Sleepless? Five Tips To Fight Insomnia

Sleepless? Five Tips To Fight Insomnia

Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Or maybe you consistently wake up too early? Sleep deprivation is associated with countless of problems besides feeling sleepy and groggy, including:

  • Increased risk of illness
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased work and academic performance

The following tips, when followed consistently, are an effective and simple drug free way to improve sleep and your overall quality of life.

Tip #1: Stay on a consistent sleep schedule

Establishing a consistent sleep-wake schedule, even on weekends, can dramatically improve the way you sleep and feel. Our bodies thrive on consistency. Once your sleep schedule is established (this usually takes about two to three weeks) your body will respond to the rhythms you create and help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and awake refreshed.

Tip #2: Find a bedtime routine that works for you

Create and stick to a regular, relaxing wind down routine before bed. Typically a routine that doesn’t involve screen time. Try reading, soothing music, calming baths and mindfulness exercise like deep breathing or meditation. These activities work well to put you in the right mindset for sleep.

Tip #3: Don’t be distracted while you sleep

Yes, we can also be distracted while we are sleeping. Eliminate “sleep distractors” such as TV, computers, cell phones and radios that can often create noises throughout the night and awaken us while we sleep.

Tip #4: Stay active and healthy

Exercise regularly, but not too close to bed time. Finish eating heavy meals at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Also eliminate soda and heavily caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon and evenings and switch to water. Some people enjoy a cup of “sleepy time” tea before bed.

Tip #5: Don’t toss and turn all night long

If you cannot fall asleep in 20-30 minutes, leave your bed and go do something distracting. Then, try going to bed again when you feel tired.  Lying in bed feeling stressed about not being able to fall asleep will only keep you awake. If you find yourself leaving your bed often in the first few weeks- don’t stress about that, eventually your body will get in rhythm with your new routine.

While these techniques sound simple, change is hard and sometimes life’s stress and anxiety can get in the way. Reach out for help; a therapist is always here for you at Amwell to work through underlying worries that might contribute to insomnia and to support you in making difficult life changes.

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