Many people struggle with sleeping on time or insomnia. They keep on lying in bed for hours but are unable to sleep and often wonder how to sleep better and faster at night. If you want to stay healthy and happy, it’s important to get a sound sleep for 7 – 8 hours at night.
The benefits of adequate sleep range from weight loss to healthy heart and less stress. But, if you aren’t able to sleep at night, not only, you get devoid of all these benefits but become prone to many ailments and health problems.
The people who suffer from insomnia or irregular sleep often face several health troubles and look for the best tips on how to get better sleep.
Sleeplessness is becoming quite common these days. About one-third of people across the globe find it difficult to sleep on time and get continuous sleep at night. Some of the common contributing factors include stress, technology, unhealthy eating, readily prescribed medications and much more.
When people start experiencing troubles in sleeping, they often seek medical help and what doctors prescribe is the sleep-inducing medications, which are not only addictive but also have innumerable side effects. Thus, if you are experiencing any such problem, it’s better to use natural home remedies and tips for better sleep.
Factors Causing Sleeplessness
Sleeplessness or insomnia is a sleep disorder due to which people find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep or both. Moreover, when they wake up in the morning, they don’t feel refreshed and their energy levels are very low.
While there are many factors which affect the sleep in a person, but, the reasons for sleeplessness vary from person to person. Also, the cure or treatment of insomnia completely depends on the factors that it.
Here are some of the top reasons responsible for insomnia:
Stressing about anything can keep you awake at night, If you are worried about your health, your loved ones, financial security, your work, kids or any insecurity, you may feel stressed and it can directly affect your sleep. That’s why it’s important to live a stress free life.
Closeness to Technology
Technological gadgets like smartphones, laptops, tablets or other screens badly affect our sleep, especially when we use them excessively in bed before going to bed. Watching TV late at night or using a mobile phone can interfere with your sleep cycle.
Eating Heavy Food Late In the Evening
Sometimes, when we tend to eat heavy meals just before going to bed, we may experience physical discomfort. If you regularly eat your dinner late at night, then it might be one of the reasons that you are finding it difficult to fall asleep.
The discomfort caused by the chronic pains like lower back pain, arthritis, knee or joint pain, fibromyalgia, headache, acid reflux or any other type of pain can make it impossible to fall or stay asleep.
Work or Travel Schedule
If you work late at night, or early morning, work in frequently changing shifts, often travel across the multiple time zones, your sleep-wake cycle gets badly affected and thus, you may find it hard to get to sleep at night.
Depression or Clinical Anxiety
If you are experiencing clinical anxiety or depression, it will constantly affect your sleep. To make the situation worse, when people with anxiety disorders worry about it, sleeping becomes even more difficult.
Impact of Sleeplessness On Our Body
Sleeplessness impacts our body badly and leads to an increased risk of the chronic ailments. Some of the common effects of sleeplessness on our body include:
- Depression and impulsive behavior
- Weaker immune system
- Irritability and daytime fatigue
- Higher vulnerability to respiratory troubles
- Increased risk of Type II diabetes
- Higher fat reserves and slow metabolism
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Poor cardiovascular health
- Increased risk of cardiac diseases
- Hormonal imbalance
- Low sex drive
- Mood changes
- Trouble in concentrating and thinking
Tips for Promoting Better and Faster Sleep at Night
With these tips, you can get a good night sleep without any drugs.
1. Develop A Good Sleep Routine
While it may sound tempting to sleep for extra hours during the noon, but, it badly affects your night’s sleep.
Taking longer naps during the day can badly affect your sleep at night. It disrupts your biological clock and causes sleep problems.
If you want to sleep well at night, it’s good to take a shorter power nap in the day, and sleep at the same time every night, even on weekends.
2. Make Changes In Your Diet
Caffeine can make you stay awake, and thus, it’s vital that you don’t eat or drink anything that possesses caffeine after 2 pm in the day. These include black tea, coffee, chocolates and soft drinks.
For dinner, have light food primarily comprising of soups and salads. Don’t eat heavy or spicy food at night, and finish your dinner 3 hours before you go to sleep so that it gets digested by the time you sleep.
3. Maintain the Right Temperature
Neither too hot, nor too cold!!
This is what you need in your bedroom. If your room is too cold, you won’t be able to sleep properly, and it it’s too hot, you would find it difficult to fall asleep.
The ideal temperature for the bedroom is somewhere around 65 – 70 Fahrenheit, or 20o C – 22o C.
4. Expose Yourself to Bright Lights During The Day
Our body possesses a natural time keeping clock, which is known as “Circadian Rhythm”. It tells our body when to sleep and when to stay awake depending on the lights and environment we are exposed to.
Not only this, but circadian rhythm also regulates our hormones, and affects our brain and body.
The exposure to the natural sunlight or the bright lights keeps the circadian clock healthy and improves our daytime energy. Also, bright exposure during the day makes us have sound sleep at night while helping an individual to fall asleep at night easily.
