Everyone has found themselves wide awake at 3 am in the morning. It’s still pitch black outside, the birds haven’t sprung into their morning chorus yet, and everyone else in your household is enjoying their trip to the Land of Nod. So why is it that you find yourself tossing and turning, fidgeting in your bed and unable to get the much-needed sleep you know you require to be able to function the next day. Before you know it, your alarm is beeping and the new day has arrived, only you know that you have already been awake for the past four hours with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company. Luckily, for most of us, this is a momentary affliction. Our insomnia goes away on its own after a few nights, and we are free to enjoy our sleep once again.
For some less fortunate than ourselves, insomnia becomes a chronic condition that leads to an inability to function during the daytime, mood swings, depression, and fatigue. If you are suffering, it’s time that you did something about it. As with most conditions, it’s vital that you discover the root cause of your insomnia and go about fixing it. Take a look at these four strategies to banish your insomnia for good.
Blue Light Ban
While you might think that mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed for an hour before you go to bed is helping you relax and switch off, nothing could be further from the truth. Staring at a smartphone screen or tablet activates your brain and has it on high alert. You are taking in ridiculous amounts of information and asking your brain to process this immediately before hitting the sack. This is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Instead, have a technology detox and swap your laptop screen for a hot bath, a book or spot of mindfulness relaxation before you go to bed.
By doing something that doesn’t require looking at a pixelated screen, you are helping your mind and brain wind down in a more appropriate way. Social media does very little for our mood or self-esteem. Thinking about the amazing holiday that your former best friend has been enjoying having just looked at their Instagram Holga filtered shots will only have your mind whirring. Head to bed with the latest bestseller and a cocoa, and make this your new routine. Having a sleep-friendly routine that you regularly follow will allow your body and mind to become used to the end of the day and become ready for some much-needed shut-eye.
Check Your Health
If you haven’t headed to the doctor in a while, make a jaunt to your local surgery and have a health MOT. While the thought of having a blood test may fill you with dread, this is the ideal way to see if hormone imbalances are having an effect on your sleep pattern. Fatigue and insomnia are common side effects of some sort of hormone deficiency or imbalance. At BodyLogicMD they can assess any potential hormonal issues and treat you so that your hormones become more balanced. By doing this, you may find that your side effects diminish and you could be enjoying sweet dreams once again.
Eating And Drinking Right
While you may think all those takeaways, fast food jaunts, and fried foods aren’t impacting on your sleeping habits, you might be wrong. If you are in need of losing a few pounds or have found that your clothes fit a little more snugly than they used to and that this correlates to when your sleeping issues began, you may find that a reassessment of your diet is needed.
Cut your sugar and refined, processed carbohydrates and supplement them with healthier nut or fruit-based snacks, whole grains and lean meats and fish. By losing a few pounds, you may find that you can breathe more easily when lying down, you can reach a better level of comfort in bed, and you could have more periods of unbroken sleep.
Being heavier can have an effect on your joints, leading you to wake up from a twinge or a niggle. Exercise more, even if this is getting off the bus one stop early and walking a little further to your place of work. Enjoy the outdoors and bask in the daylight. This will help regulate your body clock and ensure that your body and brain is ready for sleep come the evening time.
Quiet Down A Busy Brain
Often when your head hits the pillow, your head may fill up with thoughts, stresses, and worries brought on by the previous sixteen hours you were awake. Maybe you are dwelling on a work meeting that didn’t go particularly well, or maybe you are irrationally worrying about the front door and whether you locked it or not. Our thoughts can be odd at times as well as loud and all-encompassing. While it’s very easy to say just ignore them and go to sleep, this can be impossible. With an active brain and a tired body, this can lead to a toxic mix.
It’s important that you can talk to someone about any worries that you have. This doesn’t have to be a counselor and could be a friend or family member at the end of the phone. You could also try learning some mindfulness techniques as a way of quieting down your loud brain and trying to exert a little more control over your thought processes. This will help you be more peaceful and less uptight when you venture upstairs to bed. If you find your brain is busy, get up, make yourself a hot milk and relax a little. By not putting pressure on your waking hours and clock watching, you will eventually gain more control over your sleep routine.
Having insomnia goes beyond merely being unable to sleep. This condition can negatively impact on your whole life. Follow these four simple strategies, and you could wave goodbye to your insomnia forever.