5 Ways to Prevent Insomnia
Having trouble sleeping? Insomnia and other sleep disorders can be extremely frustrating-not to mention exhausting. Here are some tips on how to prevent insomnia in the first place.
1. Maintain a healthy weight to prevent insomnia
Sleep problems, like sleep apnea, can be develop as a side effect of weight gain. Being overweight can also affect important sleep-related hormone levels in the body, increasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol while decreasing levels of sleep-inducing melatonin.
2. Manage stress
You might know that stress is keeping you up, if you can't get your mind off of things when you're trying to sleep. It can also be waking you up or making it difficult for your body to relax. Do it however you can, whether it's yoga classes or meditation; find something that works for you.
3. Check your medications
Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can interfere with sleep. This includes beta-blockers, thyroid medication, certain types of antidepressants, decongestants, corticosteroids and medications containing caffeine. Talk to your doctor about changing dosages or medication if you're taking any of these drugs.
4. Avoid alcohol
Many people think a glass of wine before bed can help with insomnia, but the opposite is actually true. While alcohol might help you fall asleep, it's often the culprit behind middle-of-the-night awakenings as your body experiences alcohol withdrawal. It also interferes with your sleep cycle, so even if you do sleep through the night, you'll wake up tired.
5. Stop smoking
Yet another reason to stop smoking: Nicotine is a stimulant. If you are still smoking, try not to smoke for at least 2 hours before bedtime. (It helps to brush your teeth then, so you won't be as tempted.)