Insomnia can be triggered by an array of factors ranging from medication to hormonal imbalances in our anatomy.
The CDC describes sleep problems as a “public health epidemic,“ with an estimated 50-70 million people having some kind of sleep difficulties.
30% of Americans suffer from different types of sleep disorders, many of which can be treated with a change in lifestyle.
The vicious cycle of insomnia might make people more anxious during nighttime, thus aggravating the scenario further. Our hectic lifestyle also does not help much with constant competition and pressure to perform.
Keep reading below to learn more about some of the factors that can lead to developing insomnia, as well as solutions to help you deal with insomnia.
The Dangers of Insomnia – What Happens to Your Body When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
Sleep can impact your ability to stay healthy in a variety of ways. Learning about the role that sleep plays in your wellness can help you ensure that you benefit from enough shut-eye.
Sleep has a range of impacts on physical health. Most adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Without proper sleep, you could be faced with a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, an increased risk of diabetes, an increased risk of heart disease, issues with balance, and memory problems. Additionally, not sleeping could lead to cold sores, as well as several other health problems you wouldn’t normally consider.
Here are a few additional impacts that getting enough sleep has on your life:
Your Mood Can Be Impacted by Sleep
Your sleep impacts your mood, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Failing to get the recommended amount of sleep can make you less able to regulate your emotions. It also increases your risk of developing some psychiatric disorders.
As you sleep, your body slowly recharges itself, so it is very important to help this process of renewal by sleeping well. To feel as upbeat as possible, you need to sleep well regularly.
Think about what it would be like not to have any memories of your childhood or adulthood. You can’t recall people in your life, activities that you engaged in, or even what happened a few days ago.
According to a study published in Current Opinion in Neurology,
“Functional imaging studies contrasting sleep-deprived and well-rested brains provide substantial evidence that sleep is highly important for optimal cognitive function and learning.”
If you didn’t sleep, you wouldn’t be able to remember events. Sleep helps the brain to stay healthy. If you didn’t sleep, you would have trouble learning new things, making decisions and even retaining memories. In particular, REM sleep is vital for storing memories.
It helps the brain organize them so that you can recall them long after they have happened. Therefore, you need to allow yourself plenty of time to sleep every night.
Sleep Can Impact Your Comfort
Getting sufficient amounts of peaceful slumber can increase your level of contentment. Failing to get enough sleep can make you uncomfortable and can have a negative impact on your well-being. A cozy bedroom is essential to sleep well and there are factors that influence the relief that your bedroom can provide.
One of the ways in which you can get the sleep quality that is essential to your comfort is to use your HVAC system to regulate the temperature and ventilation of your sleeping area.
Keep in mind that to use your HVAC unit to make your bedroom more comfortable, you need to invest in a service that can regularly check your unit and perform any required maintenance or repairs.
Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Impact Your Appearance
When you do not get enough sleep, your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which can lead to skin issues such as premature wrinkles. To maintain your skin and improve your skin quality, remember to get enough sleep!
When you are tired, your skin shows it. Typically, red, puffy eyes show up first.
If you continue to skip out on sleep, you also get wrinkles, dark circles, and lines. For your body to stay healthy and strong, it needs the human growth hormone that it made a lot of during your childhood.
Sleep allows your body time to heal. Therefore, get plenty of rest so that your skin benefits as a result.
Overly Vivid Dreams
Many people ask questions like “What do dreams mean.” Well, if you’re having overly vivid dreams each night, it could mean that you’re not getting enough sleep. When you’re overtired from not sleeping well for several nights in a row, it is like that you will have more vivid and unique dreams.
Increased Chance of Obesity
Research indicates that people that are not well rested have a higher likelihood of gaining weight and even becoming obese.
According to a study published in Sleep Medicine Reviews,
“Laboratory and epidemiological studies suggest that sleep loss may play a role in the increased prevalence of diabetes and/or obesity. Current data suggest the relationship between sleep restriction, weight gain and diabetes risk may involve at least three pathways: (1) alterations in glucose metabolism; (2) upregulation of appetite; and (3) decreased energy expenditure.”
