Sleeping problems are a sign or beginning of more serious conditions. You may not know it, but every time you have trouble getting some sleep at night, it’s actually your body telling you, warning you that something is wrong. However, let’s leave the diagnosis and prognosis to medical professionals. If you have chronic sleeping problems or insomnia, better see a doctor. Meanwhile, try one of these tips tonight so you may be able to have that elusive good night sleep.
- Plan Your Coffee Time
Pinoys are known to consume cups upon cups of coffee, even the strong ones black or barako. We like coffee so much, and it’s a good beverage really, especially since many of us are into hectic or shifting work schedules like those working in call centers. But if we overdose on coffee (and other sources of caffeine) a few hours before our nap time or sleep time would do us more harm than good. We say, drink coffee first thing before you head out for work or school, but drink water or warm milk instead when it’s about dozing off time.
- Doze Off Your Gadgets
Perhaps the reason why you can’t fall into sleep is because your phone, tablet or laptop are still turned on, giving you hard-to-resist FB notifications, playing your favorite song as text message or incoming call alerts, or simply beckoning you to keep on playing Clash of Clans. We say, when it’s time for you to sleep, put to bed too all of your gadgets. Anyway, the alarm functions just the same even if they’re turned off.
- Snob Prime Time
Sure, you’re a big fan of Ang Probinsyano, which stars Coco Martin, and all the other dramas after that. But hey, this is the 21st century, and you don’t really need to watch the TV until the wee hours of the night. Simply log onto the network’s website and stream movies and dramas you’ve missed. We say, watch your favorite soaps during lunch break or snack time, and on the go.
- Exercise before Sleeping
If you find yourself still full energy even if it’s only an hour before bedtime, drain off those energy by doing some exercise. You might want to sked your gym or zumba session in the afternoons or early evening, so that after dinner and shower, you’re already too tired to stay awake. Alternately, go around the house and see if you there are chores that needs to be done like sweeping the floor, emptying the trash bins, etc.
- Minimize Late Night Booze
It’s okay to drink once in a while, but if you’re doing it every night, and are complaining of insomnia, then you’re causing your own undoing. If nightly parties are simply too hard to resist all at once, then maybe you can try coming home earlier than usual. And then, the following days, convince your friends you can only do weekend parties because you’re already having sleeping issues. If they’re really your friends, there’s no doubt they’d understand.
- Tame that Tot
Sometimes, the reason why you’re not sleeping at night is because your baby isn’t, too. True, they can be a handful, but there’s no harm in trying to tame your child’s sleeping habit. Try to reverse your baby’s sleeping pattern if he or she is sleeping at daytime and staying awake at night. At daytime, play the music up one or two notches louder, and keep all the windows open and the lights on, providing baby with lots of distraction. At night, keep the lights dim or off, and all noise down or off to create a relaxing ambiance for him or her to sleep. See which ones keep them comfy enough to fall into slumber – is it singing a sweet lullaby, rocking them to sleep, a favorite blanket, your gentle caress.
- Shun the Noise
Sometimes we have don’t have control over our environments, but hopefully there’d be less noise pollution and public disturbance once the anti-noise laws are fully implemented. Anyway, if you’re in a noisy place and you really need to doze off, try putting on some ear plugs or other means to help minimize the distraction as you sleep. Remind family members or roommates that you’re sleeping at this time and don’t want to be disturbed.
- Nap by Day, Sleep by Night
A nap is different from sleep in that the former is a short period of shutting down your body, about 20 minutes or less. If your afternoon nap lasts longer than that, you fall into a deep sleep, and you wake up very late in the afternoon or late evening so full of energy, you’d stay alert maybe until dawn. If you take a nap, set an alarm and limit your rest time to 20 minutes. That way, you won’t oversleep in the afternoon and undersleep at night. Remember night sleep is different from day sleep, and staying awake at night poses risks.
- Eat Your Breakfast
You’re always in a rush every morning, and always forget or discard breakfast so you won’t come in late for work or school. Trouble is, eating a hearty breakfast helps you in more ways than one. According to Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, author of Tired But Wired, eating breakfast with lots of protein (think sunny side up eggs and maybe tocino plus milk) helps your body produce sleeping hormones during the day, so you can sleep better at night. Ditch breakfast, and you just might be inviting insomnia to rule.
- Get a Day Shift Job
Often, the best way for you to get enough sleep is to find another job that gives you the freedom to do so. If your sleeplessness at night is too much trouble already, having a toll on your body, it’s time to decide what’s more important to you – your health or your job. It’s a hard decision to make, but remember health is wealth.
Are you having trouble sleeping at night? If it’s a recurring problem, it’s best to visit a general practitioner, or better yet a sleep specialist. But more often than not, getting a good night sleep is just in your hands. By adjusting your daily routine, you make room for a good night sleep.