When everyone else dreams of their new year celebrations, you are tossing and turning all night, scrolling your Instagram feed to strain your eyes, only to fall asleep.
If this is your everyday bedtime story, it’s time you should revise your sleep routine because you are among 10–30% of adults who have insomnia.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder that keeps you from falling asleep or stay in a sound sleep once you go to bed. This unwelcomed restrictions on sleep invite long, sleepless nights and stressed low-energy mornings.
Depending on your sleeping habits and the causes, insomnia can be short-term or long-term but cured easily if you include some natural remedies for insomnia in your treatment.
But how will you know that you’re an insomniac?
Symptoms of Insomnia
Until you ended up searching for the best cure for insomnia, you must have experienced some mild to moderate symptoms of insomnia, including:
- No sleep for long, long hours
- A short night’s sleep
- Waking up earlier than planned
- Long naps during the day
- Fatigue and grumpiness
- Lack of concentration
- Frequent memory loss
- Mood disturbances
Talking about how to cure insomnia, the remedy lies in determining the causes and eliminating them to improve your sleep cycle.
What Causes Insomnia?
The primary cause of insomnia is the habit of sleeping late that you develop with time. Once you start falling prey to late-night sleep, it becomes a habit, and things start worsening after a particular stage.
Some other causes include:
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical illness
- Medications for asthma, allergies, high blood pressure
Also, a small change in your sleep schedule can lead to sleepless nights. Even sleeping pills and prescriptions are waste when you are not in a mood to sleep.
So, how to get rid of insomnia? Is there any way out?
The answer is simple – adopt a healthy lifestyle and natural remedies for insomnia as sleeping pills enter your body with their side effects. For your quick reference, we have come up with ten natural ways to beat insomnia.
10 Tips to Beat Sleep Disorders
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Exercising regularly is among the science-backed techniques to treat insomnia. Considering your age limitations, exercising daily enhances your sleep quality and keeps you from waking up unplanned. Studies report a decrease in insomnia symptoms and the time it takes to fall asleep while increasing the sleep duration.
Also, while there’s no perfect time to exercise when it comes to individual preferences, but you should NOT exercise just before going to bed. The stimulatory effect of exercise can ruin the purpose and leave you sleepless. Therefore, you should either finish exercising 3 hours before you go to bed or during early morning hours.
Avoid eating before going to bed
Late night dinners or snacking just before sleeping can activate your digestive system and prevent you from falling asleep. Additionally, if you drink a lot of water or any other fluid before going to bed, it will increase the pressure on your bladder, keeping you awake in frequent bathroom visits.
One of the tips to beat insomnia is to avoid consuming alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. These stimulants affect your sleep quality in different ways. While nicotine and caffeine hinder in initiating sleep, alcohol makes you sleepy for a few hours and leads to frequent arousals and disturbed sleep.
Meditate for a few minutes before sleeping
Relaxing before bed is one of the natural cures for insomnia. Switch off from all worldly affairs and meditate for 10 minutes every day. It comprises several mind and body actions to instill a sense of relaxation. For people who are struggling to fight the negativity around themselves, meditation is the best therapy.
Meditation produces a relaxation response in the mind, which triggers mindfulness, a state of acceptance and awareness. It eliminates stress, anxiety, and depression caused due to several thoughts running simultaneously in your mind, and induces sound sleep.
Keep your gadgets away before bed
Prolonged screen time during sleeping hours has adverse effects on sleep quality. Electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, video games, emit blue light which delays your circadian rhythm and conceals melatonin levels. While the former tricks your brain to stay awake, the latter prevents you from relaxing.
Sleep experts suggest staying away from all the electronic devices an hour or two before going to bed. If you are a working professional and need more time switching off from your work, use blue-light blocking glasses while using your mobile or laptop.
Avoid eating heavy meals in the evening
Eating light food or low-carb food at dinner is the best cure for insomnia. Spicy or fatty foods are heavier for the stomach to digest and take more time in the process. Similarly, eating a large quantity of food in the evening or dinner requires your stomach to burn some extra calories. While big dinners are not disrupting for some individuals, others with digestive problems can run into severe complications.
