Sleepless Nights? Improve sleep quality with Aspire’s Tips.

Sleepless Nights? Improve sleep quality with Aspire’s Tips.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, despite having the opportunity and desire to sleep.

People with insomnia often experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Difficulty Falling Asleep: It may take a long time to fall asleep, even when a person is tired and in a conducive sleep environment.
  2. Frequent Awakenings: Individuals with insomnia may wake up multiple times during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.
  3. Early Morning Awakening: Some people with insomnia wake up very early in the morning and are unable to return to sleep, even if they haven't had enough sleep.
  4. Non-Restorative Sleep: Even when people with insomnia do sleep, they may still wake up feeling unrefreshed and tired.

Insomnia can lead to a range of daytime symptoms and consequences, including fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and impaired daytime functioning. It can affect one's overall quality of life and lead to health problems if left untreated.

There are two main types of insomnia:

  1. Primary Insomnia: This type of insomnia is not associated with any other medical condition or substance use. It is often related to factors such as stress, anxiety, poor sleep habits, or psychological factors.
  2. Secondary Insomnia: Secondary insomnia is linked to an underlying medical condition, medication, substance use (e.g., alcohol or caffeine), or another sleep disorder.

Insomnia can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Acute insomnia often occurs in response to a specific event or stressor and typically resolves on its own. Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, persists for at least three nights a week for three months or more and may require more focused treatment.

Treatment for insomnia can include lifestyle changes (sleep hygiene), cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), and in some cases, medication. If you suspect you have insomnia, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or sleep specialist for a proper evaluation and to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.

Here are some tips from Aspire that may help you improve your sleep:

  1. Establish a Sleep Routine: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency can help regulate your body's internal clock.
  2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Engage in calming activities before bedtime, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation exercises like deep breathing or meditation.
  3. Limit Exposure to Screens: The blue light emitted by phones, computers, and televisions can interfere with your sleep. Try to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime.
  4. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. A comfortable mattress and pillows can also make a big difference.
  5. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime, as these substances can disrupt sleep patterns.
  6. Exercise Regularly: Regular physical activity can improve sleep, but try not to exercise too close to bedtime, as it can be stimulating.
  7. Watch Your Diet: Avoid heavy meals, spicy foods, and excessive liquids close to bedtime to prevent discomfort and frequent trips to the bathroom during the night.
  8. Manage Stress: Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness, or talking to a therapist.
  9. Limit Naps: If you need to nap during the day, keep it short (20-30 minutes) and earlier in the day to avoid interfering with nighttime sleep.
  10. Avoid Clock Watching: Constantly checking the clock can create anxiety about not sleeping. Turn your clock away from you or remove it from the bedroom.
  11. Consider Professional Help: If your sleep problems persist, consider consulting a healthcare professional or sleep specialist to rule out any underlying medical conditions and discuss potential treatments.

Regular physical activity can indeed help improve sleep quality for many people. However, it's important to time your exercise routine appropriately and choose activities that suit your fitness level and preferences.

Here are some exercises at Aspire to improve sleep quality:

  1. Aerobic Exercise: Engaging in aerobic activities like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing can have a positive impact on sleep. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. However, avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime, as it can be stimulating.
  2. Yoga: Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques, making it an excellent choice for improving sleep. Yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can lead to better sleep quality.
  3. Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a mind-body practice that involves slow, flowing movements and deep breathing. It can improve sleep by reducing stress and anxiety while enhancing overall relaxation.
  4. Strength Training: Building muscle through resistance training exercises can also contribute to better sleep. However, it's best to perform strength training earlier in the day and not right before bedtime.
  5. Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises, especially those that target tight muscles and promote relaxation, can be done before bedtime to ease tension and prepare your body for sleep.
  6. Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing, can help calm the nervous system and reduce stress, making it easier to fall asleep.
  7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): PMR involves systematically tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. This can help release physical tension and promote relaxation before bedtime.
  8. Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation techniques, which involve focusing on the present moment and calming the mind, can reduce anxiety and promote better sleep.
  9. Consistency: Whatever exercise routine you choose, consistency is key. Aim for regular, daily physical activity, but avoid intense workouts close to bedtime.
  10. Limit Evening Exercise: As mentioned earlier, avoid vigorous exercise within a few hours of bedtime, as it can be stimulating and interfere with sleep.
  11. Morning Exposure to Natural Light: Exposing yourself to natural light in the morning helps regulate your circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep at night.

By Dr.Preeti (Physiotherapist)