Sound techniques to prevent insomnia like stopping bad habits, learning how to control stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can all play important roles in promoting a good night’s sleep. To combat insomnia and promote relaxation, heed the following advices.
Follow your sleep schedule – Constantly following regular times of sleep and wakefulness can make the body get used to feeling sleepy at the right time of night. If you can, follow the same sleeping time when trying to go to bed and the same waking time when rising up in the morning. Avoid taking naps in the daytime; if you cannot help but take a daytime nap, limit it to about 30 minutes or less and do it in the early afternoon.
Try to avoid staying in bed when you are not sleeping – Try to fight the urge to stay in bed if you have woken up and feel well rested. If you are in bed and need to sleep but cannot, do not just lie in bed for hours doing nothing but watching the clock or staring at the ceiling. If after 15 minutes you still cannot sleep, get out of bed and perform relaxing techniques like reading or meditation until you begin to feel sleepy.
Relax – If you have a sleeping partner, ask him or her to give you a massage or take a warm bath prior to going to bed. Performing nighttime rituals designed to make you sleepy like reading, yoga or soothing music can help you feel relax and sleepy. Acupuncture is also a good option for helping people to relax and sleep.
Create seclusion – Try to transform your sleeping area (bedroom) as contributive to sleep as possible. Transfer your computer or TV to another room. Shut the door in your room when going to keep out outside noise. Turn on your fan to drown out other outside noises. Try to make your bedroom as cozy as possible and shut out the room lights so you can sleep without interruption.
Exercise in the daytime – Perform regular exercises for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day preferably about five hours or more prior to your sleeping time. Exercising on a regular basis will add to the strength and health of your body and help you relax later on enabling you to get a good night’s sleep eventually.
Avoid stimulants at night – Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine are all stimulants that can prevent you from getting sleepy. Caffeinated drinks including soft drinks and coffee should not be taken in the afternoon. Smoking tobacco which contains nicotine can only make it hard for you to fall asleep.
Too much alcohol intake may enable you to sleep but this kind of sleep will not be deep and will not provide you true adequate sleep so instead of feeling refreshed when you wake up in the morning you may likely feel tired and still sleepy.
Avoid eating late-night meals and snacks – Refrain from eating foods that are loaded with saturated fat that may result in indigestion and/or heartburn. These kinds of foods take a while to digest and prevent the body to relax and fall asleep.
Relieve pain – A person in some kind of body pain will always find it hard to sleep. Restless leg syndrome and chronic pain are common conditions that can result in insomnia. You should consult with your doctor regarding any pain you may be feeling. If the doctor recommends pain medication make sure this pain reliever is truly effective for your pain and help you to get some sleep at night. You need to also know that certain prescription and over-the-counter painkillers can actually prevent you from sleeping at night. A lot of medicines contain caffeine and other kinds of stimulants that can result in insomnia.
Hide the time – You can use your clock to help you wake up in the morning. Other than that its is much better to hide timepieces in your bedroom as it can hold you back to getting back to sleep faster when you wake up at night.
Be aware of the causes of your insomnia – Knowing if another condition is the one causing your sleep problem can help you find the right mode of treatment for your insomnia. Lots of insomnia cases are the result of a medical condition, mood disorders or stress. You need to confer with your doctor regarding any underlying health issues that may be causing your sleeping difficulty. More often than not when these problems have been addressed, your sleeping habits go back to normal.
Brent Keime, LAc, MSTOM
4410 Lamont Street
San Diego, CA 92109