Are you longing to get more sleep, but suffer from insomnia? Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? What is insomnia anyway? It’s a sleep disorder that affects as many as 35% of adults. And many teens suffer from it, too. Insomnia is marked by problems getting to sleep or staying asleep through the night to allow you to get the deep sleep you desperately need. You may have no idea how sleep deprived you are.

Why you need to get more sleep

Sleep is crucial to your physical and mental health. When you get enough rest you can focus on tasks more efficiently, have a better mood, behave well to others, and avoid risks of injury. Not enough sleep, on the other hand, results in physical health issues like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Your mental health suffers, too. When you don’t get enough rest, you’re more likely to be moody and irritable all day, make mistakes at work, and eat sugary, fatty foods all to feel better. Sleep deprivation can also have adverse effects on your immune system, creativity, brain, and heart health.

Why do you have insomnia and what can you do about it

There’s a wide range of causes and types of sleeping problems and insomnia. If there are physical reasons for your insomnia, visit a doctor to explore the causes. Lifestyle choices and unhealthy daytime habits can also be the reason you toss and turn night after night. The good news is that you can create some new habits for more restful nights. We’ll give you our top 5 tips here, and here’s a cool app we’ve discovered that can also make the difference, visit risescience.com.

Follow the Circadian Rhythm

One way to get a better night’s sleep is keeping in sync with your circadian rhythm or natural sleep-wake cycle. Having a consistent schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same times every day can make you feel more energized and refreshed. Try to follow a regular sleep-wake schedule to effectively set your internal body clock and optimize your sleep quality.

Go to bed when you’re tired, not when your TV show is over. Turn your devices off even when you want to continue playing or texting. Know that the other members of your family also need their sleep, so setting a time for bed is helpful for everyone. By regulating your sleep pattern you can tell your body it’s time to rest. If you’re tired during the day, take a 20 minute catnap, but don’t sleep for two hours. A few minutes of repose will reset your focus and lift your mood during the day. But what if you’re not tired?

Get moving to sleep better at night

What are you doing to get moving? Yes, when you do physical activities you will have more energy during the day and a better chance to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Physical fitness from exercise helps prevent the symptoms of sleep apnea and insomnia and increases the time you have for the deep, restorative stages of sleep. The more vigorous your exercises are, the more powerful the benefits you’ll get. Light exercises such as walking also improvs your sleep quality.    

Regular exercise offers many other health benefits including the stimulation of hormones like cortisol, enhancement of body temperature, and improvement of basal metabolism. Also try less vigorous exercises like stretching, yoga, and relaxing.

Spend more time outside

Having your coffee outside or eating breakfast by a sunny window can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. During the nighttime, your brain secretes melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that’s responsible for regulating your sleeping cycle. This hormone is also responsible for making you sleepy or alert, depending on the amount of light exposure.  

As much as possible, keep blinds and curtains open during the daytime to let much light into your home. You may also walk your dog, exercise outside, and take your breaks during the day to get sunlight.

Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol

What you eat or drink plays a vital role in how well you sleep at night. In particular, your daytime eating habits affect your sleep-wake cycle, which often results in a lack of proper sleep.

Don’t use tobacco products. One of the most important things you can do to have a better sleep is to avoid smoking and drinking. Aside from its harmful effects, smoking is a stimulant that can disturb your sleep, especially if you take it before bedtime. You should also avoid caffeinated drinks because they can cause sleep disruption for up to 10-12 hours after drinking. 

To have a more peaceful night’s sleep, some of the things you should avoid include heavy meals, spicy or acidic food, alcohol, sugary food, and refined carbs as they can trigger wakefulness at night and pull you out from the deep, restorative stages of sleep. Drinking alcohol can also disrupt your sleep by making you fall asleep, then wake you up a few hours later.

Unwind, let go, and relax

Stress, anger, worry, and anxiety can make it tougher to sleep well. We know how tough it can be to stop your monkey brain from repeating your worries and conflicts night after night. You have some habits that take you to that place that won’t let you let go. Stress management always includes creating ways of unwinding and relaxing so that the other strategies, like a regular bedtime, outdoor walks, more exercise and better eating habits can all work together. Okay, so here are some relaxation tips we talk about over and over. Meditate to let go of repetitive worrying. Do some yoga breathing to calm your heart rate. Listen to boring music. Dim the lights, and even experiment with a sound machine. All these relaxation technique can help to regulate your circadian rhythm. 

Developing proper sleep hygiene and a healthy lifestyle includes following a consistent circadian rhythm, exercising regularly, spending more time outside, establishing healthy eating practices, and relaxing. Through these simple habits, you can banish your insomnia.


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