Do you miss your childhood days when you were able to sleep peacefully for long hours? You cannot bring back those carefree childhood days, but don’t worry, you can sleep peacefully again by solving your sleep problems! First, you need to identify the culprit and what’s troubling your sleep, and then you can move towards finding the solution, whether it is exercise, a change in lifestyle, or taking online sleeping tablets.
What is a sleeping problem?
Insomnia is the term used for regular sleeping problems and it usually heals as you make changes to your sleeping habits. But how do you know that what you are suffering from is a form of insomnia?
Insomnia will be the culprit for your regular sleeping problems if you experience the following on a day-to-day basis:
- Cannot fall asleep easily
- Wake up earlier than you need to and cannot sleep after that
- Wake up frequently during the night
- Cannot sleep after waking up in the middle of the night and have to lie awake
- Instead of feeling fresh and energized upon waking up, feel tired and sleepy
- Even when you are feeling tired, but cannot nap during the day
- Find it difficult to concentrate and perform daily activities as you feel tired and irritable
If insomnia lasts for less than 3 months, then it is termed short-term insomnia, while long-term insomnia is when it lasts for longer than 3 months. You need not go for online sleeping tablets on the first try, but you should try other things first.
What is the normal sleep duration?
Still unsure whether the culprit is insomnia or not? Then learning about normal sleeping needs and comparing your sleep cycle against them helps to identify the cause.
- Adults: 7 to 9 hours
- Children: 9 to 13 hours
- Toddlers: 12 to 17 hours
If you constantly feel tired and sleepy during the day, then not getting enough sleep might be the reason behind it.
Causes of insomnia
The next thing is to identify the reasons behind your sleep problems, as overcoming these reasons would help to ultimately overcome insomnia and other sleep problems.
The most common factors contributing to disturbed sleep are:
- Depression, anxiety, or stress
- Noise disturbance
- Sleeping in a very cold or hot room
- Jet lag
- Using alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine
- The shift in the work routine
- Sleeping in an uncomfortable bed, pillow, or blanket
- Using recreational drugs such as ecstasy or cocaine
If you are following the trail by first looking at what insomnia is, then comparing your sleep cycle with the average amount of sleep that you should get to identify whether or not you are suffering from insomnia, and finally looking at the causes of sleep disturbances, you must realize that it’s time to look at ways to treat insomnia. Changing your sleeping habits can be beneficial for getting better sleep and overcoming insomnia.
Let’s look at the things you should try to do and the things you should avoid to improve the quality of your sleep.
Do’s and Don’ts
The things that you should do are:
- Make exercise a regular part of your routine
- Set up a schedule for going to bed and waking up and follow it every day
- Make your bed, pillow, and mattress as comfortable as possible
- Take a bath or read a book at least 1 hour before going to bed to relax the mind and body
- Make your bedroom quiet and dark, use blinds, curtains, and eye masks to block off unwanted light and ear plugs to block off disturbing noise
Here are the things you should avoid to improve sleep quality:
- Avoid taking a heavy meal just before going to bed
- Even if you feel tired, try not to take a nap during the day
- For at least 6 hours before retiring, avoid drinking alcohol, coffee, or tea or smoking
- Do not drive or do other tasks if you feel sleepy
- If you have a bad night’s sleep, do not try to force yourself to sleep, instead, stick to your regular sleeping schedule
- Keep your smartphone and other smart devices out of your bedroom and do not watch TV before going to bed as the bright light can disturb the sleep
- For at least 4 hours before going to bed, avoid doing exercise
Lifestyle changes to overcome insomnia
In addition to doing and avoiding the things mentioned above, let’s discuss some of them in detail to help you adapt them to your daily life.
Making exercise a part of your daily routine is one of the best ways to overcome insomnia. You know that doing exercise improves overall health and helps maintain weight, but do also note that exercise also improves the quality of sleep, as research claims.
Try to make the workout a part of your early morning routine, as doing exercise makes you feel energized and awake by releasing endorphins. Try to avoid doing exercise for at least 4 hours before going to bed.
If you practice changing your sleep hygiene and improving your sleep habits can help deal with insomnia and other sleeping problems. Make a regular sleeping schedule and follow it every day to sleep and wake up at the same time. These regular schedules help the body to develop a habit of sleeping during those hours.
Another helpful tip is to avoid taking a nap during the day. This helps the body to feel more tired when it is bedtime.
Sticking to healthy eating and drinking habits can improve the quality of sleep. A healthy diet is very advantageous to improve the health and sleep cycle, but avoid taking big meals at least a few hours before retiring.
A healthy diet also involves avoiding those foods and drinks which could affect the sleep quality. This includes avoiding drinking caffeine after mid-afternoon and alcohol after dinner, as they make it hard for you to fall asleep and affect your sleep quality.
Try including those foods and drinks in your diet, especially before going to bed that improve the sleep quality, this includes drinking chamomile tea or warm milk before bedtime. They relax the brain and help you to fall asleep faster and more easily.
Create Relaxing conditions
Light and noise regulation help to improve sleep quality and induce peaceful sleep. To block unwanted light, use blinds, curtains, or a sleep mask. Don’t take mobile phones and other smart devices in the bedroom and avoid watching TV before retiring, as light from electronic gadgets makes it harder to sleep. Try to relax the body one hour before bedtime, listen to music, read a book, or take a bath.
Make your bedroom and bed comfortable by introducing a soft mattress, covers, and pillows, and dim the lights sometime before going to bed. You can use earplugs to block disturbing noises.
Get Medical help
If these lifestyle changes and healthy activities don’t improve your sleep quality, then you can move towards medications. It is good to see a doctor and let them try different treatments, such as behavioural therapy and sleep aid to learn better sleep habits. It is good to buy online sleeping tablets from Super Meds, such as Zopiclone, and Zolpidem (Ambien).