The mobile displayed the time as 11.45 pm. The alarm is set for 7.30 am, so Mr. Surve thought while keeping down his phone that there’s more than enough time for him to get an adequate night’s sleep. The second moment he got comfortable with his pillow, the battle began. His mind started chasing and all of a sudden he was feeling restless and worried about the next day’s job list. Well this is a battle Mr. Surve fights almost every night. Even after spending several hours in office, running errands, beating the daily traffic, he has a hard time shutting up at night. And it’s nothing but the outbreak of insomnia.
Do you struggle the same way to get to sleep no matter how tired you are? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours? Then you are most certainly facing insomnia. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, taking a toll on your energy, mood, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems. Insomnia can be faced if you are having a temporary interruption of your routine but if it turns out to be chronic than it is more likely caused by unhealthy daytime and bedtime habits, shift work, uncomfortable sleep environment, or stress – or a combination of these factors. But you don’t have to lose all hope. Making few changes to your lifestyle, habits, and sleep environment can put a stop to the sleepless night and help you to get a good night’s sleep.
Fix your sleep environment:
Noise, light peeping through the window, an uncomfortable mattress or pillow can all contribute to disturbed sleep. Your sleeping room should be quiet, dark and sleeping on your bed should make you feel comfortable.
Keep your bed only for the purpose of relaxing and sleeping. If you do other things in your bed, like work, use laptop or watch TV, you get away from that association with your bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep, do not lay in bed because it teaches your body that the bed is a place to be awake. Instead take a beanbag or chair and try listening to soft music or an audiobook. When you feel sleepy again, go back to your bed.
Things to avoid before bedtime:
Avoid drinking too much liquid in the evening. Waking up at night to go to the bathroom becomes a bigger problem as it tends to disturb sleep.
Consumption of alcohol before bed interferes with your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up during the night.
Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening (late workers can finish dinner at office only) and avoid heavy, rich foods before two hours of bed. Spicy or acidic foods can cause stomach trouble and heartburn which can wake you during the night.
Your phone is a big no-no at bedtime, thanks to its sleep-disrupting blue light. Resist peeking and fiddling with it every now and then. The social sites, games, various apps take away lot of precious sleeping time. If you have to check time, prefer a table clock.
Keep your mind and body active:
Make yourself comfortable while you are lying down. Start with your feet, tense the muscles as tightly as you can, hold for few seconds and then relax. Continue to do this for every muscle group in your body and you will feel more relaxed.
Practice meditation. Simply sit or lie quietly and focus on your natural breathing and how your body feels in the moment. Allow thoughts and emotions to come and go, always returning to focus on breathing.
To maximize sleep benefits, try to exercise regularly for about 30 minutes. Regular exercise not only relieves stress but improves the symptoms of insomnia.
Tackle stress and worries:
If the stress of managing work or family is keeping you awake at night, learn how to handle stress in a productive way. Get help with stress management. A positive outlook can help you sleep better at night.
Talk over your worries with a friend or loved one during the day. It is one of the best ways to relieve stress and put an end to bedtime worrying. He or she may not fix your problems but you can feel lot relaxed after sharing what’s in your mind.