The record for the longest time a person can go without sleep is said to be about 18 days. However, by then you should already be having hallucinations, slurred speech, paranoia etc. At that point, you are barely a functioning. Sleep is actually more important than food. That is why you have so much trouble concentrating even after lack of one night’s worth of sleep. Most of us have had trouble sleeping one time or the other. Some people even go as far as being insomniacs and have trouble sleeping for long periods of time. If you are having trouble sleeping, here are a couple of things you should try.
Avoid Stimulants after 2 pm
If you are already having trouble sleeping, drinking caffeine will only make things worse. Caffeine which is a natural stimulant is meant to keep your brain alert. You should avoid taking caffeine after 2 pm to give your body ample time to burn through what is already in your system. If you can, you should eliminate it from your diet.
That means staying away from coffee, tea, smoking cigarettes, energy drinks and the likes. There are also drugs that contain stimulants. So if you are on any medication that is affecting your sleep, you should check with your doctor. Stimulants not only keep you awake but they also cause frequent awakenings during the night.
Sleep in one continuous block
It is best that the moment you close your eyes, the next time you open them is when you are waking up. This means reducing or eliminating random spikes of consciousness during the night. This is what we called fragmented sleep. Fragmented sleep causes reduced concentration, creativity, and productivity. 5 hours of continuous sleep is healthier than 8 hours of fragmented sleep. The issue is, once you are awake, getting back to sleep may prove to be an issue especially if you struggle with insomnia. To avoid these random spikes, ensure you use the toilet before you sleep and keep your phone away from you or on silent.
Work on your stress
This is one of the major causes of insomnia. Now telling you to avoid stress might be too much of a stretch. You are bound to be stressed one time or the other. The only thing you can do is find ways to manage it. Find stress relieving exercises. It can be working out, talking to someone, or engaging in fun activities. Whatever it is, find ways to ensure your mind is not consumed by stress because that is enough to keep you awake for a very long time. And as we all know, worrying about an issue has never made it go away.
Relax your body before you sleep
Your body needs a buffer between the time it gets away from work to the time it gets into bed. Sometimes getting into bed when you are tired may be what is causing your insomnia. Do something relaxing before you get into bed. Take a shower, relax your muscles. It is like alerting your brain that it needs to relax. The issue with insomnia is that your body may be totally exhausted but your brain seems to have missed that memo. Slowly coax your brain to relax and let loose.
Use soothing sounds
This can include using meditation tapes or even listening to slow calming music. There are various phone apps such as Sleep Cycle and Digpil that are designed to soothe you to sleep with a wide array of sounds such as rain sounds, ocean waves, and white noise.
Drinking herbal tea
There may be a couple of us who do not like herbal tea but if you want to beat insomnia you have got to try it out. Herbal tea such as chamomile tea calms your nerve allowing you to relax and go to sleep.