Treating insomnia: find out what works for you

What works for you may only be discovered with trial and error.

For example, one can use smart mattresses, apps like Headspace, or fenugreek seeds. A mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, and fennel boiled in water contains flavonoids and antioxidants that help calm the body. Mindfulness meditation can help aim your focus on the moment-by-moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions instead of thinking of the past or daydreaming.

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Experiencing insomnia
  • If you are tired most days, have trouble retaining information, concentrating, or feel like you got off on the wrong side of the bed, you might be fighting insomnia.
  • Aromatherapy, melatonin, chamomile tea and acupressure are often experienced as a temporary fix.
  • What makes insomnia worse is the dread with sundown, knowing that you will toss and turn, desperately trying to sleep and obsessing over why you can't.

Look at your full day to identify the causes of insomnia, not just the hours before you go to bed.

For example, setting too many meetings or not permitting yourself to take a break can leave you too wound up to fall asleep later at night. Instead, schedule your most intense work in the morning, and do more mundane tasks in the afternoon.

Research shows that if you bring your work to your bed, you're likely to continue thinking about work even after you stopped working.

Try to create a separate work area - it could be your kitchen table or a small nook in your living room. Then retain your bedroom for sleep.

Cut out caffeine after midday, and limit blue light at bedtime.

We face relentless stimuli daily. We regularly talk, text, absorb voices, travel, and multitask. Try to disengage from all electronic devices after 9 pm, as the blue light interferes with melatonin and makes it hard to sleep.

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Insomniacs must know that sleep is natural, and normal, with each of us having the capability to sleep well.

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Creating a sleep-inducing environment
  • Turn the temperature between 60 and 72 degrees.
  • Turn off the lights. Artificial light suppresses your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
  • Turn down the noise. Wear earplugs if you have to, or consider investing in a white noise machine.
  • Pick comfortable bedding. Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester that trap heat and moisture.
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress.

It's the key to a good night’s sleep. It means pinning your bedtime to the same time every night, even on weekends, and waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. 

It's important to settle into a groove or a cycle that your body understands and responds to. Once you do this, you’ll sleep better, feel better, have more energy, and worry less.

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