- Allow the light in
There is an internal clock inside your body that tells you when it’s time to go to sleep. Your circadian rhythm is essential for telling your brain when it is time for you to stay away and when it’s time to go to sleep.
To ensure your circadian rhythm is reset, be sure to get plenty of sunshine or bright light every day. That will provide with you additional energy throughout your day and help you sleep better at night.
- Reduce your screen time
These days it can be very hard to stop scrolling through headlines. However, it is critical to allow yourself time to take a break away from social media and headlines.
If you are susceptible to anxiety-driven insomnia, then scrolling through social media and headlines before going to sleep- or even worse, while you are in bed, is not going to promote healthy sleeping patterns.
Sleep experts recommended that you try to set a curfew one or two hours before going to sleep where you turn your electronic devices off to relax down before going to bed. This is a sure fire way to help with insomnia.
- Eat healthy foods
Nutrition plays an important role in how you sleep. Food is directly related to a hormone called serotonin – in addition to folic acid, and Vitamins B12 and B6 -to help promote healthy sleep.
Experts recommend that you eat foods that help to calm your body down, increase your levels of serotonin, and prepare your body for restful sleep. They include such complex carbohydrates as:
Lean proteins like turkey or chicken
Whole-grain pasta and beads
Heart-healthy fats like pistachios, cashews, and walnuts
Beverages like chamomile tea or warm milk
- Use sleeping pills in a safe manner
If you are considering using an over-the-counter sleeping aid to help you sleep, think again. Experts instead recommend that you instead use cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) since it is more effective than using sleep aid over the long term. There is a web-based CBTI program called Go! to Sleep that you try at home.
On the rare night when you do need to use a sleep aid, the following are some good guidelines to consider
Allow a sufficient amount of time to get a full night’s sleep
Watch out for side effects
Do not try using them the night before an event-filled big day
Sleeping aids should only be used for short amounts of time. It is best to speak to your doctor if you have insomnia on a regular basis.
- Do not take long naps
If you like taking a nap every day, then try to limit them to 10 to 15 minutes. This will make it a lot easier to get going after you wake up in the morning. If you nap too often or too long, it can impact your sleep patterns and can also cause sleep inertia – a feeling of disorientation or grogginess that you experience after you wake from a deep sleep.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you consume
Having a nightcap before going to bed can help you easily fall asleep, but it can end up preventing you from getting a good night’s rest. The alcohol becomes metabolized during the second part of the night, which results in more fragmented sleep. That can result in breathing problems, nightmares, sleepwalking, and vivid dream due to breathing problems since alcohol causes your muscles to relax. That also can mean waking up to have o use the bathroom during the middle of the night. The best thing to do is limit drinking late at night or completely eliminate it.