I’ve been reading up on insomnia lately. My off switch seams to be broken, and this constant on is wearing me out. I’ve suspected insomnia affects women more so than men, and I’ve discovered this to be true. Not only that, but women commonly develop serious health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, and deppression when living on less than seven hours of sleep a night. There are a million reasons why so many of us can’t sleep – stress, of course, being the number one contributor. As I read, I began to realize some of the “cures” I’ve been trying are simply myths that not only hurt my chances of getting to sleep, but staying asleep as well.
Interested in hearing some myths that do more harm than good? Here you go!
- Having a glass of wine or some other alcoholic beverage is helpful for insomnia. Wrong! It may put us to sleep, but we will not stay asleep. Alcohol interrupts the sleep cycle. Sleepy Time tea is much better.
- It helps to watch a late night movie or play games on our computers. Nope! Far to stimulating. The best thing to do is read from an old fashioned book (not an e-reader) or listen to soft music, such as yoga music.
- A terrible nights sleep calls for a good long nap. Not a good idea at all! After a sleepless night, one should take a nap lasting fifteen to twenty minutes maximum. Longer than that will only leave you having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep all over again.
- Get in a good workout before bed so our bodies are tired out. Bad advise! Strenuous exercise is good but very stimulating, and should be done at least four hours before lights out, yet preferably in the morning, to kick start the day.
- As long as we get at least five hours of sleep a night, we’re good. Not so good at all! Experts say adults over the age of fifty should allow their bodies and minds to sleep seven to eight hours each night for optimum physical and mental health.
- What we eat has nothing to do with how we sleep. Incorrect! It’s a proven fact that sugar and caffeine can cause havoc in getting and staying asleep. If we are serious about our sleep, sugar and caffeine should not be consumed after dinner. If desert is in the plan, it should be eaten immediately after dinner. Yet, ideally, desert is best eaten in the middle of the day, say, after lunch!
I hope all you insomniacs found a tip or two worth trying. I know I did! So much for my beloved late night Lifetime movies and glass of wine!