Insomnia is a common problem affecting many of us at some point in our lives. There can be many reasons people don't get a good night's sleep. The aim of this post is to give you some top tips on how to get a good night's sleep. There is a cause which has been in the news recently. This is the use of smart phones and backlit ereaders at bedtime. Any backlit screen could cause a problem.
These cause insomnia because the screens give off blue light. This is like the wavelength of daylight. It tends to stimulate the pineal gland and the brain. It makes you think that it is still daytime, making you stay awake. I have not read it anywhere but I wonder if these screens could be used to treat seasonal affective disorder. This is depression which happens in some people during the winter months. It is often treated using light boxes which emit light which is similar to daylight.
Avoid using backlit screens for a couple of hours before bed if this could be a problem for you. Try an ereader which isn't backlit.
It is also possible that the reason that some people are lying awake after using a tablet at night is due to what they are up to on it. If you are reading a relaxing book on your ereader it may not cause a problem. If you are playing an aggressive or frightening computer game then this give you a double-whammy with the backlight.
Answering work emails may also not help. It is worth avoiding anything which might raise your blood pressure. I try to avoid getting stressed after 7pm. This gives me time to resolve the tensions of the day in my mind. You are much more likely to have a good night's sleep if you are relaxed.
If you toss and turn at night, worrying about events of the day it can be useful to put a bit of time aside to prevent this. During the day have a think about what you will need to do to allow yourself to rest that night. Make that phone call, fill in that form or ring the bank. Get the jobs out of the way so you can relax.
It is worth having a decent pair of ZenPlugs ear plugs to hand. Don't risk being woken up by noise when you finally do fall asleep. Our ear plugs are comfortable. They also don't dig in to your ears when you roll over in bed. This is because we have made them so they don't protrude from your ear canals.
Sometimes simple things can help like having a cup of valerian or chamomile tea soon before bed. Try drinking it in a warm bath. Avoid alcohol if you are having trouble sleeping. It might help you drop off but it can affect quality of sleep. You may well still wake up tired. Caffeine is definitely worth avoiding after late afternoon. If you are sensitive even a small amount could keep you awake.
Remember that chocolate and green tea have caffeine in them. Despite this I find green tea helps me sleep.
What do you do to help yourself drop off? Comments below, we will share the best with our followers on Twitter.
Dr Toby Bateson http://zenplugs.com/molded-earplugs/