World Sleep Day 2022: 5 ways to beat insomnia
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that keeps you up at night and causes trouble falling and/or staying asleep on a regular basis. This medical condition can be both acute or chronic, and occur due to various factors like stress, excessive noise, light, or high temperature of your surroundings, or can also be genetic. Here's how you can beat it.
- Insomnia is a common condition affecting 30-50% of all adults which is more frequent in the elderly, as the physiological need for sleep reduces.
- It is classified under mental and sleep disorders.
- Insomnia amongst the young is mostly due to poor sleep hygiene, which includes use of caffeine, exposure to blue light via mobile/computer screens and ill-timed naps during the day.
If you drink a lot of coffee, tea, throughout the day, cut down. Make sure you do not drink coffee after 7 pm. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, making you feel awake and energetic, thus interfering with your sleep. It is also known to prevent deep sleep. If you must drink before bedtime, have a cup of warm milk or herbal tea.
Daily moderate exercises like walking, jogging, stretching, and swimming can help relieve some tension and make you feel relaxed mentally. Exercise also releases the endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine hormones which give you happiness and pleasure. However, do not indulge in vigorous exercise in the evening or close to bedtime, like running, and lifting weights as that might keep you awake.
Smartphones, tablets, e-books, computer screens, and televisions, emit blue light that disrupts sleep. Keep away all such gadgets a few hours before bedtime and resist the urge to look at them. Try wearing glasses that block out blue light if you have to work late. You can also switch over to reading-light in your smartphone to prevent blue light from affecting your eyes.
Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but it interferes with the sleep cycle and you might end up waking up too early the next day. Alcohol also blocks REM sleep. Although it relaxes your muscles, it increases the risk of sleep apnea, as the muscles in the throat become relaxed too. Have a cup of herbal tea or warm milk to relax.
Make sure your bed is comfortable, check if the mattress needs to be changed. Try to cancel out excess light from outside by using blackout curtains while you try to sleep. A hot room will never allow peaceful sleep, so lower the temperature in your room. Try to cancel out external sources of loud noise by shutting the windows in your bedroom.