We all have to deal with some kind of insomnia at some point, whether it’s every night or just once in a while. People always talk about things to do that will help you fall asleep, but doctors say these 7 things that people usually recommend will actually make the situation worse.
1) Taking sleeping pills. They may help you actually get to sleep in some cases, but they won’t actually give you “good” sleep, so you’ll still wake up tired, groggy, and exhausted.
2) Messing with your melatonin. Naturally when the sun goes down, your brain makes its own melatonin. Taking melatonin supplements can in some cases help you get to sleep a little sooner and stay asleep a little longer, but if you keep taking the supplements, your body will soon stop making what it normally made, and you’ll be back to where you started.
3) Going to bed only when you’re tired. You should actually go to bed around the same time every night, whether you’re tired or not. Your body will recognize routine (just like our pets who always seem to know when it’s dinner time), and actually start winding itself down at the right time.
4) Getting out of bed if you can’t sleep. Resting, even when you’re not asleep, is good for the body, and helps replenish energy. Also, getting up, walking around and doing something will actually wake you up more and throw everything off even worse.
5) Having a “nightcap.” As in, something you do at the end of the day before going to sleep. Some people say alcohol will help them sleep. Turns out it actually will change your sleep pattern all together, forcing you to have less REM sleep, and can even relax your throat muscles making it more difficult to breathe, and leaving you exhausted and groggy in the morning.
6) Counting sheep. If you can fall asleep after counting a few, then great, but if you get well into the 20s and 30s or more, you’re probably just causing more anxiety about not being able to sleep, which will make your sleep, when it does happen, less refreshing. Some preople prefer to visualize other things, like a golf course, or baking bread.
7) Looking at the clock. Watching time go by will only stress you out, and force you to keep awake, stressing about how much less sleep you’re going to get. Stress will make your cortisol and adrenaline levels go up, and boom, prolonged energy.
What sleeping tips do you have that work for you?