Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND
Insomnia can range from mild to chronic. Mild insomnia can happen if you are feeling stressed about relationships or if you are having problems with finances or trouble on your job.
Insomnia that is ongoing and continues to prevent sleep needs to be evaluated. Sometimes, insomnia is brought on by side effects of a medication or by a chronic hormonal imbalance.
Whatever type of insomnia you might have or the reason behind it, you need a good night sleep in order to be able to function the next day. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to poor ability to function at home or work and it is been linked to numerous health problems.
Following these 7 tips can break the cycle of sleeplessness and get you back on track so that you get a good night rest.
1.- Shut off your thoughts. We are so busy during the day that it is easy to push aside thoughts of things that weigh on us. But at night, when our body is still, our mind often gets busy fretting about whatever is going on in our lives.
If the anxious thoughts start, do not entertain them. Imagine yourself shoving all the worries into a closet and barring the door. If that still does not help, get out of bed and meditate. Do something that relaxes you - but do not start watching television .
2.- Avoid eating a heavy meal right before you go to bed. Overeating can cause you to wake up throughout the night.
3.- Make sure your room is a sleep haven. Have a comfortable bed. Keep the room dark and block out any noises that might disturb you. Keep your room temperature at a level that you find comfortable to sleep in.
4.- Exercise - but not right before you go to sleep. Exercise can stimulate and invigorate your body - the opposite of what you want before bed.
5.- Set your internal clock by maintaining a bedtime schedule. Go to bed at a set hour. If you do this regularly, your body will begin to crave to sleep at that time.
6.- Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed - and do not smoke, either - because nicotine is a stimulant that will keep you awake or cause you to wake up once you have dozed off.
7.- Have a warm, relaxing bath before bed. Soak in the tub and listen to relaxing music while the water massages your muscles.