Difficulty sleeping affects 10 to 30% of adults at least once a month. The insomnia causes difficulty to sleep, stay asleep, go back to sleep after waking up and causes sleep is not restorative. Let’s list some ways to make it easier to sleep and help you sleep fast every night.
- 1 Some tips
- 2 Techniques
- 2.1 Technique 4-7-8
- 2.2 Stimulus control therapy
- 2.3 Listen to relaxing music
- 2.4 Relax your muscles
- 3 What else can help you sleep?
- 4 Medicines
- 5 How to wake up early
- 6 Foods that help with insomnia
- 7 What can influence my sleep?
- 8 Insomnia
1 – Make your room cooler!
Lower temperatures make the task of falling asleep easier. A fan, air conditioning, less coverings or open windows can make you drowsy. But be careful not to overdo it! The ideal temperature is between 15 and 21 ºC. This temperature is below body temperature, but it is not too cold.
2 – Keep electronics away!
As tempting as it may be to take a look at Facebook before going to sleep or watching TV until you fall asleep, avoid doing so. The lights of electronic devices can confuse our internal clock, making the body think that it is still daytime and that it is not time to sleep. In addition, they can get your attention with some information that can make sleep more difficult, such as interesting news.
3 – Get comfortable!
A comfortable mattress and adequate pillows can be the difference between a pleasant night’s sleep and a terrible night of insomnia. Pillows at the right height and quality mattresses maintain the natural curvature of the spine, providing comfort and avoiding pain.
4 – Avoid exercise close to bedtime!
Exercises can be very beneficial for sleep when performed during the day, but when done close to bedtime, they hamper muscle relaxation, causing more sleep difficulties. Avoid exercising until four hours before bed.
5 – Relax your feet!
Your feet carry you all day and, at the end of it, they may be tired and tense. Relaxing them can help you sleep. To do this, sitting on the bed, you can stretch them forward as if you were stretching or stretch them with the help of your hands.
6 – Find the right position!
Finding the right position for your sleep is essential. Laying on your stomach is not recommended for your neck and spine, but you can use an extra pillow on your belly to improve your position. It is also possible to use a pillow between the legs, at the knee, to provide support for them and keep them apart.
7 – Do mental exercises!
Distract your mind from the rest with mental exercises. Some exercise options are counting sheep, but you can also count from 100 to 0 out of 3 out of 3. This means starting at 100, then 97, 94, 91 and so on, until you fall asleep.
There are some techniques to facilitate sleep and sleep faster. They help you sleep when you are stressed, anxious or just can’t relax for any other reason. Are they:
Regulating breathing, relaxing the body and calming the mind are ways to facilitate sleep. The 4-7-8 technique does all of this and some people say they can sleep in just one minute with it. It is a breathing technique that aims to relax, in addition to preventing you from being distracted and paying attention to other things.
After lying down, just follow these instructions:
- Breathe through your nose, mentally counting 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Release the air through the mouth in the course of 8 seconds.
Every four repetitions of this process counts one cycle and at least four cycles must be repeated.
Remember to relax your muscles during each cycle and to breathe deeply, using your diaphragm and extending your abdomen. Repeat the cycle until you fall asleep. The technique works fast, relaxing muscles, relieving stress and slowing heart and breathing.
It is effective when you have some stress in mind, because, because you are counting the seconds and focused on controlling your breathing, you will not think about what was worrying you.
Stimulus control therapy
Stimulus control therapy serves to create an association between bed and sleep quickly. There are five steps that must be followed to make sleeping faster:
1. Go to bed only when you feel sleepy
So you avoid rolling around in bed.
2. Use the bed only for sleeping and sexual activity
Do not use it to study, read or watch television.
3. If you can’t sleep, get up and go to another room
If you are unable to sleep in bed for more than 10 minutes, it is time to get up and do other things for a while, then try to fall asleep again. Repeat this step as many times as necessary.
