Ever since my teens I have battled with insomnia, hitting me in bouts and lasting for weeks, sometimes even months, at a time. Over the years I have tried just about everything, from herbal supplements to prescription medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy and even seen sleep specialists. I think, for me, my main trigger is undoubtedly stress and, after those first few sleepless nights, it doesn’t take long until my body clock loses its rhythm and before you know it, four weeks have passed and I’m surviving on little more than two to three hours sleep a night. And let me tell you, with four children and a business to run, it is mentally and physically draining!!
This year my insomnia has been particularly bad due to one thing or another and yet over the last week I have finally managed to find ways to combat it, and hopefully by sharing my tips with you, you will too.
1. Create a restful sleeping environment
It’s no surprise that having a restful sleeping environment will always result in a better nights sleep, and yet so many people still don’t follow that as a rule. Make sure that your bedroom is the right temperature, invest in black out blinds, and minimise any noise which is sure to wake you. Recently I realised that the once soothing sound of our ticking clock was intact keeping me awake and causing my mind to focus, and by removing the clock it actually made a huge difference!
2. Exercise regularly
Again it’s common sense really but if you exercise more, not only does it relieve tension and make you feel better mentally and physically, but it also helps you to burn off energy throughout the day making you feel sleepier by bedtime.
3. Write down your worries
This tip was recommended by my GP and has made a huge difference to me already. He suggested keeping a pencil and paper by my bed and at night when I lay awake, if any thoughts of worries popped into my head, he told me to write the down to deal with by morning. It’s so simple but so effective!
4. Make sure your bed is comfortable
So many people who suffer with insomnia simply aren’t settling due to their bed being too uncomfortable. If your mattress is to blame I definitely recommend investing in a new one!
5. If you can’t sleep, get up!
This tip is often surprising to people as it seems to defeat the object, but actually lying in bed when you can’t sleep can simply fuel insomnia. You are far better off getting out of bed and doing something else until you feel sleepy again, rather than lying in bed worrying about a lack of sleep!
These tips have really helped me and touch wood, I seem to have broken my cycle. Head over to The Independent Pharmacy for alternative ways to beat insomnia.
** This is a collaborative post **