There are times when insomnia happens to the best of us and it can take many different forms. It can come in the form of not being able to sleep at night because your mind is racing. Waking up multiple times in the middle of the night. And not to mention waking up ridiculously early and not being able to go back to sleep. 

Regardless of how insomnia presents itself to you, all forms are a pain to deal with. That is why we have gathered a few helpful methods for how you can combat insomnia. By no means do you have to do all or any of these at all. You can pick and choose which ones would serve you best. And if you feel that your insomnia is getting out of control or impacting your life drastically, please meet with a medical professional.

Understanding Insomnia

For those of you who are new to the concept of insomnia or don’t exactly understand what you are dealing with, insomnia is a form of sleep disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association, insomnia is quite a common sleeping disorder amongst people these days. You can be clinically diagnosed with insomnia if you meet the following criteria: a) your sleep difficulties occur at least three times per week for three months or longer b) sleep difficulties begin to impact your overall functionality and create unnecessary stress.

Causes of Insomnia

There are many ways to identify the causes of insomnia as there is not just one type of insomnia. The causes of your insomnia depends on what type of sleep difficulties you experience.

Here are some of the causes of short-term/acute insomnia:

  • Distress
  • Traumatic events
  • Changes in sleeping habits, location
  • Physical or emotional pain
  • Jet lag
  • Few medications

Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, comes in two types: primary and secondary. With primary insomnia there are no known causes as of now. But with secondary insomnia there are a few we know of:

  • Medical conditions (back pain, arthritis)
  • Psychological problems (stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression)
  • Substance abuse
  • Sleep apnea

Symptoms of Insomnia

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling well-rested
  • fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Stress
  • Trouble concentrating

How to Tackle Insomnia

Plan the Next Day

If you have the kind of insomnia that keeps you up at night, you are probably stressing in some way. You may be thinking things like “I forgot to pack important papers in my bag!” or “What am I going to wear tomorrow?” One of the best ways to avoid feeling this level of stress when trying to sleep is to plan and prepare for the next day.

Take some time to write out a schedule for tomorrow. Plan out your outfit. Meal prep. Make sure all your bags are packed and ready to go, so there’s not a single thing that you’ll have to consider manually. Chances are, this is going to make you feel so much better, and less overwhelmed at night. So, you’ll be able to fall asleep more easily. Making this a daily habit before going to sleep can train your brain to understand that it is time to wind down and get ready for bed as well.

Fix Your Bedroom Ambiance

Another reason you could have trouble falling asleep at night could be the state of your room. Ask yourself some questions:

  • Is your room messy? 
  • Do you feel stressed about being in your room? 
  • Do you feel relaxed in your room?

If you feel that your room is potentially a source of stress, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • What can you do to make your room feel less stressful?
  • If you picture the perfect bedroom, what do you imagine? What can you change about your bedroom to make it closer to your ideal bedroom?
  • When is the last time you changed your sheets?
  • Is there any trash or laundry around the room that I can get rid of to clear up the space a bit?

Making your room feel like your sanctuary instead of a busy place is essential to better sleep.

Which follows into this next tip:

Remember the “Bed” in Bedroom

The bed is where you sleep at night. 

While it may seem comfortable, doing the following things in bed can seriously mess with your sleep:

  • Studying
  • Paying bills
  • Doing any work
  • Watching TV shows
  • Pretty much anything potentially stressful

For the best sleep, keep the bedroom work-free and as technology-free as possible.

You want to strengthen your psychological association that the bed is for sleeping and (almost) nothing else.

Decrease Your Coffee Intake

Coffee is an excellent stimulant for the morning, and many of us struggle to function throughout the day without it. But it can be very anxiety-inducing and mess with your body’s sleep.

Decreasing your daily intake or cutting it out may be the best step towards a night of better sleep. 

However, let’s be real: 

Unless you’re really having severe issues sleeping, the withdrawals from cutting coffee out are so not worth it.

Get a Melatonin Supplement

Melatonin supplements can help to adjust your internal clock. It is a hormone that all humans produce on some level. But if you have insomnia, your levels might be a bit messed up. Taking some melatonin right before bed can help you out.

Take up Meditation

Before jumping on any medication as your first resort to treating insomnia, try some mediation. it is a natural, easy method you can practice to control your insomnia and maybe even get rid of it completely. Based on a 2015 study it was found that meditation has the potential to improve sleep quality and help you fall asleep quicker.

Here are some types of meditations you can try to help you with your insomnia:

  • Mindful meditation
  • Guided meditation
  • Body scan meditation

Essential Oils

One of the easiest ways to try treating your insomnia is by using some essential oils. Many people use essential oils to treat conditions bu inhaling them, massaging them, or putting them in the bath. This practice is commonly known as aromatherapy.

Here are some essential oils that can help with your sleep:

  • Lavender
  • Roman chamomile
  • Cedarwood
  • Sandalwood
  • Bitter orange

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