In particular, those that do not get at least six hours of sleep every night struggle. Researchers hypothesize that this is because the hormone leptin, which tells the body that it is full, is present in lower numbers in people that are sleep deprived.
Also, there is more of the hormone ghrelin, which tells the body it is hungry. Therefore, when you don’t get enough sleep, you want to eat more, and you don’t feel full after you eat.
This causes problems for your weight. If you know you are not sleeping well, and you see your weight start to creep up on the scales, make a few changes. You owe it to yourself to be as healthy as possible, and getting a good night’s rest is crucial to that process.
Learn More: How to Lose Weight Overnight
Sleep and Hormones
Insufficient sleep will alter your hormone production capabilities. Hormones are essential signals for many processes in your body. When you do not get enough sleep, your endocrine system cannot reliably function to produce the necessary hormones.
Growth hormones, for example, are usually produced within the first few hours of sleep.
Additionally, sleep deprivation affects important hormones that deal with feelings of hunger, fullness and the like. Once these hormones are affected, your diet suffers from inconsistency and so does your health and body weight.
Increased Chance of Experiencing Sleep Paralysis
When you enter REM sleep, which is a deep rest, all of your muscles freeze so that you can’t play out your dreams. Your body doesn’t want anything wrong to happen to you. However, this can sometimes cause a problem in the form of sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis happens when your brain exits REM sleep, but your body stays essentially frozen.
This is scary because you realize what is going on around you, but you can’t get your body to do what you want it to do. Many people panic when this situation occurs to them.
Sleep paralysis doesn’t happen often, but most people will experience it at one time or another. If you are not well rested, you have a higher likelihood of experiencing sleep paralysis. In those cases, hallucinations often play a role, too. There are many different strategies for improving your quality of sleep and avoiding these type of issues.
For example, you could try supplements such as melatonin or zinc, or improve your sleeping space with a better mattress or memory foam pillow.
How Getting Enough Sleep Improves Your Health
Many people know how important it is to get enough sleep each night, however, you might not be fully aware of all the benefits.
Here are a few of the ways that getting enough sleep effects your health:
The way the brain handles memory is affected by the amount of sleep a person gets.
According to a study published in Learning Memory,
“We show that declarative memory is enhanced when sleep follows within a few hours of learning, independent of time of day, and with equal amounts of interference during retention intervals. Sleep deprivation has a detrimental effect on memory, which was significant after a night of recovery sleep. Thus, fatigue accumulating during wake intervals could be ruled out as a confound.”
People who get a good night of sleep have a better ability to recollect quite the events of the day clearly.
You’ll also be able to remember things more consistently and be able to more fully utilize your skills when you get the right amount of rest. When learning something new – whether physical or mental – practice helps you learn up to a point. During sleep, you actually continue to “practice” those skills you repeated over and over while awake.
This strengthens your memory for that skill, and helps you learn it better. For college students cramming for tests, getting some shut-eye and being well-rested will help with memorizing material for test day.
Sleep and Fitness
The fitness gurus have it right; if you don’t sleep well, you won’t build muscle.
There is a significant connection between sleep and athletic performance, and the same goes for anyone trying to improve their health by exercising.
Having an adequate amount of sleep helps your body build muscle and increase your metabolism through healing the damaged tissue and cells that were torn apart during your workout session.
Along with that, getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to increase growth hormone naturally.
Furthermore, there are additional benefits that sleep has on your fitness that don’t directly involve exercising.
Most people give up their fitness routines within their first 20 days of regular exercising, largely because their motivation for keeping up a good lifestyle vanishes when they can’t adopt a healthy sleeping pattern. When you don’t get enough sleep, it’s almost impossible to stay motivated to stick to a strict exercise routine.
Lack of time and tiredness are the main excuses for not getting enough exercise.
Some people try to reduce their hours of sleep to make room for a workout, but this is not a long-term solution.
If you get enough quality sleep each night, you’ll be able to make a schedule for exercising and stick to it!
