15 Tips and techniques to cure insomnia
A few steps can work fast to cure insomnia. However, this depends on what is causing your insomnia. Thus, it is prudent to consult your doctor for proper management of insomnia based on any underlying conditions you may have.
Here are some ways that you can try at home and see if it works for you:
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time. Once your body gets adjusted to a ritual of waking and sleeping at the same time daily, you will feel sleepy at the same time daily. You must follow it on holidays and weekends as well for the best results.
- Be physically active. Staying physically active through regular exercises is one of the best ways to fall asleep and get regular sleep. Exercising shortly before going to bed, however, may make falling asleep difficult.
- Don't have stimulants at night. Many people have the habit of taking caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee, a few hours close to bedtime to keep them alert/awake for a few hours. As the effect of caffeine lasts for several hours, this habit can make it hard for you to fall asleep if you take it within 3-4 hours before going to sleep.
- Do not take frequent naps. It is okay to take a single short nap (not more than 30 minutes) in the afternoon. Taking frequent naps disrupts the normal sleeping pattern.
- Keep your bed reserved only for resting/sleeping and sex. Spare the bed and use other spaces to do activities that require you to stay awake and alert and can make you stressed. Remove that television from your bedroom; stop calculating the monthly expenses on your bed.
- Stay away from blue light before bedtime. Switch off all those electronics that emit blue light, such as television sets and smartphones 1 hour before bedtime. Digital screens can hamper your ability to sleep.
- Do not have your dinner close to bedtime. Choose to have your dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime. Having dinner late at night can activate your digestive system, which may make you stay awake.
- Sleep in a peaceful and relaxed environment. Adjust the lighting and temperature in your bedroom so that is conducive for you to sleep. This includes changes, such as darkroom, lowering or raising the temperature of the air conditioner/heater, and so on. Use earplugs while sleeping if even the slightest of noises disturb your sleep.
- Practice yoga. Yoga is a wonderful way to help you pave your way to having a relaxed good night's sleep. The form that has its roots in India has a beneficial effect on sleep quality. Yoga may also alleviate stress and improve physical functioning. Learn from a certified instructor.
- Learn to meditate. Mindfulness meditation is a mind-calming practice that focuses on breathing and awareness of the present moment. Practicing it daily can help you get rid of insomnia faster.
- Perform deep breathing. Deep breathing slows down your heart rate and makes it easier to drift off to sleep.
- Go for a massage. Massage therapy can improve your sleep quality. It may also reduce feelings of pain, anxiety, and depression, which are the things that may increase your difficulty in falling asleep. You can get it done by a massage therapist or a family member.
- Consider participating in cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy helps people with insomnia identify and correct inappropriate thoughts and beliefs that may be causing insomnia.
- Try the military way of sleeping fast. The military way is a technique reportedly developed by the United States army chiefs to help the soldiers sleep within 2 minutes. This has been detailed in the 1981 book, Relax and Win: Championship Performance by Lloyd Bud. Here are the steps to fall asleep fast the military way:
- Relax the muscles in your face, including the tongue, jaw, and the muscles around the eyes.
- Relax your shoulders by dropping them as far down as they will go.
- Relax your upper and lower arm, one side at a time.
- Breathe out, relaxing your chest.
- Relax your legs, starting from the thighs and working down to the toes.
- You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind by imagining a serene and pleasant scene or repeatedly saying the words don't think to yourself for over 10 seconds.
- Release all your worries before sleeping. Try to stay relaxed and calm while you are on your bed before you get your night's rest. Before you lie down on your bed, think about whatever happened throughout the day, you may write your thoughts on a piece of paper and release the stress and anxiety. This can prevent the worries from coming in the way of your sleep.
Do not hesitate to visit your doctor if the above tips fail to provide relief from insomnia. If insomnia is severely affecting your personal and professional life, it is advisable to seek professional help early.
What causes insomnia?
There are multiple factors that can make it difficult for you to fall asleep or get uninterrupted sleep. One or more of the following factors can cause or contribute to insomnia:
- Problems in your job such as:
- Extended work hours
- Inefficient time management and organizational skills
- Unsatisfactory remuneration
- A rough patch in a relationship (including a breakup, separation, or divorce)
- Financial difficulties
- Lack of physical activities (sedentary lifestyle)
- Poor sleep hygiene such as:
- Exposure to digital devices close to bedtime
- Eating heavy meals in the evening
- Having caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, or cola) close to bedtime
- Mental health disorders such as:
- Chronic physical illnesses such as:
- Brain disorders such as:
- Gastrointestinal issues such as:
- Other sleep disorders such as:
- Hormone fluctuations due to:
- Medications such as:
- Nicotine from smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco
- Alcohol (often causes awakening in the middle of the night)
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