1) Darken your room
A night light or a clock radio is enough stimulation to shut down our melatonin production at night.
Melatonin is a chemical released by the pineal gland in the brain. Night time secretion
of melatonin initiates and enhances our sleep quality and circadian rhythm.
2) Reduce nearby Electro-Magnectic Field (EMF)
Store your smartphones and your Ipads away from your bed. Constant
exposure to EMF radiation can alter our melatonin production as well as
serotonin level in our brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in our brain most closely linked to mood and sleep regulation.
3) Exercise regularly
Many studies have shown that physical exertion such as jogging, tennis or
swimming can improve quality of sleep. Common symptoms of insomnia such as restless leg syndrome and tossing and turning will less likely to happen with an active lifestyle. More than 3% of Canadian adults older than 18yrs old have been
diagnosed with sleep apnea. 3 out of 4 (75%) of these sleep apnea cases are of people over age of 45. Get out there, get on a treadmill, and stop taking elevator to the 2nd floor of your office.
4) Get some sunshine
If you frequently stay up late or work night shift job, it is likely your
circadian rhythm is off. A 20min sunbathe daily may be beneficial as it resets your
pineal gland timing. It allows re-synchronization of your melatonin release at
night. Further study in 2012 from Texas Medical also concluded that
there may be a link between vitamin D deficiency to wide spread sleep disorder.
5) Avoid stimulants
Caffeine takes around 6-9 hours before it is cleared out of our body.
This length of time doubles to 12-15 hrs in women using oral contraceptives.
Alcohol on the contrary may cause drowsiness in the beginning of ingestion. As
our liver breakdowns alcohol into metabolites, the toxicity of its metabolites
causes arousal, therefore will disrupt you from staying asleep.
6) Other Sleep Hygiene tips
- Ensure regular bedtime hours and at least 7-9 hrs of sleep per night
- Don’t nap during the day
- Warm bath, relaxation music, meditation or deep breathing exercise before bed
- Avoid heavy meals and drinking fluids right before bed
- Avoid rigorous exercises closer to bedtime
Remember to consult with your naturopathic
doctor in order to properly diagnose and treat your insomnia.