Combat insomnia naturally without medication

hombre despertandose en la madrugada

Combat insomnia naturally without medication

This is how we recover the energy that we have exerted during the day and maintain our physical and mental health. However, sometimes, for various reasons, we have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

If you’re sick of counting sheep or tossing and turning in bed, we are here to explain how to cure sleep disorders. A bit of self-care can do wonders to help you sleep.

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Home remedies for insomnia

Stick to a regular sleep schedule

hombre despertando con el sol

Sleeping in until midday on Sundays may sound like a good idea, but the best thing you can do to beat insomnia is develop a routine that allows your body clock to adjust to a consistent sleep schedule.

Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep of continuous sleep each night.

Stick to your routine and avoid taking naps to allow your body adjust and respond naturally.

Adapt your environment for better sleep

habitacion comoda con poca iluminacion

Biologically, your body is already prepared for sleep, but only under certain conditions. Ensure your room is comfortable and free of noise, lights or any other distractions that could prevent you from falling asleep naturally.

The ideal sleeping conditions require darkness and silence, so try to adapt your sleeping environment accordingly. If you can’t change your environment, you could try using an eye mask or earplugs.

Remember that light influences your sleep cycle, as it tells your body when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep.

Focus on comfort

hombre durmiendo con su perro en la cama

You can also try making your bed more comfortable to help you get a good night’s sleep. Regulate the temperature of your room and put on the necessary blankets so you’re not too hot or too cold, and ensure your pajamas (if you wear them) and your mattress are comfortable.

If you usually sleep with your pets, stop. Give them their own space to sleep and watch as your sleep improve. Often, by ensuring their comfort, you sacrifice your own.

This applies to pets, children and partners, that can interrupt your sleep. Remember that everyone deserves their own space when they sleep.

Exercise during the day

mujer trotando al aire libre

If you go from leading a sedentary lifestyle to exercising regularly, you will see how your sleep quality improves. When you burn energy during the day, you will feel more tired upon going to bed, allowing you to fall sleep that much easier.

You will also have more energy and feel less lethargic during the day, as well as experience fewer depressive symptoms.

You can do any type of exercise you like, from lifting weights, to swimming, to dancing. Ideally, you should do so in the morning, but if you prefer to work out in the evening, you should do so at least four hours before going to bed.

Say not to caffeine if you want to sleep better

bebida estimulante

Limit your caffeine consumption, especially in the evening or at night. Though you may think it doesn’t affect you, caffeine is a psychoactive substance that has stimulating effects, making us more alert and reducing fatigue.

Common sources of caffeine include coffee, tea, yerba mate and guarana. Caffeine is also found in fizzy drinks and energy drinks. If you want to sleep better, you should avoid these drinks.

Drink less alcohol to improve your sleep quality

Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol (at any time of day) can interfere with your sleep cycle. It doesn’t just make it difficult for you to fall asleep, but also makes you feel more tired during the day.

Alcohol affects the brain waves that help you feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning, making you feel more awake the moment you drink it, but once it wears off, falling and staying asleep becomes much more difficult.

Don’t smoke if you have insomnia

persona apagando un cigarillo

Smoking can cause insomnia to get worse, as well as exacerbate sleep apnea and trigger or aggravate other respiratory diseases such as asthma (which can also disturb your sleep). Smokers are also more likely than non-smokers to wake up tired after a night’s sleep.

Nicotine in cigarettes is so highly addictive, that stopping smoking can make you feel ill. As you can’t smoke while you sleep, your body experiences withdrawal symptoms that can interrupt your sleep schedule

Relax before going to bed

mujer con antifaz lista para dormir

Adopt a nighttime routine that helps you relax before going to bed. Try to free yourself of negative thoughts, relax your mind and forget about your problems. For example, you could take a bath or carry out a relaxing activity that you enjoy, such as reading or listening to music.

It is important to give your body time to wind down at the end of the day to prepare it for a peaceful sleep.

Write down your worries and enjoy peaceful sleep

persona realizando una lista de pendientes

Problems usually feel worse at night, but when you wake up after a full night’s sleep, you realize that actually, they can be resolved. Although sometimes it doesn’t seem like that when you are trying to fall asleep.

If you really can’t seem to forget about your problems and you go to bed with your head full of stressful or negative thoughts, try making a list. Write down all your worries so that you can deal with them tomorrow with a clear mind.

Only use your bed for sleeping

hombre trabajando en la cama

The point of only using your bed at bedtime, is that your body associates it with sleep. That is why you should avoid performing other tasks in your bed. You should not associate your bed with work, food, watching TV or anything other than sleep.

If you have trouble sleeping or you wake up in the middle of the night, try not to check your phone, computer or TV. Instead, try to meditate a little or read until you feel tired again.

Turn off your devices before bed

celular antes de acostarse

The light from cell phone, TV and computer screens is extremely stimulating for the brain. Therefore it’s best to avoid using electronic devices before bed.

Once you finish checking Facebook or Instagram, try to take some time to read, listen to calming music or meditate before going to sleep. This way, you make it easier for your body to fall asleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, get up.

If you can’t sleep, get up

persona que se le levanta en la madrugada

Your bed should be associated with sleeping, so if you can’t get to sleep, you shouldn’t stay in bed worrying about not sleeping. Instead, get up and go to another room.

Stand up and do something relaxing (that ideally does not involve using electronic devices) until you feel tired again.

Focus on your breathing before going to bed

ilustracion de los pulmones

One way to relax your body and prepare it for sleep is the “4-7-8 technique”. This is a simple breathing exercise that can be done in 5 easy steps:

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth (if you´re making a “whoosh” sound, you are doing it right)
  2. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose, counting to 4 in your head
  3. Hold your breath counting to 7 in your head
  4. Exhale back out through your mouth (just like in step 1) counting to 8 in your head
  5. Repeat steps 2,3 and 4 three times

It is very important that you hold your breath for the full 7 seconds before slowly breathing out; this is what allows the oxygen to reach your lungs and circulate throughout the entire body, helping you reach a state of total relaxation.

Now you know various different techniques to effectively combat insomnia, all you have to do is adopt some of these easy habits into your daily life.

Why not share this information about  sleep disorders with your friends and family? You never know who may be suffering from lack of sleep and in need of some advice.