4. Set an alarm clock and get up at the same time every day
Making it a habit to always get up at the same time will help the body acquire a sleep rhythm.
5. Don’t sleep during the day
Daytime naps can mess up your body’s sleep rhythm.
By following these steps and reducing the number of activities performed in bed, the brain stops making different associations with it and associates the act of lying down with sleep, making the task easier.
Listen to relaxing music
You can listen to music that relaxes you or use the sounds of nature to do this. There are several sites and videos on the internet with the sound of rain, trees in the wind and running water that can be quite relaxing.
The white noise can also have help falling asleep.
Relax your muscles
After a stressful day, you may have your muscles tense. To relax them, you can use deep breathing.
Find a comfortable position, preferably with your belly up and your legs apart. Take a deep breath and, while breathing out, imagine all your muscles becoming more relaxed. Repeat three times, then imagine each muscle relaxing, one at a time, from head to toe.
Keep your room tidy
Your environment is a major influencer of sleep. Keeping the room clean and organized makes all the difference. Remember to change the sheets every week or two and keep everything clean and fragrant.
Digesting food can make you uncomfortable at night. In addition, the meal can cause an increase in the amount of sugar in the blood. Both make sleep and relaxation difficult, so eating with a minimum of 3 hours before bedtime can make sleeping easier.
Take a hot shower
A good warm bath before bed helps to relax your body and muscles, making sleeping easier and faster.
Chamomile tea and passion fruit juice are natural tranquilizers that can relax your body and nerves, helping to achieve a peaceful and easy sleep. Valerian and lavender are also prominent. Teas made with these herbs are indicated for insomnia. Hot drinks are especially effective for relaxation.
Read a book
Reading is a healthy and relaxing habit. A book before bedtime can be of great help to rest, but some details should be noted. Very exciting books can disturb your sleep.
To sleep, it is recommended to read books that you have read before and avoid themes such as terror or mystery, which can make someone scared or too curious about what will happen next, making it difficult to sleep.
Sleeping at the right times and getting up at predetermined times, on a routine basis, creates a habit for the body, which gets used to the times. This allows deep sleep to happen and be restorative.
Although studies on the influence of acupuncture on sleep are not conclusive, it is a treatment recommended by several specialists. It induces relaxation by stimulating pressure points on the body using needles.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland in the brain and is what tells the body that it is time to sleep. The production of melatonin decreases with aging and therefore insomnia is more common at older ages. However, it is possible to supplement melatonin. The capsules can be purchased at pharmacies and health food stores.
Not much is known about the effects of prolonged use of supplementation, but it is known that using one capsule a day for less than a month is safe. Still, it is advisable to talk to your doctor before starting melatonin supplementation and looking for this hormone in food is another option. Various foods are rich in melatonin, including bananas , pineapples and cherry.
Sleeping medications should only be used as a last resort because of the danger that controlled substances present, such as addiction. Although psychotherapy is more efficient and has fewer side effects, medications are widely used to treat insomnia.
In cases of chronic insomnia, that is, that lasts more than three weeks, some medications may be indicated by a doctor. However, this treatment should be avoided or last for a short time due to the possibility of dependence.
Some frequently prescribed medications are:
- Flurazepam (Dalmadorm);
- Diazepam (Valium);
- Alprazolam (Frontal);
- Bromazepam (Lexotan).
NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.
Waking up early is a challenge for many people, but a few things can help:
Find out how much sleep is needed for your body
Each body needs a different amount of sleep. Finding out their quantity is important and can help not to overdo it or miss it. Adjusting your bedtime based on your body is ideal.
Get up as soon as you wake up
Curling up in bed can make you fall asleep again. A good way to get out of bed as soon as you wake up is to keep the alarm out of reach. If you are forced to get up to turn off the alarm, it becomes more difficult to fall asleep again and easier to get out of bed instead.
