Insomnia is a problem that affects millions of people regularly. Almost every single person reading this has had “sleepless” nights before, but that isn’t what it’s like. Insomnia is sleepless nights, every night, for long periods of time, and can have a massive impact on the sufferer’s quality of life.
Sleep is crucial to the body, and it allows us to heal our physical aspects and process our memories and thoughts from the day. It replenishes our brain chemicals, which plays a big role in how we feel and experience the world around us.
As you can see, insomnia takes away all of those good things, and is therefore a serious affliction. There are a few ways to combat insomnia, such as modifying your diet by finding health foods online or in a supermarket, and using them to replace the processed or caffeinated foods and drinks in the evening, but we have compiled a list of 5 ways to beat sleeplessness over the long-term.
Studies have shown that exercising up to 150 minutes a week can have a serious positive impact on sleep patterns, and that’s a great way to remedy the insomnia problem early on. However, exercise requires energy, and often people with insomnia just don’t have the stamina or willpower to hit the gym. In those situations, extremely light exercise can help build up to heavier and more hard-hitting workouts, in the same way physical rehabilitation works. Starting out small, the smaller exercises will still exhaust and work out the sleepless person, but as they get exhausted, they sleep more, and then have more energy to work out more, and so on.
Natural remedies are a great way to combat sleeplessness and insomnia, because you don’t need prescription medication or many doctor’s visits to diagnose insomnia to get the prescription needed. Natural remedies promote natural sleep, which is the best sleep for you when you are missing out at night. Drinking tart cherry juice before bed is a good way to promote a natural slumber, as the amino acids in cherry juice convert to melatonin, a brain chemical responsible for sleeping. Another way is to eat a banana, as it contains muscle relaxants which can help you drift off into a nice, natural doze.
Something many of us are guilty of is playing on our phones or our laptops in bed.
This can seem innocent enough, however your brain recognises areas of your house using context databases. If the context of your bed is “a place to do work” or “a place to play on my phone” instead of “a place to sleep”, then your brain won’t naturally begin to shut down as you get ready for bed. Instead, it will wake ups, as the context of the room suggests that you’re there to work or socialise. This can be a problem, especially for sufferers of insomnia, because they are lying in bed, tossing and turning, and they decide to get out their phone to pass the time.
Many people notice themselves sleeping less and less as they get older, and move out of home, and this isn’t just because of higher levels of worry (although that could certainly contribute), it’s also because when we are young, our parents often set a “bedtime” that we have to be in bed by. This gives our body a routine to work by, and it means that every day, at 8pm, our brains would know it was time for sleep. Implementing a sleep schedule as an adult can drastically improve your sleeping at night, and your energy levels during the day.
This can’t be stressed enough, but medication should be a last resort for anyone suffering from insomnia. There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking medication to sleep, however you run the risk of becoming dependant on the medication to sleep at all, which will only worsen your condition. Medication should be used at the advice of your doctor, and not anyone else. Medical professionals understand the addictive nature of some of these medications, and are the best people to talk to if you have any enquiries.
Healthy sleep can be achieved, even if it feels like forever since a good night’s sleep came your way. Remember to also drink lots of water, and eat healthily, as these things can both have a huge impact on how resting your night’s sleep is.