Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that interferes with your ability to get quality rest. Typical insomnia symptoms include difficulty going to sleep, trouble staying asleep, and waking up still feeling tired. The average adult requires seven to eight hours of sleep every night. When you’re unable to get enough rest, it impacts your energy levels, mood, and overall quality of life.
Luckily, it’s possible to reverse insomnia symptoms. With patience and consistency, you can rid yourself of insomnia and get a good night’s rest. Try these eight natural ways to cure insomnia.
Causes of Insomnia
Whether your insomnia is brought on by other conditions or poor lifestyle choices, there are some common causes. Often, adults experience acute or short-term insomnia. This can occur due to high stress levels or traumatic experiences. Unlike long-term insomnia, acute insomnia lasts for days or weeks.
If you’ve experienced insomnia symptoms for months or years, you’re experiencing long-term or chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia can occur for many reasons, including:
Pressure from work, activities, or school can cause trouble sleeping. Stress from the loss of a loved one or other traumatic events can also cause insomnia.
Your body runs on circadian rhythms, which are similar to an alarm clock. Staying up late or an irregular sleep cycle interrupts your circadian rhythms, making it difficult to get proper rest.
You can also experience an interruption of your circadian rhythms with a varying work schedule. If your job constantly changes your hours or if you travel to different time zones, your sleep pattern will suffer.
Poor Sleep Etiquette
In addition to work and your everyday schedules, there’s a lot of things you can do that impact your sleep. For instance, doing work in your bed can make sleeping difficult. Eating certain foods before bed, taking naps, sleeping on uncomfortable surfaces, and using electronics have similar impacts.
Eating Before Bed
Eating or drinking caffeine-rich items will keep you awake for hours after ingestion. Sugary foods and beverages also keep you awake. Stimulants are used for energy boosts. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol also defer your ability to sleep. Although alcohol may help you fall asleep, you won’t reach deep levels of sleep.
As you age, you become less active, making you sedimentary. Casually sitting around also makes you more likely to take a nap, which disrupts your sleep cycle.
Aging also makes most people more sensitive to their environment. Noises may wake up and find it hard to fall asleep again. They’re also prone to illness with pain that keeps them awake at night. Taking medication for an illness often have insomnia as a side effect.
Ways to Combat Insomnia
1. Avoid stimulants and alcohol before bed
Taking stimulants can last for up to 24 hours. Try avoiding them and see how well you sleep. Avoiding alcohol also helps you get deeper, quality rest.
2. Refrain from taking naps
Although naps help you get a bit more rest, they hinder your ability to sleep through the night. If you feel tired, do your best to stay awake until your bedtime.
3. Minimize your stress levels
Excess stress makes it difficult to relax and go to bed. If you experience anxiety, try some stress-reducing techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or deep muscle relaxation. These stress-relief methods calm your body and mind down enough to sleep through the night.
4. Stop late-night snacking
When you eat, you activate your digestive tract and keep yourself awake. People suffering from heartburn and other reflux disorders worsen insomnia when they eat before bed. Avoid eating and drinking before bed to avoid frequent bathroom trips, which also disrupt sleep.
5. Go to sleep at the same time every day
It may be tempting to sleep in on your off days, but this will interfere with circadian rhythms. Instead, do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time to improve sleep.
Exercising helps exert energy and get quality rest. This is also an effective stress reliever. Regularly exercising at least three hours before bed helps you relax your mind and body.
7. Customize your lighting
It’s possible your room lighting is hindering your sleep. Be sure to dim your lights and close your blinds so excess light doesn’t interrupt your rest.
8. Seek cognitive therapy
If you can’t find the problem, a specialist can help you identify the root cause of your insomnia. Once established, a specialist can set individual sleep goals among other solutions.
Everyone deserves a good night’s rest. By making some healthy lifestyle changes, you can cure your insomnia. If you use these techniques and your insomnia persists, seek professional help. You may need a prescription or medical solution.