Are you having trouble falling asleep? Or do you keep waking up in the middle of the night or sometimes way too early than you should? You probably have insomnia, a common sleep disorder that affects approximately 30%-40% of the general population.
When you have insomnia, it will not only drain all your energy from your body but also affect your moods, work performance, health, and quality of life in general.
Symptoms of insomnia include
- Lack of sleep
- Interrupted sleep
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of concentration
1. What Causes Insomnia?
So many things can cause insomnia, these include
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar
- Lifestyle, I.e., eating habits
- Physical injury or illness
- Neurological disorders
- Some medications, I.e., antidepressants, anti-asthma medications, pressure drugs
2. How to Overcome Insomnia
Insomnia can really mess you up and make your life a living hell pretty fast. Below are a few ways to overcome it and improve your sleep quality.
3. Create a Regular Sleep Routine
Having a sleep routine is not an idea that excites many. But it can really help when it comes to fighting sleeplessness. It is a perfect way to train your body to sleep better.
Choose a specific time to go to bed and wake up every day, and make sure you stick to it. Eventually, your body will get used to the routine. It will automatically start to shut down around the time you should go to sleep and wake up around the time when you should wake up.
4. No Clock-Watching
Watching the clock will not do you any good fighting insomnia. It will only make things worse, causing anxiety. By all means, avoid it.
Put your watch under your bed, in your bedside drawer, or turn it around not to see the display. That will eliminate the temptation to look at the time and count the seconds, minutes, and hours you are awake. Instead, look for something else to do to pass the time, tire you, and make you sleepy. For instance, you can read a book, do some chores, take some warm milk or tea, etc.
5. Watch Your Diet
What you eat and when you eat can affect how you sleep and the duration.
For instance, a diet high in saturated fats and low in fiber can reduce the amount of peaceful sleep you get. The same thing goes if you take too much sugar.
When you eat matters a lot too; if you eat your meals just before bedtime, the digestion process begins immediately; and this can keep you up a few hours into the night.
Also, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks; they are among the top causes of insomnia.
So, what should you eat?
As far as sleep is concerned, vitamin B should always be part of your diet for its ability to regulate melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone in our body that controls our sleep cycles. Some foods you should target to get vitamin B include
6. Get a Good and Comfortable Mattress
How well you sleep and for how long has everything to do with where you sleep; your bed. How comfortable is it?
Is your mattress too old? Does it feel bumpy or uneven when you sleep on it? If yes, then that could be why you have endless sleepless and restless nights. You will need a new and better mattress to change that. You can get one at https://www.sleepare.com/blogs/best-mattress-heavy-people/. Here you’ll find different kinds of mattresses of varying sizes, colors, designs, and purposes; choose the one that best suits your needs.
7. Your Bedroom is for Sleeping
Spending the whole day working from your bedroom or watching your favorite shows in the comfort of your bed sounds convenient, but it is not. In reality, it is so inconvenient and only ends up causing insomnia, especially if you overdo it.
When you work or perform any other engaging activities from your bedroom, your mind and body associate your bedroom with activity. So instead of sleeping and relaxing as you should in the bedroom, you will remain active and awake longer than you should. You make that a habit, and it will become a disease.
Your bedroom is for sleeping and having some quality time with your partner; use it for the same and nothing more. Get the computer and TV out of your bedroom. Put them in a separate room or office in your house- that way, when you get to the bedroom, your mind and body will know it is time to sleep.
8. Seek Medical Attention
Sometimes, especially when the insomnia is so severe, nothing you do will work. In that case, you might need to see a doctor to get advice on the best way forward or prescribe some medication.
Sleeping pills or sedatives, or hypnotics can help you calm down at night and improve your sleep quality. Benzodiazepines fall under this category; however, these medications pose a high risk of addiction and dependence.
Remember, sleep medications do have side effects in general. It is always advisable to take them close to your bedtime and in the recommended dosage. Also, do not drive or operate machinery when you take such drugs.
Possible side effects include
- Allergic reactions
- Memory loss
- Prolonged drowsiness
If you have insomnia, you don’t have to worry because there are numerous ways to beat it. And if nothing you try seems to work, there’s always the option to see the doctor.
The bottom line is, you don’t have to suffer in silence with insomnia.