From time to time, we all have trouble sleeping, but it can become a serious problem when insomnia continues day after day. A lack of sleep may have significant consequences on our health, increasing our risk for obesity, heart disease and type two diabetes. This makes us prone to exhaustion and mood swings.
If you suffer from lack of sleep, before you resort to drugs, try these eight tips to help you get a better night’s sleep:
1. Exercise, exercise, and exercise
Going for a brisk morning walk will not only help you cut down your weight, but it will also alleviate sleepless nights too. Exercise increases the effects of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin. Research in the Sleep journal found that it was easier for postmenopausal women who exercised for around three and a half hours a week to fall asleep than for women who exercised less often. It can be relaxing to exercise closer to bedtime. A workout in the morning is ideal because exposing yourself to bright daylight first thing in the morning will help the natural circadian rhythm.
2. Reserve the bed for sleep
Answering phone calls and responding to emails in bed should be avoided at all costs, do not use your bed as an office. Stop watching late-night television there as well. The bed needs to be a stimulus for sleeping, not for wakefulness.
3. Keep comfortable
Television isn’t the only diversion that can creep into your bedroom. Ambience can also impact the quality of sleep. Make sure it is as comfortable as possible in your bedroom ideally, a quiet, dark, cool environment. You want a quiet dark, cool environment because all of these things promote sleep onset.
4. Start a Before sleep routine
Remember the soothing ritual that helped lull you to sleep when you were a kid and your mother would read you a story and tucked you into bed each night? A series of bedtime routines may have a similar impact, even in adulthood. Rituals help signal the body and mind that it’s coming to be time for sleep. Drink warm milk in a bottle. Take your bath. Or listen to relaxing music before bed to unwind.
5. Eat-but not too much!
It can be distracting when you are hungry because a grumbling stomach can keep you awake, but so can an excessively full belly. Within two or three hours of bedtime, stop consuming a big meal. Eat a small nutritious snack (such as an apple with a slice of cheese or a few whole-wheat crackers) to satisfy you before breakfast if you’re hungry right before bed.
6. Avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption
Caffeine, which is a stimulant, is present in chocolate so you should avoid it before bed. Surprisingly, alcohol has an effect which is similar but people think it makes them a little sleepy, but it’s a stimulant and it disrupts sleep during the night, Also, stay away from anything acidic or spicy that can cause you heartburn (such as citrus fruits and juices).
Stress is a stimulus and the thought of the bills piling up and your mile-long to-do list will have you struggling to sleep. It’s very common for your daytime worries to bubble to the surface at night. Stress activates the fight-or-flight hormones that work against sleep; give yourself time before bed to cool down. Learning some form of relaxation activity can promote good sleep and can also reduce daytime anxiety. Try deep breathing exercises to relax. Slowly and thoroughly inhale, and then exhale.
8. Get checked
An urge to move your legs, snoring and burning pain in your stomach, chest, or throat are symptoms of three common sleep disrupters—restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. If these symptoms are keeping you up at night or making you sleepy during the day, see your doctor for an evaluation.
Some people turn to sleep medicine in search of restful sleep, if you fall in this demography and have been having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. These medications, however, may have side effects, including changes in appetite, dizziness, drowsiness, stomach pain, dry mouth, headaches, and odd dreams.