Insomnia can be a vicious cycle. We are well aware of our need to sleep, but sometimes, the more we try, the harder it is to drift into slumber. Fortunately, there are several effective ways of dealing with this problem without resorting to sleeping pills.
Preparing the Mind for Slumber
Often, our inability to fall asleep stems from the difficulty of letting our mind shut down after a stressful day. Relaxation techniques such as guided imagery and meditation can allow us to not only overcome the things that are weighing heavily upon our minds, but also signal our bodies that it is okay to finally begin to unwind.
To start, try gently tensing of the muscles of your body and relaxing them one by one. Start at your head and neck area and move down to your toes until you’ve eventually tackled every muscle group.
Consider spending a few minutes prepping for tomorrow before bed. This can help you get into bed confident you can go to sleep with a clear head about what need to be done tomorrow.
It may also be necessary to remind yourself that your bed is only for sleeping. By aiming to do other activities such as reading or watching TV elsewhere in the house, you’re gently retraining yourself to recognize your bed as a place for only one purpose.
Other Lifestyle Changes
Food & Drink – If possible, try to avoid large meals or significant amounts of alcohol consumption before bed, because both of these activities can disrupt your sleep pattern, and may cause you to awaken during the night.
Beware of Stimulants – Also, stimulants such as caffeine could play a role in your body’s responses for a full 24 hours. So, it’s easy to understand how a large caffeine intake, especially in the evening, could interrupt your sleep.
Exercise Earlier – Be mindful of when you exercise, too. If you do it too close to bedtime, the increased levels of adrenaline in your system may cause you to feel wide-awake. In general though, moderate exercise early in the day is ideal, because it helps you manage excess tension.
You need sleep. If you can’t resolve this problem on your own, do talk to your doctor who can make recommendations.