7 Surprising Secrets on How to Cure Insomnia Fast
You having trouble falling asleep?
You’ve come to the right place to learn 7 unexpected, yet effective, ways on how to cure insomnia fast – starting tonight.
- Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or both
- Nearly everyone experiences insomnia occasionally
- Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder worldwide
- 1 of 3 people has insomnia regularly 1
- 40 million Americans have chronic Insomnia
- Chronic insomnia is associated with an increased risk of stroke, diabetes, heart attacks, depression and dementia
WOW, that’s a scary list.
Not only are you always tired, but your life could be at risk if you can’t sleep. Yikes.
And it’s getting worse in the U.S.
Between 2013 and 2018, an additional five million more Americans became insomniacs.5 While this research did not investigate the causes, the authors speculated that the main culprit was technology, or more specifically, the blue light emitted from display screens.
Okay, let’s get to those 7 surprising secrets on how to cure insomnia fast that I promised.
1. STOP Looking at your #@!*& Phone, Tablet or TV close to Bedtime
This just may be the #1 reason for insomnia today. We are so addicted to our smartphones that there’s hardly a waking moment that our eyes aren’t glued to our phone.
In particular, the BLUE LIGHT that’s emitted by all digital screens is especially harmful. To our brains, this light acts like natural sunlight, and thus suppresses the production of melatonin, a key hormone our body releases to bring on sleep. So STOP LOOKING AT any screens at least two hours before bedtime. If you enjoy reading, pick up a printed newspaper, magazine or book.
Many experts recommend that you filter out the blue light on your mobile device all the time. Here’s how:
- Android devices – Go to Settings – Display and click on Blue Light Filter.
- iPhone or iPad – Go to Settings – Display & Brightness, and click on Night Shift. This changes your screen to a warmer color, thereby filtering out the blue light.
2. Ditch the Sleep Tracker devices
These activity tracker devices are either wearable or are placed under your mattress; a few devices can be on your bedside stand. Regardless of location, it depends upon your movement to create its data regarding your sleep. The device makes the assumption that inactivity means you are asleep, and movement indicates being awake, but that’s often not true.
For example, you may lie awake for awhile but not be moving around. It’s also been proven in sleep studies that people can toss and turn even when they’re in deep sleep.
Therefore the data produced by the activity tracker device – like sleep duration or sleep quality – simply isn’t very accurate. According to Alan Schwartz, MD, the Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, “These devices don’t actually measure sleep directly. Most sleep tracking devices make some guesstimate as to how much you’re actually sleeping.” 6 Why depend upon a guesstimate when it comes to your sleep?
The only way to get precise, accurate data about your sleep is to have a clinical sleep study. I had a sleep study done after falling asleep repeatedly while driving to work many years ago (they discovered that I have Narcolepsy). The sleep clinic sets up patient rooms to look like regular bedrooms so you’ll feel more at home. Wires are attached all over your head and body, and you’ve convinced you’ll never be able to sleep with all this junk connected! But indeed you do fall asleep, not just overnight, but also for three short naps the next day. Check for sleep clinics in your area.
In addition to not providing very accurate data, some people hyper-focus so much on their sleep data that they can cause “orthosomnia”, a term created in 2017 by sleep clinicians in Chicago, and published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine in February 2017. 7 Orthosomnia is an unhealthy obsession with sleep tracker data to such an extent that it doesn’t help your sleep, but actually makes it worse.
3. Go Soak Yourself
One of the best ways to make it more likely that you will fall asleep is to create a temperature difference in your body right before bedtime.
That’s because during sleep your body’s core temperature decreases as much as two (2) degrees Fahrenheit. And the faster you can lower your body’s temperature, the faster you will fall asleep.
So … take a HOT BATH right before you turn in. When your warm body arrives in your cool bedroom, your body’s temperature starts to drop, which will soon start making you sleepy. Don’t dilly dally after your bath, just hop into bed and trust that you’ll be snoozing in no time!
4. Avoid the Nightcap
While it’s true that a glass of wine or beer will help you fall asleep initially, you’ll pay the price later:
- Alcohol messes up your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up often during the night
- Drinking blocks your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the most deeply restorative part of your sleep
- Alcohol causes dehydration, so you’ll wake up thirsty
- Drinking relaxes throat muscles, which increases your odds of sleep apnea, which can wreck your sleep
5. Boot Fido out of the Bed
I know, I know … you love your dog or cat like your own child. As a lifelong dog lover, I totally understand. In fact, at times my wife and I have had a dog sleeping in our bed. But if you are serious about tackling your insomnia, your pet must be banished from the bed. WHY, you ask?
- Poop and Pee. Even house-broken pets have accidents. Imagine your bed with your pet’s poop and pee. Yeah … that’s gross, so avoid it.
- Poop and Dirt. Dogs track dirt and poop in on their paws, which comes right into your bed. Nice thought, eh?
- Poop. Yeah, poop again. Our dog has rolled in cat poop, deer poop and dog poop, and so will yours. How’d you like to sleep with that?
- Fleas and Ticks. Even when you give them those tablets, dogs can still get fleas, and outdoors dogs definitely can get ticks. Ever seen a dog with bad fleas? You can literally see them hopping around like tiny kangaroos … and they will gladly hop on you. It’s disgusting, bad for your dog, and REALLY bad for your health. This is the #1 reason that vets tell you NOT to sleep with your pet.
- Parasites. According to the CDC, roundworms and hookworms (and other nasty critters) are common in dogs and cats. These parasites lay their eggs in your pet’s hair, where they can easily shed onto your sheets. And that means you’re rolling around in parasite eggs. Convinced yet?
- Allergies. Animals often track pollen into the house, and then onto the bed, which can aggravate allergies or asthma you may have.
6. Wear SOCKS to Bed
There’s an old adage that putting a hot water bottle at the foot of your bed will help you fall asleep. Well guess what, it’s true!
According to the National Sleep Foundation,8 warming your feet – called vasodilation – before you go to bed gives your brain a clear signal that it’s bedtime. In fact, researchers have found that vasodilation in the feet, thanks to socks, shortens the time it takes to fall asleep by a full 15 minutes.9
And good socks are better than hot water bottles because they eventually turn into COLD water b0ttles.
So splurge on some luxurious cashmere or merino wool socks. You’ll be asleep in no time.
7. Eat No Evil
This is one area where I struggle. I have a habit of eating a bedtime snack, which causes me to wake up to go to the bathroom a couple of hours later. While up, sometimes I will drink or eat something else, creating a vicious cycle of disrupted sleep.
Avoid food or drink within two (2) hours of bedtime, and don’t drink anything with caffeine after 4:00 pm.
Prepare yourself mentally for not getting up to go to the kitchen if you wake up during the night.
Tackling insomnia is no easy task, especially in this digital age. But you CAN do it, and these seven (7) unique ways should help.
But don’t be that person who reads articles but never actually DOES what’s recommended. Every good habit starts with one small action. So pick one item from this article that you need to do, and START TODAY.
And may you sleep better soon!
5 Hunt, Angie. Trend: American Sleep has Gotten Worse. Sleep Health. Nov 12, 2019. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352721819301834?via%3dihub).