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Remedies to Treat Insomnia

If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to get to sleep on a regular basis or be able to stay asleep for the duration of the night, you may be suffering from insomnia.

Unfortunately, it is a problem that affects a large proportion of society. According to a 2017 wellbeing report by Aviva, as many as 16 million adults are suffering from insomnia. Over the course of someone's lifetime, approximately a third of all Brits will suffer an episode of insomnia (Source: NHS UK)

Not sure whether you suffer from insomnia or not? The typical characteristics of insomnia are as follows (Source: NHS UK)

  • Feeling sleepy after waking
  • Lying awake all night
  • You wake up a number of times during the night
  • You find it difficult falling asleep
  • You wake up extremely early, and fail to fall back asleep
  • You find it hard to nap during the day, even when extremely tired
  • You have problems with concentrating in the day because you are too tired
  • Suffer from tiredness and irritability often during the day 

How can you tackle this sleep problem? In this guide, we’ve put together the best advice and tips to help you get a better night's sleep. 

Avoid stimulants before bed

It is highly recommended that you avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or heavy meals a few hours before you go to bed. Experts recommend that you do this at the very least 2-3 hours before bedtime (Source: NHS UK). Stimulants, especially caffeine, can make it much harder for you to shut off as it boosts your energy levels, reducing your quality of sleep.

coffee-in-bed

Keep away from electronic devices in the bedroom

These days, we are all practically addicted to checking our phones from the minute we wake up to the minute we fall asleep, but this is harmful to your ability to get decent shut-eye. This is because of the blue light that is emitted from devices such as phones, computers or tablets, that reduce the amount of melatonin in your body, which is the sleep-inducing hormone.

phone-before-bed

Whilst it would be unrealistic to suggest you stop using electronic devices altogether, it is advised to at least put them down an hour before you intend to go to bed.

Establishing a routine helps

Going to bed at the same time and waking up consistently at a certain hour too will help to improve your sleep.  By changing your sleeping habits in this way, it is likely to help you to doze off more frequently. However, make sure you are only going to bed at a time when you are tired - if you end up tossing and turning in bed, this is simply counterproductive.

Exercise regularly

Whilst you should avoid intense exercise before bedtime (at least four hours before bed), generally engaging in exercise is a great way of dealing with insomnia (Source: Sleep Station). This is because it can help you to feel tired by the time it gets to the evening, so you don’t end up with lots of excess energy after hours.

Engage in an unwinding routine every night

A fantastic way to tackle insomnia head-on is to make a commitment to creating an unwinding routine each night. You need to make your bedroom a tranquil, relaxing place to be. For example, think about unwinding with an interesting book for an hour (preferably not something too stimulating, like a horror story!) or having a long bath with some candles on. 

Invest in comfortable bedding

Your bedding and your mattress can have a huge effect on your quality of sleep. Take for example weighted blankets UK, (such as those provided by Calming Blankets, which are also made from ultra-soft minky fabric) work by stimulating ‘deep touch pressure stimulation’ in the body, which can calm sensory behaviours and improve your overall quality of sleep.

 

Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/

https://www.sleepstation.org.uk/articles/sleep-clinic/nhs-options-for-insomnia-treatments/

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/mental-health/insomnia

https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2017/10/Sleepless-cities-revealed-as-one-in-three-adults-suffer-from-insomnia/