Although the recommended average amount of sleep for adults is 8 hours per night, it’s probably fair to assume that most people aren’t hitting this consistently.
Whilst the odd sleepless night is generally not a big deal if you’re getting close to the recommended average and having a rested sleep when you do doze off. Yes, it can be annoying and inconvenient, but most people know how to deal with it and will just catch up.
However, when you’re not able to sleep at all and this is happening on a regular basis, then it’s most definitely a real cause for concern and you could be suffering from insomnia.
Aside from the frustration of not being able to sleep and the exhaustion that follows that, people who suffer from insomnia are at far higher risk of illnesses and accidents, so it’s something that should absolutely be taken seriously.
Insomnia, when left to go on can massively affect your life in all areas. As well as your physical and mental health being at risk, it can also have consequences in your work and even relationships.
In this post, we’re sharing some tips for you when it comes to dealing with insomnia and stopping it from taking over your life.
Don’t Self Diagnose:
Whilst insomnia is actually a huge problem that affects millions of people, it’s also important to recognize that even if you’re not able to sleep, you may not be suffering from insomnia, and your inability to drift off may actually be down to lifestyle and once these things are identified and eliminated then you could be able to sleep normally.
Although it’s easier than ever to just type your symptoms into Google and have what is believed to be a diagnosis appear on your screen, self-diagnosing is a risky thing to do and Google should only be used for gathering information.
If your lack of sleeping is affecting your life, then you should see a doctor who can look into the possible causes of this.
As mentioned above, there can be simple lifestyle factors at play that are easily changed, and there could also be an underlying issue with something like your back or neck causing you to lie a certain way, so your doctor will discuss things with you like choosing a correct mattress, or even the benefits of chiropractic adjustments that can really make a big difference.
Cut Out The Caffeine:
Like most things, caffeine is fine in moderation – whether it’s your morning cup of coffee or just some to give you a little boost during the day. Though, caffeine is a stimulant and it does take a while to leave your system, so although you should never drink a cup of coffee before bed if you’re expecting to sleep, you should also limit it throughout the day, and actually stop drinking overly caffeinated drinks around 6-8 hours before you normally go to bed.
It’s also important to note that, although black tea contains far less caffeine than coffee does, it is actually caffeinated, and this includes some green teas. Even hot chocolate contains caffeine, plus the sugar content in it doesn’t make it the best thing to be drinking a lot of.
So, if you’re looking for something to sip on before bed, then you can try various types of herbal and fruit teas – you can even get some that are specifically made for helping you wind down and relax. Other hot drinks include warm milk and turmeric tea.
Watch What You Eat:
What we eat affects our health and bodies in so many more ways than we’re aware, and it’s not just about what you drink before bed, but also what you eat.
For example, if you’ve ever tried to get to sleep after eating something really spicy or greasy, you’ll know that it’s not the easiest of tasks and what you’ll probably you’re dealing with is a long and painful night of heartburn.
Also eating a large meal too close to bedtime will really affect your sleep, so if you must have a late dinner, then try to opt for something light instead.
Certain foods, such as almonds, bananas, turkey, kiwis, and fatty fish do contain sleep-aiding properties, so try to include these in your diet when possible if you’re having trouble with your sleeping routine.
Set The Stage:
Just as our diet and lifestyle can have a huge impact on our ability to get a good night’s sleep, as does our immediate environment. Take a quick look around your house – specifically your bedroom and see if it’s really supporting your ability to sleep or if it’s actually hindering it.
Is there lots of clutter, bright lights and general stimuli everywhere? If so, then this can really affect your sleep. When you go to bed, you may like to have some white noise in the background, especially if you struggle with anxiety, however, having a blaring TV is probably not going to help you sleep or help your anxiety.
Instead, try a white noise machine, have all the lights off, or dimly lit soft lights or candles – though, remember to never fall asleep with candles on.
Using an oil burner with some lavender oil is a great way to promote a calm and relaxing atmosphere to help you drift off, as is relaxing music or even a guided meditation.
We hope that these tips have provided you with some useful and good ideas to help you get into a better sleeping pattern. Having trouble sleeping is very common, so it’s definitely something you can get help with.
Whether you choose to take medication to treat your insomnia or go for a more holistic approach it’s really a decision that only you can make, and if you do decide to try medication then always discuss this with your doctor first so that you can get the right treatment for you and that you don’t take anything that could cause you any problems in the short and long-term.
Sleeping pills can definitely be effective, but like all medication, they do carry risks, and your doctor is the best person to ensure you’re taking a safe dosage that will actually help you.