How to Sleep When You Have Insomnia

Especially relevant, the National Institutes of Health, consider insomnia a sleep disorder where people find it difficult to fall asleep, sometimes for hours at a time. Furthermore, they may find it difficult staying asleep, or they may wake up too early.

Forms of Insomnia

Most noteworthy, insomnia takes on many forms. First, some people fall asleep right away but they wake up too soon. Next, other people have a hard time even falling asleep. But, when they do, they sleep a long time. Lastly, others have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep.

Frequency and Types

In fact, studies show that up to 95 percent of Americans suffer from episodes of insomnia at some point in their lives. However, it’s only when these episodes occur frequently or regularly that people are diagnosed as having insomnia. Furthermore, according to the American Sleep Association, 30 percent of adults report short term issues with insomnia, while 10 percent report chronic insomnia.

Transient insomnia is a temporary form of insomnia which may last anywhere from one night to several weeks. In fact, this temporary form of insomnia may be one night of poor sleep or recurring episodes of insomnia while sleeping normally in between episodes of insomnia.


First and foremost, bad sleeping habits are one cause of insomnia. For example, these bad habits include:

  • Eating a heavy dinner just before bedtime
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening
  • Falling asleep with the lights on while watching television
  • Using cell phone, computer, or tablet before bedtime
  • Smoking

In addition, other causes of insomnia include anxiety, depression, and stress, along with medications used to treat them. Also, medical conditions such as chronic pain, COPD, asthma, sleep apnea, heart failure, arthritis, thyroid problems, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and endocrine problems cause insomnia.


Meanwhile, if you are having difficulty sleeping, follow the sleep inducing recommendations listed below.

  • First, avoid the following before bedtime
    • Working
    • Having emotionally upsetting conversations
    • Watching scary movies
    • Reading thrilling novels
    • Smoking – Nicotine is a stimulant that makes it hard to fall and stay asleep. In fact, studies show that nicotine increases insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep problems. Furthermore, nicotine suppresses restorative rapid eye movement or REM sleep.
  • Next, decompress before bed by taking a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, meditate or read a soothing book
  • Also, keep your room quiet. For example, use a fan to drown out noise that you can’t control (such as street noise entering through the windows).
  • In addition, make your bedroom as dark as possible. For example, use heavy shades to block outside light.
  • Meanwhile, alcohol can disrupt your sleep by interfering with your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up too early. In fact, alcohol blocks REM sleep. 
  • And, if you must snack, eat easily digestible snacks before bedtime. For example, eat cheese, fruits, or cereal with milk.
  • Furthermore, because the food won’t have time to be digested, do not eat an hour before bedtime 
  • Also, get a cardio or aerobic workout during the day
  • Most of all, avoid caffeine after 2 PM in the afternoon. Regrettably, caffeine is found in many foods. Therefore, you need to be careful to avoid foods with caffeine after 2 PM.
  • Next, physically put your clock in a place that makes it difficult for you to look at from your sleeping position.
  • However, if you do get too tired during the day, take a mid-day nap that does not exceed 20 minutes
  • Finally, remove all blue light emitting devices from the bedroom. These include, TV, computer screens, cell phone screens, and others.

However, if none of these remedies work, it’s time to go see your doctor.

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