Is your bedroom filled with aromatherapy candles, soft mattresses and bed sheets and a glass of warm milk and yet you find yourself trying hard getting to sleep? Given the busy schedules and haywire lifestyle today, insomnia and other sleep problems tends to dominate other health issues.
And if you're one of those people who rely on medications as the last resort, this guide is for you. Listed below are a few tips and tricks to correct some errors you may have ignored, and to help you have a better night's sleep.
Advertisement• Reconsider your aromatherapy. Alternative healing practices are no doubt, much better than conventional medicine, but sometimes, they can prove to be futile treatments for certain people. So if you find the supposed-to-be calming lavender fragrance in your bedroom invigorating and refreshing, get it out. Using it for a long period of time could have had your brain accustomed to the fragrance, and it may lose its efficiency.
• Use the Goldilocks theory. Not too hard, not too soft, that is exactly what your mattress should feel like. Lying down on a hard mattress can mess with your back, and using extra soft mattresses would want you to stay in bed all day. If you have been using a very old mattress, get it changed. Studies show that sleeping on a new mattress can aid relaxed sleep.
• Try the white noise machine. You may love your pet with all your heart, but it's 2 in the morning and your dog is barking his guts off at some neighbor; that's when you lose patience. For all the incessant noise, consider installing white noise machines in your home.
• Wake up worry-free. Waking up 2 to 3 times in the night is completely normal. You may expect solid 8 hours of sleep, but evolutionary history and research suggests otherwise. It's all in the head, everyone has different sleep patterns.
• Use the sofa. It's wise to go to bed thinking positive and happy thoughts. But it's not always possible and that's when you should crash on the couch. Sleeping on the same bed as your partner could cause both of you compromise on relaxed sleep when half the night you're basically throwing mental darts at each other.
• Skip the painkillers. Some painkillers contain caffeine, which explains the sleepless nights and insomnia. Avoid pills that have over 65mg of caffeine per tablet or if they contain caffeine as an active ingredient.
• Take a hot bath. A hot bath opens up pores and dulls your circulation, making more blood flow to the internal organs. You feel more lethargic and drowsy - two essential elements for a good night's sleep. Be sure to do the opposite in the morning, that is, take a cold bath which increases blood circulation to the skin, warming the body and making you feel fresh and energetic.
• Dump the decongestant. Oral decongestants can help you breathe better, but actually, they tend to increase your heart rate which can lead to sleeping troubles. Instead, try a saline wash or a spray.
• Grab a book. Instead of the late night TV shows and soap operas, read before retiring for the day. Radiations from your TV can send an 'alert' signal to your brain, causing it to be wide awake.
• Take a magnesium supplement. Low magnesium is directly associated with irritability, hyperactive behavior and jumpiness. It also causes insomnia, chronic inflammation and elevates stress levels. Talk to your doctor about starting magnesium supplements.
• Use feather pillows. Allergic people may resort to using foam pillows, but studies suggest that using feather pillows can be much more beneficial. There are very few people actually allergic to feathers. Feather pillows are more likely to be enclosed in a tight fabric that keeps dust mites out. Foam, on the other hand, can aggravate allergies due to its moisture content.
• You don't have to share everything! Pulling and tugging of sheets is another common cause of disturbed sleep. True, sharing stuff enhances your bond with your partner, but not if it means compromising on sleep. Instead, grab a sheet and a blanket each.