Good night, sleep tight – that’s what my mum always told me when she turned out the light when I was a little girl. Fortunately, that helped me sleep quite well; but unfortunately, it’s not that easy for most. A good night’s sleep may be a distant memory for you, instead, replaced with sleeping problems, insomnia symptoms, or a full blown diagnosis of insomnia itself. Alas, let me share 4 quick tips to sleeping better with insomnia, and similarly, sleeping with insomnia symptoms.
Cut Out Your Overexposure To Blue Light
It’s been said a million times before, but blue light from our electronic devices is the number one culprit when it comes to disrupted sleep patterns these days. In fact, blue light stimulates the brain in a similar fashion to coffee – it encourages the release of cortisol and adrenaline, awakening hormones. And with WFH making zoom our new standard meeting, it’s possible you may be overexposed to it. This is especially likely if you’re winding down with your favourite TV series.
Second, blue light also suppresses the secretion of melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) for up to 90 minutes until after you’ve disconnected from the light sources. This is in part why your brain is buzzing after your late night social media scroll.
Third, blue light even comes from your ceiling lights and outside lights too, which means even if you are disconnecting from tech, you still may have insomnia symptoms. My suggestion? 100% blue light blocking glasses. They protect your eyes from absorbing blue light, which means you can produce melatonin and sleep well. Note that there are options for prescription and non-prescription lenses.
Stick To A Regular Bedtime Routine
Set yourself a regular sleep routine, both for hitting the hay and waking up, with 7 to 9 hours between, depending on your sleep chronotype to nine hours in between. The brain likes routine, and it produces hormones which facilitate sleep – or alertness – when it comes to expect you’ll engage a certain behaviour. This means that if consistently, you wake around 6am each morning, and start your day with a coffee, around 6am each morning hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline will be produced, as the brain expects the body to be ingesting coffee soon!
Thus, in order to produce the hormones which help you fall asleep with ease, you need to have a consistent bedtime routine, so your brain produces the hormones it needs to.
Take A Magnesium Supplement Before Bed
Evidence suggests that by taking magnesium daily, you can reduce feelings of anxiety by 31%. How? Magnesium regulates how your body responds to stress: there is a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, which contributes to that wired, anxious, and overly alert feeling we get when we can’t switch off. This is the key reason why health professionals often utilise magnesium supplementation for anxiety, insomnia and, in some cases, even depression.
The last step in ‘Good Night, Sleep Tight’ – is to make your Bedroom A Sleep-Worthy Sanctuary
TYou need to ask yourself if the space is promoting or reducing stress? A messy, disorganised room, where you engage in stimulating activities like work, enhances feelings of anxiety as soon as you see it. Conversely, a clutter free ‘zen zone’, reserved for relaxation, sleep and sex only encourages calmness. In terms of what you need in your bedroom, stay tuned – that’s coming up soon.
This article originally featured on The Urban List