How to Beat Insomnia and Sleep Better
Insomnia can be a troubling sleep disorder that causes sleeplessness, lasting a few nights or months. In this article, we’ll lay out a full guide on how to beat insomnia.
Sometimes insomnia lasts so long that you can’t remember the last sleep that left you feeling well-rested. If you know this feeling all too well, don’t worry, you’re not alone. At some point or another, many adults experience sleep disorders. As research shows that most people require 8 hours of sleep to function at their peak, this is an issue that needs to be dealt with.
Keep reading to learn how to beat insomnia.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes you to have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. Additionally, it may be the reason you’re not able to get back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night. Insomnia can cause decreases in energy levels, mood, and overall quality of life.
For most people, seven to eight hours is sufficient for a good night’s sleep. However, some people function with a little more or less. Everyone is different. The end goal is to have consistent sleep that leaves you feeling fresh and well rested.
Keep in mind that insomnia can vary in terms of how persistent it is, and how long it lasts. Acute insomnia can last for a few days or a week whereas chronic insomnia can cause sleep issues for weeks or months.
Luckily, it isn’t a scary incurable disease and in most cases, you can beat insomnia with some simple lifestyle changes.
What Causes Insomnia?
There are a variety of lifestyle choices that may be causing your insomnia without you even knowing it. Stress, inconsistent sleep schedule, and diet can all be factors that cause insomnia.
Abnormal amounts of stress caused by situations like traumatic life events, finances, school and work can all be factors that contribute to insomnia.
Some major symptoms of insomnia include:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up well before your alarm
- Waking up during your sleep
- Not feeling like you had a good night’s sleep
- Increased irritability, anxiety and depression
- Difficulty focusing or remembering
How to Beat Insomnia
Luckily, there are many lifestyle changes you can make today to help you beat insomnia.
One way to combat insomnia is to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. This is due to the body’s circadian rhythm, which acts as an internal body clock.
Your eating habits are also a contributing factor for insomnia. Although small snacks are okay to have before bed, try to avoid having a large meal as this may cause discomfort when trying to sleep. In addition to this, going to bed thirsty can cause you to wake up parched in the middle of the night. Now, if you’re thinking you’ll just chug a glass of water before bed, think again. Drinking too much water before bed can cause you to wake up to use the restroom in the middle of the night.
Here is a list of changes to keep in mind when looking to beat insomnia:
- Find a bedtime and wake time that works for you and stick to it every day, including weekends.
- Be active. Staying active throughout the day can help you fall asleep when bedtime rolls around.
- Try to avoid naps. As tempting as a mid-day snooze may seem, naps can make it hard to fall asleep in the evening.
- Eat and drink in moderation a few hours before bed. Drinking too much or too little before bed can cause you to wake up during your sleep.
- Use your bedroom for bedroom activities only. Yes, that means limiting phone use and watching tv in bed.
- Start to wind down a few hours before bedtime. This may include a relaxing bath, reading or other low-stress activities.
- Reduce your screen time in the evenings.
- Avoid strenuous activities like working out right before bed.
- Don’t consume caffeine later in the day.
- If your partner keeps you awake, sleep alone in a separate room or bed.
The first step in your journey to beat insomnia is to make healthy lifestyle changes. If you have made all of the changes above and your insomnia persists, contact us. You’ll be able to speak to one of our pharmacists about over-the-counter sleep aids and prescription medications.
Sleep is necessary to allow your brain to rest and function at full speed. What does this mean? Not getting enough sleep can cause lower performance in your job or at school, increase your risk of developing mental health disorders, and raise the risk of getting into an accident while driving. The good news is there are lots of lifestyle changes you can make to beat insomnia.
If you have questions about any of these lifestyle changes or want to know about prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids, contact us and speak to one of our knowledgeable pharmacists.