Insomnia is the general term given to a condition where someone has trouble falling asleep at night, and as a result cannot function properly the next day. It is divided into two kinds, acute (short term) and chronic (long term).
Short-term sleeplessness can be caused by things like stress, hearing bad news or grieving the loss of a loved one whereas long term insomnia may be caused by more serious illnesses like sleep apnea, shift work and other physiological disorders.
If you’re having some trouble sleeping, especially if it’s due to short-term sleeplessness, you may want to try some of these tips to help you get a good night’s sleep!
Avoid Any Form of Caffeine Before Bedtime
Some people are more strongly affected by caffeine compared to others, so you should know your own body. In general, you should avoid any food or drinks that are heavy in caffeine at least four hours before bedtime, including coffee, colas and energy drinks. If you want a flavoured drink, try some unsweetened fruit juices, milk or herbal teas.
And remember, it’s not just coffee that has caffeine: drinks like green tea or even Coke have got caffeine as well!
Exercise has been proven to relieve stress, especially the muscle tensions that you accumulate throughout the day. However, try not to exercise too close to bedtime as it may contribute to your insomnia.
Keep Electronics Away from Your Bed
Create a comfortable sleeping environment that’s far away from any sorts of distractions, especially smartphones and tablets. Keep them in a separate room if possible (yeah, I know it’s impossible, but…) and turn them off at night. Do all you can to create a quiet sleeping environment by minimizing the sounds of traffic and people.
Smoking functions as a brain stimulant, which is why many creative people find that smoking helps their creative juices flow. However, when it comes to sleeping, smoking won’t help calm you down, but instead make you even more alert and agitated.
Turn Off The Lights
The human body is extremely unique and develops time associated rhythms of its own depending on the amount of light it’s exposed to. It’s important for your body to be in a dark condition in order for it to register that it’s time to rest.
Wind Down At the End of The Day
Try and do relaxing and soothing activities before bedtime that will help your mind relax. Read a book, or listen to some soft music to let your mind slow down a little before bedtime. Try to avoid serious tasks like working, having deep conversations, or playing high octane video games before bed.
Stop Worrying, Get Up
The worst cause of sleeplessness is the anxiety of not being able to fall asleep. So instead of lying on your bed worrying what’s wrong with yourself and having negative thoughts about never falling asleep again, you should get up and do something you like, whatever it is, until you feel sleepy again.
Prolonged insomnia can be confusing and frustrating, but don’t give up hope. Know that you’re not alone and at least 20% of the people on earth have experienced sleeplessness at one point of another in their lives.
20%. That’s a lot, eh!
If you suspect your problems are psychological in origin, please take comfort in knowing that help is out there for anyone who asks and there should be no stigma in reaching out to professionals for aid.