In this piece, Shampa tells you about a few simple lifestyle modifications that can help you cure insomnia naturally.
(Image source – Healthy Brans)
Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders in the world today. A sizeable chunk of the population does not sleep well enough at night to function well the following day. Adults require an average of six to nine hours of sleep every night in order to maintain a healthy mind and body. In this piece, we discuss a few simple lifestyle modifications that will help you cure insomnia naturally.
Insomnia can have a huge, negative impact on one’s health. Several studies have found that people afflicted with the condition are likely to suffer from heart ailments, depression and other health conditions apart from being at risk for accidents at home or on the road. They are also more likely to miss work and be less productive and efficient.
While insomnia is not a very well understood sleep disorder, experts have come up with some tried and tested natural remedies to help combat this issue. Here are some simple steps to follow on a regular basis to ensure sound sleep at night.
The right bed
It can be difficult to fall asleep if your bed is too soft or too hard or if your pillows are not right. Ensure that your bed is comfortable enough for your specific needs. It’s also imperative to narrow down on the right mattress for your bed. These days there is a wide range of mattresses available both online and offline so making the correct choice can be quite a quandary. Consult a doctor to find out what kind of mattress will work best for you in terms of hardness and material. Only after careful consideration should you purchase a mattress or a pillow.
A quiet place
At times, insomnia can be caused due to a sleep environment that isn’t conducive to rest. If you’re perpetually awakened by loud noises, your sleep pattern will get affected to a large degree. Make sure that the area where you sleep is quiet. You can also try wearing earplugs to shut out any outside noise. Also, avoid working, eating or watching television in the bedroom. This disrupts the calming energy of the room. The bedroom should only be used for sex and sleep.
Image source – Endlessly Inspired
A fixed sleep schedule
It is important to have a regular sleep schedule and to stick to it, even during weekends. This keeps the body’s circadian clock in order which is essential for overall physical and mental well-being. Wake up at the same time everyday no matter how little sleep you got the previous night. When the body follows the same sleep pattern all through the week, it is easier for it to fall asleep. It is best also to avoid napping during day time as this makes it difficult for you to go to bed on time at night.
A bed time ritual
Establishing a bed time ritual can really help cure sleeping disorders. Rituals such as reading before bed or having a glass of warm milk regularly act as signals for the body to let it know that it’s time to sleep. A warm water shower before bed also works very well to relax the senses and create a feeling of tranquility which easily spurs the body into rest mode. However, do not try too hard to sleep. Tossing and turning in bed at night only increases anxiety and worsens insomnia. If you really can’t sleep, get up from bed and do something relaxing such as reading a book or listening to soothing music. When you feel drowsy, get back to bed.
Steering clear of gadgets
If you want sound sleep, you have to put away your laptop, iPad and phone. Excessive use of gadgets before bed can really hamper your sleep cycle as they emit blue wavelengths that inhibit the production of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. Also, light-emitting devices stimulate the brain make it harder for to enter into a reposing mode.
One of the natural ways to cure insomnia is to steer clear of any gadgets for at least one hour before sleep time
Dab a few drops of lavender onto your forehead and temples before you hit the bed. The soothing aroma will soon put you to sleep. You can also try putting some jasmine oil on each of your wrists at bed time. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that people who sleep in jasmine scented rooms experience better quality of nighttime rest and wake up feeling more rejuvenated compared to others.
An aromatic bath before bedtime is also a great idea to relax the body and mind. Add some drops of ylang ylang oil and lavender oil to warm bathwater and enjoy a nice soak.
A light dinner
Avoid rich, heavy foods too close to bed time. Fatty foods can mean a lot of work for your stomach and can lead to indigestion and heartburn. All these can prevent you from sleeping well: a regular light dinner is the way to go to cure insomnia naturally.
Reduced intake of alcohol and caffeine
While alcohol can put you to sleep, it can wake you up later in the night with a stomach ache, headache, a full bladder or a feeling of dehydration. Also, when the sedative effect of alcohol wears off, you may find it difficult to get back to sleep. Caffeine stimulates the brain and can make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night. These two are best avoided for improved sleep. If you need caffeine to get through the day, make sure that your last cup is at no later than 4 PM.
If you are a smoker, look no further for the root cause of your insomnia. Smoking around bedtime is even worse. Nicotine stimulates the nervous system and prevents you from falling asleep. Kick the butt already and see the difference it makes to the quality of not just your sleep but also your life in general!
If you have tried quitting cold turkey in the past, we suggest you try the nicotine patch to quit smoking. I have seen a couple of my friends succeed with this method after they had previously struggled cold-turkey.
A good exercise regimen
There is a lot of research that shows that exercise helps to enhance sleep. A study found that insomniacs who engaged in a regular regimen of exercise slept better at night, had more energy through the day and felt less depressed. However, it is advisable to exercise in the morning hours. This is because adrenaline, a hormone released during exercise takes long to return to normal levels. If you workout in the evening, the adrenaline rush may hamper your sleep.
Quite a few people struggle to follow a regular exercise routine, calling it too dull for their senses. If you are one of those, pick up something like cycling.
If the stress of fulfilling your responsibilities at work or at home is keeping you awake during the day, learning how to manage it better. Maintain a calm and positive outlook towards life and you fill find that you can sleep better. Try yoga or meditation to bring stress under control. Sharing your problems with a loved one who cares about you is a great way to let go of your bottled up emotions. You can also experience relief by writing down whatever is bothering you.
Try yoga and meditation
A few low-impact yoga stretches can work wonders to ease the tension in the muscles after a hard day’s work. Regular meditation is excellent to soothe your mind-body complex and promote sound sleep. It takes continued practice to learn these ancient techniques and harness their calming power, but the advantages can be immense.
No matter what your age, insomnia is generally treatable. Keep these tips in mind to get good rest at night. And, if you have tried these methods and are still finding it difficult to fall asleep, you must consult a doctor as soon as possible.