ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Simple Techniques for Dealing With Insomnia

Updated on March 13, 2015
We all want to sleep well; here are some simple tips for dealing with insomnia
We all want to sleep well; here are some simple tips for dealing with insomnia | Source

Introduction

Insomnia is a major problem for a great many people; not being able to sleep at night can have a profound effect on our ability to function, our mood and our long term health.

Fortunately, there are a number of simple techniques that insomniacs can try in order to get a better night's sleep before we need to turn to sleeping medications. These techniques include things that you can do during the day, developing an effective evening routine, what to do if you can't sleep and tips to help you stay asleep. They include:

In the morning

  • Set an alarm at the same time each morning
  • Don't stay in bed or go back to sleep in the morning
  • Schedule 'worry' or 'thinking' time during the day
  • Increase your light exposure during the day
  • Take regular exercise

In the evening

  • Avoid caffeine after 6 PM
  • Create a relaxing evening routine
  • Avoid alcohol directly before bedtime
  • Go to bed at the same time every day
  • Go to bed and read
  • Have a pen and paper next to the bed in case you wake up

If you wake up at night

  • Try to get back to sleep
  • Meditate and relax individual groups of muscles
  • Try deep abdominal breathing

Techniques to use during the day

Set an alarm at the same time each morning - An important part of dealing with insomnia is training your body when to go to sleep and when to wake up. This means that you should set an alarm for around 8 hours after you go to bed. Set the alarm for the same time each day and get out of bed when it goes off, even if you are tired.

Don't stay in bed or go back to sleep in the morning - Even if you had a bad night's sleep, don't be tempted to stay in bed and go back to sleep. Taking naps during the day will significantly impact your ability to get to sleep at night and will impact on your sleeping schedule.

Schedule 'worry' or 'thinking' time during the day - This may sound a little unusual, but one of the most common causes of insomnia is anxiety and turning things over in your mind. Because of this, having time each day that you can think about and try to solve your problems can help your brain to relax at night.

Increase your light exposure during the day - Exposure to natural daylight helps to regulate your sleeping and waking cycles, so try to get outside for at least half an hour a day.

Take regular exercise - As well as being good for your general state of health, exercise is a great way to help your sleep problems. Try to take at least half an hour of moderate exercise a day.

Getting out of bed at the same time each day can help to build a healthy sleeping routine
Getting out of bed at the same time each day can help to build a healthy sleeping routine | Source
Losing sleep can create problems during the day like headaches and an inability to concentrate
Losing sleep can create problems during the day like headaches and an inability to concentrate | Source

Techniques to use in the evening

Avoid caffeine after 6 PM - Because caffeine is a stimulant, it can be difficult to sleep if you have too much in your system. Because of this, you should avoid any food or drink containing caffeine after 6 PM.

Create a relaxing evening routine - This means winding down properly before sleep. You might enjoy a cup of cocoa or hot chocolate, have a relaxing bath, spend time sitting quietly and generally being restful.

Avoid alcohol directly before bedtime - The quality of sleep that you have if you have been drinking alcohol is not as good as other types of sleep. Additionally, if you have to get up during the night to go to the toilet or because you are dehydrated, this can make it more difficult to get back to sleep.

Go to bed at the same time every day - It's very important to train your body and establish a rhythm for sleeping. Just like getting up at the same time each morning, it's important to go to bed at the same time each day. This will help your subconscious mind and your body to realize that it is time for sleep.

Go to bed and read - Reading can be a good way to calm the mind just before you sleep. Try to focus on books that are gentle and not too exciting!

Have a pen and paper next to the bed in case you wake up - If you wake up with thoughts during the night, having a pen and paper where you can capture them means that you won't have them going over and over in your head and hopefully will help you get back to sleep.

If you can't sleep or you wake up in the night

Try to get back to sleep - Don't assume that you are just going to stay awake, instead spend a few minutes trying to get back to sleep.

Meditate and relax individual groups of muscles - Slow down your breathing, clear your mind and focus on your breath. As you do so, tense and release individual groups of muscles in your body to help you relax.

Try deep abdominal breathing - Taking slow breaths down, deep into your abdomen can instill deep relaxation and help you get back to sleep.

If you can't sleep after a few minutes, get out of bed - staying in bed and not being able to sleep will just add to your frustration. If you can't sleep, don't watch the clock, get up and go somewhere and do something restful such as reading.

If you regularly have issues sleeping, speak to your doctor about medication
If you regularly have issues sleeping, speak to your doctor about medication | Source

A word on medications

There are three main types of medications that you can try:

'Natural' supplements and medications - This includes medications such as melatonin or valerian. You would be well advised to read up on the effects of these medications before trying them, and if you do so, try a small dose first of all. You might also want to consult with your doctor.

Over the counter sleeping pills - These are medications available from your pharmacy without a prescription. These pills can be very effective for some people and not as good for others. Speak to your pharmacist about which ones might be best for you.

Prescribed sleeping pills - Drugs such as Zolpidem and Ambien will need to be prescribed by your doctor. If you are still having significant issues with sleeping despite trying all of these techniques, speak to your doctor about what solutions are available to you.

What is insomnia?

Do you have isuses with insomnia?

See results

In closing

Whatever you try, these techniques will help to ensure that you get a restful, full night's sleep. Sleep well!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Paul Maplesden profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Maplesden 

      3 years ago from Asheville, NC

      As someone that suffers from insomnia, I wish I could follow my own advice a bit more!

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 

      3 years ago from Italy

      This is beautiful and I found out that we should not change the alarm every morning.

      Nice hub and I voted you up!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)