Ghrelin is a hormone used to stimulate appetite, and leptin is a hormone used to suppress hunger. When you don’t get enough sleep, these hormones are found to increase and decrease, respectively, thus affecting eating habits. As you can see, Irregular eating habits of a person will have a direct consequence on their weight levels. Eating issues such as Night Eating Syndrome can be developed due to sleep issues. However, getting into healthy sleep patterns (as discussed on the Sleep Advisor) can have a positive impact on Night Eating Syndrome and other health issues caused by a lack of sleep.
According to a study published in PLOS Medicine,
“Participants with short sleep had reduced leptin and elevated ghrelin. These differences in leptin and ghrelin are likely to increase appetite, possibly explaining the increased BMI observed with short sleep duration. In Western societies, where chronic sleep restriction is common and food is widely available, changes in appetite regulatory hormones with sleep curtailment may contribute to obesity.”
If you increase the amount of quality sleep hours you get each night, you can even effectively lose weight overnight!
Want to live longer? Get an adequate amount of sleep.
Studies have linked both too little and too much sleep to a shorter lifespan. According to a study published in Sleep,
“The analysis indicates that mortality rates from ischemic heart disease, cancer, stroke, and all causes combined were lowest for individuals sleeping 7 or 8 h per night. Men sleeping 6 h or less or 9 h or more had 1.7 times the total age-adjusted death rate of men sleeping 7 or 8 h per night. The comparable relative risk for women was 1.6.”
Poor sleep has a domino effect on other areas of your life and can result in you taking on unhealthy habits, such as making up for it with too much caffeine. Unsure of the right amount of sleep for your age or others in your household?
The National Sleep Foundation has a chart that will help.
Also, there have been many studies which pinpoint the fact that our body functions better when it is well rested. It is has been found that even a small reduction in the sleep timings like that of an hour can make us prone to any disease out there.
A better immune system is crucial to surviving as there are many pathogens out there carrying a multitude of diseases.
To protect ourselves and make sure that our immune system functions at its best, we need to maintain our sleep timings as well as our sleep cycle.
Better Mental Health
One of the most common effects of sleep deprivation can be seen in the way our brain functions. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,
“Mental health status of subjects whose sleep duration was less than 7 hours, and those who slept 9 hours or more, was poorer than that of subjects who slept for 7 hours or more but less than 9 hours.”
There are numerous mental health issues which are negatively impacted by a lack of quality sleep, and nearly all mental health issues are positively imapcted by a proper sleep routine and consistently getting enough sleep. If you are dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety, one immediate way you can positively affect your issues is by getting an adequate amount of sleep each night.
You may be astonished to find that inadequate rest can lead to chronic skin problems.
A study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that “good sleepers” recovered better after ultraviolet light exposure, which all of us get daily from being outdoors. In the study, participants found that their skin recovered more quickly, and they showed fewer signs of aging.
For those of you fighting the battle each day – getting your eight hours is one of the best ways to combat aging!
More Articulate Speech
Having a good night’s sleep makes you more alert and better able to concentrate on what you say.
If you want to be able to verbalize and adequately express your thoughts – be it with a friend, at work or in a public speaking engagement – quality sleep will help. Lack of sleep can cause you to stutter and even slur your speech.
According to a study in Interspeech,
“The analysis results show that Sleep Deprived Speech (SDS) has less variation of pitch and harmonic pattern than Normal
Speech (NS). In addition, we achieve the relatively high accuracy for classification of Normal Speech (NS) and Sleep Deprived Speech (SDS) using proposed spectral coefficients.”
It’s very common to have a throbbing headache the next day after a night of poor quality sleep.
Medical conditions, such as sleep apnea that may disrupt sleep, can also lead to nocturnal or morning headaches. Studies have shown that people who consistently do not get enough sleep are more likely to have migraines.
Bottom line: there is a link between lack of sleep and headaches, and if the lack of sleep becomes a chronic condition, so can your headaches. Make getting a good night’s sleep a priority and keep those headaches at bay.
Greater Productivity and Creativity
Nowadays, it is highly likely that you work at a job and even more likely that it requires you to use your brain to its fullest capabilities, and even professionals and students are subjected to this even more. For all sorts of academic or professional performance, your brain is the supremely important appliance and polishing its functions is all sleep’s domain, thereby giving you enhanced results.
