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One of the most common problems people face is lack of sleep. This one problem gives rise to many other problems. But science has helped to reveal many ways to beat insomnia and facilitate better sleep. These ways include improving your lifestyle in regards to what you consume, when you eat, how you sleep, where you sleep, how you set your routine, and so on. Here are just three tips to beat insomnia that should help enhance the quality of your sleep. ~ Ed.
Insomnia is an ailment characterized by an inability to achieve healthy sleep.
In some cases, an insomniac struggles to fall asleep at all. In other cases, s/he falls asleep readily but awakens prematurely; the end result is that s/he is unable to achieve a sufficient duration of restful sleep.
Insomnia is problematic because it leads to a broad variety of bad outcomes. These can include lost productivity, wretched moods, weight gain, and even depression.
If insomnia has been an issue for you, I invite you to consider these three possible solutions:
3 Ways to Beat Insomnia as Revealed by Science
You can win your battle against lack of sleep. Medical experts and health practitioners have used science-based research to identify various ways to beat insomnia.
Increase Your Magnesium Consumption
According to health experts, insomnia is often indicative of magnesium deficiency. In fact, magnesium is so crucial for proper sleep that he refers to it as “the most powerful relaxation mineral available”.
At least one preliminary clinical study has confirmed that magnesium is able to help elderly insomnia patients improve their sleep in a way that is measurable and statistically significant.
So if you’re having a hard time sleeping, the first thing you’ll want to try is increasing your magnesium consumption.
How, exactly, should you do that?
Ways to Increase Magnesium Consumption
There are bunches of different types of magnesium available. And bunches of different things that can block proper absorption of magnesium. For example, foods like beans and potatoes typically contain phytates and anti-nutrients that can interfere with your absorption of magnesium.
Because this is such a complex topic, I suggest talking to your primary care physician / GP or a registered dietitian for nutritional advice that is specifically tailored to your particulars. If you suffer from heart disease or kidney disease, I especially urge you to consult with your GP before supplementing with magnesium.
Do be aware that your GP is likely to have a hard time testing you accurately to determine whether or not you are deficient in magnesium. This is because there aren’t any easy, readily available methods that can assess a person’s magnesium status with 100 percent accuracy.
But there are bunches of telltale signs that can help to alert you to the possibility that you may not be consuming enough magnesium. As I already mentioned, insomnia is an important one to look out for. Some other common symptoms include feelings of anxiety; muscle twitches; muscle cramps and aches; migraines; menstrual cramps; and obesity.
Be aware that nutrition might not be your GP’s area of expertise – and that the amount of time your GP has allocated for your appointment may not be sufficient to actually cover all the information you really need to know.
The following resources can also help you get a better understanding of magnesium’s critical role in sleep and health:
- This article can help you understand which foods you need to eat more of if you want to increase your magnesium consumption.
- This article will help you to better understand the anti-nutrients that can prohibit you from properly absorbing the magnesium you consume.
Adopt a Better Bedding System
Clinical research reveals that your choice of bedding systems can have a significant effect on the status of your sleep. In particular, your mattress plays a crucial role in whether you sleep well or not.
Different mattress designs can promote proper spinal alignment, or detract from it. And a poor mattress design can even cause you to awaken with back and neck pain.
There are multiple mattress-related variables that can influence your sleep, including the following:
- Whether your mattress is firm, medium firm, soft or custom inflated
- Whether your mattress alters your body temperature as you sleep; and if it does, to what extent
One group of researchers reviewed multiple existing studies to see if they could determine which type of mattress would be best for promoting healthy sleep. They concluded that a medium-firm mattress was the top choice for this purpose. They also determined that a custom inflated or self-adjusted mattress is optimal for providing spinal alignment.
That particular group of researchers was not able to conclusively determine what the best temperature for the optimum mattress is. However, other clinical research can fill in some of those knowledge gaps for us.
Japanese researchers from Tohoku Fukushi University have determined that overly hot atmospheric temperatures can disturb sleep by interfering with both the SWS and REM sleep stages. So we can conclude that a cooler mattress is quite likely to be preferable in hot regions of the United States such as south Florida or hot countries like Australia.
So how do you know whether your mattress is providing you with optimal sleep?
Signs that Your Mattress is the Culprit
If you are frequently awakening with back or neck pain, that’s a key indicator that something could be wrong with your mattress. If you’re experiencing the type of insomnia where you fall asleep readily but you can’t manage to stay asleep for a full night, that could be another possible indicator that your mattress is not optimal.
In either of those cases, it’s possible that a new mattress could solve the underlying problems.
Before making a purchase, you’ll want to comparison shop to find a mattress that will meet your needs better than the one you’re currently sleeping on. For example, comparing Ecosa vs Sealy, you’ll find that Ecosa mattresses offer you three different layers of firmness — plus the option to switch them if the need for that arises. This option can be extremely helpful if you suspect you might need to troubleshoot and fine-tune the level of firmness of your sleeping surface.
Dispense With Caffeine, or Limit Your Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine commonly causes or contributes to insomnia. If you consume caffeine in coffee, energy drinks, tea or other forms, health experts recommend limiting your consumption of these things to the hours before 2 o’clock in the afternoon. This is because clinical research has revealed to us that caffeine consumed even 6 hours ahead of your bedtime is likely to result in worse sleep quality and relatively shorter sleep duration.
Do be aware that caffeine can show up in some strange and unexpected places. Did you know that some medications contain caffeine? It’s particularly common for headache medications to contain significant dosages of this stimulant. Chocolate is caffeinated, and so are many chocolate flavored foods and beverages. Beware of the high levels of caffeine in some coffee-flavored and chocolate-flavored ice creams and frozen desserts.
These are not the only possible remedies for problems with insomnia. However, these are the three solutions that would be likeliest to help you make a substantial improvement, if you’re sleeping poorly.
If you’re suffering from insomnia, do discuss the situation with your GP. And also, do consider giving these three suggestions a try. I hope they’ll help you.
Over to You
Have you ever suffered from insomnia? Were you able to beat it? If so, what helped you to improve your sleep? If you have information that could help others to beat insomnia, I invite you to share any relevant insights in the comments.