Insomnia can be frustrating and exhausting at any time of year. But struggling with sleeplessness when you want to be enjoying the summer trip you’ve been looking forward to is especially irritating. So, before you hop on a plane or head out on your road trip, take action to get into a good groove with your sleep. That way you’ll have plenty of energy to enjoy your adventure.
Great Ways to Get More Zzzzzs
When you’re tossing and turning at night, it might feel like insomnia will never loosen its grip on you. However, there are a number of things you can do to increase your chances to have longer and better quality sleep. Try these proven strategies:
- Create the proper sleeping environment. If possible, your bedroom should be dark, quiet and relatively cool. Those conditions signal the body that it’s time to rest. If noises outside your room catch your attention, you might consider playing some soft “white noise” to mask the sound. Consider purchasing a sleep mask to keep the light out when a dark room is not available.
- Establish a consistent rhythm. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day helps your body understand when it should rest and when it should be active. Stick to a set schedule as much as possible.
- Limit or eliminate naps. Your lack of sleep may make you want to nap during the day, but unfortunately, napping can make the insomnia worse. Your best bet to achieve a good night’s sleep is to go to bed feeling tired, and remember napping can mean you have more energy than you should at bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try not to consume caffeine late in the day. Or better yet, remove it from your diet altogether. Alcohol has a sedative effect on the body. However, that effect only lasts for a few hours after your last drink. After that, alcohol can interfere with your body’s ability to get restful sleep and can cause frequent awakenings.
- Don’t eat or drink just before bedtime. Activating your digestive system just before trying to sleep is a bad idea for multiple reasons, including things like heartburn that can make it hard to drift off. And, consuming fluids may result in one or more trips to the bathroom overnight.
- Get regular exercise. Working out consistently can improve both the quality and the quantity of your sleep. And while the advice has always been to avoid exercising within three or four hours of bedtime, some recent studies are questioning that age-old wisdom. You should experiment to see what’s best for you.
- Limit your activities in bed. Your bed should be used for sleeping and romance only. Watching TV, reading, paying bills and other activities teach your brain that this is a place where you should be doing other things, which makes it hard to “switch off” when you’re ready to sleep.
- Reduce your stress. Worry is one of the main causes of insomnia for many people. There are a number of ways to decrease your stress including things like meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing, biofeedback and progressive muscle relaxation to name just a few. Journaling about your concerns can also be beneficial as you get anxious thought onto paper and out of your head temporarily.
Get Some Sleep Before You Get on the Road
Your summer vacation is no time to be struggling with insomnia. Prepare for your trip by taking steps to manage it. We have programs for treating sleeplessness and associated. Contact us online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to learn about our services. We have centers in the Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.