According to the Sleep Health Foundation, 1 in 3 people suffer from some form of insomnia. That is really quite a big figure. If you’re one of them, the temptation to turn to prescription medication might be strong.
They might not always work too and can end up having an effect on your health. Many people suffer from insomnia as a result of developing poor sleeping habits through the years but of course, we can’t ignore the fact that there are many other possible causes of insomnia.
Possible Causes of Insomnia
- Hormonal imbalance
- Pain (chronic pain, low back pain, etc)
- Certain foods (Did you know that alcohol can end up disrupting your sleep later in the night? Caffeine and heavy meals can also affect your sleep.)
Further reading: This article on insomnia
Obviously, it is always important to get medical advice for your health problems. This article is not meant to dish out medical advice; rather, if you suffer from insomnia because of certain lifestyle habits, we have some tips that could help.
- Avoid working in the evenings or close to bedtime – Doing so will make it difficult to wind down and get in a calmer mood for bed. Did you know that the light from devices such as smart phones and laptops can contribute to insomnia? Read this.
- Quit that daytime nap – Easier said than done, I know. Naps can actually be helpful for some people but if you suffer from insomnia, you might want to look into this.
- Get in the mood – In other words, try to loosen up. Again, it’s easier said than done! Especially when us mums have been rushing around all day ticking to-dos off the list. Try to wind down as best as you can before bed and clear your mind. Some experts suggest writing down your thoughts (it could be anything that comes to your mind) right before bed which helps you to clear your mind and settle down for the night. Give up the cares of the day for a good night’s sleep!
- Stay healthy – the healthier your body is, the better you will sleep. Sleeping well is actually a part of overall well being. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle with good diet and exercise, you should be able to see a difference in your sleep.
- Learn relaxation techniques – Some people recommend doing relaxation exercises (ie. lying down and consciously letting go of tension all through the different parts of your body). I recommend putting on some white noise. There are lots on the internet or Spotify. I would always put on some white noise for my babies (sounds of a heartbeat, waves, wind, water etc) and it always worked like a charm. It works for adults too!
Overall, insomnia can take away a lot from us. It can affect our ability to focus and go through the day. It can affect memory, mood and can even indirectly cause other events such as accidents. If you suffer from insomnia due to medical conditions, do seek medical help. If you suffer from insomnia due to lifestyle habits, we hope these tips might give you a little insight. At the end of the day, having a good sleep is essential for our health, minds and is a great blessing usually taken for granted.