7 tips to help you banish insomnia

Wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated with these tips to help you sleep better.

Struggling to fall asleep, or battling to stay asleep? You’re not alone! Insomnia affects roughly 1 in 4 adults at some point in their lives, but just because it is common, doesn’t mean that it should not be taken seriously.

When you consistently experience insufficient sleep over a prolonged period, it can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and the regulation of sleep hormones such as melatonin. This can affect various bodily functions, impacting cognitive abilities, mood and overall health. It can lead to increased stress, irritability, difficulty concentrating, memory issues, depression and anxiety, as well as a weakened immune system.

Try these 7 tips for a better night’s sleep: 

  1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Maintain a regular sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Develop pre-sleep rituals that signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. This might include drinking a cup of soothing herbal tea, like Rooibos, reading a book, taking a warm bath, practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation or listening to calming music.
  3. Optimise your sleep environment: Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows. Minimise electronic devices and screen time before bedtime, as the blue light can disrupt your sleep.
  4. Limit stimulants and alcohol: Reduce or eliminate caffeine and nicotine, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. While alcohol might make you feel drowsy initially, it can disrupt your sleep later in the night.
  5. Regular exercise: Engage in regular physical activity, but try to avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime, as it can be stimulating. Exercise during the day can promote better sleep.
  6. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Practices like mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery can calm the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep.
  7. Limit daytime naps: If you must nap during the day, keep it short (20–30 minutes) and avoid late afternoon naps, as they can interfere with nighttime sleep.

If none of these tips help, a doctor might prescribe short-term medication, such as a sedative-hypnotic. Hypnotics with a modified release (MR) formulation allows the active ingredient to be released at two different rates or time periods and works by slowing activity in the brain to help patients fall asleep and stay asleep. However, these medications should be used under medical supervision. Also look into cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT-I): CBT-I is a structured program that targets behaviours and thoughts affecting sleep. It helps identify and replace negative thoughts and behaviours with positive ones to improve sleep.

For more information, visit Pharma Dynamics.


For more on health, visit Get It Magazine.

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