5 ways to prevent insomnia

5 ways to prevent insomnia

by Vanessa Ng 07 Jan 2020

Tossing and turning the night away can be very frustrating. Having an unrestful sleep not only gives you dark eye circles, but also makes you lose focus and be overwhelmed by lethargy the next day, resulting in you being incapable of giving your all at work or play. More crucially, it will most definitely jeopardise your health in the long run. Read on to find out how you can prevent temporary insomnia.


1. Ensure a comfortable sleeping environment

Invite a good night’s rest by ensuring that your bedroom is ideal for sleeping. Paying attention to small details such as lighting, temperature, noise, and even scent adds up. Here’s a bonus tip if your partner snores – try suggesting this anti-snore exercise and see if it helps!


Your bed, pillows, bolsters and blankets all play a role in helping you fall and stay asleep. Investing in a good mattress with postural support can optimise sleep and prevent musculoskeletal problems. In a similar vein, weighted blankets can help you feel more secure such that you can fall asleep easier, whereas silk pillows are smooth to the touch and is conducive for helping you fall asleep. The latter can even reduce wrinkles formed by friction between the pillow case and your face when you are asleep!


Decluttering your room and keeping it neat will also prove to be helpful. It is always nice to come home to a nicely made bed and knowing that all your clothes are neatly folded and stored in the cabinet. Having this knowledge indirectly helps to declutter and relax your mind too.


2. Recondition yourself

If you make phone calls, play mobile games, check your e-mails, watch TV and eat on your bed, chances are you will associate bedtime with such alert activities. This makes it difficult for you to fall asleep on your bed. If you have to do something, why not engage in relaxing activities such as meditating?


3. Have a consistent sleep-wake cycle

If you suffer from insomnia, it may be due to a disrupted circadian rhythm (body clock). You need to adjust to a recurring and fixed schedule such that your body can develop and respond to internal cues and start to feel sleepy after a certain time. While this is easy to achieve for employees on weekdays, many tend to sleep late and wake up late on weekends. Sticking to a consistent schedule, even on weekends, can be helpful.


4. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake

Avoid caffeinated drinks or food in the afternoon and evening. Many tend to forget that sodas and some chocolates can also contain the stimulant.


At the same time, try to monitor and reduce your alcohol intake. Aside from the health benefits, it can also help stabilise your sleep pattern. While it may be tempting to resort to a nightcap to feed sleepy, it can lead to frequent arousals which will result in a non-restful sleep. Needless to say, smoking should also be avoided as nicotine can affect sleep quality.


5. Exercise regularly

While exercising improves your sleep quality and duration, it is important to not exercise immediately before you sleep. This can have a stimulating effect on your body and make it difficult to fall sleep. Give yourself at least three hours for your mind and body to calm down after a bout of intense exercise.


Adopting relaxation therapies and stress reduction methods before you hit the sack will do well to complement the five tips listed above. There are also online resources such as calming music, deep breathing techniques and white noise generators to progressively relax your mind and body. Nip insomnia in the bud and look forward to waking up feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to seize the day!