Additionally, not eating heavy meals does not mean you should eat less or do not eat at all. An empty stomach is never the right choice when you are trying hard to fall asleep. A healthy diet – no more no less – is all you need to keep your sleep cycle intact.
Nap early or don’t
How to cure insomnia? Instead, you should think, how will you cure insomnia if you are not considerate for your naps. Late-night periods of sleep can be best compensated with naps, but at what time and for how long do you nap should be thought upon carefully. While short naps keep you alert, energetic, and productive during the day, longer naps make you tired and groggy.
Similarly, when you nap early during the day, it is refreshing. It even improves your work efficiency, but napping late during afternoon hours or in the evening can interfere with your bedtime. Hence, choose your napping time wisely or don’t nap at all.
Go to bed when you are exhausted
They say you should sleep early in the night. It doesn’t mean you go to bed at 7. You should go to bed only when you feel sleepy. Especially if you feel difficulty falling asleep, you should not pressurize yourself to sleep early. Your sleep cycle starts disturbing when you age because your behavioral complications hover over your mind and body.
If you force yourself to bed when not being sleepy, you keep awake for long until your actual sleeping time. This way, you’re actually training your brain to extend the time you take to fall asleep. Eventually, this becomes a habit, and instead of sleeping early, you end up staying awake the whole night.
Keep your environment sleep-friendly
When you search, “how to get rid of insomnia,” you already have the primary sleep-inducing trigger with you. The surrounding environment indicates your brain; it’s time to sleep, and you need rest. Make your near and dear things quiet when you’re about to go to bed. Turn off all the lights, the sounds, and everything else around you that catches your attention.
Make your bedroom conducive to fall asleep and stay in a sound sleep during the whole night. Adjust the room temperature and keep away your pets if they love making noise in the night. Try to make your surroundings as comfortable as you can when you go to bed.
Listen to soft and calming music
According to research, listening to 45 minutes of soothing music can trigger your sleep, allowing you to sleep faster, longer, without frequent arousals, and with proper rest. In contrast, people who don’t listen to relaxing music experience just the opposite.
Additionally, if you’re suffering from depression, slow classic and instrumental music can help you stay calm and eliminate all your worries. But if you’re prone to disruptions or sleeplessness in the night, white noise is for you. It keeps away the disturbing noises that keep you awake during your sleeping hours.
Keep your mindset positive
In the end, it’s always your mindset that motivates you to fall asleep. If you keep thinking, “I’m an insomniac. I cannot sleep properly. I’m sick,” it’s not going to get you to sleep. Instead, it will only affect your mindset, making it believe that you cannot sleep on time no matter how bad you try.
Keep yourself positive every time. Even when you’re reading a post on “how to cure insomnia,” try to adopt the tips mentioned. Develop thinking, “if I follow these steps wisely, I will be asleep soon.” Experiment this trend for a few days, and you will notice the change yourself.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Most of you might have misconceptions regarding ideal sleeping hours. While some of you feel satisfied in 5-6 hours of sleep, others feel tired even after sleeping for 10 hours at a stretch.
But, sleeping hours change as you grow old, and hence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended sleeping hours for every age group.
- 13-18 years –> 8-10 hours
- 18-60 years –> 7 or more hours
- 61-64 years –> 7-9 hours
- 65 years and older -> 7-8 hours
Why is it essential to complete your sleeping hours?
The amount of sleep you get every night regulates your mood during the entire day and contributes to your well-being. That said, disturbing your sleeping hours can result in anxiety, depression, sleep apnea, and other serious diseases that later take the form of insomnia.
Insomnia is not a disorder until you make it. A healthy lifestyle and a proper sleep schedule help you get sound sleep, keeping all diseases away. Even if you develop a habit of sleeping late, and eventually start experiencing sleepless nights, the cure for insomnia lies in naturally healing yourself.