Insomnia is a sleep disorder caused as a result of various factors like stress, trauma, grief, anxiety, depression and other emotional and psychological issues. Insomnia makes it difficult for you to get proper sleep; you tend to wake up in the middle of the night and fail to go back to sleep or wake up feeling tired. This drains you out of energy and affects your work performance, mood and quality of life. Insomnia is mostly seen in adults and it can be either short-term or chronic. Insomnia can cause fatigue, weight gain, weaken your immune system, reduce your concentration and increase the risk of diabetes, blood pressure and heart diseases. While medicines may help you sleep better for a while, you should also try some natural methods to sleep better. Let’s have a look at how to beat insomnia naturally.
Tip 1: Cut down on screen time before sleep
Smartphones, tabs, television, laptops emit harmful rays and blue light which disrupts sleep. It also affects your vision and keeps your mind engaged, making it difficult for you to sleep. Right before going to bed, you should avoid using any of these electronics. Try to relax your mind without getting distracted. Use blackout curtains to avoid lights coming into your room from outside. A cool and dark room ensures better sleep.
Tip 2: Establish a nighttime routine
It is important to train your mind to follow a bedtime routine. There is a process of preparing yourself for sleep. Eat a light meal for dinner, take a warm water bath if possible or consider changing into comfortable nightclothes, keep noises to a minimum and switch off all lights. If you have a partner, talk about your day or simply think about your activities throughout the day. Don’t jump into bed already! Go to bed only when you feel sleepy. Try maintaining the same routine every day and stick to the sleep-wake time cycle.
Tip 3: Avoid clock-watching
While it is necessary to follow a schedule, clock-watching may actually increase your anxiety. Watching the ticking clock every second will keep you awake and remind you that it’s getting late and you are still not asleep. Avoid looking at the time by reading a book or drink warm milk to help you sleep better. You must keep yourself occupied in order to induce sleep.
Tip 4: Exercise more often
Exercise improves your sleep quality to a great extent. Indulge in activities like cycling, swimming, running, jumping throughout the day. It helps relieve stress; controls anxiety and staying active will prepare you for a good night’s sleep. You can also meditate before going to sleep which will filter all kinds of unnecessary thoughts and allow you to relax.
Tip 5: Choose the right pillow, mattress and blanket
These are the most essential elements for good sleep. The right pillow means the one that is of the right height and helps keep your neck in a neutral position. Keep your mattress dust-free, wash pillow covers and blankets regularly. Your mattress should be allergy-proof. Remember that your sleeping position also matters, which is why you should try to avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Tip 6: Watch your caffeine intake
Consumption of caffeine in the evening will contribute to sleep problems. Caffeine can be present in chocolates, beverages, tea etc. Caffeine contains stimulants and you should not consume it if you are trying to sleep better.
Tip 7: Refrain from alcohol and tobacco
Alcohol interferes with the sleep cycle and leaves you dehydrated. It may feel like you fall asleep instantly when drunk but it hampers deep sleep and promotes awakening in the middle of the night. Similarly, nicotine affects your mood and sleep. Nicotine has stimulants and aggravates insomnia.
Here's An Extra Tip: Prevent bathroom interruptions
Even though it is a good thing to stay hydrated at all times, drinking too much water before sleep will result in frequent urges to urinate and this means interrupted sleep. You should limit your fluid intake before sleep. If you still wake up frequently at night to urinate, consult a doctor on DocsApp
Sleep is important to stay healthy. People suffering from insomnia can be affected both mentally and physically. Children are more active and resist regular bedtime that causes sleep problems and you can figure out how to beat insomnia naturally in such cases. However, in the case of adults and young people, it is a matter of serious concern because stress, anxiety, underlying illness could be the actual reason for insomnia which requires medical help.