The relationship between sleep and next-day productivity is somewhat obvious. Sleeping well is directly linked to your brain, performing its tasks well. A good night’s sleep can be the perfect kick starter to any work that has to be taken care of during the rest of the day. Good sleep can result in a fresher mind, which can concentrate better and thus produce better results.
The more tired you are, the tougher it will be to focus and complete the tasks of your day…whether at work or at home. Researchers say that ”high attention tasks” are particularly challenging when you’ve had sleep loss.
People have got to realize that staying up to finish any kind of work is pointless, as the reduced productivity results in a longer time to complete the same amount of work.
It would make more sense to sleep for longer and take lesser time to finish the work to be done.
The same might be harmed if you do not get the required sleep. The positive effects sleep induces on your brain are increased concentration, a boost in imaginative thinking, and increasing both left and right brain functions.
Creativity may not be something you usually think of as being impacted by sleep. However, studies suggest that it is. When you sleep, you consolidate memories, making them stronger, and your brain seems to reorganize and restructure them.
The result the next day is greater creativity. Who knew?
Wards Off Lethal Diseases of The Heart and Circulation
If an important mental health enemy of the 21st century is depression, then heart and circulatory system diseases like cardiac arrests and high blood pressure form the bane of the physical body.
And guess what can help you keep them at arm’s length?
Yep, you guessed it right. Sleep to the rescue again.
A majority of the population suffers from some heart-related disease or diabetes, which are indeed a result of our lifestyle. Sleep deprivation is another important factor which can contribute to and aggravate such a scenario.
Increased pressure on the pumping system with continued sleep deprivation is one reason for increased chances of a stroke.
Further, poor sleeping habits have caused the fluctuation of the hormone insulin, which is essential for blood sugar regulation and thus increases vulnerability to Type-2 diabetes.
It has been shown in physiological academies and clinics around the world how the amount of sleep obtained is inversely proportional to how much of a risk you are at for succumbing to these diseases.
Sleep Gives You a Higher EQ
EQ or your Emotional Intelligence Quotient is as vital to your daily life, and functioning as your IQ is and probably even worth a bit more now. Your EQ is what helps you perceive and live a life richer with pleasant emotions.
And like all the brain functions sleep is connected to and improves, this is no exception.
What Causes Insomnia?
There are several causes of insomnia. Factors that cause insomnia generally range from stress to poor sleeping conditions; anything that can affect your ability to fall asleep or maintain sleep. Having the right mattress, foundation, and bedding is a good starting point, but diet, exercise, screen time, environment, and other factors can contribute to a lack of sleep as well.
Here some of the main causes:
I always see to it that I can sleep on my specified hour. This is the time where my eyes feel heavy. Sleeping at this hour is advantageous to me because it is comfortable and hassle-free.
I don’t break this sleeping cycle because technically, it is a part of my circadian rhythm. When it is this time, I should already be on my bed and asleep. Going early or later than your normal sleep time can cause disruptions in your sleep pattern. Inconsistencies will eventually make you feel restless and unstable.
Even if we have busy schedules, we have to make sure that when it is our time to sleep, we drop all our errands and retire already. Trust me. It will benefit you in the long run!
Drinking alcohol at night may make you feel weary and sleepy, but it is just momentary. Once the alcohol wears off from your body, your sleep will be immediately disrupted.
Have you had a hangover? That’s what I am talking about!
Drinking alcohol can hurt your weight loss goals, alter your sleep, and hurt your body in numerous ways.
Watching TV in Your Bedroom
We want to make our bedrooms our comfort zones, and honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it would help if you were careful about what amenities you put in your resting area.
For instance, it is prohibited to put televisions and entertainment systems in your bedroom if you want the best sleep possible. You can install them if you want to, however, make sure that you won’t use them directly before your bedtime.
Take into account that the screens of your television and smartphone can distract you from sleeping. They can make your brain heightened and active. Of course, that’s not a good thing if you want to sleep comfortably and smoothly.
