I Can’t Sleep!’- How to Fall Asleep Fast and Stop Insomnia for Good and by Hacking Your Habits
“Sleep is the best Meditation” – Dalai Lama. Indeed, sleep does wonder to our body and mind. Sleep is the best way to focus and relax your mind.
We are so much obsessed with the technology that it is now affecting our health terribly. Insomnia, Narcolepsy, and Apnea have become a common health issue for mankind. Isn’t it strange in order to raise the living standards we are neglecting the valuable health gifted to us by the God Almighty?
We spend ⅓ of our lives sleeping. This is because a lot of important things happen while we are flying in dreamland or fighting those dragons. When we are in our deepest stages of sleep our bodies produce growth hormone, no matter how old we are. These hormones repair any damaged tissues, which leaves us refreshed.
Another thing that happens when we sleep is our brains take our daily experiences and file some of them away into our long-term memory banks. Even though it seems that your body is doing absolutely nothing when you are sleeping, the truth is, our bodies are actually quite busy.
When we don’t get the sleep we need then our bodies are left with excess damage and our minds tend to be a little groggy. It stands to reason that we need to sleep for our overall health and well being. What if you aren’t getting the sleep you need? Do you know why? If it’s medically related, like insomnia or sleep apnea, then it’s best to contact a medical professional. But, if your reason for not getting the sleep you need is due to your comfort level when you are in bed keep reading. We can help you with that.
In this article, you shall know the best ways to gain good sleep for the recommended hours according to your age group.
1. Sleep Should be a Reflex Action
A fixed sleep routine is extremely important for a healthy life. There should be a fixed time to go to bed every night and similarly a wake-up time in the morning. Setting your biological clock will boost your sleep quality immensely.
“A few years back due to graveyard shifts, My sleep cycle was heavily disturbed. Although I was tired, I was not able to get sound sleep. Soon I was ill and had to quit the job to get my sleep back. Fortunately, I recovered faster by sleeping right on time every night“
Our bodies come with an internal clock called circadian rhythms. These clocks run on hormones like melatonin that our bodies create. When we go to bed late and wake up at ridiculous hours staying asleep becomes difficult. Humans like schedules when we stick to them. They create structure. This is why children are put to bed at the same time every night.
Note: No weekend exceptions, stick to the routine.
Napping is a smart way to make up for a lot of sleep but do not exceed more than 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon. It is very obvious to feel drowsy right after the meals hence occupy yourself with some activity to distract, else you might end up waking in the middle of the night.
2. Even Vampires Can’t Take the Light
Have you ever heard about the Blue Light? Yeah, you are thinking right. Light emitted by electronic gadgets like TV, Phones, and Laptops. The gadget’s light they directly affect the melatonin production and takes away your precious sleep.
Our pineal glands produce the majority of our melatonin, the hormone needed to initiate sleep. Melatonin production spikes at night, when the sun is down. When you have constant artificial light bombarding you then your sleep environment won’t be comfortable no matter how much you believe playing that video game will tire us out. Get yourself some privacy window film or heavy drapes and find a way to secure them.
Turn it off. This means everything. Your smartphone, your tablet, your television, your lights. Anything that might be emitting light or electricity your way should be shut off at least 30 minutes before you want to be sound asleep. This is probably going to be the toughest thing on our list.
If you like to read on your tablet before you go to sleep then maybe you can use a device that isn’t backlit or stick to a real book. The constant light in your face will inhibit your melatonin production and the constant activity can get your brain all worked up, which would make it harder to fall asleep.
The overall lightning ion your room matters too. Is your room bright? Do you have constant light entering into your sanctuary through your windows? This can make for an uncomfortable sleep environment. Get yourself some heavy drapes and find a way to secure them. If you need a light to get a low light or a night light.
Days are bright and night are dark. Isn’t that simple to understand? For our body, the simplest facts matter the most. Follow the below advice and surely your sleep quality will increase.
3. Don’t be Lazy
You must be thinking, what does my daily activity has to with my sleep?
Well to answer that question, I want to tell you that there is a very close connection between these both.
Regular exercising can help cure Insomnia and Apnea kind of sleep disorders. Even a few minutes of exercise is helpful in promoting your sleep quality. People who exercise during the day get good sleep at night.
Show some dedication, this is going to make you look hot and sexy too. There are several effects of exercise on your body like it speed up the metabolism, increases the body temperature, and stimulates the hormones like cortisol.
Prefer doing exercise in the early part of the day and avoid them completely a couple of hours before sleep.
4. Drink a Herbal Tea
This may sound like a grammy tip, but drinking some herbal tea really works.
Natural Sleep Remedies: 10 Calming Herbal Teas That Will Help You Sleep Better
Tell me, what is a girl to when she seems to have it all… but her sleep?
It is such a normal thing, isn’t it? You work or study, you go about your day; you see people, do some sports, have some fun, etc. Then comes the time to lay down in your warm, cozy bed and get some well-deserved rest.
You close your eyes. It’s quiet and dark. Everything you need for a good night sleep is there.
But it doesn’t come. Nope. Your body refuses to fall asleep.
It happened to me.
I had just started college. The school was great, I made a few new friends, took a few exams with excellent marks. And then I suddenly lost my sleep.
Some nights I couldn’t fall asleep at all. Others I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep.
At first it seemed handy. More time to do stuff – what’s better than that!
But gradually I came to realize that I was getting tired of it all. I couldn’t concentrate or memorize a thing. I didn’t feel like going out. Even seeing friends turned into a burden.
I saw a doctor. He said that it was only stress. It turns out that even if you don’t feel bad, you can be stressed out in a new situation. Like college was for me.
The doctor prescribed me some sleeping pills but warned me to be careful with those. They were easy to get used to, he said. So I decided not to take them and look for a natural way to deal with the problem instead.
I looked for some alternatives to pills. Finally, I started reading about herbs.
What could be easier than having a warm cup of tea before bed to help you sleep? Described below are the herbs I found that have such a nice calming effect.
1) Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
The lemon balm has an enjoyable lemony taste.And, besides the fact it calms your nerves, it is also good for the stomach. It helps relieve nausea in pregnant women. And it even helps with migraine.
For a cup of tea: 5 oz. water + 2 tbsps. dried lemon balm leaves.
Let it sit for 15 minutesand drink warm with honey, if you prefer it sweet. Drink a cup of this tea 2-3 times a day.
2) Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian has an excellent sedative effect and it is a great sleeping aid. You can find it in the form of pills. But it is always best to get the herb and make tea out of it.
For a cup of tea: 5 oz. water + 1 tsp. valerian root.
Cover the pot and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. It doesn’t smell great, but it works wonders.
It may take a couple of weeks of regular use to feel the best effects of valerian tea. Don’t overdo it, however, and don’t combine it with other calming or sleeping pills as it may cause drowsiness or even dizziness.
3) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile has antibacterial, antioxidant and relaxing properties. Besides helping get a better night sleep, it is really good for your skin, when used in ointments.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 2-3 tbsps. Chamomile.
4) St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
When used regularly, St. John’s wort can cure anxiety, stomach discomfort and mild depression. It also helps treat wounds and can ease first cold symptoms.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. St. John’s wort.
5) Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint tea is refreshing at any time of day. And, besides helping you relax, it can also improve digestion and relieve headaches.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. mint leaves.
6) Hawthorn (Crataegus)
Hawthorn improves blood circulation, high blood pressure, and, of course – sleep problems. You can drink 2-4 cups of this tea.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. dried hawthorn leaves.
7) Vervain (Verbena bonariensis)
Verbena has a general refreshing effect and it helps fight fever. It is used to heal nervousness and exhaustion. When used on the skin, it also helps with burns or wounds.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. vervain leaves.
You can drink one cup 2-3 times per day.
8) Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Besides its calming effects, lavender is also known to disinfect and act as a painkiller. You can also use it as an air refresher.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. dried lavender blossom.
Let it sit for 2 hours, filter and drink a cup 2-3 times a day.
9) Hops (Humulus)
Hops tea can help you sleep better. It can also help with menstrual pain. It improves digestion, stimulates appetite, and some even believe it can act as an aphrodisiac.
For a cup of tea: 5 oz. water + 1 tbsp. dried hops leafs.
You can have 1-2 cups of tea before bed.
10) Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
Motherwort is good for your nervous system and it also helps relieve menstrual problems, headaches and high blood pressure.
For a cup of tea: 8 oz. water + 1 tbsp. Motherwort leaves.
The best way to make herbal tea is by putting the herbs in some infusion device – a tea bag or a tea ball. Pour hot water on top of it and cover the pot well.
For best results, make a fresh herbal infusion every day and don’t let it stay for more than 24 hours before consuming.
Herbs are a natural and healthy way to improve your sleep but don’t overdo it. Be careful when mixing them and don’t forget that too much of a good thing may become harmful.
Unlike synthetic medicines, herbal treatment effects come more gradually. It takes more time and patience to experience real benefits.
5. Eat Healthy to Sleep Tight
Everything you eat is directly affecting your sleep quality. It is important to eat healthy and light food at dinner. Also, avoid too many drinks or caffeine after the noontime.
It is better to stay smart with your eating habit, eat all your desirable food nutrition in the lunchtime so that it does not affect your sleep. I satisfy my craving by having a nice big brunch.
Please do yourself a favor by say no to the late night drinking habit because it is the reason causing you sleeplessness.
In my personal opinion, don’t drink too much of water after the evenings, it will make you visit the bathroom often breaking your sweet night sleep.
6. Clear up Your Head
Don’t think of this as a hair wash. Clear your head means to make your mind free from thoughts.
Overthinking is one of the most common reason causing every third person to stay awake till late. Stress, anxiety, and anger are the strong emotions drifting you away from your good sleep.
Most of the time the stress we take are worthless. All you have do is convince yourself to keep them aside and focus on sleep. But for people who are facing real-time stress in their life, need some stress management.
For serious matters, you must consult a professional or talk to a dear friend even that can help you clear your head. Counting sheep’s can be more productive in such situations.
7. Bedtime Relaxation Techniques
This is my personal favorite, once you are used to these techniques you are going to include it in your daily habits. It is a great way to wind down, calm the mind, and prepare for a good sleep.
Practice Breathing – Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Put one hand on your stomach to sense the in and out of the air you breath. Take deep breaths, hold and then release, this is a most effective way to calm down yourself. This breathing practice is one of the most ancient yoga trick known as Pranayama.
Muscles Stretch – This is another great way of relaxation before the bed. You can start from hands, toes or back. All you have to do is elevate the muscles by stretching, hold and then release. This will boost the blood flow in every part of the body. It is a proven technique and results are guaranteed.
Use the Imagination Power – This technique is suitable for those who are able to imagine. Practically this is fooling your mind. Imagine a place with all the best thing you ever want. Then get involved so much in the place that your mind is completely lost in the calmness. As a result, you will be sleeping with a sweet smile.
8. Sleep-friendly Environment
How can anyone get a sound sleep in a place which is not sleep-friendly?
Sometimes living in the city can make it harder to fall asleep.A great ambience can help you sleep a lot better. A peaceful bedtime routine will send your brain signals to call it a day. Hence you can go to sleep without any kind of struggle. Lets me tell a few small but effective changes to bring in to your bedroom.
If it’s your case, check our special methods to fall asleep easier when living the big city life.
Make sure your bedroom is at the best temperature for you. Most people prefer the Goldilocks area of “just right.” What temperature you prefer in your bedroom is completely up to you. If the room is too hot it can leave you tossing and turning all night and sweaty. A room that is too cold can leave you shivering. None of these sound very comfortable.
A temperature between 68º and 72º degrees Fahrenheit would probably work for most people.
10. Eliminate any Kind of Noise
No one can sleep in a noisy place. Therefore, you have to make sure there is no loud noise penetrating your bedroom. Instead, listen to light and soothing music that can be much helpful while sleeping. Set a timer to turn off the music automatically after an hour. A right kind of music can engage your mind and will lead to a peaceful sleep.
But what if you cannot eliminate the noise for some reasons? Here is what to do.
How to Fall Asleep With Noise
Whether it is a roommate that likes to play loud music till late in the night or you are sleeping in a hotel room that happens to have a nightclub on the ground floor there are no words to describe the nuisance that the noise causes. And this is more so when you have to wake up very early in the morning to attend a lecture or for a business conference. Noise is one of the worst things that can ever happen not only to insomniacs but the average person that just wants to get a good night’s sleep.
Getting enough sleep each night is one thing and getting restorative and high quality is another. However, if you cannot control or blocks out the noise, you will have a hard time getting some sleep. And you should know that lack of sleep will not just make you feel groggy the next day, but it can have several negative health implications that include things like high blood pressure and depression. But, whether you are sleeping in a dormitory or a hotel room, there are some simple things that you can do to block out the noise night’s sleep.
Sleep is vital for the development of both the brain and body. It is a fact that you cannot do without it and so whether you sleep in a dormitory or a hotel room you should never let noise stop you from getting high quality and enough sleep. Take some action for the well-being of your health, and this should not be a problem with the tips below in mind.
Fall Asleep With Noise Tip #1: Cover it with White Noise
It might seem odd to seek to deal with annoying noise by making, even more, noise. However, research proves that white noise is very useful in dealing with noisy rooms and it will help you sleep better. White noise works by ensuring that you do not hear the noise coming from outside and it also has a soothing effect that takes your mind off the “bad sound”. White noise also has a consistent pitch and rhythm that according to research is beneficial for sleep.
There are many types of these sounds, but experts describe them as any kind that is consistent and without any recognizable tempo or variance. You can use some objects in the room such as an air conditioner or fan to produce it, but if you are in a sharing dormitory room, a phone app is the best for you. Travelers will also benefit from the app because they only need to have it on their phone and they will be able to use it in all their journeys.
Fall Asleep With Noise Tip #2: Earplugs
Earplugs will muffle and reduce any distractions from outside noise, and they are one of the most effective ways of blocking out the noise to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. In fact, some earplugs are so effective in blocking the noise that you might end up oversleeping. However, you have to invest in the right pair because some cheap ones are just a waste of money as they only irritate your ears.
The best thing about earplugs is that you can use them on several other occasions and not only just when in bed. If you are in a noisy room and want to read for a forthcoming exam or if you want to read a book in a tumultuous train they will come in handy. There are many earplugs for sleeping available in the market, but the best are those with NRR 33 rating but make sure that you wear them correctly.
Fall Asleep With Noise Tip #3: High Tech Noise Suppression Products
Sharing a room in college is almost unavoidable, but this does not mean you have to bear sleepless nights just because you have noisy roommates. If the earplugs and white noise do not seem to work for you, it is a good idea to invest in some high tech devices to help suppress the annoying noise. There are plenty of options online when it comes to these products, and so the right idea is to do in-depth research so as to know what will be most beneficial for you.
You can buy some high-tech earplugs that have an acoustic chip that will only allow quiet noise to pass and block anything that is above a particular decibel. These earplugs are perfect when you still want to talk to your friends or when you wish to know what is happening around you. There are also some types of noise-cancelling headphones that use an anti-noise signal to cancel out the bad noise. They are perfect for travelers when on an airplane as they are very useful in dealing with low-frequency and constant sounds.
Fall Asleep With Noise Tip #4: Deal with Underlying Cause
Where is the noise coming from or who is making the noise late at night? The answer to this question might be all you need to deal with the annoying noise at night. If you have roommates that play loud music at night or watch movies on their laptops with a full volume, you need to talk to them. They might not like it but the fact that you share a room means that they should also respect your need for sleep without any distractions.
You will be surprised to find out that your roommates do not know that their noise prevents you from sleeping and so talking to them might be enough to make them stop. Things might be a little harsh for travelers sleeping in a hotel room but talking to the management can also help with the noise. And so once you know the underlying cause of the noise blocking it out will be easier for you.
Fall Asleep With Noise Tip #5: Soundproof the Room
Sound can find its way into your bedroom even through tiny gaps. The sound waves can also transmit through most solid walls, and this fact makes things worse. However, if you can cover up the gaps, you will be able to soundproof your room enough to ensure that you can get some sleep. Start with your windows and make sure that you close them well and then you can now seal all the gaps. Sealing the gaps even with some clothes or blankets and towels can cause a significant reduction in the noise level.
Also, try to hang heavy curtains in your room as they are also very effective in keeping the noise out. If your curtains are not thick enough, you can always get creative and use a couple of pairs instead of just having a thin curtain and then remove the extras in the morning. Soundproofing the walls might seem like a tall order but creating a solid mass on the wall that brings in the noise using bookshelves and wardrobes can make a significant difference.
Fall Asleep With Noise Tip #6: Deal with Psychological Factors
Are you always wondering why some of your friends have no trouble at all sleeping in noisy environments? The answer to this mystery might be that they are used to the noise or they do not let it affect them psychologically. It is not always possible to wear earplugs or use white noise, and this is more so when you are travelling and have to sleep in a hotel room. But, this does not mean that you cannot get a good night’s sleep because you can tune your brain to block out the noise.
How you react to the noise will determine whether you can sleep well or not. Try to relax and regulate your breathing so that you can prepare your body for sleep. Also, develop a new or positive attitude towards the noise and whoever is making it and don’t let it make you angry or annoy you as this will only make it hard for you to sleep.
11. Get a New Pillow
Once you have a great mattress to sleep on it’s time to take a look at our pillows. Are they lumpy and too hard? Or are they too soft? Are they comfortable? If you answered the questions knowing that your pillows are not helping you get a good night’s sleep then it may be time to replace them as well.
That ⅓ of our life is also spent on these and it would benefit you greatly to have the best pillows available.
12. Is It Mattress?
If we spend ⅓ of our lives sleeping then we obviously spend the same amount of time on our beds. So it makes sense that we would need a quality mattress for all the time we spend on it. There are plenty of options on the market when it comes to mattresses, like Zenhaven, Purple or Helix being some of the larger brands. You can choose a firm innerspring or a medium memory foam.
I like my bed a little firmer and toes slightly elevated. Everyone has a personal mattress requirement which is necessary to be met. You should feel completely relaxed when you lie on the mattress. Use silk bed-sheets and covers as they feel great while sleeping.
Use the bed only for sleeping and sex – Bed should not be used for other activities like watching Television, working or having food. By practising this rule, you will train your brain to relate bedroom only with sleep and sexual activity. Thus as soon as you will reach the bed, the mind will wind down.
All the sleep-enhancing habits and tricks are enlisted in this article. If none of the above works for you. Do not waste time, visit your doctor. There might be some serious health concern hence consider taking professional help.
Hope you enjoyed reading. Feel free to drop your queries in the comment section below. Till then enjoy your sleep.
13. Your Body Runs on What You Feed It
The saying “You are what you eat” isn’t that far off of the mark. It’s a bit of an exaggeration, of course, but your body is created to run off of what you feed it. When you feed it unhealthy foods and drinks, it’s going to run sluggishly and the systems are going to perform poorly. This includes your circadian rhythm and sleep cycles.
Before you opt for those “magic” sleeping pills or go through another day on a caffeine IV, check your diet for these sneaky sleep disruptors. Your next full night’s sleep might be as easy as making a small tweak in your daily diet!
Your Diet Can Affect Your Sleep Turning You Into a Zombie Faster Than You Would Expect
If you’re zombie-ing through your day because you didn’t sleep the night before, or the night before that, or the night before that, you can join the ranks of the nearly 60 million others who experience sleep deprivation.
We’ve all learned to accommodate for our missed hours of rest through regular coffee infusions, extra vitamins and supplements, and other learned habits. But what if you could just stop the problem completely? Is there a magic pill for that besides the ones you get through prescriptions?
Instead of looking to mask the issue, it’s important to analyze why you aren’t sleeping. There are many possibilities, including stress or a bad mattress, but one of the most commonly overlooked reasons for chronic insomnia, and sleep deprivation actually stems from your diet.
