• Definition of Insomnia
• Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder. Individuals with insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both.
• People with insomnia often don’t feel refreshed when they wake up from sleeping, either. This can lead to fatigue and other symptoms.
• Insomnia is the most common of all sleep disorders, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
• In fact, the APA states that about one-third of all adults report insomnia symptoms. Between 6 to 10 percent of all adults have symptoms severe enough for them to be diagnosed with insomnia disorder.
• The APA defines insomnia as a disorder in which people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Doctors make a clinical diagnosis of insomnia if both of these criteria apply:
• Sleep difficulties occurring at least three nights a week for a minimum of 3 months.
• Sleep difficulties creating major distress or functional difficulties in a person’s life.
Follow these 10 tips for a more restful night.
1. Regular sleep hours.
A. Scientific research makes clear that sleep is essential at any age. Sleep powers the mind, restores the body, and fortifies virtually every system in the body. But how much sleep do we really need in order to get these benefits
• National Sleep Foundation guidelines1 advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to enable their growth and development. People over 65 should also get 7 to 8 hours per night.
• Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you’re likely to feel tired and sleepy.
• Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations. Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep. Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy.
2. Create a restful sleeping environment.
A. Change How you Think about Your Room
One of the biggest keys in maximizing the efficiency for sleep in your room is what you associate your room with. Ideally your room should be used for two purposes only: sleep and romance. Everything else done in your room serves no other purpose than to distract you from sleep. But how do you improve your room so that it’s only associated with sleep?
B. Clean Out All the Clutter.
a. TV in the bedroom.Your room isn’t your gym, office, or playroom. To begin associating it with sleep, you need to get all the stuff out that is potential distractions. Put the treadmill in another, get rid of the computer and work desk, and most importantly (and probably the hardest) ditch the television.
b. Having your bedroom as the place to go for other activities only leads to your brain associating the room with other things. If your bedroom is where your office is, it can help make your mind busy and even anxious about work, because you correlate the room with busy work.
c. Getting rid of the TV helps in many ways. For one, it’s too easy to watch it before bedtime as it’s in the room. Engaging programs can keep your mind awake longer as you get sucked into the story.
d. TVs also emit blue light, which can trick the body’s production of melatonin into slowing down. Light is associated with wakefulness. When there’s light, your body doesn’t produce as much melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
C. Ditch All Electronics.
a. Cellphone in bed For the same reasons you shouldn’t have a TV or computer in your bedroom, you also shouldn’t have a cellphone, tablet, laptop, portable game console, or e-reader in the room either. Most of these devices also emit the sleep stealing light and are used for consuming content that may rob you of sleep because it’s so engaging.
b. You should also adjust the position and location of your alarm clock. Not only is the light from the digital display distracting, but many people find themselves constantly looking at the time displayed on their clock, and if it’s getting late, start worrying about losing sleep. This worry over losing sleep can cause anxiety, which will lead to even more lost sleep. The best solution for alarm clocks is to set them at the given wake-up time, place them on the other side of the room, and turn them away from you. This keeps you from worrying about the time, and it also prevents you from sleeping in by hitting the snooze button as it forces you to get up from bed in the morning to turn it off.
D. Keep Your Room Dark.
a. We’ve already discussed how artificial light mimics natural light to keep you from sleep. One of the best things for sleep is to eliminate all lights possible. That means don’t leave a lamp on, remove any night-lights, and get heavy curtains or blackout blinds to eliminate outside light.
b. If you refuse to remove your cellphone from the room, one helpful tip is to flip it over, screen-side down, during bedtime. Many phones light up when there’s an incoming text, email, or push notification from an app that may distract you from sleep or even wake you from sleep. Eliminate unwanted light at night by flipping your phone over.
E. Keep Your Room Quiet.
a. Noise is another common sleep thief. Whether the sound comes from within the room itself, down the hall, or across the street, noise can prevent us from getting to sleep, and even worse, can rouse us from sleep.
b. In truth it’s not so much sound itself that prevents sleep, it’s the inconsistency of sound or silence that can be disruptive.
c. If your sleep environment has noises beyond your control (see noisy neighbors and traffic) try sleeping with a sound machine. Sound machines produce soothing, mellow sounds that not only help you relax for sleep, but drown out other sounds that may wake you from sleep.
d. Some people claim they need music to sleep. If you’re someone who can’t fall asleep without listening to music, try setting it on a timer to turn off a short time after you would normally fall asleep. This eliminates the chances of a sudden, inconsistent sound from waking you from sleep.