Sleeping on the Wrong Mattress
There are many different considerations whenever you are choosing a mattress. For instance, if you tend to sleep on your stomach, you should get a mattress that is suited for stomach sleepers. Depending on your needs and preferences, particular products will work for you.
The right mattress can improve the quality of your sleep- that’s a thing that I can guarantee. On the other hand, the wrong options can make things uncomfortable for you. As much as possible, you need to avoid sleeping on a futon, bed or mattress that doesn’t have the right type of firmness, support, or construction. Just because you can lie on them, doesn’t mean that they are worth sleeping on.
We have a variety of ergonomic mattresses in the market today. Furthermore,
If you need help with finding a mattress that you can comfortably sleep on every night, I suggest you check out this excellent mattress buyers guide! there are a lot of good options for every budget range. Therefore, the only thing that you need to do is to choose wisely!
Too Much Napping
Napping during the day is entirely okay, especially if it is done in moderation. There’s nothing in the world that replaces the feeling of being able to nap and wake up fully energized again.
However, just like I have said, napping should be controlled. It should not be done for excessive hours during the daytime.
Well, if you don’t have any troubles sleeping at night, you can nap whenever you want.
However, if it is the opposite, then don’t nap at all.
The more naps you take, the less your urge to sleep during the night. If you have noticed that you can’t resist closing your eyes in the morning, you should consult your doctor. It may be a symptom of a sleeping disorder like narcolepsy.
You Might Have Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by the repeated stopping and starting of breathing while sleeping. Statistics put the number of Americans suffering from this severe condition at well over 18 million.
Perhaps the most worrying trend is that up to 80% of the people affected by sleep apnea are yet to be diagnosed!
How to Overcome Insomnia
There are numerous things you can do to create better sleep that begins in the bedroom – these include:
- No electronic devices before bedtime
- No caffeine after 4 pm
- No alcohol before bedtime
- Make sure to get plenty of exercise
- Invest in a quality mattress and memory foam pillow to aid comfort
- Breathable bed clothes
- Avoid daytime naps
- Manage stress
Keep reading below to learn more about each of these points!
Take a Melatonin Supplement Before Bed
According to a study published in The FEBS Journal,
“melatonin is often called the ‘hormone of darkness.’ Melatonin is principally secreted at night and is centrally involved in sleep regulation, as well as in a number of other cyclical bodily activities. Melatonin is exclusively involved in signaling the ‘time of day’ and ‘time of year’ (hence considered to help both clock and calendar functions) to all tissues and is thus considered to be the body’s chronological pacemaker.”
Due to cell phones, televisions, laptops, and other devices with bright lights, our normal melatonin production is affected and reduced. However, unlike other mammals, our melatonin production does not improve by removing lights in your sleeping area for one night, or not looking at your computer for a day.
Unfortunately, our problems with bright lights and melatonin are more advanced.
According to a study produced in the journal Science,
“Bright artificial light suppressed nocturnal secretion of melatonin in six normal human subjects. Room light of less intensity, which is sufficient to suppress melatonin secretion in other mammals, failed to do so in humans”
Having proper levels of melatonin in animals leads to the harmonization of circadian rhythms; impacting sleep timing, blood pressure, and normal reproduction.
According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,
“Our findings show that exogenous melatonin, when administered at the appropriate time, seems to normalize circadian variation in human physiology.”
In my opinion, the best melatonin supplement is:
- 3mg melatonin per serving. Melatonin may help with relief of occasional sleeplessness* (Results may...
- 260 tablets, an 8 month supply (taken daily at the listed serving size
- No artificial colors, flavors or chemical preservatives
- Vegan and gluten free
- Packaged in a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility in the USA
I chose this as the best melatonin supplement because it is cheap and effective.
One product which I have not personally tried yet but I think it could be excellent is:
- HELPS YOU FALL ASLEEP NATURALLY. ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs gummies help you fall asleep naturally and...
- NO NEXT DAY GROGGINESS WITH AN OPTIMAL LEVEL OF MELATONIN. Formulated with an optimal level of...
- NATURAL BOTANICAL BLEND. Uniquely formulated with a blend of botanical essential oils including...
- WILDBERRY VANILLA GUMMIES. These convenient and great-tasting gummies come in a delicious Wildberry...
