Are you missing your peace of mind? Do you hit a blind spot every time you look for it? My guess is yes, and that’s why you are here. To solve a problem, you have to identify the source first. It might be a simple bad habit of binge-watching Netflix till midnight. It might be due to the stress from work. Or it also might be the case of overthinking the things that you fear might happen to you, such as COVID-19.
In this post, I will discuss all the underlying reasons for your sleepless nights and discuss how to fix the problem. But before that, you need to find out if insomnia or broken sleep issues you face are solely due to personal habits and sleep hygiene. If the issue is clinical such as a sleep disorder or sleep apnea, these tips alone will not work for you.
These tips are to help non-clinical insomnia and sleeplessness. Please consult your doctor for specific issues.
However, it can also be the other way around. To put it simply, if you are living a perfectly healthy lifestyle, going to bed, and waking up at a consistent time, but you are still experiencing poor sleep, then the solution could be straightforward. It might all go away with some sleep aid. You can buy Ambien if you don’t want to go through prescription trouble.
Without proper diagnosis, you will only bring yourself an endless series of agony. Eventually, exhaustion is going to ruin your life. If you feel exhausted, take some sleep aid, sleep it out, and then come back and read this for the long-term solution to your sleeplessness. To cure it completely, you need a lifestyle change!
As we grow older, self-control is the most effortful development that we struggle to attain. Our brains need to go through four fundamental parts – cue, craving, response, and reward – to establish a sustained habit.
Cue simply means the trigger. Your mind interpreted that sleeping better and avoiding unpleasant thoughts will reward you. This is what brought you here in the first place.
After cue comes craving; this is the stage where many of you go back to your old ways because your body craves familiar old habits – even if they are bad for you. See, your body’s reluctance to change your current cycle can be more vicious than a drug addiction itself.
That is where self-control comes in. While you are transitioning from a current cycle to an entirely new cycle, you have to keep in mind that this frailty you are feeling right now is only for a few days. You have to keep stimulating your body consistently if you want to completely eliminate insomnia and nightmares from your life.
The third step is the flight or fight response which determines whether you are strong enough to say no to your cravings and stick to your goal or not. If you manage to pass this stage repeatedly, you would have just rewarded yourself with a healthy habit and brought change to your lifestyle.If you are still with me on this, the next part will be a walk in the park for you.
Do Not Duel on the Problem Sometimes, not dueling on the problem is more productive than examining it through therapy. We all are victims of Covid-19. Instead of worrying about what the future holds about your job security and whether you can still put food on the table, focus on the positives in your life – such as you have a wonderful job and a great family. Know that what you are experiencing is something we are all experiencing as well. We are all in it together, and we will get through it together. Worrying about the stuff you cannot control will only result in more sleepless nights. Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, which leaves you vulnerable to the virus. You will also lose your focus at work which would jeopardize your job.
Control Your Thoughts and Emotions. We all are control freaks in some way. If you learn to control your thoughts in every situation, trust me, you will have a greater chance of living a better life. Our thoughts and emotions are completely in our control – we just have to take charge of them.
Once you gain control of your thoughts and emotions, you can control when you subject your energy to these thoughts and emotions. Eventually, you will be able to switch them off for bedtime.
Just like that, every time you go to sleep, you have to convince yourself that sleeping is the best thing you can do at that moment. That is the only time when people will not frown upon you for yawning, unlike your workplace or at school. Why waste it for the world?
Mend the Home, Mend the Mind. Let me take you back to that boring class in university that somehow induced sleep instantly. Why does that happen? This happens because you enter an atmosphere that puts your mind to rest. Imagine the cozy dark classroom with a slow drone of the prof’s voice acting as a lullaby.
You can then use the same technique in your room. Build an ambiance fit for sleeping. Make an atmosphere that signals your brain that you are done for the day and its resting time.
Little drops of water make the mighty ocean. Just because your efforts seem little doesn’t mean it is going in vain. Just because you are trying to fix yourself doesn’t mean it has to be addressed as treatment. Consider every night as a spa night from now on. Don’t make it a process; make it a natural rhythm of the day.
You all know the struggle to kick start your work mode in the mornings. Consider this as the way to turn off your work mode at night. It’s just like an airplane slowly spiraling its way on the ground.
Sleep is a consistent cycle. There is a reason why people don’t sleep continuously for a third of the year, then stay awake for the rest of the year. It is meant to destress you after a tiresome and eventful day every 24 hours. The sky becomes dark at night for a reason. It stimulates your sleeping hormone called melatonin. So, put away that blue screen that prevents the secretion of melatonin. Respect nature’s rule and the rule will reward you. Re-establish your default sleep-wake cycle by going to bed and waking up at the same times consistently.
Some Serious Don’ts
Incurable Nightmare is a Myth Truth is, a nightmare doesn’t need to be treated. Nightmares are just a way of your subconscious brain expressing the fears that you are refusing to acknowledge or address while awake. Most of the time, the nightmares you are experiencing involve stress and survival scenarios. It can appear in different forms, depending on your age. Once you follow everything I said this far, you will establish a healthy lifestyle where getting yourself in a state of stress, sorrow, or fear will become quite difficult. However, if you are still struggling, there are some quick fixes you can do.
You can learn more about nightmares here.
If you have read this far, I have one bonus tip for you. Suppose all the stressors in life happened this week – the last week of the month, your daily routine went out the window, and to destress from the overload of work, and you partied a little with stimulants like alcohol or caffeine.
And now, it is 3 am, and you are wide awake staring at a blue screen reading this article.
No matter when you end up falling asleep tonight – whether it is at 4 am or 5 am, try to wake up at the same time you would wake up if you fell asleep at 11 pm. Let’s say, every day you have to get out of bed by 7 am. Keep your waking time consistent throughout the week – even if you don’t fall asleep until late. Once you get by the week, waking up at 7 am every day, I guarantee you, your body will automatically shut down by 11 pm and wake up after eight complete hours—this one of my tried-and-true methods.
To conclude, you might be thinking all this is not that easy to accomplish. Sitting there and giving bits of advice is easy for us. You are the one dealing with it. But answer this. How did we know the solution if we didn’t know the problem? It’s pretty self-explanatory. You are not alone in this. We are watching people go through this worldwide, now more than ever. These tried and tested methods worked for millions of sleep-deprived people, which can work for you. Change begins when you decide to get out of that bed, put your phone down and start acting. Sweet dreams!