By Sola Ogundipe
Insomnia is the lack of sleep or inability to sleep. If you have insomnia, there are many steps you can take to change behaviours and lifestyle to help you get to sleep.
One thing that you can do is to wake up at the same time each day, including weekends. If you suffer from insomnia you should get up at the same time every day to train your body to wake at a consistent time.
Avoid alcohol and stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. While caffeine may not only cause difficulty initiating sleep, it may also cause frequent awakenings. Alcohol may have a sedative effect for the first few hours but can then lead to frequent arousals and a non-restful night’s sleep.
Limit day time naps if you want to establish and maintain a regular sleep pattern. Napping can affect the quality of nighttime sleep.
Exercise regularly but at least three hours before you plan to retire for the night. Limit activities in bed. The bed is primarily for sleeping.
If you suffer from insomnia, do not attempt office work while in bed or even in the bedroom, and avoid watching television or listening to the radio.
A late dinner or snacking before going to bed can activate the digestive system and keep you up. Avoid eating and drinking right before bed to minimise frequent visits to the restroom that disturb your sleep.
Make your sleeping environment comfortable. Your bed should feel comfortable and your pillows too. Try relaxation therapies and stress reduction methods to relax your mind and body before going to bed.