- NON-HABIT FORMING. PURE Zzzs contain no artificial flavors, are drug free, gluten free, lactose...
This product contains 1 mg of melatonin per dosage, which I believe is optimal for myself. Also, I love the additional chamomile, lavender, and valerian root extract. Although I have not used this product yet, I use a product while living in Poland called “Na Sen Forte” which is a Polish melatonin supplement that also includes Lavender and other herbal roots.
Keep Phones and Tablets Away
Most people have the habit of charging their phones while they sleep, which means that they carry them to the bedroom. This tempts a person to go to social media or start making calls or even playing games.
This is why it is advisable to charge the phone far away from you, preferably in the next room so you can go to sleep earlier and avoid getting distracted. You should also put it on silent mode until morning.
Sleep In Cool Conditions
One of the factors that might be affecting your sleep is inappropriate temperature. Your body works in a certain way, and for it to fall asleep, the hypothalamus decreases your body temperature as a sleep initiator.
When the body is too hot, it is difficult to fall asleep and makes a person uncomfortable. It is advisable to lower the temperature in the room and invest in good heavy comforters and other bedding.
If you get cold in the night, you can cover up. Too much heat creates discomfort and will have you turning and tossing all night. The ideal temperature for falling asleep is 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, which may vary for different people.
Your body temperature plays a profound role in determining the quality of your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
Invest In A Good Mattress
A reliable mattress is a great option to help you not only fall asleep, but support you throughout the sleep process. Such a mattress ensures you are comfortable, and if you do not have one already, mattress stores such as Denver mattress offer several options for every kind of sleeper.
If you are sleeping with another person on the same bed, ensure you get a bed that has enough space. This will prevent discomfort because you may be kept awake by the other person turning in their sleep.
You can search online for the best kinds of mattresses, for example, we hear a lot of positive things about Aireloom. Or, you can try an Ikea mattress, which will be a cheaper option but can be just as big of an improvement.
Sometimes the mattress you are sleeping on is the main cause of your insomnia since you can’t fall asleep comfortably!
Sleeping in the spoon position is the best way to get good sleep. This position feels more comfortable than facing upwards or sleeping on your stomach.
The best part is that you can switch sides when you feel tired so that there is no strain on the shoulders. This position has been proven to lower stress levels.
Avoid Sleeping On The Couch
Most people fall asleep while watching TV and just stay there until morning. This is bad because the couch will not provide the proper support for the body, and that is needed for any good night’s sleep.
What’s more, the light from the TV and the moving images will strain you, and you will be uncomfortable all night. If you feel sleepy, turn off the TV and go to bed.
Sleep In a Dark Room
Light disturbs the sleep patterns and will make you feel weary in the morning. Turn the lights off or wear a sleeping mask to prevent excessive light while you are asleep.
Limit Tea/Caffeine Intake
As much as you love coffee, it may be the biggest hindrance in inducing sleep. Tea lovers and coffee addicts often lie wide awake in sleep hours, which affects their health in general not to forget performance at work/college.
Therefore to prevent sleep from disrupting, coffee, and tea should be avoided 4-6 hours before bedtime. The same rule should be followed for tobacco intake. This reduces one stimulant that keeps you up all night.
Exercise and sleep aren’t just connected in the way that both are required for a healthy lifestyle, but they play a role in both of their benefits. Have you ever tried working out on no sleep? You probably didn’t have much success.
Other than hundreds of other benefits exercise has upon your health, improving sleep quality has to be among the top ones. Exercising releases serotonin, which is responsible for reducing stress and anxiety, making you feel much more relaxed.
If you’re someone who exercises regularly, you can vouch for how much better your sleep is after a long day that included exercise. Exercise and sleep are just as important as a healthy diet. Here is how they go hand in hand.
Exercise affects your sleep in many positive ways. Not only does is increase your sleep quality, but it also increases your amount of sleep and helps reduce stress and relieve anxiety.
While the National Institute of Health along with the American Heart Association, suggests that you get a minimum of 150 hours of exercise per week, getting more is even better. People who exercise at minimum 30 minutes per day experience the benefits of exercise on their sleep.
