If you think you’re suffering from sleep insomnia, you’re not alone. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, about one in three people suffer from at least mild insomnia.
Signs of sleep insomnia
Three key factors can signify insomnia. If one or two or all three of these are regularly part of your sleep experience, it’s very possible you’re suffering from sleep insomnia.
- You regularly find it difficult to fall asleep initially (it regularly takes you over 20 minutes to fall asleep).
- Even if you can fall asleep, you cannot stay asleep for as long as you desire (or as long as you need to rest).
- You frequently wake during the night and are unable to go back to sleep.
Due to these symptoms of sleep insomnia, people also experience the last tell-tale sign of this sleep disorder: feeling exhausted and drowsy during the day due to lack of sleep.
If you are consistently suffering from any or all of the symptoms above, the first step should be to visit your doctor. Your general practitioner may refer you to a sleep specialist or a psychologist. A sleep specialist might suggest a sleep study in order to better determine the cause of insomnia (for instance, it might be due to a more severe sleep disorder such as sleep apnea).
In addition to seeking professional medical advice, consider your sleep habits and environment as possible contributors to your insomnia. Practicing good sleep hygiene — which includes ensuring your environment is conductive to rest — may help ease the symptoms of your insomnia. Below are three tips for better sleep health that are worth considering for incorporation into your sleep routine.
3 Tips to Soothe Sleep Insomnia
1. Listen to relaxing sleep sounds [playlists + app]
An impressive array of scientific studies suggest listening to relaxing music and sounds can significantly improve sleep ease, duration, and quality. Informed by the science demonstrating how sound affects us, both physiologically and psychologically, a Berlin-based team developed a revolutionary new sound engine called Endel. The technology leverages the neuroscience behind how white noise helps us sleep and relaxing sounds reduce stress and anxiety. Composing its ambient soundscapes purely of sounds scientifically proven to enhance certain states (including sleep and relaxation), Endel soothingly and intentionally uses sound to align mind and body.
You can experience immersion in Endel’s scientifically-proven, sleep-enhancing audio ecosystems (composed with pentatonic notes and sound-masking sounds) in the form of five recently-released sleep albums. These albums, each an hour in length, are now available across streaming services. To give Endel’s sleep albums a listen, click the “play” button below and preview the Sleep: Clear Night, Cloudy Night, Rainy Night, Foggy Morning, and Cloudy Afternoon playlists. Choose “listen” in the top right corner if you wish to view and/or download the full album via your preferred streaming service.
Clear Night Playlist Preview
Cloudy Night Playlist Preview
Rainy Night Playlist Preview
Foggy Morning Playlist Preview
Cloudy Afternoon Playlist Preview
The gentle, ambient soundscapes of Endel are also available as an app, which is algorithm powered. The app bases its algorithm on circadian rhythms (our natural sleep/wake cycle), pentatonic scale (the music made on a scale with five notes per octave), and sound-masking. As an app, Endel is designed for personalization. It instantly adapts its soundscapes to suit each individual listener. Through personal inputs including heart rate, location, weather, and time zone, the app expertly personalizes its soundscapes on the fly. Listeners can choose to utilize the app’s soundscapes to enhance other states in addition to Sleep, including Relax, Focus, and On-The-Go.
2. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
This is WebMD’s number one on its list of tips to beat insomnia. Having a consistent sleep schedule is one of the most powerful things you can do to let your body know when it’s time to sleep, and when it’s time to wake up. A consistent sleep schedule means going to bed and waking up at the same time, every day. This can be extremely difficult — especially with the typical five day work week, two day weekend schedule. But if you’re suffering from insomnia, those late night, late sleep-in weekends might be worth eliminating.
Try setting and keeping a consistent sleep schedule for just one week to start. If you begin to notice positive changes, you’ll be inspired to keep going from there.
3. Nix or limit alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine
According to WebMD, one of the next best ways to beat insomnia is to eliminate alcohol as well as stimulants including caffeine and nicotine. Did you know the stimulating effects of caffeine can last for up to 24 hours? If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might turn to coffee to help keep you awake the next day. And yet, this can start a vicious cycle of the coffee in turn keeping you from sleeping the next night. Try going without coffee and other stimulants — such as nicotine — to see if this lessens your insomnia symptoms. The other popular substance that can seriously harm sleep quality is alcohol.While alcohol can initially have a sedative effect, and perhaps help put you to sleep, it worsens overall sleep quality. Alcohol can lead to frequent wake ups in the night (one of the symptoms of insomnia) and a less restful feeling upon waking. If you truly want to ease your suffering from insomnia, nixing or seriously lessening caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol intake is a good place to start.