“Nearly a third of the population are suffering from insomnia which is affecting their health,” reported the Daily Mirror from a survey they carried out on the nation’s sleeping habits.
As many as 16 million UK adults* are suffering from sleepless nights as a third (31%) say they have insomnia, founded by the research done by Aviva In 2017.
If insomnia is affecting so many people, and pills are seen as an unfavourable cure, then what alternative do you have if you suffer from it?
We all know sleep is vital to the human body. Insomnia can affect adolescents, adults and the elderly. And as we get older, sleep can become even more elusive, so building good sleep habits when you’re younger can help later in life.
Some people mistaken insomnia as a complete incapability to sleep. Truth is, insomnia comprises of numerous sleep problems. People with insomnia tend to have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, or they wake up too early in the morning.
Medication is sometimes offered to those who have trouble sleeping. And sometimes, this is the only method people consider when they suffer from insomnia. Some natural and herbal sleep products may also help you get some rest. But prescription medication isn’t the only answer to beating or easing insomnia.
Sleep assistances like prescription pills commonly disturb sleep cycles, triggering less soothing sleep. Even if they support you initially with sleeping through the night, the sleep is not essentially deep or restful. Furthermore, some have reported becoming dependent on medication to initiate sleep and then develop a tolerance to the medicine which can lead to higher dosages. So, before you try pills for your insomnia, try these methods instead:
It is important to choose a similar bedtime each night so that your body clock can work better. Choose a 30-minute slot to relax prior to hitting the sack. In that time, try reading a book, dimming the lights, lighting some candles and putting your feet up.
Avoid screen time during your 30 minutes before you want to sleep and even before that if possible. Why is screen time before bed considered bad for sleep you may wonder? The thing is, using TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices before bed slows your body’s internal clock (your circadian rhythm), supresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more problematic to fall asleep. This is mainly due to the short-wavelength, artificial blue light that’s emitted by these devices. Using electronic devices make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Mindfulness meditation is when you purposely focus on your breathing and then bring your mind’s attention to the present without wandering into apprehensions about the past or future. It supports you in breaking the train of your ordinary thoughts to induce the relaxation response, using whatever technique feels right to you.
Eating too close to bedtime can delay sleep too. It is better to allow the body time to digest food before sleep. What you eat, mainly in the evening, can also have an influence on sleep. For instance, eating a sugary donut before bedtime may not be the best idea. Plus, digesting a meal can take at least 2 to 3 hours.
Lying down before your food is digested can cause uneasiness or feelings of nausea and slow the digestive process in some people, though this is not true for everyone.
Don’t toss and turn, counting sheep and trying extra hard to fall asleep if it just isn’t working. If you get into your bed and are unable to fall asleep after 30 minutes, get up and go to another room in the house to do a relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to soothing music. Lying in bed awake can generate an unnatural link between your sleeping environment and insomnia. In its place, you want your bed to invoke sleepy thoughts and feelings only.
Naps during the day can also disturb the circadian rhythm, particularly those longer than 2 hours or close to the evening.
Granted, after a poor night’s sleep, it is tempting to take a long nap, particularly close to the evening but it will make falling asleep at night harder. This is because napping can unfavourably affect a healthy sleep cycle.
Even if you have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel tired come morning, try to get up at the same time each day, including weekends. This can help adjust your body’s clock and aid in falling asleep at night.
What you sleep on and how you sleep can impact whether you nod off easily or not. Investing in a good quality natural mattress can make a big difference to helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. People with insomnia especially need to invest in a good quality natural mattress, breathable bedsheets and comfortable supportive pillows. The Ely Mattress is our own handmade natural mattress which contours perfectly to each body type. Why not give it a try for 30 nights risk free? If it’s not suitable, we will provide you with a full refund within the 30-night trial.