With the clocks going back very soon, everyone wants to make the most of that extra hour in bed. The trouble is, that nearly a third of us suffer in the UK suffer with insomnia. Everyday worries and worry about the effects of sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood of insomnia. For example, many of us think we need the magic 8 hours of sleep to function. When lying in bed we look for signs that they are falling asleep and if we wake up at night, we feel our sleep pattern is wrecked, even if it is just to go to the loo. During the next day, we examine ourselves for signs of tiredness and worry that if insomnia continues, it will affect our health. This produces a vicious circle which can be hard to break.
There are many ideas to promote a good night’s sleep. I’ve listed some of the most effective tips you can try, if you are suffering with insomnia.
- Don’t bring your gadgets, like your phone, to the bedroom. The light from them can disrupt sleep, not to mention the dings or buzzes from Facebook updates and texts.
- Don’t keep a L.E.D or glow in the dark clock in your room. If you check the time in the middle of the night, ask yourself how does knowing the time help me sleep? If it is to see how much sleep time you have left, it sounds as though you are putting pressure on yourself.
- If you worry a lot at night time, keep a notebook by your bed and write your worries down. This breaks the worry cycle and you can deal with the matter the next day. However, chances are it won’t seem so bad the next morning.
- If you still can’t sleep, get up until you feel ready to go back to bed. Relaxing activities such as reading can help you to feel sleepy again.
- Keep your bedroom very dark at night.
- Try being mindful. Mindfulness is a form of ancient Buddhist meditation. If your mind is racing, try to focus your attention on where your body is resting. Bring your mind back to the present. By spending 5 minutes just noticing your breathing and not trying to change it, you can calm your mind. It’s really hard to keep your attention on your breathing if your mind is used to wandering off, but if you accept that this is a normal thing for your brain to do and keep practicing, it will get easier.
- Try to get up at the same time every morning to set your body clock and avoid napping during the day.
- Go to bed when you feel tired, not because you need a certain amount of hours to sleep.
- When you wake up in the morning, try not to check how you are feeling. Everyone feels rough for the first 1 1/2 hrs in the morning. It’s a rare person who leaps out of bed feeling great.
- Prepare yourself to go to sleep. Have a relaxing bath, hot milky drink and wind down for bed.