Media Technology In The Bedroom
suggests that using devices with screens before bed can cause a loss of sleep in young people.
These devices can also harm sleep patterns in adults. Recreational use after lights-out appears to
- over-the-counter sleep aids, some of which are available for purchase online
- melatonin, which is also available for purchase online
However, there is not enough strong evidence to prove that melatonin helps with sleep.
A number of remedies and tips can help manage insomnia. They involve changes to:
Quit Alcohol And Stimulants
Nicotine, caffeine and other stimulants can have long-lasting effects on your body and could be contributing to your problems sleeping. If you cant eliminate them completely, try not to drink coffee or take stimulants in the afternoon and see if it makes a difference to your quality of sleep.
Digital screens are also stimulants and should be avoided well before bedtime.
Other stimulating activities can include discussions and arguments with other people that lead your brain to get overactive at a time when it should be slowing down.
Taking Steps To Manage Stress
If you consistently find yourself lying in bed with your mind racing, stress could be stealing your ability to fall asleep. In fact, nearly 40% of Americans say that they often feel tired or fatigued because of stress, according to a2013 American Psychological Association poll.Verified SourceAmerican Academy of Pediatrics Professional society for pediatricians that aims to improve childrens health everywhere.View source
Nearly 40% of Americans say that they often feel tired or fatigued because of stress.
And it gets worse. When youre wiped out during the day from not getting enough sleep, you tend to feel even more stressed, anxious, and irritable. Over time, the whole stress-sleep thing can turn into a vicious cycle. Which is why taking steps to manage your stress is so critical for achieving deeper, more restful sleep.
So should you start sitting cross-legged and singing Kumbaya before bed? Well, sure, if you want to. But if thats not your style, dont worry. There are plenty of other effective ways to ease feelings of stress and promote feelings of relaxation. A few to try:
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Screen Time Helps You Wind Down
Myth. It’s tempting to try to wind down by reading on the computer or watching TV before bed, but both can actually stimulate you. The light and noise of TVs and computers can be engaging and can reduce brain melatonin levels. You want your melatonin levels to increase around bedtime to help you fall asleep. Need just a little noise to help you drift off? Try listening to relaxing music or download a relaxing, sleep app.
Work Through Your Stress
If you’re losing sleep due to anxiety, you may be able to relax and get better sleep with a change of perspective. Anxiety, including the type that keeps you up at night, is often a natural response to situations that need some sort of action. Viewing your situation as a challenge to be faced, rather than a threat, can help you get into an active, decision-making mode rather than remain in an anxious, passive state.
Looking at a situation from different angles can help you see opportunities you may have missed. Cognitive restructuring can help you change your perspective on a stressful situation.
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General Information On Insomnia
If you find yourself counting sheep at night with no resolve, you are not alone. According to the Sleep Apnea Association, more than 50 million Americans suffer from sleeping disorders. The American Academy of Sleep recommends seven hours of sleep and most people are not getting that much.
Many people who suffer from insomnia know the exact cause of their sleep disturbances. It is often a stressful day or even work-life, a fight with a partner, etc. When insomnia is caused by identifiable situations such as these you dont need any medication, all you need is to fix the problem.
However, when there is no clear cause for your insomnia it can be very frustrating to deal with. You may even be looking for a miracle cure. When you lose sleep, the consequences can be very serious. If you find yourself sleeping less than 7 hours per night you are at increased risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and death. Not getting adequate sleep also increases your risks of having accidents, whether at home, in the workplace, or while driving.
Insomnia affects people of all ages and stages of life, not just adults. Adolescents and even children are affected too. So it is paramount to develop good sleep habits for yourself and your entire family.
Tips To Overcome Insomnia For A Better Sleep And Health
Sleep research is on the rise, as medicine and psychology have now hi-tech instruments to learn more about this necessary part of our lives. Recent studies conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine show that, unfortunately, 30% of adults reported they experienced insomnia.
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Treating Insomnia With A Better Sleep Environment And Routine
Two powerful weapons in the fight against insomnia are a quiet, comfortable bedroom and a relaxing bedtime routine. Both can make a big difference in improving the quality of your sleep.
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Noise, light, a bedroom thats too hot or cold, or an uncomfortable mattress or pillow can all interfere with sleep. Try using a sound machine or earplugs to mask outside noise, an open window or fan to keep the room cool, and blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light. Experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide the support you need to sleep comfortably.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends. Get up at your usual time in the morning even if youre tired. This will help you get back in a regular sleep rhythm.
Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. Electronic screens emit a blue light that disrupts your bodys production of melatonin and combats sleepiness. So instead of watching TV or spending time on your phone, tablet, or computer, choose another relaxing activity, such as reading a book or listening to soft music.
Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime. This includes checking messages on social media, big discussions or arguments with your spouse or family, or catching up on work. Postpone these things until the morning.
Limit Caffeine And Other Stimulants
For many people, cutting out caffeine from their diet can be very difficult, but caffeine can greatly hamper your ability to fall asleep. Additionally, as a stimulant, caffeine can make your anxiety much more pronounced, and you may have a difficult time calming down if you drink excessive amounts of coffee.
It could also be getting in the way of you achieving a good nights sleep. Try avoiding caffeine at least four to five hours prior to when you want to go to bed.
If you know of any other forms of stimulants that you may be taking, try avoiding those at least a few hours before bedtime, as well.
Additionally, some recent studies, such as one conducted by Harvard Health, have come to find that blue light can keep the brain active, stimulated, and awake, as it suppresses the secretion of the hormone melatonin. This is the hormone responsible for helping you fall asleep, so try avoiding blue light, or wearing amber glasses to suppress the effects of the light, at least two hours prior to bedtime.
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Insomnia Has Many Negative Side Effects
Sleep is important for cellular repair, muscular repair, energy, memory, concentration, etc. People who suffer from insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep or spend long periods awake at night. Some people wake up early and then arent able to fall asleep again. This leads to feeling tired during the day. Further leading to irritability and in some cases, depression. Sleeplessness can lead to an inability to work or even function normally. It can have a negative effect on memory and focus, even leading to trouble remembering the simplest of tasks or facts. More serious side effects can lead to accidents and even death as people have difficulty in concentration. The immune system can also be affected and as such lead to physical and mental health problems.
Some Causes Of Insomnia
There are many causes of insomnia. For many sufferers the primary cause is simply making poor lifestyle, diet and sleep choices. The causes will vary from person to person. Some people can do some of the things that may cause insomnia and still sleep easily. Whilst others will stay up all night. Consider which of these things might be keeping you up. You might even be surprised that some of the activities you thought dont affect you, actually do. Many so called causes are simply a result of the choices people make. Thus if they change the choices, they can be free to get a good night rest.
How to overcome insomnia
Insomnia sufferers can face from a few nights loss of sleep to a totally debilitating years of lost sleep. There are various causes over which you have total control and as such reduce the risk of insomnia. With all the solutions to overcome sleeplessness, you can stop suffering and return to having quality sleep and increased quality of life.
Please share this article so that others may find benefit in it and get their lives back.
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Leave The Bed If You Cant Sleep
When youre dealing with a bout of insomnia, it can feel like a battle of wills. Part of you thinks that if you keep trying, youll finally fall asleep. Youll win in a sense.
Thats why you often lie in bed for hours, unable to sleep. You refuse to let insomnia win, so you wont get up.
If you stay in bed too long, your brain will associate the act of being in your bed with the act of being awake . That will make it even harder to go to sleep down the road. Some experts recommend only lying awake for 5-10 minutes, while others say you have up to 20 minutes to fall asleep. You know your body, so take cues from it, but dont stay in bed longer than 20 minutes.
When you leave the bed, make sure you dont do Anything to stimulate your brain. You can do a calming activity, such as journaling, or you can sit in the dark and let your racing thoughts run their course. Then, once you feel calm and sleepy, return to bed and try to fall asleep again.
What About Thyroid Hormones
If you are hypothyroid then insomnia is a common symptom. Thyroid hormone is important for proper glucose, serotonin, and melatonin metabolism so it can be difficult to sleep if your thyroid levels are low.
Too much thyroid hormone increases your metabolism and makes you anxious so youâll have difficulty sleeping. It also creates blood sugar and adrenal imbalances which compound the problem.
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How Anxiety Can Affect Sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to increased chances of anxiety, but anxiety can also cause a lack of sleep. Unfortunately, the two can intertwine quite a bit, causing one to exacerbate the other.
Anxiety can have a negative effect on your bodys ability to fall asleep as your brain is in fight or flight mode, thinking of all potential outcomes for whatever is causing the anxiety. Furthermore, anticipatory anxiety and specific anxiety about sleep can lead to sleep disturbance and insomnia, which then creates a feedback loop that can make both conditions worsen. Insomnia can also make you more irritable and more worried, as your brain is not getting all the sleep it needs in order to function at normal levels.
