According to online health surveys, it is estimated that 36% of UK adults struggle to get to sleep on a weekly basis. That’s over a third of the population who suffer with symptoms of Insomnia, meaning more of us are struggling with sleep than expected- especially since the COVID-19 Pandemic began..
Insomnia is the term used to describe not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, causing many issues throughout the day for its sufferers. It can affect your ability to function during the day, along with your mood and energy levels. Although many believe that it’s all about the number of hours of sleep we get per night, it’s actually the quality of sleep that counts. For example, some people may feel refreshed on 7 hours of good quality sleep, whilst those who are waking up from a 9 hour sleep feeling sluggish may find their quality of sleep is poor throughout the night.
Thankfully, there are lots of changes we can make as individuals to help address problems caused by insomnia. It can be as simple as finding the underlying cause and making a change to your daily habits to help improve sleep quality.
Start off by understanding and accepting the symptoms you encounter:
Symptoms of Insomnia
- Difficulty falling asleep despite being tired
- Waking up frequently throughout the night
- Trouble getting back to sleep once awakened
- Unrefreshed sleep
- Relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Daytime drowsiness, fatigue or irritability
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
Here are some ways in which you can help yourself and your insomnia:
Self-help for Insomnia
- Is there a possibility you’re suffering from depression or anxiety?
- Find out how you can eliminate any stresses in your life that could be having a toll on your quality of sleep. Although we all feel stress from time to time, it must be addressed if it’s having an affect on your sleeping ability.
- Is there medication that you are taking that could be affecting your sleep? Talk to your doctor about ways to help with side effects.
- Is your bedroom a calm, cool and comfortable environment? This is essential for a good night’s sleep.
- Practice healthy sleep hygiene- this means settling down an hour before bedtime, eliminating screen time and enjoying a relaxing activity such as reading or drinking a warm drink.
- Try going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday to allow your body to gain a routine. On weekends/days off, try not to sleep in any longer than an hour.
It’s important to discuss any symptoms of Insomnia with your doctor, especially if it’s putting a strain on you physical and mental health. There’s more help out there to help you combat sleeping disorders.