Having trouble sleeping? Tips for successful slumber

By: Health Local Staff Jul 22, 2013
  Article
Sleep Better

Nearly 40% of Canadian adults are impacted by sleep disorders, both mild to severe.

Insomnia is a worldwide epidemic. It means that you have trouble falling asleep, wake up throughout the night or lie awake for hours unable to get adequate rest.

As a result, those with sleep problems have a hard time focusing throughout the day and are impacted by sleepiness, fatigue and irritability. If you are having trouble falling asleep at bedtime or are unable to stay asleep throughout the night, you may be the cause.

Here are some helpful tips for gaining successful slumber.

Tip #1 – Get enough exercise

Exercise not only gets the heart pumping, but also can improve sleep better than most sleep aids. According to research studies, daily doses of exercise can reduce the time a person takes to fall asleep by as much as 12 minutes. Overall, sleep time can be increased to over 40 minutes throughout one night. 

Tip #2 – Avoid caffeinated drinks

That cup of coffee with dinner should be avoided at all costs, especially if you suffer from insomnia.  Chemicals in your brain that trigger sleepiness are blocked by caffeine. Too much at the wrong hours of the day, will promote a wakeful night.

Tip #3 – Toss out the thriller

Stephen King keeping you up at night? Thrillers, suspense and other scary novels can keep you awake at night. Kids are not the only ones prone to the fear of scary monsters beneath the bed. Change your reading list to something a bit more soothing before turning out the lights.

Tip #4 – Avoid a heavy evening meal

Indigestion accompanied with fullness sensation can keep you up at night, tossing and turning because of discomfort. To help you fall asleep easier, and stay asleep, avoid an evening meal that is rich in fat, sugar and calories. Doing so will help you get a great night’s sleep.

Tip #5 – Have more sex

No, this doesn’t mean we are advocating promiscuity, but regular connection with your partner improves mood, relieves stress and can put you into peaceful slumber. According to research, having sexual intercourse several times a week improves sleep and prevents insomnia.

Tip #6 – Adjust the temperature

If you are too hot or too cold, you may be contributing to your sleep problems. When the temperature is hot, your body temperature rises and contributes to problems with sleep. Keeping the thermostat at a lower temperature makes it easier for your to enter a comfort zone that allows you to sleep.

Tip #7 – Avoid worry and stress

If you are chronically stressed out, the worry may be keeping you up at night. In an effort to battle the stress, make a list of the things that are bothering you a couple of hours prior to bedtime. This will give you ample time to mull over issues and problems you are having, without exploring them while lying in bed. When bedtime nears, put the list away in another room and shut the door. It’s time to get a restful night’s sleep.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.