If you cannot fall asleep quickly, try not to worry. Following routines and healthy practices before going to sleep can help prevent a case of insomnia.
If you changed your regular sleep habits during vacation and you have to go back to work and fear that your nights are going to turn into unending hours of counting sheep, the best way to get back to your regular sleep habits are by following some simple tips, which can be found on the Cleveland Hospital web page.
- Think positively: If you have a negative predisposition about going to bed and think, “If I do not sleep for 8 hours, I’ll feel terrible tomorrow.” Try changing your mindset.
- Set a schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time is a signal to your body and mind to change gears. Avoid taking naps.
- Avoid using alcohol to relax: Contrary to what many believe, drinking large amounts of alcoholic beverages break up your sleep and make you wake up at night. Nicotine and caffeine are also not good to consume before going to sleep.
- Try to be active during the day: Try to do exercise, but avoid doing it before you go to bed. If, at a minimum, you cannot do moderate exercise, spending some time in the sun and going for a walk can also help.
- Avoid overeating and eating heavily spiced foods: Eating a light snack can help prevent your digestion from interrupting your sleep.
- Make sure your room is comfortable: It should not be too hot or too cold, use a firm mattress, make sure it is dark and keep any sound out by using ear plugs or by turning on a fan.
What can I do if I cannot fall asleep? Read or do an activity that is not very stimulating until you feel like falling asleep again.
The importance of making a routine: As Dr. Danilo Sánchez states in a Grupo Espumados publication, establishing a nighttime routine helps set an alarm in the body that alerts the brain it is time to go to sleep. You can start by turning off your cell phone (which is best) or lowering its volume, drinking a glass of water, brushing your teeth and putting your pajamas on. These routines will help form a habit if you do them every day, especially at the same time.
Related: Sleeping is also a learned skill