Fight Insomnia Naturally

Do you ever have trouble sleeping? Maybe you have a hard time falling asleep, or maybe you wake up after a short time and can’t get back to sleep. Either way, sleepless nights can have a huge impact on the rest of your life. When you’re sleep deprived, it’s harder to focus and it often isn’t so great for mental well being.

I’ve struggled with both of these types of insomnia and have found a few techniques that help immensely.

Get Into a Routine

Whether your sleep problems start the moment you get into bed or you wake up in the night, it can help if you take a look at your pre-bedtime and bedtime routine.

  • Stay conscious of your screen time. Many of us stare at screens all day for work. All of that light can really mess with your body’s internal clock. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try limiting your computer use and TV watching as bedtime approaches to give your mind time to wind down.
  • Dim the lights early. Like the screen problem, artificial lights can trick our bodies into staying up. Try switching over to lamp light an hour or so before bedtime. I have a friend who wears special sunglasses in the evenings to help his brain wind down toward bedtime. He says he’s been sleeping better since starting that habit.
  • Your bed should be for sleeping and for sex. If you tend to sit in bed and work on projects or watch TV, try moving these activities to another area.
  • Exercise, but not too late. Getting regular exercise can help even out your sleep. Don’t work out too close to bedtime, though, as that can make it hard to doze off. Try to allow at least a couple of hours between working out and hitting the hay.
  • Limit food and drink before bed. This is especially important if you’re struggling with middle of the night wake-ups. Don’t eat or drink for that last hour before bed, if you can, and make sure you use the bathroom before heading to bed.
  • Cut the caffeine. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about your morning coffee! If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try limiting your caffeine intake to the morning. Coffee or even caffeinated tea in the evenings can contribute to tossing and turning.

Up Next: Tips and Techniques for Sleepless Nights.


clock

Tips and Techniques

  • Check that mattress. Flipping your mattress over can make a huge difference. Your tossing and turning could be related to discomfort. If your mattress is quite old and flipping doesn’t help, you might look into a replacement.
  • Don’t just lie there. If you’ve been staring at the ceiling for some time and it’s clear you’re not going to fall asleep, get out of bed. Find a comfortable chair where you can knit, read, or do any other relaxing activity until you’re ready to crawl back into bed again.
  • Breathe. Whether you’ve woken in the night or just gotten into bed, focusing on taking long, deep breaths can help you quiet your mind and drift into dreamland.
  • Don’t look at the clock. When you’re lying awake in bed, it’s normal to want to roll over and see how long before the alarm goes off. Don’t do it! Sleep math like this will just increase your anxiety and make it harder to snooze. Keep a napkin or washcloth by the bed and cover that clock if you have to.
  • Relax. If deep breaths aren’t doing the trick, you might try a more elaborate relaxation technique. Roll onto your back with your arms by your sides, and envision a slow wave of relaxation starting at your toes and moving up your body all the way to your face and the top of your head. Take time to feel each part of your body release any tension. More often than not, you’ll nod off in the process!

If none of these are helping and insomnia is really disrupting your daily life, you might want to talk to your doctor.

Image Credits:
Asleep. Creative Commons photo by mattwright
Clock. Creative Commons photo by revilla

119 comments

Emma S.
Emma S.2 years ago

Thank you - one or two I hadn't come across before. Not looking at the clock really helps as it stops you getting martyred about it!

Leanne B.
Leanne B.3 years ago

Nice tips thanks.

geraldine okeefe

Please check out Escape To Sleep's FB page for more tips. Escape To Sleep is based in organic aloe vera water and it is infused with natural, time tested herbs used for insomnia, anxiety and nervousness. Wishing you sound sleep, Sleep Well, Live Longer!

Sam Phillips
.5 years ago

tks for the cool tips!

Elzmarie Eckert
Laurie E.5 years ago

Knitting before bed is one of my favorite things to do. It's uber relaxing and gives you such a wonderful sense of accomplishment to go to bed with[:

Jane R.
Jane R.6 years ago

Heard all of this before. Might work for some people.

Yordanka T.
Yordanka T.6 years ago

Visualizing yourself in a peaceful place in the open nature helps a lot but I'll try the tips.

Laura S.
Laura S.6 years ago

Dave Broscombe, "nite" and "lite"are incorrect on either side of the Atlantic. Some Americans have become used to seeing these words misspelled in advertisements and product names, but they are missspelled none the less, even if only for effect. Personally, I appreciate people like Virginia B., who can clearly point out the correct usage. I can usually spot a mistake, but I'll be darned if I can tell you why it's wrong.

Merious O., I feel your pain, or should I say, your fatigue.

Janice P.
Janice P.6 years ago

I have used several of these tips over the years. If none of these things work, I try taking some melatonin. That often helps tremendously, and it is a natural substance in the body.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.6 years ago

Thanks for the tips