Many factors such as pain, chronic illness, psychiatric problems, job-related stress or problems from daily activities and relationships can all hinder you from getting your eight hours sleep every night.
According to Shelby Harris, Psy.D., director of behavioral sleep medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, “Insomnia is mostly driven by learned behaviors”, like actions that your body has been taught to associate with sleep.
Once your body develops these new associations with sleep, it may lead to chronic insomnia, and treating the underlying cause won’t necessarily give you the much needed relief you seek.
It is vital to change that association in order to cure insomnia. “In most cases, you have to target this behavioral stuff to be able to sleep better,” Harris said.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is often the first line of treatment for insomnia. CBT is performed through a series of therapy sessions that target to retrain your thinking about a certain topic, like falling sleep.
Here are natural sleeping aids and remedies for insomnia that would help you sleep better.
Go to bed only when you’re tired
This trick always work. To treat insomnia, you have to cultivate the habit of going to bed only when you are exhausted. Avoid using your phone, laptop, or other gadgets on your bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night to ease yourself, return to bed only when you know you’ll fall asleep immediately. Lying on the bed awake will aggravate insomnia.
Observe a steady bedtime and wake time
If you are experiencing chronic insomnia, it is essential to follow a consistent bed time and wake time everyday. According to Harris, “If you go to bed later and sleep in on weekends, you’re making yourself jet-lagged by Sunday night and it will be difficult to sleep Sunday and Monday. No matter how tired you are, avoid sleeping earlier than normal. Maintain your regular bed time.
Avoid looking at the clock
Avoid looking at your clock or your phone if you wake up in the middle of night and can’t fall asleep again. Doing this may keep you awake all morning because you’ll start thinking how long before the alarm goes off. Resist the urge to peek at the clock or your phone. Instead just get up until you’re tired enough to go back to sleep.
Let your bed be only for sleep and sex
Avoid associating your bed with actions that would hamper your sleep like work, watching TV, worry, or other things that keeps you awake. If you wake up in the middle of the night and find it hard to fall asleep immediately, get up after about 20 minutes and relocate. Do something quiet and relaxing in dim light and avoid watching TV or using your laptop during this period.
READ ALSO: 8 Tips To Combat Insomnia
“Do not lay in bed tossing and turning because it teaches your body that the bed is a place to be awake and asleep,” Harris says.
Never “try” to fall asleep
Don’t force it. “If you try to force it, the more it won’t happen,” Harris says. All you’re doing is making your body more tense and awake. If you find yourself thinking actively about trying to fall asleep, get up and go meditate or do something relaxing like listening to cool or soft blues.
Source: valleysleepercenter.com, self.com
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