Monday, October 09, 2017

Three Unique Ways to Beat Insomnia

Insomnia can be a debilitating issue.  Lack of sleep for a prolonged period of time can sap your energy and make it difficult for you to work or enjoy life.

It can also lead to several health problems.  But what are you supposed to do when you've tried all the common methods to beat insomnia, and sleep still won't come?  Chances are there are a few methods you have yet to try. Here are three unconventional ways to beat insomnia that are worth checking out.

Try Math Problems

You have probably heard about counting sheep to get to sleep.  Unfortunately, counting sheep doesn't work very well because it's such a boring exercise that instead of making you sleepy, makes your mind wanders off to other subjects.  The act of counting sheep is also not mentally challenging.  You won't spend much energy on it, which won't make you tired.

A better idea is to try doing mental math: specifically, math that is easy enough to do in your head, but difficult enough to give your brain a workout.  One idea is to start at 300 and then count backwards in threes until you hit zero.  

Although subtracting by three is not difficult to do, you do have to put some thought into it, which will keep your mind off of other worries that may be keeping you up. If you are still having trouble falling asleep by the time you hit zero, start at a higher number and try again.

Listen to a Boring Podcast or Audio Book

Like math problems, the idea here is to distract your mind from the day's worries without making you think too hard.  Find something that is interesting enough to distract you without keeping you awake.  Choosing a speaker with a soft, pleasant voice is another helpful idea.  Some options you can try include documentaries or instructional podcasts or audio books.  Some podcasts are even made specifically to induce sleep, so try doing a search for those.

Wear Blue-Blocking Lenses Before Bed

Our brains naturally produce a hormone called melatonin at bedtime, which makes us sleepy.  Unfortunately, the light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, televisions, and computers blocks the production of melatonin.  This can cause sleep issues in several people. 

For many of us, electronics are a fact of life and it's not easy to avoid using them before bedtime.  If that's the case for you, you may find blue-blocking glasses to be a solution.  These glasses, which can be bought at a variety of places online, are amber-colored and block the blue light emitted by electronics.  This encourages your body to produce melatonin.  For many people, wearing the glasses for a few hours before bed every night makes a huge difference when it comes to falling asleep.

Insomnia that lasts for more than a few weeks can be indicative of a more serious health problem, so be sure to see a doctor if your sleeplessness concerns you.  Hopefully, with a little bit of help from these techniques, you'll be sleeping soundly again soon.

This is a guest blog post.

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