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If you have read “My Story” you will know the problems I have had with my own Sleep Disorders mainly Insomnia. I decided to create this post for anyone who hasn’t got much money to spend on Cures and Sleep Aids. This blog uses just common sense, all of which is free!
Go to bed the same time every night-time
I have long since learnt that staying up late greatly affects my Sleep. I have spent many many nights worrying about how much sleep I have already lost because of my late night. I then look at the current time and see I have only 4 hours left to sleep before I need to get up. A vicious circle ensues.
I now try to get to bed the same time every night. The Body & Brain needs regularity to sleep properly, this is the reason Shift workers suffer Insomnia more than non shift workers. This works for me most of the time. If you are suffering with a Sleep Disorders Problem it might be the first step to some sort of Sleep resolution.
Wake up the same time every morning
In conjunction with “Go to bed the same time every night” it’s a good idea to train your mind to wake up the same time every morning. Obviously, if you’re a shift worker this may be difficult, but in general, set your alarm for the same time every morning. At the weekend, it’s tempting to have a lie in, but for your sleep Health, it’s better to still get up the same time. I mean, try not to obsess over it, and myself I do have an occasional lie in, but just try to moderate the lie in.
Make a Bedtime Routine
Set a Bedtime routine. For me this means a certain systematic approach to going to bed. For me this is, ensuring doors locked, Dimming the lights, Turning down Temperature, Going to toilet, Cleaning Teeth, Closing Blind, etc- You get the idea. I’m not really compulsive obsessive but there’s nothing worse than lying in bed ready for sleep, then remembering to go down and lock the doors or something equally frustrating, so a bedtime routine has become a must for me.
Dim All the Lights
As part of your Bedtime Routine, it’s a great idea to dim all the lights before going to bed. This is because the artificial lights will be a stimulant to your brain to wake up thinking it’s morning rather than trying to relax the brain for sleep. If you enter the bathroom/bedroom with full lights on you will find it more difficult to get to sleep and this will give more food to your Sleep Disorders problem.
Turn Down the Temperature
Again, as part of your Bedtime Routine, it’s another idea to turn down the Temperature. I have found the Duvet to be more than efficient at keeping me warm, in fact the only times the Heat wakes me up, is in the hot summer nights or when the Central Heating comes on unexpectedly, so this is another good idea to follow.
Alcohol reduces your sleep and increases your Sleep Disorders by waking you up a few hours after getting to sleep. You may well initially get to sleep, but that will be a temporary fix. I have tried this many times and it simply doesn’t work probably. I now limit my Alcohol intake so you might want to try this out.
7. Sex & Sleep Only
Do not use the Bedroom for discussion or arguments. Or for catching up with emails!. This is a real problem for your Brain. It will come to think of the Bedroom as a place of Angst and Anxiety rather than a place for Sleep or Sex. Don’t even take your laptop into the bedroom. The less electronics in there the better!
Restrict Shift work if you can
As a Shift Worker for 30 years I can categorically say Shift Work affected my Sleep in a very big way. There wasn’t really a way I could not be on shifts, so I had to grin and bear it, even when I had massive problems with Insomnia in 2010. For a time, I was put on Restricted Duties where I only worked day shifts, but unfortunately, this was only temporary. If you are struggling with Insomnia, I would suggest discussing your problems with your Employers.
They may be able to put you on day work only with regular hours that will alleviate your Insomnia. Night Shift work is notorious with Sleep problems. My own particular shifts included 2 nights per week, which is a Sleep Health Killer. And although I managed for many years, my later years were blighted by problems and obviously Night Shifts was one of them. I highly recommend changing shifts if you possibly can.
Try Sleep Restriction if all that fails
If all this fails there is a great routine that may well help you with your Sleep Disorders. Sleep Restriction Therapy. It does require a great deal of dedication by the patient, so I have left it till last because I know from experience it can be difficult to achieve, but if you are still struggling after my tips, then this may work for you. So how does it work? Imagine you stayed awake all night tonight then restricted yourself to 2 hours sleep tomorrow night, you would be pretty tired right? And chances are you would deep sleep also. Well, Sleep Restrictions works on the same basis but on a less extreme level.
You will need to create a sleep log, which will tell you your Sleep Efficiency (The amount of time actually spent in bed versus the time actually spent asleep) If your time spent asleep is calculated at 5 hours then you Restrict your Bedtime to 5 hours only. Once you are spending 85% of your Sleep Efficiency asleep, you increase your Restriction by 15 minutes. You increase by 15 minutes until your Sleep Efficiency reaches 100% or stabilizes at regular percentage. Do not spend less than 5 hours in bed. Hopefully, this will reset your body clock and maybe the situation with Sleep Deprivation.
Thanks for reading my post
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