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Top tips to beat insomnia

If counting sheep isn’t helping you sleep, try these ideas to help cure your sleepless woes. From calming cuppas to visualisation, you’re bound to find one method that works for you.

Woman with insomnia

Anyone who has ever experienced insomnia will understand the frustration of lying in bed, trying to sleep, and failing miserably. All you can think about is the clock ticking and your wake-up alarm getting closer with every minute. Not only will insomnia send you batty at bedtime, but it will also leave you feeling tired, dazed and moody the next day. If your insomnia has reached a critical point, it’s wise to see your doctor or alternative medicine practitioner to get some advice on how to put a stop to it. But if you’re just suffering from sleepless nights every now and then, you may like to try out some of our insomnia-fighting tricks below.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that means you’re struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. It’s relatively common and leaves sufferers feeling tired and irritable during the day, and may also impede on their work performance.

There are many different variations, which can be categorised into short or long-term insomnia. Those who suffer sporadic sleepless nights might find that certain triggers bring it on, such as caffeine after 3 p.m., extra stress at work, relationship problems or not getting enough exercise. Long-term insomnia generally lasts beyond about four weeks; In these cases, you should consult a professional.

Insomnia-fighting tips

  • Take a look at your lifestyle and see if you can identify any particular triggers for your sleepless nights. For example, you may struggle to fall asleep on days when you haven’t exercised, or you might find that you keep waking up during the night when you’re dealing with a personal or emotional issue. Try fixing or modifying these triggers to see if they have a positive effect on your sleep patterns.
  • Limit your caffeine intake and avoid coffee from the early afternoon onwards.
  • Similarly, avoid excess sugar, alcohol and other stimulants.
  • Set up a daily sleep routine by trying to get into bed at the same time each evening. This will help send the message to your brain that it’s time to wind down.
  • Avoid staring at computer screens just before you go to bed as the light can affect your ability to sleep for a short time afterwards.
  • Make your bedroom as conducive to sleep as possible. Adjust the temperature and make sure you have comfortable sleepwear, pillows and manchester.
  • Avoid carrying out work or study on your bed. It’s important to set physical boundaries for your work and your sleep to help you to get into the right headspace.
  • Try drinking a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk about half an hour before you head to bed. The tryptophan in the milk should help to make you feel sleepy. Other additives like honey, cinnamon and vanilla will all help — and they taste great too!
  • Spray your pillow with a little lavender oil or pop a few drops in your bath. The scent is believed to help you relax and get ready for sleep.
  • If you’re struggling to sleep because of all the “chatter” in your brain, take some time at the end of the day to sit down and write a diary entry. This will help you to work through any problems or worries you’re dealing with.
  • Establish a nightly pre-bed ritual like reading, which will help your mind to slow down and your body to relax.
  • Visualisation or meditation can also work to relax your mind before bedtime. Focus on imagining a serene, peaceful place.

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