I used to be one of those millions of humans that suffer from insomnia so I know how it feels to be up by 3 am looking for activities to do and then blaming it on anxiety, depression, missing someone, hustling etc. Usually I binge documentaries/movies, tweet or surf the internet for random information till I intentionally burn out but some of those nights, the easiest way i get to sleep is popping one (if you know, you know) which I am not proud of.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep. It’s no secret that we work and feel better when we have had a good night’s rest. Researchers believe we need at least 8 hours of sleep to perform at our peak which most of us never follow through consequently becoming at a greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, type II diabetes, cancer and most commonly shortened life span.
I remember junior high school, there was a story in one of those Intensive English textbooks of a scientist whose research facility said he was inevitable so the man worked tirelessly for days without sleep till he died and was replaced almost immediately, that was the first time i heard the vocabulary “indispensable” so you see my brothers sleep oh.
Lack of sleep may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition however there are some signs and symptoms that are associated with insomnia. Symptoms like
– Waking during the night.
-difficulty falling asleep at night.
-waking earlier than desired.
-still feeling tired after a night’s sleep.
-daytime fatigue or sleepiness.
-irritability, depression or anxiety.
-poor concentration and focus.
-worrying about sleeping.
These symptoms are more than this but the victim may experience one of these or even more depending on how severe the case might be. Life for lan insomniac can be very worrying because it affects your everyday life leading to low productivity but here are some suggestions that can make you sleep better.
1. Keep your electronics away: This means no TVs, phones, laptops in the bedroom. They create distractions by reminding you of everything else you should be doing instead of sleeping.
2. Dim the lights: Bright lights keep you up so avoid sleeping in a lit room so it doesn’t wake you up after you have gone to bed.
3. Keep your bedroom cool: A bedroom that is not comfortable can induce nightmares according to researchers. So keep your room cool with the ideal temperature at 19 degrees Celsius.
4. Avoid caffeine after 2pm: Caffeine has a half-life of six hours which means that 6 hours after your last sip, half the caffeine is still in your body, this liquid can lead to a vicious cycle. Foods like coffee, chocolate, hot chocolate, energy drinks should be avoided late in the evening.
5. Read for pleasure: When I say read, not school or work related books where your concentration level has to be 100%, just read for the fun of it and that takes the time to fall asleep by half.
6. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning: By sticking to a schedule you will be significantly more alert than if you slept for the same total amount of time at varying hours during the week. Your body knows when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake.
7. Make up for lost sleep as soon as possible: Catch up by going to bed earlier than sleeping later. If you sleep later, it will make it harder to get sleep the following night at the usual hour.
8. Wind down: Your body needs a buffer between the day’s stress. A warm bath, light snack or light exercise can you help you erase the day’s stress. If you unintentionally wake from sleep and can’t go back to bed, do anything relaxing, moderately boring or doesn’t require concentration; usually it will take 15 to 20 minutes to take your body to fall asleep again.