Proven Sleep Tips from Doctor Mike
Insomnia – Tips and Tricks for falling asleep
New Scientist magazine reports that insomnia affects one in ten people, and its a problem that people face worldwide. How big is the problem? Well it cost the U.S public a staggering $35 billion each year in accidents and sick days. Perhaps you are one of the many who can’t get to sleep at night. If so, what can you do?
Does counting really sheep work?
At Oxford University researchers asked a group of insomniacs to think of a relaxing and pleasant scene such as a favorite holiday destination or a beautiful waterfall.
A second group was asked to count sheep. And a third group was left to try their own way to fall asleep. Which group do think won? Yes, you guessed it, it was the first group. They fell asleep, on average, 20 minutes earlier than usual compared to the other two groups.
Why didn’t counting sheep work? Research analysis done by Allison Harvey gives us a clue why counting sheep does not really work. He concludes that counting sheep “is just too mundane to effectively keep worries away.”
In The Harvard Mental Health Letter, a study from a group of patients were able to reduce their sleep from 80 minutes to about 19 minutes by following these suggestions:
- Try not to spend more than 7 hours in bed
- Don’t stay in bed more tha1 hour past your normal sleeping time
- Try and wake up the same time each day, including weekends
- Go to bed only when tired; and if you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes after going to bed, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy again.
5 Tips on how to fall asleep
A good night’s sleep comes from a combination of factors and its commonly called sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene really comes down to a way of life. Here are some great sleep hygiene tips for you.
- You need to get the right exercise at the right time. Working out during the morning and afternoon can help you to be sleepier at bedtime. But exercising to close to bedtime can interfere with your sleep.
- Watching action films or exciting reading material can stimulate you rather than relax you. So, before you go to bed, it may be better to listen to easy music, take a warm bath or read something relaxing.
- Experts point out that we should only lye down in bed when were really ready to go sleep. So, watching TV in bed may not be a great idea. Neither would eating, working, studying, or playing video games in bed help us to fall asleep.
- There are also certain foods that will help us to fall asleep and certain foods that can impair our sleep. Alcoholic drinks can be deceptive because they will make you feel drowsy, but in reality, they will impair your sleep. Foods that are considered stimulates should also be avoided at nighttime, they include foods like: Tea, Coffee, chocolate, cocoa and cola-based soft drinks. should be avoided at night because they are stimulants. On the other hand, some foods are known to stimulate serotonin production which can help you to fall asleep easier. These foods include nuts, rice, banana, mango, persimmon, bean sprouts, sweet potato, and palm cabbage. A word of caution: we all know its difficult to go to bed on an empty stomach, but its just as difficult to go to bed on a full stomach
- Our last by not least important point is to prepare your bedroom for a relaxed sleep. Just as we need a good work environment or a good education environment so we also need a good sleeping environment. Its hard to fall asleep if the temperature is too hot our cold, so adjust the temperature to what fits you best. A room full of honking horns and bright lights will make it difficult for you to sleep. So, you may need an eyeshade and earplugs to get to sleep. A good quality comfortable mattress and pillows are essential for a good night’s sleep. In fact, you may be so comfortable that you won’t want to get up the next day. But don’t sleep in too long it may wreck your sleep pattern.
It’s good not be underestimate the amount and quality of the sleep we need. After all, we spend a third of our lives in bed sleeping. What can you do to improve your sleeping habits? Try some of these suggestions above. And hey, get some good ZZZZ’s.