Now I’m not going to sit up on my ‘high horse’ writing this article pretending that I do all things I’m about to suggest. But, on the odd occasion, I do struggle with insomnia, I begin implementing some of the strategies below to help sooth me back into a deep and peaceful sleep coma.
1. Ban the screens
Quite possibly the easiest/hardest tip to implement. I louuvveee falling asleep in front of the T.V. I’m sure I have a genetic predisposition to want to snooze while the noise of a show I’ll never actually watch is playing in the background. But it also shouldn’t be shocking that you don’t get the best sleep quality when you are in front of a screen. It can take longer to fall asleep because of the stimulation and the quality will be lesser once you do fall asleep.
You might be thinking, ‘but I use my phone as an alarm clock!’ This might be shocking but you can still purchase an actual alarm clock that is used solely for that purpose. No excuses – boot the phone out of the bedroom.
We are under this impression that we need to be accessible 24/7. You do not. You deserve, you need some time to rest. Separating yourself from your phone, email, social media will give you the permission you need to rest. And the world will not fall apart without you.
2. Get outside
The great outdoors can cure a lot of things – insomnia included. Fresh air, exercise, and exposure to sunlight can all help with improving your sleep at night. These suggestions are so basic, you might be rolling your eyes but you most likely are not implementing them! It continues to stun me how many people know they should be exercising (because it will improve such a range of issues) but they still don’t actually do it! Go outside. Take a walk. Go now! (well after you are done reading this article…)
3. Make your bedroom a haven
In my house, a lot of importance and resources are invested in making our bedroom a haven: king size bed, soft linens, warm duvet. Your bed should be comparable to a cloud sent down from the heavens. You might consider using ear plugs, an eye mask, black out blinds, reducing clutter all in the name of getting a blissful night’s sleep.
4. Sleep only zone
Now that you’ve made your bedroom a paradise; you must use it wisely. You should only be in your bed when it’s time to sleep. Avoid spending time reading, watching moves, or lounging. Your body and brain will associate your bed only with sleep if you reserve the space for just that.
5. Try over the counter sleep aids
If many of the non-drug strategies don’t work, consider trying an over the counter sleep aid. Both Benadryl (i.e. diphenhydramine) and Gravol (i.e. dimenhydrinate) can be used to help with insomnia as both can make you drowsy as a side effect of their intended use. Neither will be a very powerful sleep aid but both can cause drowsiness, which might be enough to nudge you into a slumber. Of course, melatonin is known for being a helpful sleep aid and is naturally occurring in the body so preferred by some. However, the downside: it can cause vivid dreams.
So next time you are struggling to get some much needed rest, try some of these tips instead of counting sheep.
The information shared does not constitute a medical consultation and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health provider for questions regarding a medical condition.
Please do not disregard professional health provider advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately.