Counting Sheep? How to Combat Insomnia for a Good Night’s Rest
Insomnia can strike anyone at any age. While you may have tried counting sheep a few times to lull your brain into compliance, sheep counting is not usually an effective solution for insomnia. Since quality sleep is so essential to your health, you may want to try one or more of these suggestions to get a good night’s rest.
Decrease Evening Screen Time
The blue light from the screens of your computer, television and cell phone during the day can be keeping you from falling asleep at night. Your sleep cycle is regulated by dark/ light cycles. The light emitted from your screen is more intense than sunlight. Using your computer or cell phone in the evening signals your brain that it is time to be awake.
You can reduce the effect of blue light exposure by limiting your electronic usage a few hours before you plan on sleeping. This will encourage the production of melatonin, a natural sleep hormone, and help you drift off to sleep much easier.
Add White Noise
You are tired and plan on being able to fall asleep quickly, then it starts. The faucet is dripping, the floors are creaking, and an hour later you are still awake dwelling on a report due next week.
If this sounds familiar, white noise can help. White noise is a sound you choose that will mask the background sounds keeping you awake and keep sudden sounds from waking you up. It works by keeping the noise level in your bedroom even. You may find that running a fan, humidifier or white noise machine is all you need to help you fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.
See a Specialist for Snoring
Sleep disorders can lead to memory issues, impaired judgement, depression, diabetes and heart disease. Snoring can interfere with your sleep. Waking during the night, especially if you are waking short of breath, could be a sign of upper airway resistance syndrome or sleep apnea.
Determining the cause of your snoring may require a sleep study. Some sleep clinics like Sleep Medicine Group, offer the convenience of home sleep testing. With appropriate treatment, you reduce your risk of health complications, sleep more soundly and have more focus and energy throughout your day.
Consistent, quality sleep is essential to your physical and emotional health. A good night’s rest will allow you to wake up refreshed and ready to face another day. If you have a hard time falling asleep, or staying asleep, you may want to try one or more of these suggestions, especially if counting sheep proves unproductive.