World Sleep Day 2022: 5 Ways to Beat Insomnia
Expert opinion by
Dr Akanksha Saxena
March 16, 2022, 6:20 p.m.
3 minute read
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that keeps you up at night and prevents you from falling asleep and/or staying asleep on a regular basis.
This medical condition can be both acute or chronic and occur due to various factors such as stress, excessive noise, light or high temperature of your environment, or can also be genetic.
Here’s how you can beat it.
Here’s what our expert says
- Insomnia is a common condition that affects 30-50% of all adults and is more common in older people as the physiological need for sleep decreases.
- It is categorized under mental and sleep disorders.
- Insomnia in young people is mainly due to poor sleep hygiene, which includes caffeine use, exposure to blue light via cellphone/computer screens, and untimely naps during the day.
If you drink a lot of coffee, tea, throughout the day, reduce.
Make sure you don’t drink coffee after 7 p.m.
Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, making you feel awake and energized, thus interfering with your sleep. It is also known to prevent deep sleep.
If you must drink before bed, have a cup of warm milk or herbal tea.
Daily moderate exercise like walking, jogging, stretching, and swimming can help relieve some tension and relax you mentally.
Exercise also releases the hormones endorphin, serotonin and dopamine which give you happiness and pleasure.
However, do not engage in vigorous exercise in the evening or near bedtime, such as running and lifting weights, as this may keep you awake.
Smartphones, tablets, e-books, computer screens and televisions emit blue light which disturbs sleep.
Put all those gadgets away a few hours before bedtime and resist the urge to stare at them.
Try wearing blue-blocking glasses if you have to work late.
You can also switch to e-reader on your smartphone to prevent blue light from affecting your eyes.
Alcohol may help you fall asleep at first, but it interferes with the sleep cycle and you may wake up too early the next day.
Alcohol also blocks REM sleep.
Although it relaxes your muscles, it increases the risk of sleep apnea because the throat muscles also relax.
Have a cup of herbal tea or warm milk to relax.
Create a sleep-friendly environment
Make sure your bed is comfortable, check if the mattress needs changing.
Try to shut out excess light from outside by using blackout curtains while you’re trying to sleep.
A warm room will never allow peaceful sleep, so lower the temperature in your bedroom.
Try to cancel external sources of loud noise by closing your bedroom windows.