Most of us may not be aware of the importance of sleep in our lives. Ensuring that you have enough sleep goes a long way in improving your quality of life as well as your productiveness. In addition to this, you’ll have improved your health and that of your well being. When you sleep, your body is basically working towards supporting your healthy brain functions and the well being of your physical state. Now, for those suffering from sleep deprivation, otherwise known as insomnia, the damages may be catastrophic. Did you know that major accidents are as a result of sleep deprivation? While this is so, sleep deprivation has also been cited as the main cause of some of the well known chronic health problems. So, what's the cure for insomnia? If this has been the problem with you, then you are in the right place.
Most of us have tried different methods to fight insomnia, but in vain. These may have included; cutting back on alcohol, participating in cognitive therapy, and medication. When all else fails, there are alternative ways that may help get rid of sleep anxiety. In this elaborative guide, we’ve prepared most of everything you may need to know in fighting insomnia. Here are sports that may help you sleep better and tips on how to beat insomnia.
Sports to Help You Sleep Better
It may be years since you participated in any sporting activity. It may or may not be the reason for your lack of sleep. Nevertheless, it may help get rid of anxiety as well as stress. Having been away for too long from sports should not deter you from picking up a football or cycling down the hills. Actually, sports will not only help you sleep better, but will also work towards improving your physical and mental health. It’s also been found that sports are the best stress relievers.
Types of Sports
Sports are of many variations and nature. It’s very important to first and foremost recognize your areas of interest before indulging in any sporting activities. There are two main categories of sports, namely; aerobic and anaerobic sports. All these have the ability to help you sleep better at night. Let’s start off with the best aerobic sports to help you sleep better.
Aerobic sports are especially easier for beginners because they are considered as low impact and easy to master. Here are some of the best aerobic sports you want to try out for your sleep deprivation.
●Walking – walking has various advantages to the body. Apart from walking being safe and low impact to you, it’s effective in helping you lower your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your leg muscles, and also lower your risk of heart disease. Problems such as blood pressure and hea5rt diseases may contribute to your lack of sleep. By walking, you’ll have lowered the chances of contracting them as well as in fighting them.
●Running – you really don’t have to be a seasoned sprinter to start running. This starts off gradually as you progress from walking. It’s an inexpensive sport with the same benefits as those of walking. You may opt to either run or jog all depending on your physique and abilities.
●Swimming – this is a great alternative to walking or running, especially if it’s on a very hot and humid day. In addition to this, it’s a great sport if you are overweight, pregnant and suffering from other underlying medical problems.
●Cycling – cycling may work in both ways, as an aerobic sport or anaerobic. It all depends on preference. Apart from riding in the outdoors, you may as well opt to do it indoors.
●Boxing – boxing is a great way to work out as it will require the participation of most of your organs. You don’t need to be a professional boxer to participate, even air punching is by itself effective. You may also decide if you want to work with a professional instructor if you want much more than just beating insomnia.
●Dancing – when all else fails. Why not take to the dancehall and shake it off! Most people may not consider dancing as a sporting activity. But it is. It’s very enjoyable when done in companies or with a friend. There are so many dancing styles that you may incorporate into your dancing routines all with the aim of beating insomnia. Instead of dancing solo, why not join a dancing class.
For those of us who want to take it a notch higher, then, anaerobic exercise is the way to go. Anaerobic exercises are a bit intense, but this will also work well towards improving your sleep deficiency problems. Anaerobic exercises are very effective in helping improve blood circulation. In addition to this, they help in improving the metabolism and improving performance, speed, and power. Below are the main types of anaerobic exercises.
●HIIT (High-intensity interval training) – as the name suggests, high-intensity training involves working out for many hours but in intervals. Before you start on HIIT, it’s very important to first indulge in low impact exercises. This will help to prepare your muscles as well as toning the muscle tissues.
●Weight lifting – this involves lifting weight is a repetitive manner also known as reps. It’s important to start off with lighter weights as opposed to heavy weights to minimize injuries.
●Plyometrics – also known as "plyos", are anaerobic exercises that help to improve strength, power, and balance. Plyos have the same effect as those of high-intensity interval training.
●Sprinting – rather than walking and running, you may decide to maximize your running efforts. This means that you exert as much pressure for shorter distances.
●Isometrics – these are low impact as compared to plyometrics and weight lifting. Nevertheless, they are still effective in helping you to maintain balance and improve strength.
The above are sports to engage in when dealing with insomnia and getting rid of sleep anxiety. The best, however, are aerobic sporting activities. This is because they are less demanding as well as low impact on your muscles.