You can adjust your workout routine to optimize your sleeping goals and vice versa. For example, if you find yourself waking up pretty often in the middle of the night, try going for a long jog during the day.
Moreover, it provides comfort against night sweats and other hormonal issues that interfere with your sleep. However, one thing to look out for is your timing. Your exercise timing changes the way it affects your body.
Exercising Before Sleep
If you’re an athlete in training and need to perform intervals of high intensity, this should be done at least 3 hours before going to sleep.
Strenuous exercise too close to bedtime can hurt your sleep quality. Therefore keep your cardio and running for mornings. Low-intensity workouts like stretching, however, can be done before you go to bed.
Watching out for bedtime is key in maximizing the benefits of sleep and exercise. After you workout, your body temperature stays elevated for some time after exercising. When you get ready for sleep; however, your body temperature dips, helping you feel drowsy.
Sleeping during this time counteracts the natural process that your body goes through, in turn keeping you feeling more awake and alert than you would probably like when you’re trying to fall asleep.
If however, you’re exercising regularly in the morning or mid-day, you’re bound to see results when it comes to mood, stress, alertness, and overall contentment with your sleep.
A study cited in Psychology Today confirmed that regular exercise does contribute to better sleep, but that it doesn’t have an immediate effect. The study showed that to reap the benefits of exercise on our sleep, we have to be consistent over weeks or even months.
Sleep, however, does affect exercise in the short-term.
As discussed before, it’s tough to get in a good workout when you’re struggling to stay awake. This is precisely why athletes make sure they get a good nights sleep the entire week leading up to a match or game.
Both exercise and healthy sleeping habits is key to a healthy lifestyle. Not only do they affect each other, but they also play a role in reducing blood pressure, lowering cortisol levels, and even managing your weight are countless benefits to both sleep and exercise!
To learn more about exercise and sleep, then please visit Real Sleep.
Watch Your Diet
Among other things to avoid before bedtime, a heavy meal is on top of the list. If you are to sleep at 12, take your meal by 10 pm max. Similarly, adjust your meal time to 2-3 hours before bedtime.
This is because eating right before sleeping causes indigestion, which keeps you restless all night.
It is also not advisable to go to sleep while you’re starving, as this may lead to a drop in sugar level, which can even prove fatal. Taking a light meal, preferably fruits and vegetables, are the perfect meal before bedtime.
Read Before Sleeping
If you often have trouble sleeping, try and make reading a bedtime ritual.
Reading signals the body to wind down and prepare for sleep. Since reading reduces stress, it helps battle insomnia and helps your system to close down, ensuring a good night’s sleep.
Develop a Regular Sleep – Wake Cycle
Your body conditions itself according to the routine you set.
Therefore it is vital that you create a routine that soothes your mind and helps you unwind. Whether it’s taking a shower, reading a book, or even watching TV, distance yourself from stressful activities that tire you out.
Writing in your journal may also help you release the negative energy and sleep with peace of mind.
Many of us have heard the phrase internal clock somewhere. This internal clock is the reason you feel drowsy at certain times in the night, and wake up at particular times every morning. Consistent sleepers have well-tuned and synchronized rhythms that have them on a regular sleep-wake cycle.
Having a regular sleep-wake cycle accustoms our body to an internal clock so that it acts in accordance with internal cues on passage of a certain span of time for bedtime.
When you have insomnia, your internal clock is disrupted.
Simply lying down on the bed and watching the clock tick past is enough to increase our level of sleeplessness.
Use a Weighted Blanket
If you are interested in trying a new, unique sleep aid- check out Weighting Comforts Weighted Banket!
Weighted blankets are an emerging trend, but they have proven sleep benefits. If you try a weighted blanket, there is a good chance you will love it!
Consider Sleep Apnea Treatment Alternatives if You Have Sleep Apnea
Most cases of sleep apnea are managed through the CPAP machine.
CPAP is an acronym for Continuous Positive-Airway Pressure, and the machine is used in cases where the airways relax during sleep.