F. Keep Your Room Cool.
a. As you go to sleep your body temperature begins to drop as it prepares itself for slumber. Keeping your room a cool temperature (between 60-67 degrees) can help aid the process of cooling your body.
b. Sleeping naked not only increases the chances you’ll sleep comfortably and soundly, it also helps cool your body down by eliminating nightgowns and pajamas that may keep your body temperature.
3. Make Your Bed Comfortable.
a. If you’re waking up feeling stiff, numb, or tired, or maybe just had great sleep in a hotel bed, it may time to replace your mattress and/or pillows. Most mattresses are designed to last up to 10 years, but if your mattress has lumps, sags, rips, or holes you may want to think about replacing it. Similarly if you find yourself constantly fluffing your pillow throughout the night, it may be time for a new one.
b. You spend a third of your life sleeping on your bed, and while up front costs of a new bed may be scary, it may be worth your while to get the best that you can afford. Choosing a mattress really comes down to personal preference, whether you sleep better with a bed that is firm, bouncy, or has a little buoyancy, there is a mattress to fit your needs.
c. There are mattresses available to suit all types of sleep needs including adjustable stiffness, preferred sleep positions, disturbances from a tossing/turning partner, or even have covers if you have allergies to certain fabrics or dust mites.
4. Exercise regularly.
a. Exercise controls weight
• Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
• Regular trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.
b. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight is, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, and it decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:
• Metabolic syndrome
• High blood pressure
• Type 2 diabetes
• Many types of cancer
It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.
c. Exercise improves mood
• Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.
• You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
d. Exercise boosts energy
• Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.
• Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.
e. Exercise promotes better sleep
• Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep
• Moderate exercise on a regular basis, such as swimming or walking, can help relieve some of the tension built up over the day. But make sure you do not do Hard exercise, such as running or the gym, too close to bedtime, as it may keep you awake.
5. Cut down on caffeine.
• Cut down on caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks or colas, especially in the evening. Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep, and also prevents deep sleep. Instead, have a warm, milky drink or herbal tea.
6. Do not over-indulge.
• Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night.
7. Do not smoke.
• Nicotine is a stimulant. People who smoke take longer to fall asleep, wake up more frequently, and often have more disrupted sleep.
8. Try to relax before going to bed.
4 Ways to Relax Before Bedtime and Improve Sleep
A. Many people read before bed. Ideally, this would not occur in the bed, as it may contribute to insomnia. However, many people get away with it without consequence. Magazines are a nice option with short articles that can be put aside when sleepiness arrives. Pleasure reading of books is ideal rather than any work-related materials. When you start to read the same sentence over and over because it’s not sinking in, it’s probably time to turn out the lights and go to sleep.
b. Prayer or Meditation
• Engaging in rote prayers or meditative mantras can calm the mind. These can be specific to your religious preference. Some people use guided imagery to relax. There are resources available in books and online that provide further recommendations.
c. Listening to Music
• It can be wonderfully relaxing to listen to music before bedtime.The genre choice should depend on your personal preference, but classical music is soothing and calming to many people. There are also many nature sounds CDs and apps that can be utilized.
d. Watching TV or a Movie
• At the end of the day, it can be nice to relax while lying on the couch or sitting in an easy chair and watching a little television. Don’t select a program that is too exciting or lasts too late into the night. If you watch a favorite movie, you will likely be less enthralled due to its familiar nature, making it easier to transition to bed when it is time. It may be best to avoid light exposure from screens that are close to your eyes.
• Have a warm bath, listen to quiet music or do some gentle yoga to relax your mind and body. Your GP may be able to recommend a helpful relaxation CD.
9. Write away your worries.
• If you tend to lie in bed thinking about everything you have to do tomorrow, set aside time before bedtime to make plans for the next day. The aim is to avoid doing these things when you’re in bed, trying to sleep.
10. If you cannot sleep, get up
• If you cannot sleep, do not lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then go back to bed.
Hope you will like it.
Thanks for your reading.