So, if bright sunlight exposure is not possible for you, it’s better to invest in artificial bright lights, and keep yourself surrounded by such lights during the day to maintain the body’s natural sleep cycle and clock.
5. Avoid Bright Light Exposure in Evenings
While bright lights during the day help us in maintaining our circadian rhythm, but, the same lights can affect our sleep pattern if you get exposed to them at night or in late evenings.
Of all the lights, the exposure to blue light in the evenings is the worst. Blue light exposure reduces melatonin hormone, which is responsible for relaxing us and making us get into deep sleep.
Blue light is emitted by many electronic devices such as computers and smartphones. That’s’ why health experts recommend reduces use of smartphones, and laptops at night.
6. Reduce the Intake of Alcohol
Alcohol badly disrupts the pattern of sleep. Moreover, it impacts the brainwaves which help you wake up refreshed in the morning.
While a martini or vodka may help you doze off at once, but, after it wears off, you may stay awake and might find it very difficult to sleep again. Thus, avoid alcohol at night.
7. Make Your Bedroom Completely Dark
If there are lights turned on at night, they give your brain the signal that its nit the time to sleep. Rather, it’s time to wake up.
On the flip side, when you try to sleep in darkness, the production of melatonin increases, resulting in sleepiness. So, when you are trying to fall asleep, make your room completely dark.
8. Make Your Bedroom A Highly Private Space
Don’t go to your bed unless you want to sleep or have sex. Secondly, try to restrict all outside noises and lights from your bedroom area.
Many studies indicate that the external noises and lights can result in the long-term health issues and poor sleep. Even if you fall asleep, these noises may wake you up in the middle of the night while keeping you stay awake for long.
So, optimize your bedroom environment and make it perfect for sleep. Don’t put TV or computer in your bedroom, put the electronic devices either out of the room or if they are in the room, keep on silent mode and ensure that your bedroom is clean.
9. Take A Shower Before Going To Sleep
Taking a shower before you go to sleep can significantly improve the sleep quality and makes you fall asleep mush faster.
A warm shower about 60 – 90 minutes before the bedtime can help you overcome sleeplessness.
If it’s too cold to take bath, you can even have your feet dipped in warm water for 10 – 15 minutes. It will relax your body and improve your sleep quality.
10. Indulge in Physical Activities
Physical activities can greatly help you overcome the sleeplessness. In the people suffering from insomnia, physical exercises like walking, swimming, skipping, yoga can be more helpful than the sleep-inducing drugs.
Due to exercise, the toxins are flushed out of the body and some vital hormones are secreted in the body. All these factors, contribute to good night sleep.
Also, as we tend to get tired due to exercises, it, becomes much easier to fall asleep at night. But, ensure that you don’t indulge in the exercise late in the day or just before the bedtime.
11. Develop a Bedtime Routine
Adopting a bedtime ritual will not only help you sleep easily but, when you will perform this routine on regular basis, it will send sleep signals to your brain, making it comprehend that it’s the bedtime.
The nightly habits like reading in bed in the dim light, or listening to some relaxing music can help you relax and prepare your brain for sleep.
As per a Taiwanese study, many problem sleepers were able to sleep easily and snooze more soundly when they listened to music before going to bed.
12. Have Warm Milk At Night
Warm milk with honey can promote natural sleep. Milk is enriched in amino acid tryptophan, a sleep-inducing compound.
The consumption of milk enhances the amount of serotonin in the body, which acts as a natural sedative for the brain. The addition of honey to the milk helps in faster transmission of the hormone to the brain, and thus, honey increases the effectiveness of milk.
Combining milk and honey, with a banana helps in faster conversion of tryptophan into serotonin.
13. Try Herbal Tea
The consumption of herbal tea at night can help your body to relax and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Moreover, these teas help you sleep deeper and enjoy, a satisfying rest.
You can have valerian, passion flower tea or chamomile tea, but, don’t add any sugar to them.
14. Check Your Medications
Some medications interfere with our sleep and make it harder to fall asleep. The medications like beta-blockers, decongestants, thyroid medications, some anti-depressants or the medications containing caffeine can affect the sleep quality.
So, if you are on a regular medication, and are finding it hard to sleep properly, you must discuss the problem with your doctor. Your medicine might be the reason behind your insomnia, and once you let this to your doctor, he/she may replace the medicine to ensure that it does not affect your sleep.
Meditation is one of the best ways to relax your mind and bust the stress. Meditation on regular basis can effectively beat your insomnia.
When we meditate, the signals to relax are sent to our sympathetic nervous system. Meditation helps you put aside the disturbing thoughts from the day, and thus, make your mind calm.
Now that you have figured out how to sleep better and faster at night and cure insomnia without the use of medications, you should not face any problem pertaining to sleeplessness and irregular sleep.