According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “approx. 35% of U.S. adults are not getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night”
Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders that is affecting about one-third of the adult population worldwide.
It’s a sleeping disorder that makes it hard for people to fall asleep, or to stay asleep, or causes them to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. The people suffering from insomnia may feel tired when they wake up. Insomnia not only affects your energy levels and mood but also your work performance, health, and quality of life.
Few common symptoms of insomnia are:
- Feeling anxious or depressed
- Unable to fall asleep at night
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Waking up in the middle of sleep and can’t fall asleep
- Feeling groggy after waking up or during the day for no reason
- Lack of concentration or focus
Here are some steps that can help you sleep better.
- Manage stress with exercise – Stress is one of the major factors of insomnia. If stress is causing continuous tossing and turning at night, you need to get some help. Regular exercise of 15-20 minutes in the morning can help you improve your sleep quality. You can also try alternative sleep aids such as meditation, yoga, Tai-chai, or reading a book before going to bed.
- Create the right bedroom environment – Experts believe that bedroom environment plays an important role in boosting your quality of sleep. Your bedroom environment includes various aspects such as temperature, furniture arrangements, lights, noise, and more. To improve your sleep quality, try to minimize external noises, artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks, lamps, mobile phones and light fixtures etc. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, relaxing and clean.
- Improve your diet – Your diet plays an essential role towards improving your quality of sleep. Try to avoid carbs such as white bread and pasta in your dinner. You can replace your carbs with a high fiber diet. Moreover, avoid taking sugar after lunch. Consuming more sugar can mess with your sleeping patterns. Scientifically, carbs and sugar reduce the production of melatonin (a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle). Melatonin is imperative in order to get a deeper and higher-quality sleep.
- Take a Melatonin supplement – Melatonin is a vital sleep hormone. This hormone transmits signals to your brain that it’s time to relax and head to bed. Adding melatonin supplement to your diet is one of the easiest ways to improve sleep quality. The recommended amount of melatonin supplement for an individual is 1–5 mg, 30–60 minutes before heading to bed. Don’t forget to consult your physician before taking any supplement.
- Reduce blue light exposure in the evening – Blue light exposure during day-time is beneficial, but at nighttime, you need to minimize exposure to any blue light. It can affect your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain to think that it’s still daytime. The most harming is the blue light from electronic devices such as smartphones, Televisions and computers. They reduce melatonin hormone levels in your body. Tips to avoid blue light exposure during night.
- Wear glasses that block blue light.
- You can download apps (such as lux) to block blue light on your laptop or computer.
- Turn off bright lights in your room two hours prior heading to bed.
- Avoid using electronic devices such as TV, smartphone, and laptops etc. two hours’ prior going to sleep.
- Sip milk in the evening – A glass of warm milk before going to bed can increase the melatonin levels. Avoid consuming coffee in the evening as it floods your system with caffeine that stops your brain from relaxing.
Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. So if you are really interested in optimal health and well-being, make sleep a top priority in your life and follow the above-discussed tips to get better sleep.