Do you struggle to fall asleep, wake up too often during night, or not feel well-rested when you wake up in the morning? Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood and health. It is estimates that 1 in 3 adults suffers occasional bouts of insomnia, while for 1 in 10, it’s a chronic problem which can even contribute to serious health issues. Here are some things you can try to improve your sleep before you take sleeping pills:
1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day, including weekends. Choose a time when you’re most likely to feel sleepy.
2. Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Stop drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, chocolate and cola at least 6 hours before bed. While alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it reduces the quality of your sleep. Similarly, smokers should refrain from using tobacco products too close to bedtime.
3. Avoid late meals.
Finish dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid heavy, rich foods that easily cause indigestion.
4. Avoid naps.
Napping during the day can make it more difficult to fall sleep at night. If you have to nap, it’s better to keep it short and before 3pm.
Regular exercise can improve the symptoms of insomnia as long as it’s done at the right time. Aim for 30 minutes or more of activity every day or every second day at least three hours before bedtime.
6. Create a restful sleeping environment.
A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. Noise, light, and heat can interfere with sleep. Try using a sound machine or earplugs to hide outside noise, an open window or fan to keep the room cool, and blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out light.
7. Turn off screens one hour before bedtime.
The light emitted from TV, tablets, smartphones, and computers suppresses your body’s production of melatonin and can severely disrupt your sleep.
8. Try to relax before going to bed.
Have a warm bath, listen to quiet music or do some gentle yoga to relax the mind and body. Avoid vigorous exercise, big discussions or arguments, or catching up on work before bed.
9. Get out of bed when you can’t sleep.
Don’t try to force yourself to sleep. If you can’t sleep, Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then return to bed.
If the stress from work, family or school is keeping you awake at night, learning how to handle stress and to maintain a calm, positive outlook can help you sleep better at night.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are very effective for insomnia. Please call 08 9387 3389 to gain help from our kind and experienced practitioners.