One of the reasons why researchers recommend sleep apnea cures without a CPAP is due to the associated side effects as a result of the machine. Some of these side effects include bloating, itching and irritation, nasal congestion, headaches, and chronic fatigue.
Researchers are constantly working to come up with better treatment options for sleep apnea. Some of these alternatives are already out and waiting for approval by the FDA, while others are still being experimented.
Regardless of what they target, these new methods are expected to come with less discomfort, faster recovery time and minimal invasiveness.
It is also important to mention that regardless of the main alternatives to using a CPAP machine, the machine remains one of the most popular options for managing sleep apnea because it works on nearly all patients regardless of the target areas or the severity of their condition.
All in all, the question as to what the best treatment option for sleep apnea is, squarely rests with your doctor.
Due to the potential side effects of using a CPAP machine, the primary reason why sleep apnea treatment alternatives are advised is due to the invasive nature of the machine.
One of the best sleep apnea alternatives is the use of oral appliance therapy. This non-invasive option to using a CPAP machine is recommended because it prevents your tongue and the soft tissues located at the back of your throat from collapsing.
How does it achieve this?
Basically, during treatment therapies, your jaw remains firm and is firmly supported in the right position (which is the forward position). This way, your airway does not close even while you are asleep!
Oral appliance is recommended for sleep apnea patients with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Just like Oral Appliances, Palate Coblation is also a minimally-invasive sleep apnea treatment without CPAP option. In this option, radio frequency energy is used to make the soft palate “stiffer.” This way, the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring are significantly reduced.
Your therapist will administer local anesthesia on you before the procedure can begin.
One major advantages of this procedure is that it saves time, as it takes less than half an hour. Additionally, it does not disrupt your schedule and diet as you can typically resume your normal diet and get back to your routine on the same day of the treatment.
Within a few weeks of the treatment, your snoring intensity should be significantly reduced!
Radiofrequency-Ablation of the tongue this is yet another option that can be used to manage sleep apnea without CPAP. In this technique used, radiofrequency energy is used to tighten as well as shrink the base of your tongue in a bid to manage sleep apnea symptoms.
As a result of the diminished size of your tongue, it will not block your airways while you sleep
The therapist will direct small quantities of radiofrequency energy towards the back of your tongue by use of a non-invasive device. However, before you opt for this process as an alternative to sleep apnea treatment without CPAP, you should remember its success is hinged on patience as it requires multiple procedures.
However, as time goes by, your airways will become enlarged and your tongue will no longer interfere with airflow while you’re asleep.
Considered one of the best alternative treatments for sleep apnea, Balloon Sinuplasty works by opening blockages in your sinus cavities. Balloon Sinuplasty also relieves pain and pressure caused as a result of chronic sinusitis.
It is especially recommended for sleep apnea conditions that are associated with the chronic inflammation of the lining on your sinus glands.
In such conditions, this sleep apnea alternative works by unblocking the sinus cavities and restoring normal nasal drainage.
This ensures normal function of your sinus and nasal cavities during sleep.
Furthermore, just like the Palate Coblation® option, Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure that is normally completed in 30 minutes, and you can typically resume your activities on the same day.
Sleep Apnea Masks:
Last but not least, we have lots of sleep apnea mask options. Using a sleep apnea mask is one of the easiest ways of managing sleep apnea condition, as all you have to do is wear a mask before going to sleep.
The mask facilitates uninterrupted breathing.
Remember to choose the CPAP mask to according your sleep side because there CPAP mask for side and stomach sleepers.
However, before you choose a CPAP mask alternative, it is important to remember that 46 to 83 percent of all patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea do not wear the masks diligently. Also, finding a mask that perfectly fits you may prove quite daunting.
Concluding Thoughts – Dealing with Insomnia Naturally
By following the expert tips mentioned above, you can surely deal with your insomnia and proceed towards a healthier lifestyle.
Start today developing healthy sleeping habits to be able to live a better, much more healthy lifestyle. Your body and mind will thank you!
I hope now the importance of a good night’s sleep will become even more apparent to you. So, take some melatonin, get a comfortable mattress, invest in the best memory foam pillow you can find, and get comfortable when you retire for the night.