If you don’t sleep well, there are some really simple and practical things you can do to improve your situation, and it all starts with sleep hygiene. Practising good sleep hygiene gives you the best possible chance of falling asleep and staying asleep.
Before you read any further I should point out that if you’re going through any kind of psychotropic medication withdrawal, practising sleep hygiene may just make you feel anxious or frustrated since your insomnia problem has nothing to do with your surroundings.
But if you’re looking for the best ways to sleep, I have some very useful tools for you that will help you manage your insomnia in a more effective way.
Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol
Consuming too much caffeine can hinder your ability to sleep. If you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages you might want to consider cutting down or switching to decaf (but do it gradually if you want to avoid massive migraines!).
Alcohol is also renowned for interrupting your sleep patterns. You may find that initially it relaxes you so you fall asleep easily, but your quality of sleep will not be good and you’ll probably wake early in the morning unable to get back to sleep. Limiting or eliminating your intake of both these substances is a smart move.
Make Your Bedroom A Sleep-Friendly Zone
Your bedroom should be reserved just for sleeping (and sex). If you want to watch TV, do it in another room. Keep your bedroom cool and dark so you’re not wrestling with body temperature issues on top of everything else.
If you have light curtains, the early morning light may cause your cortisol to kick in too early and you’ll wake up way before the alarm goes off. To avoid this problem it might be worth investing in some heavy, dark curtains.
No TV Or Computer Before Bed
Short wavelength blue light that comes from television and computers is thought to suppress the production of melatonin in your body.
Melatonin helps you to sleep, so you want to make sure you don’t disturb the natural brain and body chemicals that promote and enhance sleep function.
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of blue light than others; so if you want to avoid insomnia don’t watch TV or work on your computer before bed.
Don’t Watch The Clock
Isn’t it maddening when you can’t get to sleep the night before an important work meeting? What’s even more maddening is that each time you look at the clock its one hour less time you have before the alarm goes off.
The solution? Don’t look at the clock. If you need an alarm clock put it where you can’t see the time. Constant clock watching causes sleep anxiety which exacerbates insomnia.
I know this is hard when you feel like a zombie, but trust me on this one. If you nap during the day you’ll dilute the quality of your sleep that night and it will be even harder to re-establish a healthy sleep pattern.
Napping feels good at the time but you’ll pay for it in the long-run. So try to stick it out and give your circadian rhythms the best possible chance of rebalancing on their own.
If you want to sleep well, practising good sleep hygiene can make a world of difference to the quantity and quality of your sleep. If you’re interested in trying hypnosis for insomnia you can contact me directly here to schedule an appointmentDo you suffer from insomnia? Please feel free to share your tips for managing your sleep problems in the comments below.