The Aim of Sports in Fighting Insomnia
The first thing about sports is that they’ll help to calm your nerves afterwards. But on the other hand, they focus on developing your breathing technique which in turn helps you to sleep better.
Remember, the more active you are during the day the better chances that you’ll sleep better at night. Your day’s activities, determine the quality of sleep you have. Some other factors that may affect your quality of sleep include;
Tips On How to Beat Insomnia
Before we even get into the nitty gritties, make sleep a priority. This will help to calibrate as well as in programming your brain and your system into sleeping. By now, you most probably know the importance of sleep. It goes without saying that it will help improve your quality of life. In addition to this, ensuring that you get a good night's sleep will also help to maintain your optimal overall health. Lucky for you, there are several ways to improving your quality of sleep. Here are tips on how to beat insomnia.
1. Keep Away From the Blue Light
Most gadgets including tablets, computers, and TVs emit blue light. One thing to note about these light frequencies is that they are harmful to your eyes. To add on to this, these are the very things that affect your quality of life. If you have to watch anything, then invest in orange tinted glasses or otherwise, keep them off and sleep!
2. Turn the Lights Down
Just like the blue lights from gadgets will affect your quality of sleep, bright indoor lights will also have the same effect. Investing in dim lights, installing dimmer switches, and using lamp shades are among the things you may consider for reducing the brightness. Most of us also like to read a book before bedtime. If you must, use a low wattage bulb. As for the curtains, for those of us who may want to take a nap during the day, invest in heavy dark curtains to prevent excess lights from coming in.
3. Avoid Clock Watching
Most people often watch their bedside clocks before sleeping. For your information, clock watching increases anxiety and so will deprive you of sleep. Some bedside clocks come with bright display lights. They may work well in enhancing your bedroom, but when the night comes, these may affect your sleep.
4. Allergy-Proof Your Beddings
If you have any allergies such as those related to dust, pollen, and dust mites, then it’s important to ensure that your beddings are cleaned and free from any allergens. Additionally, you might as well invest in hypoallergenic and microfiber covers as they deter the growth of molds, dust mites, and mildew. Changing your beddings on a regular basis will also help in preventing some of these allergy triggers. Remember, allergies will interfere with your ability to sleep well. The most common symptoms of allergies include coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. If you, therefore, experience any of these symptoms when in bed, then it may be an indicator that your beddings need changing.
5. Exercise on A Regular Basis
If you have read through this article by now, then you must come across an important segment on the importance of exercising. If not, here it is. Your day’s activities, determine your quality of sleep. There's no better way of engaging yourself during the day than being involved in sporting activities. Being involved in physical activities will also help to lower the risk of insomnia. Some of the best exercises include cycling, swimming, jogging, and swimming.
6. Eat Smart Snacks
Did you know that eating certain foods before bedtime may contribute to your lack of sleep? Well, now you know. It’s important to avoid carbonated beverages and citrus fruits. On the list also are spicy foods, fried foods, and caffeine. Some foods may also promote indigestion, heartburn, and other stomach discomforts. To add on to this, you may also want to cut back on fluids. You want to avoid anything that will make you wake up at night, such as those regular urges to go for a shot call.
7. Minimize the Noise
It’s very important to keep the noise to a minimum if you want to beat insomnia. Remember, quietness plays a vital role in your quality of sleep. So, by all means, the bedroom needs to be as quiet as possible to help you nod off. There are of course unavoidable noises, especially if you happen to live in urban areas, these are traffic noises and animal sounds such as dog barks. There are also noises that may be emanating from your leaky faucets and squeaking doors. All you need are DIY crafts to fix some of these things.
8. Your Bed Should Be Off-Limits To Pets
Most people have the tendency to sleep with their beloved pets. Earlier on, we tackled an important segment on allergies. For those who may be suffering from such, then, it’s not advisable to sleep with your pet. This is because of the pet dander and pet fur. These are some of the well-known allergy triggers you want to avoid when in bed. The second reason has to do with the disturbance. When pets move, turn, or wake up, they may contribute to disturbing your good night’s sleep. Thirdly, when it’s that time of the year, some animals have behavioral changes wired to their systems. For instance, when the moon is full, it’s natural for dogs to howl. You really don’t want them in the bedroom when this happens!
Sleep deprivation or insomnia has become so common. It may be contributed with so many factors among them occupational hazards. Even so, there are always ways to curb and get rid of insomnia. As always, if symptoms persist, it’s important to consult with your therapist.