Article revised on 19 June 2017
In an ideal world, every adult should get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every night. However, one in every three adults has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or getting restful sleep. In fact, 10% of adults suffer from sleep problems serious enough to cause difficulty or distress during the daytime. Insomnia can be caused by several reasons. Here are eight (tips) or ways to overcome insomnia.
The 3 forms of insomnia
There is more than one definition for insomnia, but the experts agree that insomnia can come in three forms:
1. It takes you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep.
2. You wake up frequently during the night and stay awake for periods of more than 30 minutes.
3. You wake up very early in the morning and are unable to go back to sleep. As a result, you get less than six and a half hours of sleep per night.
What causes insomnia?
- Stress, anxiety and depression or a combination of psychological, medical, pharmacological or environmental factors.
- Certain life events, such as the death of a loved one or a job loss.
- Illness or physical pain.
- Our physical environment: a poor mattress, a room that is not adequately darkened or is too warm or too cold, surrounding noise or a spouse who snores…
8 simple and effective strategies for beating insomnia
- Set aside at least an hour to relax before bedtime.
- Develop a pre-bedtime ritual. Your body and brain will receive the signal that you are ready for a good night’s sleep.
- Go to bed only when you feel signs of drowsiness, such as yawning or heavy eyelids.
- Get out of bed and leave your bedroom if you are still not asleep 20 minutes after lying down.
- Always get up at the same time in the morning. This routine will help you regulate your internal clock and synchronize your sleeping and waking times.
- Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
- Try not to take naps if you suffer from insomnia. If you absolutely need one, make sure it’s before 3:00 p.m. and doesn’t last longer than 30 – 45 minutes.
- Limit the amount of time that you spend in bed to your actual sleep time.
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