Insomnia is a burden that interferes with your daily functioning. If you have a hard time falling and/or staying asleep, you may feel like a zombie, just shuffling through your day until you can collapse into bed and once again, struggle to sleep. Sometimes, insomnia isn’t as simple as changing certain lifestyle habits. If this is the case for you, you may benefit from our cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia group. Alternatively, you can meet with a counselor one-on-one to work through your sleep issues. In the meantime, here are some tips for setting yourself up for a successful night’s sleep.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
One of the best things you can do for insomnia is to keep a consistent sleep schedule. Many people sleep in on their days off, and when you struggle to get enough sleep during the week, it’s understandable why you’d want to get some extra shut-eye on the weekends. However, this is sabotaging your future self once you get back to work on Monday. Waking up at the same time every day trains your body to adopt a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed at the same time every night is also imperative. In addition, don’t nap during the day; as tempting as it can be, this only further disrupts your sleep schedule.
Consume Caffeine and Alcohol With Caution
When you’re tired, it’s normal to reach for that cup of joe, but there are many reasons why caffeine is actually sabotaging your sleep efforts. Caffeine lasts a minimum of eight hours in the body, but it could impact you for up to 24. Caffeine not only keeps you awake, it can also disrupt your sleep, waking you up every couple of hours. If you can’t quit caffeine outright, stop drinking it at least 10 hours before bedtime. In addition, some people turn to alcohol to help them sleep. While it may sedate you for a few hours, it often wakes you up throughout the night, disrupting the restfulness of your sleep.
Use Your Bed Only for Sleep and Sex
You want the experience of getting into bed to trigger sleepiness. If you study, make phone calls, or watch TV in bed, this increases alertness and makes it hard to fall asleep. Instead, limit your bed activities to sleep and sex.
Write Down Your Worries
Many people struggle to sleep because they can’t stop worrying. You might be focused on what you need to get done tomorrow or something you said last week that embarrassed you. If this is what keeps you up at night, it might be helpful to set some time aside every evening to write down your worries. Writing a to-do list for tomorrow may put your mind at ease, as well as journaling about any regrets or bad memories from the past. This can help you put aside your worries when you head to bed.
At Dr. Angela Reiter & Associates, we understand that insomnia is not easy to cope with. If you are struggling to sleep, we can help. Contact us to meet with a psychologist in Eastchester.