Easy Ways to Manage Insomnia

by Leo Cartland
man suffering from insomnia sitting in bed in the middle of night

Many men have trouble sleeping, which can throw off your circadian rhythm, eventually leading to weight gain, mental health problems, dementia, and diabetes. Even a single day of sleep deprivation can negatively impact your memory and other aspects of your nervous system health. Therefore, it is important to engage in habits that will help you fall into a restful sleep at night. You need about seven hours of sleep every night and here are some simple tips for getting to that required number.

Drink Warm Milk before Going to Sleep

Milk contains a protein called alpha lactalbumin, which is partially made from an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan plays a key role in helping your body produce melatonin. It can be turned into serotonin, which can then be turned into melatonin. Both melatonin and serotonin help you sleep. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for helping you stay calm and relaxed. Melatonin is a neurotransmitter that induces sleep and fatigue. Additionally, milk contain calcium, which is important for causing your brain to release the melatonin or serotonin. Calcium ions and other ions are important for making sure your nervous system works. The charge in calcium ions causes channels in your nerve cells to open up and release neurotransmitters. Therefore, the calcium in milk can also help your brain to induce sleep. By making the milk warm, you can cause your body temperature to go up. After raising your body temperature, it then begins to fall back to normal or below normal levels. This fall in body temperature can also make you tired.

Try Meditating

young man meditating in bed before sleepMeditating is a popular technique for inducing sleep. The inability to sleep is often associated with stress and anxiety. Meditation can lower the level of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that causes many of the effects of stress and anxiety. It makes your blood pressure go up and it makes you breathe faster. None of these processes are good for sleep, so if meditation can lower your cortisol levels, then you definitely want to try it out. If you can meditate before bed, it will definitely help you fall asleep quickly. However, even meditation earlier in the day, can reduce anxiety enough to help you out when it is time for bed.

Do Not Be Afraid Of Trying the Bizarre Sleep Techniques

There is anecdotal evidence that certain hacks can help you fall asleep faster. For example, some people swear by the blinking trick. Apparently, if you blink nonstop for about sixty seconds, your eyelids will start to feel heavy and you will have an easier time falling asleep. Other reports say that left nostril breathing can also help you relax and feel more tired. Left nostril breathing is exactly what it sounds like. Just hold your right nostril closed with your finger and only breathe through your left nostril. It should help you relax and it is even used sometimes as a yoga technique. Some studies actually show that left nostril breathing has more scientific backing than simple anecdotal evidence. Breathing through your left nostril may actually induce certain involuntary relaxation responses in your brain.

Do Not Engage In Any Non-Sleeping Activities in Bed

When you work or play on your cell phone while sitting in your bed, you actually condition your body to assume that being in bed does not necessarily mean it is time for sleep. You need to condition your body to prepare for sleep every time you get under the covers, which means that, whenever you are under the covers, you should not turn on the television, check your emails, or engage in any other activities. Meditating in bed might be okay, but anything else will train your brain to avoid shutting down the moment you get into bed.

man adjusting thermostat to lower temperature before bedtimeTurn Your Thermometer Down

Studies show that the best temperature for sleep is between 60 and 68 F. Since your body is normally much warmer than this temperature, trying to fall asleep in these colder temperatures can actually slightly decrease your body temperature. Decreasing your body temperature will cause your body to go through a couple of processes that can make you sleepy.

Do Not Worry If Your Sleep Schedule Is Not Perfect

About ten percent of people in the United States use a sleep tracker to figure out how well they are sleeping, but studies show that tracking your sleep does not help you. In fact, if anything, it makes you feel more pressure to get sufficient sleep at night. This pressure can lead to stresses and anxieties, which only makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Eventually, you can get orthosomnia, which is when people obsess over their sleep habits. However, you should never put too much pressure on yourself to sleep. In fact, relaxing has many of the same benefits as actual sleep. Studies show that if you simply relax in bed with your eyes closed, then your neurons can turn off. Your body then goes through processes that resemble sleep, even if you are still completely awake and you reap many of the benefits of true sleep. You still need real sleep for adequate cognitive function and hormone regulation, but if you simply get rest and relax for one night, then you can still reduce stress, improve your mood, increase alertness, improve mental clarity, stay creative, and increase motivation. Therefore, stressing yourself out about sleep is probably not a good idea.

Sleep is obviously very important for your brain and overall health, which is why you should avoid sleep deprivation if you can. Otherwise, you make yourself susceptible to conditions ranging from obesity to cancer. You need to stay relax and you need to help your body to produce and respond to melatonin. If you have concerns about your sleep schedule, then you can discuss it with your healthcare provider. Medications and melatonin supplements can definitely help, but you should also be able to make engage in certain habits that can help you fall into a restful sleep faster.

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