How to fall asleep with insomnia

by | Jun 21, 2023 | Insomnia

Do you have insomnia and struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep?

Hey there fellow insomniacs! Are you tired of lying awake in bed for hours on end? Do you want to finally get a good night’s sleep? Insomnia is a common problem, but there are plenty of things you can do to help you fall asleep. From developing a bedtime routine to implementing CBTI techniques, there are many options out there you can use to tackle insomnia head-on. Keep reading for some tips and tricks on how to finally get the restful sleep you deserve.

The struggle is real – why falling asleep can be a challenge

The struggle is real when it comes to insomnia and falling asleep can be a challenge for many. Those who have experienced insomnia know that the harder you try to fall asleep, the more difficult it becomes. It is frustrating and can leave you feeling drained and exhausted the following day.

Insomnia is not just about having trouble falling asleep; it can also involve waking up frequently during the night and having difficulty staying asleep. There are various reasons for insomnia, including stress, hormonal imbalances, poor sleep habits, medications, medical conditions and more.

It is essential to tackle the root cause of your insomnia. For example, if stress is a major factor in your life, you may need to address that stress for insomnia to improve. In the meantime, there are some methods you can try to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Improve your sleep hygiene

The term sleep hygiene refers to the habits, behaviors, and environment that can be adjusted in order to help someone improve their sleep. Many people find that although they have relatively healthy habits, changes can still be made that positively impact sleep.

Some healthy sleep hygiene tips to help you fall asleep when you have insomnia include:

1. Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it even on the weekends.

2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes things like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing meditation.

3. Make sure your bedroom environment is conducive to sleep – keep the room dark, quiet, and at a comfortably cool temperature.

4. Avoid caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and nicotine 6 hours before bedtime.

5. Try using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery.

6. Exercise regularly but avoid doing so too close to bedtime.

7. Get plenty of natural light throughout the day.

8. Put away all electronics 30-60 minutes before bed.

Tried and true methods for catching some ZZZ’s

Insomnia affects millions of people worldwide, and finding the right method or technique to help you fall asleep can be a daunting task. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (or CBTI) is the recommended first approach to combatting the symptoms of insomnia. Here are some techniques within CBTI that you can use to catch some ZZZ’s:

1. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) – This technique involves tensing and relaxing each muscle group in your body, one at a time. Starting from your toes and working your way up to your head, contracting the muscles in each area for a few seconds before releasing the tension. This technique helps to reduce physical tension in the body and promote relaxation.

2. Visualization – This method involves imagining a peaceful, calming scene in your mind, such as a beach or a forest. Focus on the sensory details of the scene, such as the sound of waves crashing or the rustling of leaves in the wind. Visualization helps to distract your mind from the stressors of the day and promotes a sense of calm.

3. Stimulus Control – This technique helps to strengthen the association between the bed and sleep. Often those with insomnia spend too much time in bed awake, and the bed is no longer associated with sleep. To do this technique, simply leave the bed if you’ve tried falling asleep for around 30 minutes, OR feelings of frustration, anxiety or worry about sleep start to set it. After leaving the bed you can do a relaxing activity like reading a book, or deep breathing exercises, then go back to bed when you feel sleepy again. Give yourself another 30 minutes to fall asleep, and if needed, repeat the process.

Everyone is unique, and what works for one may not work for another, so choose the method that resonates with you most and give it a try. If insomnia remains an ongoing issue, consult with your doctor or a sleep specialist for personalized treatment options. Remember, getting a good night’s sleep is vital for overall health and well-being, so do not give up on finding a solution that works for you.

Unconventional tips that just might work

Insomnia can be a challenging condition to manage, but there are some unconventional tips that may be worth a try.

1. The Cold Shower Method – Taking a cold shower may sound like a terrible idea, but it can help to stimulate the vagus nerve and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation and can prepare your body for sleep. Start with a warm shower and gradually decrease the temperature until it reaches a cold but tolerable level.

2. The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique – This technique, based off of a yoga technique, involves inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and exhaling for eight seconds. Repeat this pattern for four full cycles, and you may notice a sense of calm and relaxation throughout your body.

3. The Body Scan Method – This technique involves lying down and consciously focusing on each part of your body, starting at your toes and working your way up to your head. As you focus on each body part, try to relax the muscles in that area and visualize any tension or stress melting away.

4. The Metta Meditation Technique – This method involves cultivating feelings of loving-kindness and directing those positive emotions towards yourself and others. Start by focusing on someone you love and silently reciting a mantra such as “May you be happy, healthy, and safe.” Then expand the loving-kindness to yourself and others in your life. This technique can promote feelings of relaxation and well-being, which can make it easier to fall asleep.

Remember, not every method works for everyone, so it’s important to experiment and find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to try something new or unconventional, and if insomnia persists, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. Good sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being, so keep working towards finding a solution that works for you.