn off your screens half an hour prior going to sleep. You may also do an activity that will help you relax, such as practicing meditation or reading a book – but not online.
2. Don’t drink coffee, tea, or alcohol before bedtime.
If you want to get a good night’s sleep, make sure you stay away from these drinks before going to bed. Many people believe that drinking alcohol before bedtime helps you fall asleep, but this is wrong.
What the alcohol actually does is sedating your brain and preventing you from getting a good REM sleep, and not making it easier for you to fall asleep.
Dr. Matthew Walker says: “Alcohol is a class of drugs that we call, “the sedatives.” And what you’re doing is just knocking your brain out. You’re not putting it into a natural sleep.”
3. Go to bed at the same time every night.
You need to allow your body and brain to get the rest they need so as to function at your highest peak. Therefore, you need to have a consistent timing of going to bed and waking up. Pay attention to what time at night you usually feel tired and sleepy and make sure you always go to bed at that time.
By keeping to a schedule, you’ll be more alert and productive and feel more energetic the following day. Hey, and remember, this rule applies to weekends too. So, partying with friends until late at night should no longer be a part of your schedule, at least not until you get your body on the right track again.
4. Keep your bedroom cool.
Sleeping in a hot bedroom prevents you from falling asleep and getting a good night’s sleep. The best bedroom temperature is around 68̊ F or 18.5̊ C, and your brain and your body need to drop their core temperature by about two or three degrees Fahrenheit to initiate good sleep, says Dr. Walker.
5. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed.
If you can’t fall asleep, don’t lie in your bed worrying about it, but get up. Tossing and turning in bed won’t help you fall asleep.
Dr. Matthew Walker explains that the reason for this is that “Your brain very quickly starts to learn the association between your bed being about the place that you’re awake rather than your bed being about sleep.”
You might want to do an activity that you find relaxing. For example, you can listen to music, read a printed book, or practice meditation. After some time, go back to bed and try to fall asleep again.
Yet, whatever you choose to do, make sure you don’t reach for your phone, check your email, eat food, or turn on your computer.
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act.