A lack of sleep can negatively impact your quality of life and your health. If you’re new to insomnia, we’re sorry, and it’s helpful to know that there are two types — chronic and acute. Acute insomnia is short-lived; it typically lasts three months or fewer, and it often comes with big life changes or stressors. Chronic insomnia typically lasts more than three months and causes sleep disturbances more often than three nights per week. Insomnia can affect both your ability to go to sleep and your ability to stay asleep, and symptoms often include fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Here are our top tips for trying to beat your sleep problems.
1. Get on a sleep schedule
Going to sleep at approximately the same time every night and waking up at about the same time every morning (yes, even on the weekends) will help train your body and mind to sleep or rest when it’s time to sleep.
2. Avoid alcohol and stimulants like caffeine or nicotine
It may be tempting to have a nightcap to help you get to sleep, as alcohol can enable healthy people to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply at first, that drink will later cause a disruption in your REM sleep. Caffeine can also negatively influence your sleep, and studies suggest that caffeine within six hours of going to bed reduces sleep by more than one hour. So, limit your coffee in the afternoon and avoid tobacco altogether.
3. Get regular exercise
Regular exercise is great for combatting stress, improving your heart health, and getting better sleep! If you can exercise outdoors in the morning, the light exposure will help set your internal clock and remind your body that it’s time to be alert. But the best time to exercise is when you can fit it into your schedule and make it a habit. If you exercise at night, just make sure to give yourself a couple of hours to wind down and cool off before you go to bed.
4. Eat earlier in the evening
Eating a heavy meal right before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep. If your body is still early in the digestion process, you might feel hot and full, which can make it difficult to get comfortable and get to bed.
5. Make sure your bedroom environment is conducive to a good night’s sleep
A dark, cool environment without screens is the best recipe for getting to sleep. Drop the temperature in your bedroom about an hour before you get in bed, and try to remove distractions from your bedroom (or night table). Leave your TV outside of the bedroom and try charging your phone in a different room or somewhere out of reach, rather than on your nightstand.
6. Meditate or practice relaxation techniques before bed
Try meditating or practicing breathing exercises before bed to calm your mind. If you find that you tend to mull over your to-do list or worry about other things as soon as your head hits the pillow, keep a journal on your nightstand and write down things that are nagging at you.
7. Get a bed that fits your sleep preferences
Are you waking up every time your partner rolls over or gets out of bed to use the restroom? Are you waking up with a stiff back or achy neck? In this case, it’s probably time to re-think your mattress. A foam or hybrid mattress will help you sleep through your partner’s movements and can even keep you cool throughout the night. If you’re suffering from acid reflux or back issues, try out an adjustable foundation. If any of this sounds familiar, come talk to us! No matter what your sleep preferences, we’ll help you get into the right mattress.