Everyone has the occasional night of tossing and turning and being unable to get to sleep, but did you know that an estimated 65% will have trouble sleeping in any particular night? That’s more of a problem than you might have thought too, because if you don’t get a good eight hours of sleep a night, then you will be more susceptible to heart attacks and cancer, and it is quite likely to reduce your life expectancy. Don’t panic, though, if you have the occasional bad night, that won’t do you any harm, but if you do suffer from insomnia regularly, then read these ten tips on how to beat insomnia and fall asleep faster, because your lack of sleep could be damaging to your health.
1. Get into a routine
To sleep properly, your body needs to have a regular sleep routine, so set a schedule for yourself and stick to it, even at weekends. Go to bed at the same time every day and wake up at the same too, even if you don’t really need to, and then your body will get used to the routine and you will sleep much better.
2. Cut down on stimulants
Stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol will stop you from having a good night’s sleep, so cut down, or cut out, coffee, drinking alcohol and smoking, especially in the afternoons and evenings. The stimulant of effect of coffee can last up to 24 hours and, while alcohol may make you feel drowsy at first, it will wear off and then it can cause you to wake up again in the night.
3. Get more exercise
People who take regular exercise, sleep better. Even quite moderate exercise, such as going for a walk will help relieve the tension that may be the cause of your not sleeping. Avoid taking any strenuous exercise just before bed, though, or that will have the opposite effect and make it harder to fall asleep.
4. Make sure that your bedroom is a restful place
Ensure that your bedroom is as quiet and as dark, as you can make it. If the light shines through your curtains, then it would be a good investment to buy some thicker ones, or to fit some curtain liners. The temperature in your bedroom is important too. The ideal temperature for a bedroom is 65 degrees Fahrenheit, or in other words, no too warm.
5. Banish electronics from your bedroom
Electronic devices, such as TVs, cell phones and iPads, act as a distraction and will remind you of other things that you might need to do, rather than allowing yourself to unwind properly and fall asleep. If you know that there could be messages waiting for you on your phone you will be tempted to reach over and check it, if it is by your bedside.
6. Have a wind down period before you go to bed
You need a period of relaxation before you go to bed, so take a hot bath, read a book and try and relax for an hour before you go to bed. Do anything that will take your mind off any worries that you may have and something that is not too demanding. That will give your body a chance to wind down and get ready for sleep.
7. Ensure that your bed is comfortable
A comfortable bed can make all the difference to how well you sleep, so consider buying a new one if your bed feels too soft or too hard. You need to make sure that everything in your bedroom is as cosy and as comfortable, as possible, so that there are no distractions that might prevent you from sleeping.
8. Make a list of things that are troubling you
If you have a heavy workload, or you have things on your mind, then making a list will help you organise your thoughts and stop you from worrying at night. If you make a list of this you need to do tomorrow, you will find that you don’t lie in bed worrying about them.
9. Limit daytime naps
A daytime nap might seem to be a good way to catch up on some sleep, but it is likely to make it harder for you to sleep at night. If you do have one sleepless night, then it is better to keep awake for the whole of following day, so you will sleep more soundly at night.
10. Stop trying too hard to sleep
Try not to worry about the fact that you are not sleeping, or that will just keep you awake. Some insomniacs have found that if they try and stay awake, rather than try to fall asleep, they actually fall asleep faster!