Are you having trouble sleeping? Or maybe you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, and you can’t go back to sleep? Insomnia is very common and it’s caused by many different factors. It shouldn’t be taken lightly because it affects a lot to you such as your mood, health, your mental and physical ability to function during the day. Let’s find out how to cure insomnia without popping a pill, to help you get your healthy sleep pattern back.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that’s either acute or chronic. It is characterized by having difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in staying asleep, or both. Symptoms may include waking up in the middle of the night and also having trouble going back to your sleep, drowsiness, and waking up in the morning too early.
Insomnia can be acute or chronic. According to WebMD, acute insomnia can last from one night to even a few weeks. About chronic insomnia, it is a symptom when a person experiences insomnia at least three times a week for about a month or more.
Cause Of Insomnia
A lot of factors affect your sleep pattern: lifestyle, diet, stress medication, an underlying medical condition, etc. Either one or more of these factors could be the reason for your insomnia. Knowing the cause of the insomnia is important because it can help you determine what interventions to take.
Our daily routines and practices can trigger insomnia. For instance, taking naps in the afternoon, even if they are short, can make it hard to sleep at night. Another example is if you work in shifts or irregular hours. This can confuse your body clock and make it difficult to sleep at night, especially when you are used to working at night.
2. Diet, medication and substance use
Eating habits can also affect your sleep pattern. Some food and beverages may contain sedatives or stimulants, which can disrupt your sleep at night.
Alcoholic beverages are sedatives, meaning they can make you fall asleep. However, it can also disrupt your sleep in the middle of the night. Caffeine and nicotine, on the other hand, are stimulants. It may be helpful during the day, to get you going, but it can stay in your system for hours and give you trouble sleeping. With that in mind, remember not to take in caffeinated drinks close to bedtime.
3. Medical Condition
Many medical problems and illnesses can cause, if not, contribute to insomnia. Examples of such are asthma, cancer, allergies, acid reflux, etc. Pain is also another big factor. Some of these illnesses may require medication that also affects your sleep pattern.
4. Emotional and Psychological Factors
This includes anxiety, depression, anger, worry, trauma, etc. Some activities of daily living can cause some stresses that you can carry on to bed, giving you a hard time to sleep.
Curing insomnia will initially require you to treat the underlying cause first, if there is. Otherwise, good sleep habits are all you need. If that doesn’t work, then you may need to see a doctor, who may treat with medication or with behavioral therapy. Here are tips that promote good sleep habits:
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Try going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. Avoid naps during the day because it can make you more alert at night.
- Avoid late and heavy meals that are a lot of work to digest. You should also avoid spicy and acidic foods because they can cause heartburns
- Exercise regularly. This has great long term effects for sleep. However, don’t do it close to bedtime because it may stimulate you and make it harder for you to fall asleep.
- Treat the external factors such as lighting, noise level, and room temperature. Make the room as comfortable for sleep as possible. If you can’t control to do anything about the noise, try earplugs.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake, especially late in the day or at least 8 hours before your sleep schedule.
- If you find yourself awake and worrying, try to make a list of goals or a to-do list. This takes the focus away from your worries. You can try a relaxing music as well.
- Associate your bed with sleeping and not sleeplessness, stress or work. If you can’t sleep, don’t force it. Try reading, drinking a cup of milk, listening to music, or other relaxing activities. When you’re sleepy, go back to bed.
- Learn breathing exercises and stretches that allow you to relax. These activities often help people with sleeping problems by relaxing their minds and their bodies.
- Put down your phone. Nowadays, the thing that’s keeping most of us awake is our tablets or phones. We find ourselves reading articles, scrolling down the newsfeed or stalking someone on social media. The light your phone or tablet gives also makes it harder to fall asleep. Make it a point to put down your gadgets.
- Choose the best mattress and pillow which are suitable for your sleep position.
Insomnia is a vicious cycle that suppresses sleep, making you stressed, and making your day routine difficult as well. When your day is hard, it might cause you more stress, making it hard for you to go to sleep. If these tips don’t help and your insomnia continues, you may want to consult your doctor.
Sleep is very important for good mental and physical health. It also affects our quality of life and our safety. When you get enough sleep, you can accomplish tasks better, avoid danger and stress.
With insomnia, you become sleep deprived. It can be tough to battle insomnia especially when your daily routine is already greatly affected. However, with a few changes in routine and practices, you can quickly get your healthy sleep pattern back.
If insomnia is caused by an underlying medical condition, then you need to treat that first. If insomnia persists even after changing your routines and practices, then you may need to seek further help from a professional.