BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – When a good night’s rest is replaced by constant tossing and turning, it can feel like a precious window of time has been stolen from you.
Sleep is a crucial aspect of good health, and anyone who suffers from insomnia knows what it’s like to miss out on enjoying it.
Insomnia is typically defined as “habitual sleeplessness or the inability to sleep.”
It’s a common occurrence and one source claims that approximately 33% to 50% of adults in the U.S. struggle with the condition.
So, what can a person do if they’re dealing with insomnia?
Our Lady of the Lake’s Dr. Tyler Boudreaux recently shared his suggestions on the topic, which can be read in full here.
Dr. Boudreaux says he’s recommended melatonin to some of his patients, which is a hormone our bodies naturally create, and usually increases at night to put us in a relaxed state.
Though it is available in over-the-counter form and considered relatively safe to use at night, OLOL recommends consulting with a physician before taking it.
Dr. Boudreaux also suggested the following tips in regards to beating insomnia:
1. Stick to a routine.
Make it your goal to go to bed at the same time every night so that your body will naturally adjust over time.
2. Avoid distractions in the bedroom.
While enjoying a great Netflix series from the comfort of your bed might seem like a great way to fall asleep, experts say that the glowing blue screen can have adverse effects on sleep. Try to shut these off at least an hour before sleep. If that’s too difficult, at least avoid using those screens to answer emails or perform other tasks that might kick your brain into overdrive.
3. Incorporate some relaxation into your nightly ritual.
Try some breathing exercises, meditation, light stretches or listen to some calming music.
4. Avoid alcohol.
Drinking at night can also negatively affect your sleep, and even though some men swear by a nightcap to help them fall asleep, it doesn’t lead to a full, restful night’s sleep. It also often leads to feelings of fatigue the next day.
5. Avoid late-night eating and drinking caffeine.
Experts say that our metabolism slows at night, right when our bodies would be working extra hard to absorb and digest those late-night carbs. Such a routine could lead to discomfort while trying to fall asleep and excess weight gain. Limit what you eat at least two to three hours before bed. Caffeine should be avoided at least four hours before bed.
6. Talk to your doctor about any ongoing sleep problems.
Ongoing sleep problems may be an indication of a larger issue and are of increasingly more concern as men age. Your doctor can discuss with you a variety of actions to take to help you sleep better.
Click here for additional information on sleep disorders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).