At some point in your life, you will experience Insomnia. Difficulty with sleep is a problem many adults complain about. Sleep disorders are mostly as a result of stress-triggers, but a host of many things could cause them.
Chances are you ran to the doctor for a prescription to help you sleep better. This is the wrong way to go except you suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea – which is a severe condition. Where Insomnia is concerned, medication and the use of drugs, legal or illicit, should not be the first option. Like so many health-related issues, the occurrence of insomnia can be treated with totally natural approaches. Here are 10 ways to cure insomnia naturally.
Fix Your Diet
The first red flag here has to be the use of drugs. Rather than blaming the use of drugs and medication alone, here are so many diet-related issues that you should keep in check.
Caffeine is a stimulant. It keeps your brain active and can disturb your sleep. Alcohol, on the other hand, will help you sleep fast. However, alcohol-induced sleep goes by so fast that you wake up feeling like you never slept at all – call it a stupor, if you will. To top it all off, caffeine and alcohol are diuretics. This means that they will cause you to pee in the middle of the night.
Watch out for other caffeine sources like chocolate, tea, pain relievers, weight loss pills, energy drinks and soda.
Nicotine has a direct effect on brain neurotransmitters that greatly influences mood and sleep. It’s a stimulant that makes it extremely difficult to fall and stay asleep. Studies even show that nicotine increases the risk of insomnia and many other sleep disorders. Breaking your smoking habit may be difficult but with the right help, you can overcome it. Quitting smoking may just be the key to good sleep.
No Carbs Before Bed
Two hours before sleep is the deadline for heavy sugar or carbohydrate snacking. They don’t digest easily and can greatly disturb your sleep. If you need to eat that late, eat small portions of food. Examples of food that encourage sleep are milk, turkey and nuts.
No Liquids Before Bed
Three hours before sleep should mark the end of heavy fluid intake. This would include anything from juice to water. Most of your liquid intake should be done during the daytime, not at nighttime. Drinking too much fluid at night could disrupt your sleep. It takes longer to fall asleep again after waking up in the middle of the night.
Reduce Stress Factors
Sure, the world is filled with stressful activities. Work is the biggest stress factor for any employed adult. However, there are also minute details in your lifestyle that also contribute to your stress. If said stress is giving you insomnia, then it’s time to act. For example, make sure you are getting regular exercise (cardio is great for burning off stress). Talking about your stress can help too.
Refrain From Blue Light
In this 21st century, we are constantly in contact with blue light. Our smartphones, tablets, computer screens, TVs, e-readers, digital clocks all emit blue light. These contribute to disruptive sleep because they put a strain on the eyes—strained eyes can induce stress on your whole person. Reduce your exposure to blue light by minimising screen time, most especially before bedtime. And if you’ve managed to cover the blue light emitters in your room, use a blackout curtain to block out the ambient lights from outside.
Stop Watching The Clock
Clock-watching is a problem many workers suffer from. The reason you may be experiencing sleep disorders maybe because you stare at the clock often. Constantly watching the seconds, minutes and hours of the day pass by increases your anxiety which then puts a strain on your mind. Eventually, you’re stressed, and when bedtime comes, you’re unable to sleep. Rather than watch the clock, take up a hobby of reading or doing some light chores, or taking some warm milk to help you fall asleep. Anything eventful you can do to pass the time will help you sleep better.
Keep Noise Volumes Down
Your bedroom needs to be as quiet as possible if you’re trying to overcome your insomnia and get some good sleep. Sounds from outside your home like traffic, animal sounds, car honks, and bell tolls can be very distracting. You can bypass these sounds by wearing earplugs at night. You can also play calming music to mask external sounds. Studies back that white noise – i.e. familiar sounds – can greatly mask unwanted sounds and ease sleep.
Exercise & Meditate
Regular exercise can reduce the risk of insomnia. It also helps you get some good sleep. Aerobic activity done daily can greatly improve sleep by enhancing your respiration. Exercises you can do are cycling, swimming and running. Doing these exercises 3 hours before bedtime can relieve stress and help you fall asleep faster. Meditation as well does a great deal to improve sleep.
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Practice Good Sleeping Habits
Sometimes, the cause of insomnia may just be an irregular sleeping posture or bad sleeping conditions. Here’s what you should do to sleep better at night:
Pillows were invented for a reason, you know. Those fluffy plump things can help reduce pain-induced insomnia. So, if low back pain stops you from sleeping well at night, then prop a pillow against your back. Also, ensure that your mattress is supportive enough to lessen your back pain.
You should practise good sleeping posture. Lie on your back if you have trouble breathing. If you have chronic back pain, lie on your side, and swing both legs together – don’t bend at the waist. If you suffer from neck pain, keep your neck at a neutral position. This means that your neck should be in proper alignment with the rest of your body.
Chances are your allergies may be interfering with your sleep. Keep tit allergy-proof by washing the sheets and pillowcases. Ensure the covers are hypoallergenic at all times. If you can, keep your pets out of the bedroom so they don’t litter it with fur and dander – this could cause nasal irritation.
Find Out More
As a life coach and therapist, getting a better night’s sleep is just one of the many issues I help my clients with. If your insomnia has become particularly bothersome (especially if it’s due to stress or other life events) then I may be able to help. I am currently offering virtual life coach sessions so get in touch if you are interested.
Want a better night’s sleep? Try The Paula Meir Sleep Hypnosis. Now with 50% off when you use the code SLEEPWELL50.