Overcoming insomnia, effective strategies for restful sleep.
Insomnia is a widespread disorder that significantly limits the lives of those affected, not only because it makes it difficult to fall asleep or keep sleep deep and restful, but also because it affects the quality of daytime activities. This is why it is crucial to understand how to deal with insomnia. Here are some strategies:
- Regular sleep routines: a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research clearly showed the importance of establishing a regular routine. Keeping the same sleep and wake times, possibly even at weekends, helps the body regulate its biological clock, improving sleep quality.
- Favourable environment: to the regular sleeping routine just described, it is essential to add more attention to creating a peaceful and comfortable environment in the bedroom, keeping the room dark, quiet and cool. The importance of room temperature is often underestimated, but it is very important that you do not exceed 19 degrees during the night where you sleep, as excessive heat may cause frequent awakenings and reduce the REM sleep rate. Moreover, body temperature is closely linked to the circadian rhythm, the internal clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Keeping the bedroom cool therefore helps synchronise this rhythm, improving the regularity and quality of sleep.
- Use of electronic devices: experts all agree on the importance of reducing exposure to blue light from smartphones and computers before bedtime, as it may interfere with the circadian rhythm, and thus on sleep quality.
- Diet and consumption of stimulants: we now know how diet and eating habits play a significant role in the quality of our health and it is essential to know that they also affect sleep. It is best to avoid stimulating foods and drinks such as caffeine, chocolate and alcohol in the evening hours, as they may disturb sleep. Heavy evening meals should also be avoided, especially shortly before bedtime.
- Relaxation techniques: practising techniques such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation can be very helpful. These practices help reduce stress and prepare the body and mind for rest.
- Exercise: regular exercise is another important ally of sleep, but it would be best to avoid it in the hours immediately preceding the night's rest, as it may have an overstimulating effect. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can significantly improve sleep quality.
- Daytime naps: Although a short nap during the day may seem tempting, it is best to limit daytime naps to no more than 20-30 minutes in order not to disturb nighttime sleep.
The various research in this field emphasises the importance of a holistic approach in treating insomnia, combining lifestyle modifications and healthy habits. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor to assess the presence of any pathologies and to receive personalised advice. Taking care of your sleep is crucial for your general well-being.