It is very frustrating dealing with insomnia and lacking proper sleep – because it affects your productivity and eventual health. You fail to eat well, you struggle to stay awake, and you have very little energy throughout the day, leading you to eat junk foods so that you try and stay active and eventually getting diabetes, high blood pressure, and a host of other diseases.
If you are dealing with insomnia, trying to sleep can seem like a tedious task already. However, there are some tips to help you deal with the issue and alleviate the problem, which we will discuss below.
6 Useful tips to beat insomnia and get better sleep
Wake up at the same times every day
While weekends can be very tempting because you have the chance to sleep in, it is not advisable to do so – even if the entire week has been a struggle for your sleep schedule. The main first step you should implement when you are struggling with insomnia is sleeping and getting up at the same time every day, as this will train your body to be awake and go to sleep at consistent times.
Eliminate certain foods before bedtime
If you are a smoker or drink caffeinated drinks before bedtime, you should keep in mind that the effects of caffeine and nicotine can last for several hours – sometimes even going up to 24 hours. Therefore, the chances of it affecting your sleep are very significant. Both also lead to fragmented sleep, because of frequent awakening during the night.
This also applies to alcohol, which some people might think that it is a sedative – but it actually leads to less quality of sleep due to frequent arousals and increasing the frequency of REM sleep. Some other foods are also a bad idea for consuming before bedtimes, such as cured meat, orange juice, spices, cruciferous vegetables, and tomato sauce.
If you happen to be on certain medications that are also stimulants, such as asthma inhalers and decongestants, then you can ask your doctor about when you should take them in order to reduce their effects on your sleep.
Avoid drinking fluids or snacking before bed
The problem with eating late-night snacks or dinner before going to bed is that it will make it difficult to sleep due to your digestive system being active when you should be resting. If you suffer from heartburn, it is even more important to stop drinking and eating just before bedtime, because you can worsen your condition.
Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids before bed risks overwhelming the bladder, and making frequent visits to the bathroom throughout the night.
Reduce your daytime naps
Napping is great for when you want to give your body an energy boost, especially in the early hours of the afternoon. However, it is important to treat naps as just a short break, rather than giving your body a chance to catch up on lost sleep hours.
That is why we emphasize in the first point that you need to establish and keep up a regular pattern of sleeping hours, and training your body to associate sleeping hours with various visual cues; such as consistent bedtime and darkness. Long naps during the day will affect your nighttime sleep quality, even if you sleep on the best quality IKEA mattresses.
Have regular exercise sessions
Keeping to a regular exercise schedule goes a long way to help you sleep better and the duration of your sleep. However, you should be mindful of the hours you exercise, and avoid doing it just before bed, because the endorphins it releases have a stimulating effect. Instead, finish your exercise at least three hours before going to bed.
Limit your bedtime activities
Your bedroom and bed should be your safe space, and you should use your bed for sleeping. If you are struggling with insomnia, do not take your work to bed; do not make or answer phone calls, study, or balance your checkbooks, for instance, and avoid listening to the radio or watch TV when you are in bed. All of these activities, while they may seem well-meaning, will increase your alertness and make it difficult to sleep properly.
Even if you are struggling with a sleeping condition, it is important to focus on maintaining a healthy routine that will promote your sleeping time and quality and rest as much as you can.