By Ralph R Goldsmith –
Insomnia is when you have either a problem falling asleep, or when you have problems staying asleep long enough to get a proper night’s rest.
Although many people have an occasional night with too little sleep even that can make you feel very tired the following day. If you’re driving or operating machinery then this can be quite dangerous.
If you have Insomnia for a longer period of time then this can have further impacts including health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Long term sleeplessness can also increase the chances of you becoming overweight.
Insomnia falls into two main categories. These are called primary and secondary insomnia.
Primary insomnia has no obvious cause.
Secondary insomnia is when the sleeplessness is caused by an underlying problem. This could be a medical condition or a psychological problem such as grief and depression.
Sometimes insomnia is a short term problem. If you have problems sleeping for a few days, up to about four weeks, then you have short term insomnia. If you have problems sleeping for more than four weeks then you have long term (or Chronic) insomnia
It appears that around one in four people suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. Insomnia is more common in women than men and, as you get older, you’re more likely to have difficulty sleeping. Half of people over the age of 65 have insomnia at some time.
Here are 17 Tips for combating Insomnia
- Don’t have drinks with caffeine in the late afternoon or evening
- Avoid alcohol late in the evening, and cut back on alcohol consumption overall
- Avoid nicotine in the afternoon and evening, and better still give it up altogether
- Take regular exercise, but avoid strenuous activity immediately before going to bed..
- Don’t take naps during the day.
- Try having a warm bath shortly before you go to bed
- Try having a milky drink immediately before bed.
- Try listening to soothing music to help you relax before you go to bed.
- Try to get into a daily routine to establish a sleep pattern. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
- Don’t have heavy or rich meals, especially in the few hours before you go to bed.
- If you can’t sleep, don’t lay there getting stressed about it. Get up and read until you feel sleepy or, if reading isn’t your thing do something else that you find relaxing. As a general rule don’t watch television as this can stimulate your mind (although that may depend on the program you end up watching)
- Close the day down before you go to bed so you don’t lay there worrying about what you haven’t done. Write down any worries to deal with the next day, before you go to bed. This can help to clear them from your mind and prevent them re-surfacing in the early hours.
- Get you room at the right temperature, make sure it isn’t too hot or cold.
- Try to avoid sleeping in a room that is too noisy, or close to something that is noisy. If necessary consider ear plugs.
- Be aware of the light in your room. If it’s too bright consider darker curtains or wearing an eye mask.
- Have a comfortable supportive mattress on your bed.
- Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only – don’t use it to work, read or watch television
Find out more about Insomnia and coping with sleeplessness at WHAT IS INSOMNIA!