Know these 6 steps to sleep better

When you have insomnia, it feels like an exhausting day. You simply lack a good quality sleep and the lack of sleep will affect every part of your body. Unfortunately, in many countries it is used as a form of torture because it has serious mental effects.

There are many reasons for this, including anxiety, stress, depression, cancer, heart failure and more. For example, things such as noise and light can interfere with your sleep regimen.

1. Lifestyle changes to improve sleep

In the evening, take a bath or listen to soothing music. Try not to eat too much at the end of the day, and make your bedroom a comfortable place to sleep by keeping the environment dark, calm and not too hot or cold.

Use an eye mask for darkness or noise-canceling ear plugs or a fan to mask ambient noises. If you tend to get really warm at night, you can also purchase a mattress designed for hot sleepers that helps keep them cool.

2. Consider what are the triggers for your insomnia

Many people are susceptible to stress and anxiety, which in turn makes them more prone to insomnia. An event called a “precipitating event” can lead to great stress like the loss of a loved one, divorce, or starting a new job.

This event can also trigger some negative habits such as not going to bed on time and drinking alcohol for help with sleep and stress relief.

This creates a snowball effect wherein your pattern may turn into insomnia. If you know you are facing a stressful situation or moment try to find ways to relieve stress such as exercise and meditation before you fall into the pattern of negative sleep patterns or consume caffeine and alcohol.

3. Keep a sleep journal

I ask patients to keep a sleep log or diary which records the following information, which we then review looking for patterns:

1. Time when you go to bed

2. When you wake up

3. How rested do you feel refreshed?

4. A rating from one to five of your level of sleepiness

4. Sleep restriction

This sleep disorder technique is very effective when done by a sleep specialist or other health professional. It is completely anti-intuitive, but it really works. I ask my patients not to go to bed earlier but later.

For example, if you normally go to bed at 10pm but don’t sleep until midnight, and the next morning you wake up at 6:30am, I ask you to go to bed at 12:30am. This way they only spend 6 hours in bed.

Between 7 and 10 days later I see that in general the number of times they wake up during the night has been reduced and that the required amount of sleep has improved; this means that the brain begins to recognize when to go to sleep and when to continue sleeping.

However, it’s difficult and the sleep schedule should also be maintained on weekends

5. Cognitive restructuring

Every time you don’t sleep those eight hours, you generate a degree of anxiety. Think about it – when that happens to you, do you ever experience false perceptions?

We will identify these errors in your thoughts by using a specialized questionnaire, and you’ll be able to rethink your thoughts about sleep. Next we work on finding solutions with the doctor, based on cognitive behavioral therapy.

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