Insomnia is a common problem that makes going to sleep or staying asleep difficult. Some people only experience occasional bouts of sleeplessness, while for others, it can last for months or years. If you suffer from continuous episodes of insomnia, it can have a detrimental impact on your mood, daily functioning and quality of life. The good news is, there are plenty of ways you can overcome the problem and boost your chances of getting a full night’s rest. Here are three steps to beating insomnia.Insomnia is a common problem that makes going to sleep or staying asleep difficult. Some people only experience occasional bouts of sleeplessness, while for others, it can last for months or years. If you suffer from continuous episodes of insomnia, it can have a detrimental impact on your mood, daily functioning and quality of life. The good news is, there are plenty of ways you can overcome the problem and boost your chances of getting a full night’s rest. Here are three steps to beating insomnia.
1. Make your bedroom a relaxing sanctuary
A simple way you can improve your sleeping patterns is to make your bedroom a relaxing sanctuary. Your sleeping space plays a key role in the quality and quantity of your slumber, and when you consider that we spend on average a third of our lives in this room, it only makes sense that it is as comfortable as possible.
Your first port of call should be to examine your bed. If you spend most of the night tossing and turning trying to get comfortable, or you wake up feeling sore, the chances are your bed is in need of an upgrade. If you suffer from a medical condition like backache or sciatica, an adjustable bed can help you find your optimum sleeping position and relieve strain on your body. It’s also worth checking your mattress. If you notice lumps or sagging, or it is more than eight years old, it may need to be changed. Although your choice of mattress will depend on your personal preferences, it’s important to make sure you go for one that offers you plenty of comfort and support. Also, ensure your pillows and bedding are comfortable, and change the thickness of your duvet to suit the time of year.
Another way to combat sleeplessness is to reduce the number of screens you have in your bedroom. It is known that the light emitted from TVs, phones, tablets and laptops can suppress the production of serotonin - the hormone that makes you feel tired. With that in mind, try to keep your bedroom as a place just for sleep and avoid using electronic devices like these before you go to bed.
It’s also important to make sure that your room is quiet, dark and cool when you turn in for the night. Using thick curtains or blackout blinds can shut out street light and morning sunlight that can disrupt your internal body clock and play havoc with your sleep patterns. To drown out unwanted sounds, consider using earplugs or white noise machines.
2. Adopt healthy bedtime habits
While there is no set rule as to how much sleep you should get, health experts usually recommend that adults get between seven and nine hours every night. However, what’s essential is that you get enough rest to make you feel refreshed in the morning and ensure you are able to function properly during the day. To boost your chances of getting your all-important beauty sleep, there are certain bedtime habits you should get into.
Firstly, it’s a good idea to establish a healthy bedtime schedule so that you are going to sleep and getting up at the same time everyday, even on weekends. Regulating your body clock can make drifting off at night easier and ensure that you sleep through until the next morning.
Another way to stave off insomnia is to watch what you eat and drink in the hours running up to bedtime. Try to avoid coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon and evening as these drinks act as stimulants and can keep you alert. It’s also wise to avoid eating a heavy meal late in the evening as this can keep your digestive system working into the early hours and disrupt your rest.
In addition, creating a soothing bedtime routine can help prepare your mind and body for bed. As a general rule, try to steer clear of stimulating activities, such as vigorous exercise or checking your work emails. Instead, practice a relaxing wind down ritual, such as taking a soak in the bath, having a massage or listening to calming music. Doing the same activities every night will mean that you associate them with going to bed and it could prompt you to feel more tired.
If you are still struggling to drift off, don’t spend hours staring at the ceiling. Trying to force yourself to go to sleep will only make the problem worse as it can increase anxiety and stress levels. Instead, get up and do something else for a while, and only go back to bed when you feel tired. You may also find that it helps to write down any worries you have so you can put them to the back of your mind until the following day.
3. See your GP
If self-help treatments like these are not successful, you might need to seek advice from your GP. They may be able to identify the underlying cause of your insomnia and suggest ways you can return to normal sleeping patterns. This could involve taking certain medicines, such as sleeping tablets, to supplement home remedies. However, drugs will only be considered if your condition is serious. It’s also worth bearing in mind that sleeping tablets are not effective for everyone and they may cause side effects.
Your doctor might also refer you to a specialist in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help with your insomnia. This type of treatment is designed to help you deal with thoughts and behaviours that could be triggering the problem. For many people with insomnia, CBT can have positive, enduring results.
By following these simple steps, you stand a better chance of overcoming your sleep troubles and being able to welcome more restful nights. To find out more about how our products can help you tackle insomnia, browse our website further or get in touch with our expert team. We’re on hand to answer any questions you might have.