Everyone has days where they just can’t seem to get to sleep, and sometimes, when you do get to sleep it is very light and you’re easily woken. But usually a good night’s sleep is enjoyed the following evening.
But if this problem is happening every night for a prolonged period of time, e.g. over a few weeks or even months, it can have some detrimental effects on your mood and health.
As we get older, we need less and less sleep; babies generally need about 17 hours sleep a day, whilst older adults can make do with six to eight hours a day.
If you’re not getting enough sleep it can lead to:
– Chronic tiredness
– Difficulty concentrating
– Feelings of depression
– Feelings of anxiety (mainly about not being able to sleep)
You’ll also be more likely to develop high blood pressure and diabetes, and you’re more likely to be overweight.
Insomniac Dos and Don’ts
Get comfortable in bed. If your bed is uncomfortable or too small, for example, that may make it more difficult for you to sleep. Also, make sure your room isn’t too hot or too cold either.
2) Get more regular exercise in your routine, but as we always advise, don’t overdo it.
3) Read a book or watch TV. As much as the second suggestion may seem weird, it’ll help you relax and will hopefully bring sleep faster.
4) Go to bed as soon as you feel tired, especially if you’ve been having problems sleeping. Don’t postpone your bedtime if you’re sleepy.
5) Try and create a regular sleep routine where you’re waking and sleeping at the same times everyday.
1) Don’t drink tea, coffee or other caffeinated drinks before you go to bed. Have a milky drink instead. Also, if you are a smoker or happen to be taking slimming tablets, don’t take anything near bedtime.
2) Don’t eat a lot late at night. Though the pounded yam or jollof rice has been known to knock people out, it isn’t good for weight management or for your digestion.
3) At the same time don’t go to bed hungry unless you’ll be more likely to wake up in the middle of the night to a grumbling belly.
4) Don’t drink alcohol to help you sleep. It will definitely help knock you out initially but you’ll wake up in the middle of the night, and having to have a glass of wine before you can sleep can turn into a habit that’s not so easy to get rid of!
5) Don’t let the sun go down on your anger or your worries! Many people lose sleep over issues that are worrying them or problems they’ve had during the day. Speak to a friend, a relative or write it down and leave it to be dealt with in the morning.
If all of the above fails, just read this article twice.