We all need to get sleep. But what happens if you find you're experiencing restless nights or worse? What are the best sleep disorder treatments available?
1. Keep to a routine
If you go to bed at 9pm one night, midnight the next then your body will get confused. It will start getting ready to sleep but you'll keep it awake for a few more hours. This is not good. Night shift workers can experience this kind of sleep disorder because of the nature of their work. But if you have the choice, do your best to make going to sleep a routine thing in much the same way as you set your alarm clock to wake you at the same time the next morning.
2. Stay cool but do not freeze
Keeping a cool temperature in the bedroom is good. Obviously you do not want to be sleeping in a blizzard, so do not take this to extremes. But your bedroom should be cooler than other parts of your house. Adjust the thermostat on your heating or set the heating clock so that your bedroom has time to cool down before you retire for the evening.
3. Do not stress about going to sleep
This is perhaps easier said than done. But the more you think about not sleeping, the more likely you are to stay awake. The boredom of counting sheep may not work for you but there are other things you can do to reduce the stress you bring on yourself when you start to worry about not sleeping. Start by yawning. This has a couple of effects: you'll probably feel a little sleepier as we associate yawns with sleep and you'll take a longer, slower breath. Your breathing naturally slows down whilst you sleep. Give it a helping hand by slowing down your inhalations and exhalations. If your stress is generated by work and your everyday life, look into other relaxation techniques such as meditation.
4. Go dark
As long as we've been on this planet, we've associated dark nights with sleep. Make sure your bedroom reflects this. The reflection of your alarm clock on the ceiling or wall is not good. Nor are the trickles of light that can come in under doors or through your curtains. Think about adding a blackout lining to your curtains if they regularly let in too much light.
5. Lay off the caffeine
Steer clear of caffeine in the latter part of your day. It's a stimulant and that's the exact opposite of what you want to help you go to sleep. Remember that it's not just coffee and cola that have caffeine in them. So does tea, green tea and most energy drinks. Cut down gradually to avoid withdrawal effects and if you need your caffeine fix, try to see how you can gradually reduce this caffeine indefinitely.
6. Skip the nightcap
Alcohol is disrupted to sleep patterns. Pure and simple. Cut out the nightcap for a few nights and you'll start sleeping better. If you "need" a glass of wine to unwind when you get home, drink it early to give it time to work its way through your system.