Woman looking at ipad in bed

Insomnia and ways to overcome it

If you struggle with sleep problems you’re not alone.

A study commissioned by the Sleep Foundation of Australia found that almost 60% of us regularly experience at least one sleep disturbance symptom, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.1

Almost 15% of us show signs of chronic clinical insomnia.

Insomnia can make a big impact on your energy and ability to function, not to mention making you cranky and irritable.2 More importantly, it can contribute to serious health problems.2

But you’re not here to become even more anxious about your poor sleep, you’re here to find out how to fix it. So, let’s get started.

Routine

The first thing you should try is to go to bed at the same time every night. Get yourself a routine and stick with it. Same with waking up, try and sleep the same number of hours each night.

Create a perfect place of rest

Remove distractions (like televisions) and create a comfortable sleeping environment – just the right temperature, good quality mattress and pillows, and peace and quiet. (If you have a snoring partner or dog, noisy neighbours or traffic noise in your room, get some good quality earplugs designed for sleep – see this link for our favourite Otifleks Sleeping earplugs.

Block the light

Light is one of the biggest factors to limit sleep: it inhibits melatonin, the hormone to help you fall and stay asleep.3 If you can’t block light in your bedroom, consider a light blocking mask, such as the Dreamlight range of sleep eye masks. They’re comfortable and effective.

Avoid caffeine at night

Caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks or colas can interfere with the process of falling asleep. It also prevents deep sleep. If you want to have a nightcap, have a warm milky drink or caffeine-free herbal tea.

Ditch the devices

Smartphones and tablets emit a blue light that interrupts the production the melatonin sleep hormone and shouldn’t be used at bedtime. In fact, a recent study showed that using the mobile for at least 30 minutes before sleeping after the lights have been turned off and keeping the mobile near the pillow are associated with poor sleep quality.5

Regular exercise

Moderate exercise not only helps maintain good physical health, but it can also help relieve some of the tension or stresses of everyday life and makes for a more restful sleep.4 Just don’t do vigorous exercise too late at night because it might wake you up too much.

Meditation/relaxation

If you’re going through a stressful time, you’re probably more likely to suffer insomnia.6 Consider relaxation exercises to calm the mind and body.

If you’re still struggling, talk to your healthcare professional. Insomnia can really take its toll on your quality of life and relationships.

Sources:

  1. https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/news/special-reports/chronic-insomnia-disorder-in-australia.html
  2. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/insomnia-causes-and-cures.htm
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-75622-4
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/10-tips-to-beat-insomnia/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7320888/
  6. https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood

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