Battling Insomnia? Here Are 10 Things You Can Do To Sleep Better

insomnia black couple sleeping

Insomnia can affect one’s quality of life. Most people experience sleep issues in their life. We all have those nights when we find it hard to sleep or have short-lasting sleep. Not only does the quantity of sleep matter, but the quality also matters

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

While there are no official guidelines about how much sleep one needs because everyone is different. On average, an adult needs around seven to nine hours a night. Children need 9 to 13 hours while toddlers and babies need about 12 to 17 hours.  

What Really is Insomnia?

Insomnia is described as having some or all of the following symptoms:

  1. Difficulty getting to and staying asleep, or waking up too early or several times at night
  2. Feeling tired after waking up
  3. Finding it hard to nap during the day even though you’re tired
  4. Difficulty sleeping despite good conditions for sleep, such as a comfortable bed in a quiet, darkened room
  5. Daytime activities being affected by lack of sleep e.g lack of concentration

Barriers To Sleep and What Causes Insomnia

Many different factors can influence sleep such as:

  1. Poor sleeping  environment-  a bedroom that’s too hot, too cold, or too noisy, an uncomfortable bed
  2. A poor sleep routine or a partner who has a different sleep routine from your own
  3. Lifestyle factors – such as jet lag, shift work or drinking alcohol or caffeine before going to bed, recreational drugs like cocaine or ecstasy
  4. Certain Medications – such as some antidepressants, epilepsy medicines, and steroid 
  5. Being physically inactive
  6. Anxiety, worry, and emotional distress
  7. Physical health conditions – such as heart problems, other sleep disorders, and long-term pain
  8. Mental health conditions – such as depression and schizophrenia

Ten Things To Do About Insomnia

There are several  things you can try, they include:

  1.  Keep regular sleep hours

Going to bed when you feel tired and getting up at roughly the same time each day helps teach your body to sleep better

  1. Confront sleeplessness and Keep the bedroom for sleeping

If you can’t sleep, get up and leave to another room and do something relaxing e.g take a warm bath or listen to calm music for a bit, and return to bed when you feel sleepier.

  1. Write down your worries

If worries keep you from sleeping, make a list of them and how you can solve them before going to bed

  1. Increase your physical activity

Being physically active could help you sleep better in the long term 

  1. Reduce light and noise at night time

Light affects the body’s internal clock and noise can also keep you awake. Stay away from digital screens e.g phones and tablets, put off the light or make use of ear plugs to prevent noise

  1. Keep a steady temperature in your bedroom

If your room is either very warm or cold, your sleep may be affected. The room temperature should be comfortably warm.

  1. Have a bedtime snack but avoid stimulants

Hunger can affect your sleep. Try having a light bedtime snack, warm milk, or a hot drink before bed. However, avoid stimulants e.g coffee, alcohol before sleep

  1. Know how naps affect you

Daytime naps help some sleep better at night, while others sleep less after daytime naps. Practice what works for you

  1. Try mental and relaxing exercises

These can include;

  • Remembering the lines of a song or poem
  • Make alphabetical lists, for example of names or countries
  • Reliving a favorite experience
  • Simple breathing exercises
  1. Speak to a Professional

A professional can help find the root cause, prescribe short -term medications, or refer to a sleep specialist or psychologist for further evaluation

In Conclusion:

Long-term sleep problems can lead to a poor social and unhealthy life, so do not hesitate to practice any of the above tips