Struggling With Insomnia? Sleep Better With These Professional Tips
Are you watching the clock go ‘tick-tock’ again? If you’re experiencing insomnia or are having trouble getting to sleep, you may need to change your habits and make little alterations here and there to enhance your sleep experience. No one likes to accidently wake up in the middle of the night and doing this can make you tired and grumpy the next day.
We recently caught up with Dr. Paula Basilio (Chiropractor), who often advises her patients on how to sleep better, and we came up with the following professional tips to help you get back to sleep with greater ease.
First though, why is insomnia and trouble sleeping such a problem?
Does it really matter if you can’t get to sleep or wake up several times through the night? The short answer is yes.
While waking up in the middle of the night is normal, with most of us waking up about two or three time a night, what’s not normal is if you can’t get back to sleep. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 40 million Americans suffer from chronic (longer than 3 months) sleep disorders per year, with an additional 20 million experiencing sporadic sleep problems. Apart from being frustrating, this lack of sleep – commonly called “sleep maintenance insomnia” – can actually affect your health and stop your body from fully healing and regenerating throughout the night.
Some studies also suggest a link between sleep deprivation and increased rates of anxiety and depression.
While we tend to get frustrated looking at the clock, toss and turn endlessly, or finally admit defeat and turn the TV on, there are better ways to address sleep problems. The following sleeping tips will hopefully lead to longer, more relaxed sleep night in and night out.
Don’t watch the clock
This one is all about psychology. Face your alarm clock to the wall and whatever you do, don’t look at your phone! By focussing on the time that’s passing, as you lay there wide awake, you increase your levels of stress and anxiety, which could further keep you awake. Also, the exposure to light from your clock or phone can make you feel more alert.
Take the time to settle in and get comfortable
Before bed, make sure you visit the toilet to urinate. There is nothing worse than getting up half way through the night to go to the bathroom and then not being able to get back to sleep as a result. Your bedroom should also be dark and cool, and your bedding should be just right.
Address any health concerns
If you suffer from chronic pain conditions such as lower back pain or neck pain, you may want to consult with a chiropractor or your local G.P on ways to address the pain. Any pain or discomfort will only make it harder for you to get a good night sleep. Also, chronic pain conditions may indicate you have an underlying health concern that may need to be addressed.
Relax your muscles, mind and breath
Try muscle relaxation exercises, similar to a light yoga/meditation workout. Focus on the different muscle groups in your body and be mindful to identify areas of tension that you can release. Meditation practice clears your mind of daily stress and distractions and allows you to get to bed with a ‘clean slate’. Some of the latest studies out indicate that mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia while improving sleep.
Stick to your normal schedule every day
Avoid sleeping in, midday siestas, and unusual bed times. By giving your body a routine, you setup beneficial behaviours that turn into positive habits with time. Sure, you may have had a late night last night, but the best advice we can give is to stick to your normal routine thus increasing your body’s need for sleep. This should help ensure a better night sleep, as you will be tired and more likely to dose right off.
Sleeping Tips for menopause
During perimenopause you may often wake up in the middle of the night due to hot flashes and night sweats. One suggestion here is to configure your bed and blankets for maximum comfort and temperature control. Place a fan near your bed and add several layers of blankets that you can either put on or take off depending on how you feel. This may seem like a minor action, but it often helps to keep you in control of your sleep patterns.
With all these tips, hopefully your sleep will improve no time. We know that sleep deprivation is a huge problem that affects may people. A combination of these simple actions may contribute to an improvement in your sleep patterns and thus an improvement in your overall health and wellbeing.
Good night and sleep well.