However, its not uncommon to experience anxiety related to sleep. As Winnie Yu, a writer for WebMD noted in her article Scared to Sleep, sleep anxiety is a form of performance anxiety. Many people may stress about not getting enough sleep to function, but the stress alone of trying to sleep can cause people to sit awake for hours. Additionally, other fears such as recurring nightmares, fear of sleep apnea , and more can all lead to disturbed sleep.
Does Chronic Insomnia Ever Go Away
Though many people struggle with chronic insomnia for years, it is possible for the disorder to be managed and treated. Improving sleep hygiene, undergoing CBT-I, and using medications can all help bring chronic insomnia under control. Brief episodes of insomnia may still recur from time to time if they are short-lived, they are likely nothing to worry about.
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How Do You Treat Chronic Insomnia
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-I, as the first-line treatment for chronic insomnia. CBT-I aims to change the behaviors and negative thought patterns that contribute to persistent sleeplessness. Other treatments include medicationsthough most should be used only over the short termmelatonin supplements, or light therapy.
Keep Pets Off The Bed
Many people sleep with pet cats or dogs on their bed, but pets may keep you from getting much sleep. If they wake up, move, or make noise at night, it may wake you up. If you’re the kind of person who has a hard time falling asleep if you wake up at night, it makes more sense to keep pets out of the bedroom. There are other reasons to make your bedroom off limits to pets. If you have allergies or asthma, pet fur and dander could provoke your symptoms. Pets who go outdoors also track pollen into the house. You can teach your pet to sleep in his or her own bed in another room.
What To Do When Insomnia Wakes You Up In The Middle Of The Night
Many people with insomnia are able to fall asleep at bedtime, but then wake up in the middle of the night. They then struggle to get back to sleep, often lying awake for hours. If this describes you, the following tips may help.
Stay out of your head. Hard as it may be, try not to stress over your inability to fall back to sleep, because that stress only encourages your body to stay awake. To stay out of your head, focus on the feelings in your body or practice breathing exercises. Take a breath in, then breathe out slowly while saying or thinking the word, Ahhh. Take another breath and repeat.
Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. If you find it hard to fall back to sleep, try a relaxation technique such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation, which can be done without even getting out of bed. Even though its not a replacement for sleep, relaxation can still help rejuvenate your mind and body.
Do a quiet, non-stimulating activity. If youve been awake for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet, non-stimulating activity, such as reading a book. Keep the lights dim and avoid screens so as not to cue your body that its time to wake up.
Relaxation techniques that can help you get back to sleep
Mindfulness meditation. Sit or lie quietly and focus on your natural breathing and how your body feels in the moment. Allow thoughts and emotions to come and go without judgment, always returning to focus on breath and your body.
Get Out Of Bed If You Can’t Sleep
Fact. Tossing and turning for a half hour or more in bed? It’s OK to get up to read or listen to relaxing music. A quiet activity can help you relax and feel sleepy. Staying in bed may lead to frustration and clock-watching. Over time, you may associate your bed with wakefulness, not rest. Serious health conditions have been associated with severe, chronic lack of sleep, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
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Relieving Anxiety That Keeps You From Falling Or Staying Asleep
If sleep worries are getting in the way of your ability to unwind at night, the following strategies may help. The goal is to train your body to associate the bed with sleep and nothing elseespecially not frustration and anxiety.
Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sex. With many of us working from home now, it can be difficult to avoid, but if possible dont work, use your computer, or watch TV in your bedroom. The goal is to associate the bedroom with sleep alone, so that your brain and body get a strong signal that its time to nod off when you get into bed.
Move bedroom clocks out of view. Anxiously watching the minutes tick by when you cant sleepknowing that youre going to be exhausted when the alarm goes offis a surefire recipe for insomnia. You can use an alarm, but make sure you cant see the time when youre in bed.
Get out of bed when you cant sleep. Dont try to force yourself to sleep. Tossing and turning only amps up your anxiety. Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something relaxing, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath. When youre sleepy, go back to bed.
Sleep Problems Go Away On Their Own
Myth. Until you know what’s causing your insomnia — whether it’s stress, medication, illness, or another issue — don’t expect it to disappear on its own. If you’ve had problems getting to sleep or staying asleep, or if youâre consistently tired after a nightâs sleep, you may have a sleep disorder, and it’s time to talk to your doctor about treatment.
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