Insomnia is a common sleep disorder we are asked about on a weekly, if not daily, basis. The issue of not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep is a very normal experience, with more than 50 million Americans suffering from sleep disorders and millions more that are currently undiagnosed. So when we hear a patient say “I can’t sleep“, our response is that this is a problem we are well-versed in addressing and treating. At Elite Sleep, we are proud to offer the highest quality of sleep solutions and care in the Washington area. Read on for some helpful tips of what to do when you find you can’t sleep and how we can help.
Routines are Key
We can’t stress enough how important routines are when it comes to your sleep health. Just like with getting children on a normal bedtime routine, the same goes for adults. As teens and young adults, we enjoyed being able to stay up later, but as adults it is important to reestablish those routines and stick to them in order to maintain healthy sleep habits. Ideally, the best plan of action is to go to bed at roughly the same time each day and get up at the same time each day. This helps to train our mind that the evening is our time to wind down and give our bodies enough time to recharge and rest. However, for many of us, whether it be our work schedules or simply where we’re at in life right now, going to bed at the same time each night isn’t a realistic option. In these cases, the next best thing you can do is try to get the same amount of sleep each night; the quality and quantity of the sleep is what is most important, not necessarily the specific hour at which you fall asleep.
So what does establishing healthy bedtime routines look like? Limiting your caffeine intake is key. While our morning coffee is necessary for most of us, eliminating caffeine in the early afternoons can go a long ways towards helping you fall asleep at night. Switching it out for glasses of water or herbal teas is a great practice, with some teas providing nutrients that can help act as a mild sleep aid as well. When it comes to later in the evening, limiting liquids right before bedtime can help avoid waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
Technology’s Effect on Sleep
Technology is a major part of our lives and something that we often interact with in the evenings as we relax, whether that be watching our favorite show or reading a book on our Kindle. While these activities can help us to unwind, they can also have unintentional effects on our brain that keep us awake without us realizing it. For example, it’s important to avoid any stressful programs at nights, such TV shows or movies that are action or thriller-based. While enjoyable, they can get your adrenaline going rather than helping you prepare for sleep. If you do your reading on your iPhone or your Kindle, switching those out for physical books is the best route, as the blue light from your electronics can stimulate your brain and keep you awake when you’re trying to go to sleep. If using a device to read is your only method, however, try using the nighttime mode on your device or looking in the settings for what options they have for reducing the amount of strain the screen can put on your eyes.
Technology can be helpful in some aspects too. Many health apps now offer bedtime reminders or nighttime routines that you can customize, reducing the amount of notifications and alerts you get on your phone to lessen the amount of time you spend on your device in the evening. Many people also use relaxation apps which can be great tools for letting go of the stresses of the day. Others find progressive muscle relaxation techniques and mindful breathing exercises very helpful to put your mind in a calm and restful state before bed. Try experimenting with different options and find the ones that work best for you, then work them into your bedtime routines.
Focus On Your Health
Our sleep health is linked to all other aspects of our health: physical, emotional, and mental. Having a regular exercise routine can go a long ways towards achieving your sleep goals and regulating your bodies processes to help you fall asleep faster and easier at night. Be mindful of stressful triggers and tasks that cause stress in your everyday life and try to work on them during the daytime. This allows you to reserve the evening to focus on yourself, unwind from the day, and provide that rest and relaxation time that you need in order to live a more balanced life. In addition to this, many sleep disorders are linked to underlying health conditions. Being aware of your body‘s health and signals and any changes to normal routines can help provide more context when it comes to diagnosing any sleep difficulties or disorders that you have and what the underlying causes could be.
Schedule a Sleep Consultation
The purpose of a sleep consultation is to determine what exactly is preventing you from getting the good nights sleep that you need. At Elite Sleep, our team has the experience and knowledge necessary to help you identify and treat what is causing your sleep problems. We’ll give you the tools you need to regain control over your sleep habits and get back to sleeping through the night. If you’re having trouble sleeping and have been for sometime, a sleep consultation could be the answer you’re looking for. Give us a call at 425-437-3311 or visit us online to learn more about how we can help and to schedule a consultation with our team. We look forward to meeting you.