Take an ice bath
If you think you are very sleepy when you wake up, it may be a good idea to take a cold shower right after getting up. It will help you to wake up.
Have a sleep routine
Always sleep and wake up at the same time. This will get your body used to the schedule and getting up will become easier.
Some foods and recipes can help you fall asleep more easily. We list some of them here:
Cherry with rice milk
- 20 g of chopped cherry;
- 200 mL of rice milk.
Beat the ingredients together with an electric whisk or blender. These two foods are rich in melatonin, a hormone produced by the body, which induces sleep. If your natural melatonin production is low, you will have difficulty sleeping and this supplementation may be necessary.
Honey with lemongrass
Beat 100 mL of honey and 20 grams of lemongrass. The result will be a syrup that can be used to sweeten teas and juices, or mixed in hot water to make lemon balm tea with honey. The mixture relaxes the body and helps you sleep.
Banana with cinnamon
Like the cherry, the banana is rich in melatonin. A tasty recipe made with it helps you sleep faster. To do this, you will need to remove one side of the banana peel, leaving it open on only one side, and place it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
After removing the banana from the microwave, you can spread cinnamon on top of the fruit. It can be eaten anyway or mixed with oats.
It is recommended to consume these foods in the late afternoon to help the body relax and sleep easier.
Many factors can influence a person’s sleep. Let’s list some of these things:
Bright lights, loud and sharp sounds, movements, unpleasant odors, all are factors that leave an inappropriate environment for quality and restorative sleep.
Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulants
CNS stimulating drugs, such as methamphetamine, caffeine and nicotine, influence and increase motor and brain activity, making it difficult to reach sleep status. Caffeine is also diuretic, meaning it makes you want to pee, which can wake you up at night.
Withdrawal of Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants
Conversely, CNS depressants, such as alcohol, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and marijuana, decrease motor and brain activity. At first, this facilitates sleep, but the brain gets used to these substances, creating a dependency. The lack of them prevents these motor and brain activities from being reduced, preventing sleep, making the person need them to be able to sleep.
Stressful situations, such as concern for one’s own health or that of family members, financial problems, grief , relationship problems, among others, can cause insomnia.
Disturbed sound habits
Changes in sleep schedules cause difficulties in adapting. The body used to sleeping and waking up at specific times can suffer from time shifts, but if there is discipline for the new sleep cycle, the body gets used to it quickly.
Sleeping every day at different times and for different times causes difficulties for the body to reach deep stages of sleep. This causes difficulty falling asleep and less satisfying nights of rest.
Schizophrenia , depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, among other disorders, can cause insomnia. In sleep clinics, half of insomnia patients also have depression.
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury and other neurological disorders can cause sleep difficulties.
Insomnia is the sleep disorder that causes difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or going back to sleep after waking up. The disease can be divided into primary and secondary insomnia.
Primary insomnia is one in which difficulty sleeping is the main disease. Secondary insomnia is caused by another disease such as depression, anxiety, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, among others. Secondary insomnia is twice as common as primary insomnia.
Types of insomnia
There are three types of insomnia. They are called transient , intermittent, and chronic insomnia . The transient insomnia is common and most people will go through it a few times in life. It can last from one day to three weeks and is usually caused by severe stress, financial or health concerns.
The intermittent insomnia is identified by episodes that occur from time to time, separated by regular periods of sleep. The patient usually sleeps well most nights, but is affected by the difficulty of sleeping with a few spaces between each episode.
Already chronic insomnia is the kind that lasts more than three weeks. The episodes can be caused by depression, inadequate sleep habits, abuse of drugs such as cocaine, alcohol and caffeine, among others.
The sleep doctor can treat the disease and indicate the most appropriate treatment. Severe changes in sleep can be signs of health problems.
Insomnia affects many people, but there are ways to get around it. Remember that it can be a sign of a serious illness, so if you encounter long sleep problems, it is good to see a doctor.
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