Studies say that you are not the only one. A considerable 35% of adults are suffering from a sleep disorder. The upsurge in stress and the growing workload in our lives have taken a toll on our sleeping schedules, and the rise of insomnia cases has equally confirmed the above.
No sleep or lack of sleep strictly affects our overall health, and it’s not just less sleep time that should bother us; the quality of sleep is something to keep an eye on.
When our sleep has the potential to affect everything from our mood to our ability to concentrate, it becomes necessary to treat it urgently. But, wait. Before we jump to the remedies, we must first know what in our daily routine could be causing insomnia. So let’s get right into it.
Common Causes of Insomnia
As mentioned before, stress is one of the major culprits causing sleeping disorders. Tension and stress could be due to day-to-day struggles and frustrations. One may also suffer from chronic stress caused by unfortunate life events, including abuse, trauma, or other painful experiences.
Some common causes of insomnia that are easily avoidable are poor lifestyle habits. These include:
- disproportionate drinking habits
- an irregular sleeping schedule
- excessive exposure to screens before bedtime.
Mobiles have made it much more problematic to avoid screens before slumbering. It is also essential to understand that inevitable outside factors also cause insomnia. Some of the primary ones are:
- growing age
- mental health disorders
- genetic conditions
Safe Ways to Treat Insomnia
1. Practice Yoga
Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices of Indian origin. Consciousness is a key component of yoga. In adults, consciousness can increase melatonin levels and reduce night-time sleep disturbances.
You may be able to fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and return to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. Regular yoga can help you manage your insomnia symptoms and maintain a balanced sleep cycle. If you want to use yoga to improve your sleep, plan to practice regularly.
It is common knowledge that activity makes your body tired. The more tired you are, the easier it is to sleep. Exercising can improve both your health and sleep quality.
However, take into consideration not to exercise near bedtime. Scientifically, exercise keeps you sleepless and energised by releasing endorphins. So, work out in the early hours of the day, and it can prove to be one of your best decisions with that many benefits.
3. Adjust Light and Changes in the Surrounding
Your bedroom is the place where you rest. It must be as quiet as possible, and no disturbances and no extra lights are a must for a night of quality sleep. Get rid of any lights after dinner. If it is impossible to turn off all the lights or disturbances around the room, you can try using a sleeping mask or earplugs. The sleeping mask can easily dodge any unwanted rays, but people usually complain about it being too peaceful with earplugs. Using a white noise machine can be your best alternative in that case.
Do not use phones or any electronic devices a couple of hours before bed. The blue light from these devices does no good to your insomnia as they stimulate your brain, making it too difficult to sleep. A relaxing activity like reading a book can be pursued instead.
4. Easy To Implement Lifestyle Changes
Few healthy changes in daily lifestyle and using natural products can treat acute insomnia. Below we have a list of methods you may find beneficial:
- The best posture to sleep: Maintaining a good posture becomes essential when it comes to having a night of quality sleep. A good sleeping posture helps with the neck and spinal pain by encouraging proper spinal alignment. Sleeping on one’s side or back is healthier than sleeping on one’s stomach. Your spine is more supported and balanced in either of these sleeping positions. It allows you to have a long undisturbed sleep.
- Follow a sleeping routine: As an insomniac, it can be extremely beneficial to follow a strict sleeping routine. Research suggests that 10 pm is the best time to sleep. Slumber every night and wake up every morning at the same time. You should also avoid indulging in a midday nap. Try to lay down only at night to sleep. It will make your body adjust to the fixed routine, providing you with a good shuteye when you need to rest.
- Temperature: The ideal temperature for sleeping in a bedroom is around 65 Fahrenheit. Keep your room cold at night to help you sleep sooner and better. A higher temperature disrupts the body’s natural thermoregulation. Hence, doctors recommend keeping the temperature between 60 and 67 Fahrenheit.
- Hide that clock: Being conscious about the time when trying to sleep may make the task more difficult. Try hiding your clock or place it on the opposite side of your head where you cannot see it easily. If you are constantly aware and worried about time, sleep will be more difficult.
