There are many different sleep disorders, ranging from the very common, such as insomnia, to the less common and more serious, including sleep apnoea and narcolepsy. While prescription medications have a part to play in the treatment of sleep disorders, there are several self-help approaches worth trying, to improve your sleep.
Regular Night Routines Help Improve Sleep
One of the most important ways to improve sleep is to stick to a regular night routine, which involves going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same (give or take an hour) each morning. The main reason why routine is key to improving sleep is because it sets the body clock each day and means that the body will be tired at the same/similar time, having been awake for an appropriate amount of time.
Morning Daylight – Light Therapy Treats Insomnia and Depression
In addition to having a regular sleep-wake routine, it is important to make sure the body gets exposed to daylight each morning. This not only helps treat sleeping problems, but also is key to the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In Sleep Disorders, Wilson & Nutt (2008) highlight that morning exposure to daylight is the most effective way to synchronize the circadian or body clock.
Regular Exercise Affects Sleep
Another way to help improve sleep involves taking regular exercise, which has many other health benefits. Daily exercise not only maintains healthy weight, aids the body in fighting disease and keeps muscles working well, it also has positive implications for mental health and emotional well-being. In fact, exercise is one of the best forms of treatment for mild to moderate depression and stress.
Improved Diet Means Better Sleep
What we eat and drink has long since been known to have a massive impact upon our physical and mental health. For example, if you are a real caffeine fiend, than it is unlikely sleep will come easy and if sugar is what triggers binge eating, then sweet snacking late at night will have consequences. Any food or drink that stimulates the body is best avoided in the evening. Instead, opt for calming foods such as seeds and milky drinks or herbal tea.
Relaxation Helps Improve Sleep
Ever tried to get a child to go to sleep straight after arriving home from a party or busy family get-together? Chances are that it will not have been easy, and adults also require time to wind down before going to bed. A great habit to get into involves relaxation techniques, designed to help both body and mind calm down, offering a soothing, natural approach to improve sleep. Purchase a relaxation CD and see how incorporating relaxation into daily life helps the whole family.