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- Self-Help for Sleep Issues & Sleeplessness
11 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Sleep Problems
About 30% of adults are known to have problems falling or staying asleep. Sleep problems not only reduce the productivity of an individual, but also drastically affect the quality of life. Here are a few simple ways to overcome sleep problems.
1. Eat light: Do not over eat for dinner. A feeling of fullness is uncomfortable and can lead to belching and acidity. Ideally your last meal should be at least 2 hours before you call it a day. Avoid eating spicy, oily food at night.
2. Milk: A glass of warm milk with or without sugar works wonders for those jittery nerves which don’t allow you to sleep. However do not add coffee or other stimulants to your milk. Make sure you are not lactose intolerant!
3. Warm water bath: A warm water bath just before you sleep soothes your overworked body, relaxes those tense muscles and calms your nerves laying out the perfect atmosphere for a nightful of uninterrupted sleep. Make sure the water is just warm. Too hot or too cold a shower will stimulate you leaving you sleepless.
4. Physical activity: Our life today is more or less sedentary. We do not exert our body enough so that we need rest. And that leads to lack of sleep. At least one hour of physical activity of your choice ( walking, jogging, any sport, swimming, dancing..) per day will work those muscles unto exhaustion and make you crave for sleep. Also physical activity helps release endorphins and serotonin which are natural hypnotics.
5. Yoga: Yoga is a unique science that combines physical strength along with endurance, flexibility and mental stability. It regularizes hormonal secretions, blood gases, functioning of various systems including the reticular activating system which is responsible for sleep.
6. Maintain a routine: Having a routine helps the body to set its own cycle of various events. This will not confuse the body and will make it easier to fall asleep. So depending on your schedule, sleep and wake up at more or less the same time every day. Do not change this routine too often, though once in a while its fine if you are out partying or having a night out with friends. But that should be an exception rather than a rule!
7. Natures call: Make sure you empty your bladder before you attempt to sleep. You may wake up with a start at night due to a nightmare, realizing your bladder is full and are unable to fall asleep. Dreams are one of the ways your body tries to wake you up for thirst or urination.
8. Avoid stimulants: Tea, coffee, alcohol, smoking are absolute no-no if you have a sleeping problem. They stimulate your central nervous system and make you more alert.
9. Meditate: 15-20 minutes of meditation will help you get your thoughts under control, calm down your mind and help you relax. Mental turbulence is the main reason for not being able to sleep properly. However complete dedication and devotion is required to master the art of meditation.
10. De-stress: Do not burn yourself out working. Your career and your ambitions are important, but not with your health at stake. Don’t work 7 days a week. Take vacations. Cultivate hobbies. All this will make you de-stress and help you sleep better. Do not worry about stuff. Worry is nothing but wasting today for a lost yesterday or a tomorrow that’s yet to come. Live life to its fullest, with no regrets, it is beautiful!
11. When to see the doctor?? Not being able to sleep could rarely but possibly be an indicator of a more severe underlying illness. Here are some red flags which will tell you that you need to see the doctor.
- Associated weight loss or loss of appetite.
- Lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Associated breathlessness or cough.
- Severe insomnia that is affecting daily activities.
- Snoring up to the extent of choking.