According to Doctor Ram Randhawa, a psychiatrist at the University of British Columbia’s Sleep Disorders Program, approximately 30 percent of Canadians suffer from insomnia. Considering that sleep is essential to our well-being, this is an alarming number.
While many individuals who have trouble falling and staying asleep opt for prescription medication, there are numerous more natural ways of dealing with this common problem. Here are just a few.
Regulate Your Sleep Cycle with Vitamins
There are many supplements out there that can regulate your sleep cycle. For example, insufficient levels of vitamin D have been shown to affect the quality of sleep. Many people suffering from insomnia also opt to take melatonin, which is a hormone that is in charge of our sleep and wake cycles.
Iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E supplements have also been proven to increase the quantity and quality of sleep. Alternatively, hemp oil can also promote good sleep by calming the mind and reducing anxiety.
Maintain a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, or at least it should be. A room that is overly hot or cold can make sleeping difficult. It is also important to reduce noise and light levels before going to bed.
If you have a cat or a dog that is disturbing your rest, thinking about moving them to another room at night. In addition, you would be surprised what a difference to your sleep a comfortable bed can make. This is why you should ensure that your mattress is not too hard or soft.
Regular exercise is not only good for your body, it is also good for your mind. It can also help you sleep better. A 2015 study found that exercising at least 150 minutes a week for a period of six months, alleviated the symptoms of insomnia in the participants.
To maximize the benefits, aim to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day. Moderate exercise, such as walking and swimming, is ideal. However, it is important not to engage in vigorous exercise just before bedtime, as this may actually prevent you from falling asleep.
Limit Drinking and Eating Before Bedtime
To state the obvious, drinking too much fluid before going to bed can activate the bladder, making you use the bathroom throughout the night. In addition, try not to consume caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea, in the evening.
Eating before going to bed tends to activate the digestive system, which can disturb your sleep. Lying down immediately after a meal can also cause acid reflux, which is characterized by a burning sensation in the esophagus.
Cut Down on Alcohol and Smoking
It is not just caffeine that can keep us awake at night. Alcohol and cigarettes can have a similar effect. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a stimulant, so smoking before bedtime can lead to disrupted sleep.
While drinking alcohol may sometimes help you to fall asleep, it often caused sleep disruptions later during the night. For example, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep. Keep in mind that certain medications, such as asthma inhalers and decongestants, can also affect your sleep.