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Struggling to Stay Asleep at Night?

By eHealthIQ
Reviewed: May 01, 2017

Difficulty falling and staying asleep can be frustrating, tiring, and can affect how you operate during the day. Sleep-onset insomnia and sleep maintenance insomnia can be caused by any number of things, including coffee, alcohol, soda, depression, anxiety, stress, menopause, and even a lack of a healthy lifestyle. If you have trouble falling and staying asleep, take a look at the 5 tips below to help you have a good night’s sleep.

1. Utilize Relaxation Methods Prior to Going to Bed
Using relaxation methods will help you to settle down before laying down, which will make it easier to fall asleep. Some of the relaxation methods that you should consider using include drinking a cup of warm milk or decaffeinated tea, doing light yoga exercises, and taking a warm bath or shower. These methods will only be effective if you make them the last activities you engage in before going to bed.

2. Refuse Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bed
Caffeine and alcohol both cause problems for those who have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Any drink with caffeine stimulates your body and causes you to be alert rather than allowing your body to become tired. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant and causes your body to be tired. However, this effect will wear off over time and you will eventually wake up despite having fallen asleep. Avoid both of these things if you would like to get a good night’s sleep.

3. Begin Exercising Early in the Day
Exercise is a great way to improve your sleep for two main reasons. The first reason is that exercise causes your body to produce endorphins, which helps to boost your mood, easing your stress as well as symptoms of depression. The second reason is that your body becomes tired after strenuous exercise. However, exercising too late into the day can hinder your sleep cycle. Make sure that you exercise earlier in the day.

4. Develop a Strict Sleeping Schedule
If you want to sleep better, you are going to have to create a better sleep schedule for yourself. Aim to go to bed at a specific time at night and aim to wake up at a specific time in the morning. That being said, if you find that you are not sleepy, don’t force yourself to go to bed. Engage in a quiet activity until you feel the need to sleep. Then, wake up at the time that you have designated for yourself in the morning.

5. Consider Seeing a Therapist
If you suffer from high levels anxiety or severe depression and it is affecting your quality of sleep, consider seeing a therapist. They will be able to help you cope with the symptoms of your mental illness, which will help you to improve your quality of sleep. Keep in mind, these things will take time and you should not expect immediate results.

If you suffer from sleep-onset insomnia or sleep maintenance insomnia, use the above tips to help you get a better night’s sleep. If you find that these natural methods are not working for you, consider visiting your doctor. However, know that they will most likely to prescribe medication, which could be potentially dangerous due to their high level of abuse and addictive ingredients. Make sure to pursue natural methods before taking medications.

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