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Anyone who’s ever battled with periods of insomnia knows how devastating it can be. Some spend hours lying awake, unable to fall asleep at all, while others might get a few hours of sleep and then wake very early, unable to get any more much-needed rest. While common, insomnia can cause significant mental and physical difficulties. From poor work performance to a weakened immune system, a lack of good quality sleep will impact every area of your life. If you’re ready to finally get a good night’s sleep, try out these tricks.

 

  1. Get a new bed. For some insomniacs, the solution is far simpler than they realise. If you’re sleeping on an old hand-me-down mattress that doesn’t support your body, or you just can’t get comfortable in your bed, then simply switching over to a new double foam mattress that offers real comfort and support could make relaxing and getting the real rest you need so much easier.
  2. Ditch the screens. It’s tempting to lie in bed and stare at your social media feeds or watch videos to distract your mind if you’re battling to fall asleep but don’t want to be alone with your thoughts, but that innocent-looking screen could be making it even more difficult for your mind to switch off. The light of your phone or laptop will keep your brain activated and prevent you from winding down to sleep. Switch off your phone and keep your laptop out of your bedroom to avoid this problem.
  3. Don’t turn to nightcaps. In the past, many people believed that a stiff drink before bedtime was the way to drift off easily, but that idea has been thoroughly debunked. While alcohol may make you drowsy so you fall asleep more quickly, it disrupts the quality of your sleep and may lead to frequent waking during the night. Have a cup of chamomile tea instead or a warm (non-caffeinated) milky drink to soothe your body into a sleepy state.
  4. Avoid napping. If you’ve been sleep-deprived and struggling with insomnia for some time, you may have fallen into the habit of catching up on sleep during the day to make up for those lost night time hours. This may seem logical, and it can certainly feel comfortable when you’re truly exhausted in the afternoon and just want to rest, but it will make it more difficult to set your body clock back to its natural rhythm. Keep yourself awake during the day so you’re tired enough to slip into sleep easily once evening comes.
  5. Get some exercise. Studies have shown that regular vigorous exercise can have a positive impact on the quality of your sleep. Try to schedule your exercise routine so it’s not too close to bedtime – if you’re fitting in a workout right before bed then it may be waking you up instead of helping you relax, so aim to work up a sweat earlier in the day if you want your sleep to improve.
  6. Seek professional help. For those who’ve tried all of the self-help tips around and still struggle with insomnia, it’s time to reach out for expert help. Speak to your GP about possible medication or therapeutic options so you can get the rest your body and mind needs to thrive.
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