- Schedule your day more smartly: You do not want your brain to be super active during bedtime. Before you start your day, schedule the most demanding tasks at the start of the day. This way, your brain will be more relaxed as the day ends. As a bonus, you can indulge in relaxing activities towards the end, such as meditating, reading a book, or writing.
5. Healthy Dietary Changes
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol: You may believe a drink or two will help your sleep due to drowsiness. That is not the case. The glass may help you fall asleep, but it degrades the experience by causing you to wake up in the middle of the night. It is not healthy at all. Take special care to avoid caffeine and nicotine before sleep. Caffeine blocks sleep-promoting receptors in your brain and keeps you awake.
- Warm milk: Many people claim that drinking warm milk before going to slumber has significantly improved their sleep. However, there is no scientific proof to the claim, but since it’s very natural, there is no harm in trying.
- Avoid added sugars and refined carbohydrates: When a study was conducted to check the relationship between sleep quality and sugar intake, it came to knowledge that added sugar intake severely affected a person’s sleep quality. Refined carbohydrates also had a similar effect. Refined carbs cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Our body, in exchange, responds with the release of insulin that can keep you awake.
- Chamomile tea: Chamomile is a herbal tea with several possible health benefits. It has a soothing effect on drinking that promotes sleep. Plus, it does not contain caffeine like green tea, hence being a good replacement.
- Magnesium: Magnesium aids in muscle relaxation and stress relief, thus promoting longer sleep. Conducted researches suggest individuals who took 500 mg of magnesium daily for two months had better sleep patterns than those who didn’t. One can take magnesium doses upon prescription by a doctor, starting with a lower amount. But before beginning to take magnesium supplements, try to take the nutrient in adequate quantity from your natural diet.
When to Consult a Doctor?
You must immediately consult a doctor in case no home remedy is working, or if your insomnia is getting chronic and is interfering with your daily life. If it’s already been a couple of months dealing with insomnia, seeing a doctor is what you should consider.
Your doctor may perform a sleep study on you to test how long you stay asleep. The test can also be performed at home using the kit provided by the doctor.
As a treatment, your doctor may suggest getting behavioural therapy or some medications to help you correct your sleep problems.
Most of the time, acute insomnia can be cured with small remedial changes in lifestyle. Adjusting surroundings to trigger better sleep and introducing activities that induce sleep are safe and healthy ways to treat insomnia. Keep in mind to maintain a sleeping routine to train your brain. Experiment with different schedules during the day and find what works best for you. Maintaining a sleeping journal can prove to be the best bet to keep track
How can I sleep instantly?
Lower the temperature of the room to about 65 Fahrenheit. This temperature is considered the ideal temperature to fall asleep faster. Listening to relaxing and sedative music promotes deeper sleep. If the problem is severe you can ask your doctor for supplements.
Why sleep is so important?
Sound sleep helps in maintaining the optimal health and well-being of an individual. It recharges your body and mind and makes your body fresh for a new day.
What are the five benefits of sleep?
- Reduce your odds of developing health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
- The mind gets fresh and recharged to work better than when tired.
- It gives body muscles the time to get healed from the workload during the day.
- It helps lose and maintain weight.
- Proper sleep helps boost memory.
What happens if you don’t sleep?
If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain will feel heavy. The constant feeling of drowsiness can make it challenging to complete a task at an optimal speed. You are also more susceptible to severe diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack, or diabetes.
How long can you go without sleep?
The current record of going without sleep is approximately 264 hours or slightly more than 11 days. As of average person, one will start feeling the symptoms of sleep deprivation in a couple of consecutive days of going without sleep.
What happens if you sleep too much?
Too much sleep, say more than about 9 hours of sleep exposes you to the risk of high blood sugar levels. It also makes your brain dizzier.
What triggers sleep?
Darkness triggers sleep. When the surroundings get dark, the pineal gland in the brain’s hemisphere increases melatonin production. Melatonin makes you tired and puts you to sleep.