Adequate, restful sleep is a cornerstone of being healthy. This is why insomnia – the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or get back to sleep after waking – is dangerous to our health.
Adequate restful sleep is needed for the body to perform some unique functions such as balancing our body’s immunity, mood, metabolism, memory, blood pressure, heart health, muscle health, etc.
Many very important functions are balanced or regulated while sleeping.
There are many causes of insomnia and its continued increase in recent years as a result of health, social, and environmental factors.
Most of the time, insomnia can be corrected by following a healthy routine within a a week or so after your sleep pattern has been thrown off and your body is unable to fall asleep and stay asleep for many hours.
Adequate sleep is defined as continued sleep for 7-9 hours a day for adults. For those that after trying for many months are unable to correct your insomnia naturally, you may need to see a doctor for further investigation.
However, you should beware of using sleeping pills because they are only a temporary solution. After a while, they will stop working and you will be back to where you started.
It is best to work with your doctor to figure out the root cause of the problem and how to correct it naturally for a permanent solution.
If interested in natural methods of correcting insomnia with foods and supplements, read the post I wrote on natural insomnia remedies.
Let’s dive into the combination of habits or routines that is known to correct temporary insomnia in most people. It is important that you try all of these suggested habits below to figure out what works for you and doesn’t so that you can develop your own unique sleeping routine
These sleeping habits below help re-train your brain to get ready to sleep, fall asleep and stay asleep.
Here we go:
- Get a weighted blanket – Many have testified to the effectiveness of using a weighted blanket to sleep better. Health experts explain that it reduces anxiety and calms down the nervous system making it easier to fall asleep
2. Have a very warm shower – Some even recommend seating in a sauna for about 30 minutes. Make the bath very warm/hot bath as much as you can tolerate. This is known to calm down the nervous system too and lull it to sleep faster.
3. Eat 2-3 hours before bed – Eating many hours before bed is best because it allows the body to digest it and calm down before you go to bed. Also, avoid overeating just hours before bed because it will take longer to digest than usual.
4. Avoid caffeine alcohol and other stimulants – Avoid all stimulants at least 6 hours before bedtime while trying to restore your sleep pattern. To be on the safe side, avoid stimulants altogether until you clear your insomnia.
5. Switch off lights – It is important that the room is dark without any lights to help our body understand that it is nighttime and time to sleep. These artificial lights we use can sometimes confuse the body system into thinking it is day time.
7. De-stress – While battling insomnia, it is important that you have a routine to unwind that works for you. One of the things that can interfere with your sleep is your mental state.
So, clear your mind and relax your body with meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, etc. whichever you prefer. You can also try mobile apps that guide you through these relaxation exercises.
8. Have a rich and healthy diet – Your diet also has to be top-notch or the best that it can be while trying to restore your sleep. Many have discovered that reducing or eliminating high sugar foods and carbs from their diet especially dinner time, have helped eliminate their insomnia.
9. Avoid phones – Phones, gadgets, electronics, etc. All of these need to be avoided at least 2 hours before bedtime and should be kept out of the room to avoid disturbances and the dangers of the blue light
10. Have calming tea – There are foods that are known to calm a person and help them relax such as chamomile, warm fresh milk, passion fruit, etc. You can check out the post I wrote on natural insomnia remedies to help you select the food you prefer after you are done with this post.
11. Adjust room temperature – Your bedroom needs to be on the cooler side to help fall asleep and stay asleep. It is known that higher temperatures can even make us wake us up from sleep. So, adjust your room temperature to what you feel is best.
12. Sunlight – The sun provides a very important vitamin – vitamin D – that helps regulate sleep patterns. By sunlight, I mean the morning sun (up to 2-4 hours after sunrise) and evening sun (about 1-2 hours before sunset). Sitting under the sun at other times of the day is dangerous.
You can try taking a walk, sitting on the porch or balcony, lifting your blinds/curtains to allow the beneficial sun rays to come into the house, etc.
13. Use supplements – Sometimes, insomnia is a result of a deficiency such as magnesium, vitamin D, etc. Try them if you will notice a difference. I discussed the deficiencies that cause insomnia in this post. Check it out.
If don’t like using supplements, eat lots of the foods that have an abundance of these nutrients though it will be a little slower to notice their effectiveness.
14. Only use your sleeping area for sleep – To train your body, use your bedroom for sleep only and avoid bringing work or any unrelated activity to your room. Then, your mind will associate your bedroom with only sleep and once you are there, it knows it is bedtime.
15. Make your sleeping area cozy -We all have different definations for cozy. whatever is yours, just make sure that it is cozy for you. You can try some relaxing music, candles, background sounds, humidifiers, etc. This will urther relax you and put you in a state of sleep.
16. Sleep before 10.30 – about 90 mintes before midnight is when the most important part of sleeping and resting for the body happens. So try to make sure that by 10pm, you are on your bed ready to sleep.
17. Use white noise – Many have testified to the effectiveness of using white noise to lull their mind to sleep. It can be as simple as the sound of a fan. You can find such sounds online or on mobile maps for mediation and sleep
18. Stick to a sleep routine – You need to stick to a sleep routine every day for atleast 5-7 days so that your body can recognize when it is supposed to go to bed at night.
19. Exercise – It is important to start exercising (20-30mins a day) once you notice your insomnia because it helps the body a lot in restoring its sleep pattern. Remember to exercise at least 3-4 hours before bedtime or it can have negative consequences on your sleeping ability.
20. Sleep only at night – Do not sleep during the day or in the late evenings because it will throw off the sleep pattern and make it more difficult to sleep at night.
I will repeat. For an effective, healthy, and permanent solution to your insomnia, I strongly advise against using sleeping pills.
This is because you will eventually become dependent on them, they might stop working, start to harm your health in other ways, etc. Then, you will be back to trying to solve your sleeping problems afresh.
A natural solution, routine, and other non-invasive solution is best.
It is best that you figure which combination of the above routines works best for you. Try them for at least 4-5 days each and develop your own personal sleeping routine. Don’t forget to check out my post on insomnia natural remedies that work for more information.
I wish you the best. If there are other habits that helped you get rid of your insomnia that are not included here, kindly let me know in the comments section below
Thank you for your time and have a nice day.