A little analysis of your daily food habits, a little tweaking here and there, and you could be sleeping like a baby within a few days! So how is your diet affecting your sleep? Check out these 6 potential deterrents to your restful slumber.
6 Ways Your Diet Could be Keeping You From Sleeping
Sleep disorders should not be taken lightly. Even one night without enough sleep causes detrimental symptoms. The inability to focus and lack of attention fatigue brings with it is one of the top factors in automobile and work-related accidents.
Fatigue from sleep loss makes you irritable and forgetful. When that lack of sleep turns into ongoing sleep deprivation and sleeping habits such as sleep masturbation can affect your relationships, your job, your ability to learn, and your choices.
In some circumstances, ongoing insomnia and sleep deprivation is a sign of an underlying serious medical condition. Be sure to contact your physician if you feel like your sleep loss may be related to something more serious.
For many people, though, lack of sleep could be something as innocent as what you ate that day or have in your diet regularly. Here are 6 sneaky ingredients that may be keeping you up at night.
1. Caffeine is the obvious culprit
The same ingredient that is keeping you awake all day after a sleepless night is probably causing the problem, too. Even if you’re dragging through the afternoon and evening, you must avoid caffeine. This includes anything with caffeine as an ingredient, including sodas, coffee, tea, and chocolate.
But if you are skipping all of these problem areas and still can’t sleep, check your food labels. Caffeine is often hidden in many packaged foods and drinks, and just a little bit in your system can keep you awake for 10 to 12 hours after you eat or drink it.
Do you like the creamy pleasure of drinking coffee? Try super healthy Golden Milk or other delicious uncommon drink alternatives.
2. Alcohol makes you sleepy. Or does it?
Alcohol is often used for sedative purposes by those looking to relax before bedtime. It does the trick. It’s a depressant, so it is calming. But it’s actually a double-edged sword and can cause you to fall asleep easily and then wake up in the middle of the night. If this is your regular sleeping pattern, you might want to avoid the evening bubbly.
3. Comfort foods that are high in fat mess up your sleep cycle
When you aren’t careful about what you eat in the evenings, you may be paying for it later. High-fat foods like greasy appetizers at a restaurant, indulging your ice cream craving, or crunching on those chips cause your body’s rhythm to be thrown off, keeping you awake or waking you up.
4. Vegetables are great for you, but maybe not for your sleep
You may think you’re doing the right thing by filling up on broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and other raw veggies, but they can wake you up as they work their way through your digestive tract. They keep you feeling full longer, but they also take a while to digest. You’ll be feeling the effects while you sleep, so try to avoid them at dinner.
5. Some meats stimulate your brain
Pizza for dinner? Of course! But hold the pepperoni, sausage, and bacon. These meats contain an amino acid called tyramine. High doses of this amino acid, like those amounts found in cured meats, cause your brain to secrete more levels of norepinephrine.
This chemical’s main job is to cause the body to prepare for action and is known as part of the “fight or flight” adrenaline surge. Not exactly the mood you’re trying to set for a restful night of sleep, is it?
6. Even decaf drinks should be avoided
A common misunderstanding is that if you choose decaf, you’re avoiding caffeine altogether. Decaffeinated coffee and tea does not mean there is no caffeine at all in what you are drinking, though, and the scary part is that the amounts in drinks sold in coffee stores vary depending on where you get your drink from.
Some decaf drinks contain minimal amounts of caffeine that should not affect your sleep, but others contain as much caffeine in a “decaf” as you’d find in a regular can of Coke. Check the numbers on your decaf drinks and don’t assume that just because you’re opting for this version you’re safe from the hazardous effects of caffeine.
Creating a comfortable environment to sleep in is a great start in ensuring you are getting the allotted 8 hours required for a healthy life. When we sleep well, we feel well. We have great attention abilities to put toward work and play. When we get a great night’s sleep we can take on the world. There are so many health benefits to sleeping and it’s one of the easiest things to do. Just close your eyes and go to sleep.
If by any chance you didn’t manage to get a good night sleep (yet), check our article about how to stay awake after an all-nighter.