Insomnia is more than not being able to sleep for a night or two. Insomnia is chronic. Insomnia is a daily struggle. People suffering from insomnia often seek out sleep medications to help them. This simple act can lead to a dangerous dependence on sleep medications in order to go to sleep every single day. I know. It happened to me.
DON’T TAKE SLEEPING PILLS!
Sleep medications have intense ramifications. Dependency on these medications happens quickly and soon you find yourself unable to sleep without them; sometimes unwilling to try to sleep without them for fear you won’t sleep at all. Stress and anxiety are the key factors that keep people awake at night. If you add a sleep medication, you are going to compound your troubles. Don’t take them!
DON’T DRINK ANYTHING LABELED “DECAFFINATED” BEFORE BED
I know it says “decaffeinated”, but it isn’t. Decaffinated beverages still are filled with 1-2% of caffeine. That’s enough to keep you awake at night. Try not to drink anything in the last three hours before bed. If you have to drink, tap water or warmed milk are much better choices. If you are having sleep problems, caffeine can be your worst nightmare. Drinking more than one cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning is enough to cause sleep problems at night. Watch your caffeine intake!
DON’T TAKE NAPS!
When you haven’t slept, all you want to do is curl up in bed and make up for it. It will pass. Get up and walk around. Watch a movie. Sleeping during the day exacerbates insomnia – telling your body you don’t need to sleep only at night. My doctors said this will come back to haunt you and make insomnia worse. It did.
OTHER TIPS TO GET YOU TO SLEEP AT NIGHT:
- Exercise! Exercising by early afternoon (no later or it will backfire!), it is a helpful sleep aid and will help you get past mid-day fatigue.
- Take a warm bath before bed! This can alleviate any stress and help you fall asleep faster.
- If you can’t sleep after an hour, get back up! You will only get frustrated laying there, making sleep impossible. Go to bed when you feel tired enough to sleep. This will reduce stress and anxiety over falling asleep that cause insomnia in the first place!
Insomnia is hard to beat, but not impossible. I use these methods daily to combat my insomnia. I’ve been on sleeping pills, I’ve struggled to sleep for hours at night, and I’ve tried to make up for it by taking small naps during the day. None of these “solutions” had a positive outcome. These tips help me beat insomnia and they can help you beat yours!