Insomnia is more common than you think: various studies have shown that insomnia plagues about 10-30% of the population, even going up to 50% in some countries.
Anyone who has the sleep disorder will know how frustrating it is to deal with – from having an irregular sleep schedule and poor sleep quality to physical pain, having a good night’s sleep is crucial for a fruitful day ahead. So, what can we do to prevent insomnia? Here are some practices you can adopt for a good night’s rest.
Meditation has been shown to improve sleeping patterns and overall sleep quality by reducing our stress levels and brain chatter while boosting immunity.
The process is pretty straightforward: take slow, steady breaths inhaling and exhaling, with your mind focused on the present moment. Notice the sensation that your breath brings throughout the body and how your body feels. Let your mind wander without judgment but always remember to return your attention to your breath.
Mindful meditation can be done by anyone and anywhere but may take some practice before you get comfortable with it. The best part is, it works just as well even if it’s just 5 minutes of your day!
Yoga is known as a form of moving meditation where you combine breathing exercises with deep breaths. The slow movements allow you to stay present and focused on getting into the poses. Evening yoga is a type of yoga dedicated to those who would like to practice yoga before they sleep. It has shown to be helpful as it helps you relax and unwind from the pressures of the day – incorporating 20-minute sessions daily is sufficient to achieve the desired effects.
If you are looking for something more active, just going on with your daily or weekly exercise routine is good enough. People that exercise for at least 150 minutes per week were reported to experience fewer symptoms of insomnia, as well as a reduction in their anxiety levels.
Moderate exercise or strength training are good options that you can adopt. Most importantly, find a routine that best suits your condition in the long term to sustain the momentum.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Overconsuming caffeine in the day or night might be the cause of your insomnia symptoms. Many use caffeine to stay awake, especially at night, to forgo sleep for other activities. However, you may not realise that by doing so, you risk frequent night-time awakenings that contribute to poor sleep quality. Caffeine has also been found to shorten deep sleep time by increasing the time you are in light sleep.
As such, it’s recommended that you avoid drinking caffeinated drinks at least 6 hours before your bedtime. You should also limit your caffeine intake to 400mg per day – roughly 4 cups of brewed coffee.
Practice Good Sleeping Habits
Good bedtime habits are also vital for a good night’s rest. For example, switch off any bright lights and limit your screen time right before bedtime – the blue light that is emitted by phones can be disruptive to our sleep-wake cycle and lead to distracting thoughts and emotions.
Worrying about not getting sleep and watching the clock may also be counterproductive. Instead, think of something relaxing and pleasant as you rest.
Keep To a Regular Sleep Schedule
Many people resort to taking afternoon naps when they didn’t get enough sleep the night before. However, instead of giving you adequate rest, sleeping in the day could disrupt your sleep cycle. To counter insomnia, you should stick to consistent sleep and waking timings. As much as possible, try not to delay your sleep timings and schedule demanding activities earlier in the day so you can gradually wind down.
Insomnia can turn into a serious health issue, especially if you have been experiencing its effects for a long time. Taking note of the tips above could help you alleviate your symptoms.
If you still find yourself struggling with insomnia, do not hesitate to consult an online doctor in Singapore – MyCLNQ is a telemedicine app that allows anyone to receive online consultations and get the proper support they need with just a few simple clicks.