Approximately 1 in 3 people suffer from some form of insomnia. We’ve talked before about Tips to Help You Sleep but what if you’ve migrated from “can’t sleep sometimes” to “staring at the ceiling night after night”? A lot of the time, treating insomnia involves a lifestyle change. Here are 10 common techniques that are used to treat insomnia.*
We know that exercising can help tire us out, but exercising too close to bedtime can cause insomnia not cure it. If you are a night-time exerciser and are having trouble sleeping, try moving your workout to earlier in the day. Likewise, if you exercise in the morning you may want to try moving exercise to the evening.
I’m a big fan of this AM/PM pilates program that changes the work out based on the time of the day to optimize your health.
2. Melatonin or Sleep Aid
This is one you should definitely consult a doctor or pharmacist for, especially if you take other medication. Doctors can prescribe a sleep aid – although many are hesitant to do so because they can be addictive. Melatonin is a chemical in the brain that tells your body it is night-time, and sleep time. It is available as a supplement without a prescription in many areas – and is often in anti-jetlag supplements. Even though it is available without a prescription, you need to consult your doctor of pharmacist before taking, it can have adverse affects with other drugs. Melatonin is also not a long-term treatment and shouldn’t be used as such without doctor supervision.
You may need to adjust when, and how much you eat. With a busy day we can often be tempted to eat late – however our bodies don’t have a lot of time to digest before we sleep. Try eating a lighter meal, or eating earlier in the day.
4. If You Can’t Sleep – Don’t
If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and do something else. Leave the bedroom for 10 -20 minutes before you go back and try again.
5. Set a Routine
Having a set bedtime and wake-up time can help you regulate your sleep. However, if you work shift work you may not have this option. Just like we do with children, have a bedtime routine. This helps to teach your body when its time to sleep – especially if the actual sleep-time changes regularly.
*In order to get the best results, change one aspect of your routine at a time to see which one works.