Insomnia is no joke — whether it’s chronic or conditional, not getting enough high-quality sleep nightly can affect your well being on every level.
This advice from Dr. Rahul Jandial, a brain surgeon and neuroscientist whose brand new book, Neurofitness: A Brain Surgeon’s Secrets to Boost Performance and Unleash Creativity is great because he shares his findings from years of research from various fields (surgery, science, brain structure, the conscious mind) and applies them to everyday life.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations. This will help you stay in that circadian rhythm that sets an internal clock for falling asleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon/evening. Caffeine can stay in your system for ten to twelve hours, so the Neurologist says early afternoon is a better cutoff if you are struggling with insomnia.
- If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed. This a reasonable recommendation. You definitely don’t want to toss and turn indefinitely. So if it’s getting close to a half hour and you aren’t drifting off, you should consider getting up. But if you do get up, do something mellow and keep the lights dim.
- Use your bed only for sleep and intimacy. Only is a strong word, but the general principle here is good. If you’re struggling with insomnia, you should even skip reading in bed because of the light exposure, and don’t even consider reading on a tablet/device. If you struggle with silence, you can play a podcast/ meditation/meditation music -but as long as the device isn’t lighting up your room.
- Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings. There is no question that nighttime exposure to light disrupts the induction of sleep. Start turning the lights down around 8 pm every evening and obviously that means not looking at your phone screen either.
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