Most adults experience insomnia or sleeplessness at one time or another and want to know how to sleep better. Having trouble falling asleep affects an estimated 30-50% of the general population and 10% have chronic insomnia. According to the nonprofit National Sleep Foundation:
- 70 million Americans are affected by either intermittent or chronic sleep problems
- 28 percent sleep eight or more hours a night
- 20 percent sleep less than 6 hrs a night
- Only 30 percent discuss their sleeplessness with their doctor
- 54 percent of adult drivers (110 million) have driven drowsy at least once in the past year
- 28 percent claim to have nodded of or fallen asleep while driving
Additionally, other sources claim:
- Nearly 61 percent reporting trouble sleeping were women versus about 39 percent men.
- Insomnia peaks in middle age (45-64 years old) and a second increase appears in people 85 and older.
- African Americans and Asians appear less likely to report trouble sleeping or insomnia than whites.
- Those with higher education also are less likely to report insomnia or trouble sleeping.
1. Get an understanding of what insomnia is. Insomnia is a symptom, not a stand-alone diagnosis or a disease. By definition, insomnia is “difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep. Occasionally having trouble sleeping is normal for most people. For instance, some people only have trouble sleeping during very stressful periods at work, or when personal problems arise. These emotional traumas often prevent a healthy night sleep. It’s bad enough having trouble sleeping one night, try having months of it and you’ll know what it’s like to be an insomniac.
However, because insomnia is often considered a key symptom of depression, you should consult a doctor if you a experiencing log-term sleep loss and want to know how to sleep better. Many people, who have trouble sleeping, feel that their symptoms and problems are ignored not just by their colleagues, friends and family, but by their doctors. Learning how to sleep better is not going to happen over night. Here are 6 tips that have worked well for others.
2. Consider alternative drug-free methods and remedies to help induce sleep. Natural sleep remedies like chamomile flowers are used in alternative medicine and is usually found in stores as tea. Try over-the-counter sleep aids if the alternative methods don’t work. They are effective for an occasional sleepless night but the more often you take them, the less effective they become. When taking over-the-counter sleep remedies don’t drive or attempt other activities that require alertness while taking the drug. How to stay asleep
3. Exercise regularly. Three or four moderate sessions of exercise each week is all it takes to help you sleep better and provide more energy. Those regularly engaging in moderate exercise likely to experience fewer episodes of sleeplessness, however, although exercising is a good preventative measure, I don’t recommend exercising too close to bedtime.