Stop Insomnia in its Tracks with These Six Tips

InsomniaAs the most common sleep disorder in America — affecting almost 35% of adults — insomnia is big business, with people turning to both over-the-counter remedies and prescription medicines alike to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. However, more often than not you you can cure your insomnia with a few tips that are so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself.


  1. Stop using electronics before bed. This seems like common sense, but studies have found that 93% of people are still using their tablet while they’re in bed. The problem? The light that shines from electronic devices activates chemicals in your brain — while the content you’re looking at may keep your mind turning long after you’ve finally turned the device off. This tip applies to teens in particular, who sometimes use their phones until they fall asleep with it in their hands. Additionally, research has shown that excessive technology use during the day can also contribute to insomnia.

  2. Here’s another obvious trick to help you nod off faster. Steer clear of caffeine. Even drinking several cups of coffee in the morning can affect sleep at night. Caffeine stays in your system, and may prevent you from being able to sleep, even hours after consuming it. It isn’t just coffee either. Teas, sodas, and certain foods also contain different dosages of caffeine that can keep you up past your bedtime.

  3. Eating late! When you eat can cause your body clock to think it needs to gear up for other activities. Heavy or rich food can also cause feelings of fullness, indigestion or bloating, further hampering you from getting a good night’s rest. Stop eating an hour or more before you plan to turn in, and make sure any evening snacks are light ones.

  4. Did you know that 63% of people who allow pets to sleep with them sleep poorly? Letting your dog or cat snuggle with you at bedtime may be cozy and comforting, but it may also contribute to your insomnia — either preventing you from falling asleep in the first place or waking you up once you’ve finally drifted off.

  5. Have you checked with your doctor about when you should be taking your medications? If not, you should make a point to do so. Certain medications shouldn’t be taken at night because of their ingredients. So you may be taking something made for morning use at night without realizing its effects.

  6. Exercise. Another obvious one, but many people still don’t make the connection. Physical activity releases different chemicals, such as dopamine, that can keep you awake. In addition, the adrenaline rush you get from a great cardio workout could take a couple of hours to fade away enough for sleep. Plan workouts for the morning or early afternoon to be conducive to a good sleep schedule.

Not getting enough ZZZZs raises your risk for other health issues, such as heart disease, depression or weight gain. If it’s not corrected, it can even be a contributing factor to early death. So be smart, fix your sleep schedule, and stay healthy.