How Not to Have Insomnia

For some people, sleep comes to them pretty easily. For some others, it is not the case. If you cannot sleep at night, you may be suffering from varying degrees of insomnia.

Insomnia is a common problem everywhere you go. Most people will suffer from some kind of insomnia at some point in their lifetime. Having sleep problems can affect you and your overall health, your mood, the quality of your work, and your ability to function thorough the day.

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Insomnia can mean:

  • Having problems falling asleep even when you are tired
  • Waking up several times during the night
  • Having trouble getting back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Relying on external substances and medications like sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep
  • Waking up a lot earlier than usual in the morning
  • Daytime tiredness, fatigue, or prickliness
  • Having problems trying to concentrate and pay attention

To avoid having insomnia, or decrease your insomnia levels, here are what you can do to help yourself.

LIMIT ACTIVITIES BEFORE BEDTIME

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Avoid doing activities that keeps your mind and body active at night, especially close to bed time. An active mind means it takes longer for you to settle down and fall asleep.

If you have housework and cleaning to do, complete all this at least 2 to 3 hours before you go to sleep. Do the same thing if you have to actively use your mind to complete your tasks – planning, ledgering, and so forth.

Also avoid using your phones when you are about to sleep. This means try not to make phone calls to your friends and family members before bed. It’s one of the contributing factors to a sleepless night. Unless its urgent matter and you need to make the call, by all means it’s a different story. By avoiding using your phone in bed also mean try not to get on social media or any other similar platforms.

Let your mind rest.

AVOID HEAVY EATING AND DRINKING BEFORE YOU SLEEP

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Heavy eating and drinking before you go to bed is another contributing factor to your sleepless night. The food you eat before you sleep can activate the digestive system and keep you awake.

If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or heartburn, it is more important for you to avoid eating and drinking before you go to bed. By eating and drinking before you go to bed worsens your condition.

Additionally, drinking lots of fluid before bed can put a strain on your bladder. It requires frequent visits to the bathroom and can disturb your sleep. Try not to drink at least 2 hours before you go to bed.

AVOID HAVING TOO MUCH CAFFENEITED OR ALCOHOLIC DRINKS

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The effects of caffeine can last for several hours, with some potent ones allegedly lasting up to 24 hours. Therefore, the chances of caffeine affecting your sleep is significant. Caffeine doesn’t just cause difficulty in initiating sleep but it also causes you to wake up frequently during the night.

Alcohol, on the other hand, may have sedative effects during its first few hours of consumption. It does, eventually, lead to frequent arousals and non-restful night’s sleep. Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks before you go to bed.

If you are on medications that act as stimulants (like decongestants or asthma inhalers) ask your doctor when they should be best taken to help minimise any effects on sleep.

LIMIT NAPS

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Most times people nap to catch up on the sleep they lost. That is not always the case. While it may be logical to do so, you will have to establish and maintain a regular sleep pattern so to avoid a sleepless night.

Train yourself to associate sleep with cues like darkness and a consistent bedtime. Napping can affect your sleep patterns and cause insomnia.

EXERCISE REGULARLY

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Regular exercising can improve your sleep quality and duration. Though it can help prevent insomnia, exercising before bedtime can have a stimulant effect on the body and best to be avoided. Exercising means you will be subjecting yourself to aggressive activities.

To avoid having exercise-induced insomnia, try finish exercising at least 3 hours before you plan to retire for the night.

KEEP WORK OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM

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Try to avoid mixing your work area with your sleeping area. Your bedroom should not be your work room, study room, or dining room. It isn’t just weird to eat and work on your bed, it does tend to get uncomfortable. Keep computers, TVs, and work materials out of your room. It will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

Meaning to say if you are working from bed, it can be more difficult for you to fall asleep as your brain will think you are still working.

Not forgetting to mention, working on your bed or in your bedroom can mean it’s tough to separate work from your regular life. It’s easy to mix relaxation and work in the same place, but its best not to.

According to the Havard Business Review Guide to Being More Productive, they mentioned, “Unless you are careful to maintain boundaries, you may start to feel like you are always at work and losing a place to come home to.”

Having an “always at work” environment and feeling in your bedroom doesn’t sound like anyone’s ideal balanced lifestyle. It’s another good reason to stay out of bed while working, and have a space dedicated to work and another space dedicated for relaxing.

HAVE A COMFORTABLE SLEEP ENVIRONMENT

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Last but not least, have a comfortable bedroom for you to sleep in. Get yourself a mattress, a bolster, and a pillow that are not too hard or too soft to sleep on. Buy yourself a mattress and other sleep equipment that fits your body type.

At the same time, try not to get a bed that is too small or too old for you. A small bed means you will not be able to sleep properly and get the rest you need. A bed that is too old may pose as a health hazard to you.

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If you still cannot sleep, get up and do something that can help you to relax. If your insomnia problem still persist, consult a doctor regarding your issue. It can be a bigger problem preventing you from having a good night’s sleep.