It’s estimated that millions of Canadians suffer from sleep disorders. Some of the most common sleep disorders are insomnia and sleep apnea.
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from a sleep disorder like insomnia, you’re probably wondering, “how do you fix a sleep disorder?”
Naturally, how you go about fixing the disorder varies based on the symptoms you have. For insomnia, better sleep hygiene and routines are the absolute best way to begin working towards better sleep. Sleeping pills and other methods can be used, but only after the first line of treatment has failed, as they can cause immense harm with associations now related to dementia. They should be avoided if possible. In addition, if you snore or stop breathing, this could be serious, and a sleep study might be needed. Ask your partner if this happens at night.
If you suffer from insomnia or another common sleep disorder, you might want to try one of these five ways to treat them.
1. Follow a Regular Sleep Routine to Help with Sleep Disorders
One of the best things you can do if you want to combat insomnia or a similar sleep disorder is keep a regular sleep routine. This means you shouldn’t stay up late and try to catch up on sleep later or sleep in on weekends, as tempting as it is.
The human body works on routines, and sleeping in or going to bed late can throw you off your rhythm. This can make it more difficult to fall asleep, and it could mean you spend more time lying awake or you may not feel as awake and refreshed when you do need to wake up early.
2. Set up a Comfortable Environment
Another great tip that helps many people with sleep disorders is to attend to the environment you’ll be sleeping in. A good sleeping environment is dark, quiet, and has the right temperature for sleeping. If a room is too hot or cold, you probably won’t sleep very well.
Humans are attuned to light, so a dark room makes people sleepy while light tends to wake them up. Noise is also an important consideration. Noise is likely to make it difficult to sleep or to wake you up. Some people like white noise, but make sure it’s from a constant source that won’t change in pitch or volume after you’ve drifted off.
3. Adjust Your Diet
If you’ve been having trouble falling asleep, you might want to take a look at your caffeine intake. You may be avoiding coffee and black tea, but other foods and drinks contain caffeine. Common culprits are cola, chocolate, and green tea.
Other foods may contribute to sleep disorders. Alcohol can interfere with sleep, as can spicy foods and even some medications.
If you can, try to adjust your diet for better sleep hygiene. Even the size of your meals and when you eat them can affect your sleep. Some foods, such as yogurt, nuts, and bananas, can even promote sleep.
4. Limit Your Screen Time
Put down the cellphone and the tablet, and turn off the TV and the computer. Looking at a screen can interrupt your sleep/wake cycle. Most electronic devices give off blue wave light, which encourages people to be more awake.
If you can’t limit your screen time during the day, be sure to limit it before you need to sleep. Power down your cellphone, and eliminate lights from electronics in your sleeping area.
5. Exercise during the Day
Exercise can help you sleep better since it helps you expend energy. It can help you feel more tired at the end of the day.
Of course, exercise can also get the blood pumping, which means you may have trouble falling asleep if you exercise too close to bedtime. Hit the gym a little earlier.
These tips won’t cure a sleep disorder, but they can help you manage some symptoms of the most common sleep disorders. You may need to consider treatments, such as medical cannabis, if you still need help sleeping at night.