Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. You may have insomnia if you are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep at night, waking up at night and not being able to fall back asleep, waking up in the morning much earlier than usual, and feeling overly tired when waking up. Insomnia can be short term, or it can last for weeks or months. An insomnia cure for short-term or mild insomnia generally does not involve medication. Instead, an insomnia cure in this instance consists of developing good sleep habits.
Good sleep habits may be the only insomnia cure you need. Fortunately, there are many ways your sleeping habits can be improved.
First and foremost, make an effort to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. This will help stabilize your internal circadian biological clock, which regulates your periods of sleepiness and wakefulness over a 24-hour period.
Avoid central nervous system stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, especially late in the day. It is important to remember that these stimulants can be accurately described as drugs that have effects similar to asthma drugs, cardiac stimulants, and diuretics. Any insomnia cure regimen will require you to eliminate or cut back on these substances as much as possible. While ingesting caffeine may be a popular means of staying awake, it is no substitute for sleep. If you cannot avoid these substances altogether, try to avoid them within 6-8 hours of going to bed.
In addition to being an excellent overall health booster, regular exercise is a good insomnia cure, as it makes it easier to fall asleep and will help you sleep more soundly. On the other hand, sporadic exercising or exercising right before bedtime will make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. The reason for this is that it makes you more alert and raises your body temperature. It takes approximately 6 hours for your body temperature to return to normal, and a cooler core body temperature is needed for sleep onset. Sleep experts recommend finishing your exercise at least three hours before you turn in for the night, and that the ideal time for exercise is the late afternoon.
A pleasurable insomnia cure is to establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine that helps you to wind down. While establishing a bedtime routine is often recommended for babies with colic, you never really outgrow the need for soothing and comforting activities that enable you to settle down for the night. Some of the things you may want to try include soaking in a hot bat, hot tub, or jacuzzi, reading a book, drinking a cup of hot herbal tea or milk, or listening to soft, soothing music. Keep the lights low, as bright lights signal to your body that it is time to be awake. In addition, avoid stressful or arousing activities before bedtime, such as paying bills, working, or engaging in competitive games.
Finally, no insomnia cure will have its intended effect if your bedroom is not conducive to sleep in the first place. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable. You may want to consider investing in items such as blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, white noise generators, or fans. You will also want to make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The life span of good quality mattresses is generally 9 to 10 years, so if your mattress is old, you may consider investing in a new one.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to serve as medical advice. For medical advice, please consult your doctor.