Insomnia is described as difficulty in falling asleep or difficulty to achieve continuous sleep. It is not a disease or diagnosis but a symptom. An average person experiences insomnia at least once in their life. It was found that 30-50% of people are insomniacs.
All age groups are affected by insomnia. Its incidence increases as age increases because stress is the most common cause of insomnia. Furthermore, women are more affected by this than men.
The cure for insomnia involves activities that would promote sleep and reduce stimulation. Several activities are advised to the insomniacs to prepare their body for sleep.
1. Exercise regularly. Studies have shown that regular exercise helps the body with its sleeping problems. It is generally important to attain optimal health. It is important to stress that exercise should be made early in the morning and not immediately before sleeping.
2. Avoid heavy meals and lots of fluids before going to bed. Large meals could lead to indigestion while a lot of fluids will increase the incidence of having to get up to urinate in the middle of the night
3. Maintain a peaceful and comfortable environment. During bedtime, turn off the lights, turn off anything that could create noise, and be sure you are comfortable with the room temperature. These factors affect sleep. Remove the clock from sight because it will contribute to your anxiety and frustration when you can’t fall asleep.
The following are excellent tips to put an end to your sleepless nights.
1. Decrease ingestion of stimulant-containing substances such as tea, coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes. Stimulants increase alertness, which are not needed during sleep.
2. Eat a very light carbohydrate snack before bedtime; or better yet, drink warm milk
3. Take a warm bath 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. The immediate effect of a warm bath is sedation. When the bath is taken more than an hour before bedtime, an arousing effect would occur instead of a sedating one. Furthermore, warmth relieves body tension.
4. Stop watching TV, reading, or engaging in any mind-stimulating activities at least an hour before bedtime. These activities tend to prolong your wakefulness.
5. Use only your bed for sleeping (and sex). This will help your body associate your bed to just sleep. Thus, when you lie on your bed, it is a signal that it is time to sleep.
6. Engage in relaxation activities: listening to music, deep breathing exercises, meditation, etc. These activities slow down body processes and help the body to relax. Both functions aid the body in falling asleep.
7. Clear your mind. Remove all concerns and worries from your mind. You can do this through writing your thoughts and ideas in a journal.
8. Do not take naps. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday. Taking naps will only disrupt your biological clock. On the other hand, sleeping and waking up at the same time everyday will help your body set your biological clock.
Through following these tips, a good night’s sleep is very much attainable. Remember that sleep is essential for the body’s growth and repair. Insomnia is not something that occurs naturally in your body. Thus, it must be treated.
If the mentioned tips do not cure or even minimize the insomnia or if insomnia is quite bothering you for a long time, do not hesitate to consult a doctor.