Sleep is essential for good health. Unfortunately, more & more people are suffering from sleep disorders. How to overcome these disorders and have a restful sleep?
According to a recent study, 73% of people wake up at least once a night, and more than a third say they suffer from a sleep disorder. Yet most of us need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to be fit, and children and teens are just as affected as adults.
These numbers are high, and the reasons multiple because insomnia reflects a wide range of problems: it can be a sign of depression, stress, or a particular physical condition. To overcome insomnia, it is, therefore, necessary to already target the potential reasons, especially if it has been going on for several months. Sleep helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, and depression; it boosts your immunity and may even increase male and female fertility and libido. If it were a drug, our doctors would prescribe it for everyone! It is therefore worth taking seriously.
If you experience insomnia regularly, consider keeping a journal so that you can write down every detail about your sleep cycle. These notes will also be helpful if you need to see a general practitioner.
To cope with these episodes of insomnia, here are some simple tips for sleeping better, knowing that each person is unique and that you should not hesitate to try different things:
Exercise during the day (but not right before bed).
Cut down on alcohol intake and avoid heavy meals and caffeinated drinks right before bed.
Go to bed and wake up simultaneously every day (and yes, even on weekends).
Make sure you have suitable bedding and a good mattress as well as comfortable pillows (remember that you spend up to one third of your life in bed).
Stop using your cell phone or computer at least an hour before going to bed.
Try by listening to some soothing music or reading a book.
Promote an atmosphere conducive to sleep; your bedroom should be quiet and dark, preferably use thick curtains, blinds, an eye mask, and earplugs.
For most people, insomnia is occasional and doesn’t last very long. This is entirely normal & should not be of concern to you. It could also be something that worries you or just a change in your usual sleep pattern. On the other hand, if these disorders are frequent, it is advisable to ask the right questions and target the reasons for these disorders.
If you have tried the various techniques mentioned above, but you continue to have difficulty sleeping, and the lack of sleep weighs on you daily, talk to your doctor.
In some cases, general practitioners may refer you to psychological treatment such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you ascertain the underlying reasons that prevent you from falling asleep.
In any case, the general practitioner will help you identify the underlying causes and give you the best advice to take care of them and get back to natural, restful sleep.