Insomnia is a chronic sleeping condition that can have a severe impact on our ability to stay focused and well rested. In the following infographic, we explore ways to counter the ill effects of this condition, while also suggesting ways to avoid sleepless nights and make the most of your shuteye.
51.3% of Brits struggle to nod off. This problem is made worse by 24/7 media, which has resulted in a nationwide difficulty in getting a full 8 hours sleep.[Section 1]
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and frequently waking up earlier than you’d like. If this persists for at least three months then your sleeplessness is considered chronic insomnia.
According to a UK Mental Health Foundation survey, men’s average sleep score is 61% compared to 57% for women
Only 38% of respondents consider themselves ‘good sleepers’.
Over 75% of people with insomnia experience poor concentration.
Symptoms of chronic insomnia:
- Fatigue & Motivation
- Daytime sleepiness
- Poor memory
- Mood disturbance
- Inability to focus
- Increased errors
If you suffer from any of the above then don’t give up on sleep just yet, as the advice below could be just the cure you’ve been looking for.[Section 2] – How To Beat Insomnia
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is a proven method of re-learning how to sleep again. The therapy helps you make sense of overwhelming problems by examining how they affect you and your sleep.
Katherine Pinkham, Dreams Insomnia Expert and Founder of the Insomnia Clinic: ‘CBT…results show that on average 70% of people with even very long term poor sleep obtain lasting benefit from the treatment.’
Insomnia is often related to feelings of anxiety. If you often find yourself worrying about things, then you need to address these and place them aside when you get into bed. Try relaxation training such as:
- Breathing exercises
- Meditation techniques & yoga
- Guided imagery
Beware Blue Light
Artificial light, LEDs, fluorescent bulbs and incandescent bulbs trick the brain into thinking it’s daytime. Your body will want to warm-up and get ready for the day by producing a hormone called cortisol, something you don’t want before bedtime! Instead, dim your lights a couple hours before hitting the hay.
Kathryn Pinkham: ‘Blue Light technology can inhibit the production of melatonin which is known as the sleep hormone. We need melatonin to drop off at night so too much screen time before bed can interfere and tell our body and mind it’s daytime, making it hard to drop off.’
Ideally you should switch off all devices at least an hour before bed, or use a night filter to switch off the blue light.
Avoid the pick me up
Steer clear of anything caffeinated after 2pm. Caffeine stays in your system for up to 8 hours. One study by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour.
Bin the booze
Alcohol acts as a sedative and you skip the restorative stage of your circadian rhythm, meaning you miss out on a good night’s sleep, and will wake up tired. Make sure to avoid it at least 3 hours before bed.
Ask your doctor
Your doctor is the most highly qualified source of advice when it comes to insomnia. If treating sleeplessness yourself is a struggle, then your doctor will be able to recommend alternative methods to getting a good night’s rest.[OUTRO]
Because Sleep Matters
Train your body clock, eliminate stimulants and learn to handle stress. If you can resolve these then you’ll be well on your way to enjoying healthy, uninterrupted, sleep every single night.
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