Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes suffers to experience trouble when falling asleep, or staying asleep. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, one in three people suffer from this disorder in some degree. More commonly, insomnia is seen in elderly people, and is twice as likely to affect women than men. This may be due to increased rates of anxiety and depression in women, which can be associated with insomnia. Though the disorder affects sleep, the effects last throughout the day with suffers often unable to focus on tasks. It is important to recognise insomnia, and work towards overcoming it. Here are three things that may assist with your sleep, and lead you to having a better night’s rest.
The first and perhaps most important aspect of sleep is the environment around you. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the bedroom environment can have significant effects on sleep quality and quantity. Assess your sleeping situation, and consider if it can be improved. Light has a large impact on sleep, so ensure that the room is sufficiently dark during times of rest. Temperature is also a huge factor, with the optimum level unique to each person.
Finally, your mattress and pillows will ultimately determine the position in which you sleep. Ensure that your pillows are supportive, and your mattress free of any lumps. You may have to purchase some upgrades, perhaps splurging on a memory foam mattress or some expensive pillows; since we spend one third of our lives asleep, it is a worthwhile purchase!
While this point may scare some people away, it is no secret that staying active can significantly improve your ability to fall asleep at night. This has been scientifically proven, with many contributing factors discovered, including lowering of stress levels and regulation of body temperature. Taking care to participate in regular exercise, therefore, is a way to assist with any sleeping issues you may have. This exercise does not have to be in a sweaty gym, or running 10km a day (although if this is your thing, enjoy!), and can simply consist of a morning or afternoon walk.
Dancing, swimming or even rollerskating are all other options to consider, so don’t be afraid to get creative with staying active. Participating in a sport is a great way to stay consistent in your exercise routine. The Department of Health and Human Services has some great information about this, so check out their website if you’re interested.
Have a Routine.
This may not be possible for everyone, especially those who do shift work, but having a sleeping schedule can help program your body to know when it’s time to sleep. For one week, try going to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning. See how you feel, and if it has made an improvement then incorporate a sleep schedule into your everyday life. If you do not see any changes, consider adopting one of the other tips mentioned, or see a healthcare professional.
There we have it, three ways to get a better nights sleep! Try them all, or pick one or two and assess your progress. Remember, if you have suffered from insomnia and these tips have not shown any improvement, consult your doctor. Your sleep is very important, and any struggles should be recognised and addressed. Good Luck.