Sleep is a crucial restorative process that reboots the body and mind at night and energizes them for the following day. However, what if falling or staying asleep is a struggle? According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, millions of people in the United States have difficulty sleeping at night. This condition called insomnia is a common case that constantly plagues adults and teens alike. The abnormal inability to get adequate sleep is present in about 30% to 35% of the adult population, while a total of 15% to 20% are already suffering from a short-term insomnia disorder.
Is Insomnia Alarming?
In its early stages, insomnia decreases performance efficiency at work and in school. People commonly struggle to concentrate or focus, and is starting to suffer from poor memory. Mood disturbances are also common, as well as daytime sleepiness. As insomnia progresses, people are more likely to have increased risks of high blood pressure, depression, fatigue and low energy. As of now, insomnia can be treated with pills or through a cognitive behavioral therapy that changes one’s sleeping habits. To avoid insomnia or prevent it from reaching alarming levels, here are the top recommendations to get better shuteye:
Say yes to a sleeping schedule
Being consistent can help you fight insomnia and get a good night’s sleep. Set a sleep and wake-up schedule and apply it every day, even on holidays or weekends. If your body gets familiar with the sleeping schedule, you won’t have a hard time falling asleep each night. There will be times when you don’t feel sleepy at all, even when you are already scheduled to sleep. The best solution is to get up and relax yourself. Come back when you are already nodding off. Avoid getting online or doing things that keep you awake, like exercising or eating.
Keep yourself comfortable
Comfort is key when you want to sleep early. Start with your bedroom and clean it from stuff that distract you. If you share it with a family member or classmate who is a night owl, make use of earplugs and eye masks so you won’t be disturbed. You can sip a hot tea before bed, or read your favorite book. Mood lighting can also relax your frazzled nerves and induce drowsiness. Your bedding system should also be comfortable enough to make you fall and stay asleep. Comfort is subjective, so try everything out before buying. Make sure that it is supportive as well to avoid back pain and stiffness in the morning.
Never nap during the day
If you are struggling to sleep at night, you might want to take a look at how you spend your day. If you are fond of taking long daytime naps, then this might lead to poor quality sleep or insomnia. Long naps allow your body to rest more than enough, so drowsiness at night will naturally be moved to a much later time. Limit your naps to 10 to 30 minutes, and only do it at midafternoon. If you do it later, it still might affect your sleeping schedule.
Manage stress efficiently
Thinking too much about things you should do in the morning will make you feel anxious at night. Instead of relaxing, you end up tossing and turning in bed until you heard your alarm ringing. Stress is definitely a major factor that affects quality sleep. Managing it won’t be a walk in the park, but it will truly benefit you when bedtime comes. Be organized during the day and set your priorities for the next. Before you hit the sack, have a good laugh or read your favorite book to relax. Another trick is to be active during the day. Engage in physical activities so you can sleep faster and deeper when night comes.
Choose a healthy diet
Sleep is connected to one’s lifestyle. If you consume nicotine, alcohol and caffeine like there is no tomorrow, expect it to lower your sleep efficiency. The stimulating effects of such substances will take hours to wear off, so don’t be surprised if you still feel alert after downing a cup of coffee at night. If you don’t want to ruin your sleep cycle, stick to healthy choices like fruits and vegetables. Avoid going to bed stuffed or hungry because this might also affect quality sleep. Even your water intake should be limited if you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night with a desire to relieve in the bathroom.
These five effective tips will surely leave no room for insomnia. If you do the following, but still suffer from sleepless nights, it might be the right time to contact your doctor. You might have some health problems that need to be addressed. By recognizing and treating them, you get a step closer to better and uninterrupted sleep.