Your sleep habits or sleep routine has a great impact on the way you think and behave during the day. Sleep is a natural and an important process to maintain the normal functioning of the human body. It is important to get at least 7–9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.1
However, some may find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep because of various reasons. An unhealthy lifestyle, drinking alcohol or coffee a few hours before bedtime, using electronic gadgets in bed, etc are a few reasons that contribute to sleepless nights.
If you are having trouble with your sleep and end up being moody the following morning, here are a few easy ways to overcome the sleepless nights.
7 Easy Ways To Overcome Sleepless Nights
1. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that calms the mind by focusing on breathing patterns and the present moment. Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation can help improve sleep, especially in older adults.2
The study involved two groups of older adults with a mean age of 66 years with moderate sleep disturbances. One group attended a sleep hygiene education whereas the other group was asked to attend and perform certain mindful awareness practices. The results showed that there was a better improvement in sleep patterns of those adults involved with mindful awareness practices than those who attended the sleep hygiene education.
Practicing meditation before sleep can reduce stress levels and stress-related health conditions like depression, pain, and high blood pressure.
2. Maintain Magnesium In Your System
Magnesium is an important mineral required by the body to maintain biological functions. It has also been found to improve sleep. This is because magnesium can help relax the body and the brain by activating the parasympathetic nervous system – the part of the nervous system that helps your body to relax.
Results of a study indicate that people with mental and physical stress can benefit from a daily intake of magnesium (either from food sources or supplements) and can reduce health conditions like restlessness, irritability, lack of concentration, sleep disorder or depression.3
You can maintain magnesium in your body by eating magnesium-rich foods like almonds, sesame seeds, bananas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, peas, and others.
3. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approved treatment for sleep disorders including insomnia.4 This treatment does not use sleeping pills, and that means you need to put in more effort than you usually would.
A study involving 75 adults (mean age 55 years) with chronic primary insomnia were assigned to receive CBT for six weeks.5 The results showed that CBT improved the sleep patterns of most adults in a span of six weeks and continued for a period of six months.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy that helps individuals to get rid of negative thoughts and actions. It also boosts the mood which, in turn, can help you manage problems better.
4. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep the body alert during the day. Caffeine cannot replace sleep, but it can temporarily block the sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increase the production of adrenaline.6
Caffeine can cause sleep disturbances, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and nervousness. Therefore, it is always advised to have one cup of coffee every day, preferably in the morning. It is also good to avoid coffee or any other caffeinated products a few hours before bedtime.
5. Keep A Sleep Diary
A sleep diary is a daily record of your sleep patterns. Maintaining a sleep diary can help you identify your sleep-wake patterns and also improve on your routine if required.
To maintain a sleep diary, you need to focus on all the specifics of your sleep cycle. The time you slept and woke up, the number of times your sleep was interrupted, the food and beverage you had before bedtime, etc are a few examples of what should go in your sleep diary.
If you have sleep troubles, keeping a sleep diary can also help your doctor diagnose a sleep disorder.
6. Give Aromatherapy A Try
Aromatherapy uses essential oils for healing and other purposes. Aromatherapy is known to help relieve stress and calm both the body and mind, both which help with good quality sleep. Essential oils can be diluted in water, diffused in the air, or can even be directly applied on the skin.
Results of a study show how aromatherapy can help depression, anxiety, and disorders related to sleep and stress.7
Some of the best essential oils that provide a good sleep include lavender oil, ylang-ylang oil, citrus yuzu, and bergamot essential oil.
7. Sleep On A Comfortable Mattress
It is important to invest in a good quality mattress because the place and materials you choose to sleep on have an impact on the quality of your sleep.
No one wants to sleep on a mattress that feels rock hard; therefore, invest in a mattress that is just right and comfortable for your body. Buying what a friend bought recently will not help because your comfort levels may vary. Therefore, before you purchase a mattress, spend a considerable time testing it for your body.
Results of a study show that a comfortable mattress affects your sleep quality.8 Therefore, it is important to have a comfortable place and mattress to sleep on.
Apart from these, it is also important to find a balance between your personal and professional life. With a busy work schedule and never-ending deadlines, it has almost become natural to bring work home. This is, however, not a healthy practice. Bringing work home means that you bring stress along with it as well. Your home will not be a comfortable place and can further lead to disturbed sleep.
Try to maintain a regular sleep routine because it will trick your brain to tell the body that it is time for sleep. Don’t ignore your sleep patterns. If you find yourself being moody and having sleepless nights, you should consult a doctor to know what is causing your sleep trouble.
|↑1||National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑2||Black, David S., Gillian A. O’Reilly, Richard Olmstead, Elizabeth C. Breen, and Michael R. Irwin. “Mindfulness meditation and improvement in sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disturbances: a randomized clinical trial.” JAMA internal medicine 175, no. 4 (2015): 494-501.|
|↑3||Wienecke, E., and C. Nolden. “Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake.” MMW Fortschritte der Medizin 158, no. Suppl 6 (2016): 12-16.|
|↑4||Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑5||Edinger, Jack D., William K. Wohlgemuth, Rodney A. Radtke, Gail R. Marsh, and Ruth E. Quillian. “Cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment of chronic primary insomnia: a randomized controlled trial.” Jama 285, no. 14 (2001): 1856-1864.|
|↑6||Caffeine and Sleep. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑7||Karadag, Ezgi, Sevgin Samancioglu, Dilek Ozden, and Ercan Bakir. “Effects of aromatherapy on sleep quality and anxiety of patients.” Nursing in critical care 22, no. 2 (2017): 105-112.|
|↑8||Lee, Hyunja, and Sejin Park. “Quantitative effects of mattress types (comfortable vs. uncomfortable) on sleep quality through polysomnography and skin temperature.” International journal of industrial ergonomics 36, no. 11 (2006): 943-949.|