Latest posts by Dr. Dan Jensen (see all)
- Tips for Battling Insomnia - February 5, 2020
- What Happens if You Go Days without Sleep? - February 5, 2020
- Is there a Connection between Sleep and Inflammation? - January 31, 2020
Have you been struggling to fall asleep at night, or do you wake up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep? The body needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each and every night, and if you’re consistently sleeping less than 6 hours per night, you have insomnia. Don’t let sleeplessness get the better of you, but follow these tips for battling insomnia and getting a great night’s sleep every night.
Negative Effects of Insomnia
Anyone suffering from insomnia knows the lack of sleep leads to a lot of negative effects. Insomnia can lead to moodiness and irritability, and even increase your risk of depression or anxiety. Insomnia will cause daytime drowsiness, trouble focusing, and lethargy, and you’ll likely feel unwell. If you’re not sleeping enough, your immune system isn’t functioning as well as it should, and you’re far more likely to suffer from an illness. Poor sleep affects both your mental and physical health.
Forming Good Sleep Habits
If you want to fight your insomnia and sleep soundly through the night, forming good sleep habits is the best way to start. Develop consistent routines and stick to them, even on weekends. Find the natural sleep and wake times that your body responds to the best, and honor those. Always go to bed at the same time, and get up and the same time, and help your body’s natural sleep cycles help you sleep. If you miss a night of sleep, don’t go to bed earlier or get up later the next night, but stick with your schedule, and train your body to sleep during those hours. Compensating by staying in bed longer the next morning will train your body to sleep poorly the following night, so keep your wake times consistent regardless of how much you’ve slept.
When it comes to getting enough sleep, having good sleep hygiene will help you as your form your nightly habits. Start by lowering the temperature of your room. The ideal sleeping temperature is around 60 – 67 degrees. If your room is any warmer than this, you’re more likely to wake up in the night. Your blanket should be comfortable and warm, and just the right thickness that you won’t wake up from being too hot or too cold. Another part of sleep hygiene is to avoid food or drink that could disrupt your sleep cycle, such as drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol in the evening, or eating a heavy meal right before bed. Finally, avoid electronics in the evenings, and keep your TV and phone outside of your bedroom. The blue light from these devices can halt your body’s production of melatonin, signaling to your body that it’s still daytime, and making it more difficult to sleep.
Another way to help you sleep soundly and battle insomnia is by practicing relaxation exercises in the evening. You can learn some deep breathing exercises, do some stretches or gentle yoga, or practice progressive muscle relaxation. You can try meditation or guided imagery, and focus on slowly relaxing all the parts of your body and releasing tension from your muscles.
Get Up to Break the Cycle of Insomnia
Are you lying in bed unable to sleep, and feeling yourself getting more anxious and stressed with each passing moment? Get up to break the cycle of insomnia, and don’t lay in bed stressing. This could lead your body to create an association with laying in bed and being stressed. Rather than lay awake in bed, get up if you’ve been awake for more than 20 minutes in the middle of the night. Go out to your living room or kitchen, and do a restful activity, such as a relaxation exercise or reading a book. When you feel sleepy, go back to bed and enjoy falling asleep without being stressed.
Sound Sleep Medical
If you’ve been struggling with insomnia, our team at Sound Sleep Medical is here to help you find your way back to a great night’s sleep. We’ll perform a sleep test to rule out any sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and help you find way to break the cycle of insomnia to get the sleep you deserve.