According to yet another study, you’re doing it for your heart. Sleeping resets the brain, allowing us to process information and function better while awake, but too little, or too much, is apparently very hard on the heart.
Even if the lack of sleep isn’t caused by insomnia symptoms—just late nights and early mornings—it’s still having a bad long term effect. Less than 6 hours sleep and you are at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke, more and you are more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease.
For those who regularly suffer from insomnia symptoms (3 or more nights a week), there are increased risks: obesity and diabetes.
What Are Insomnia Symptoms?
Insomnia symptoms can be any of the following:
- Unable To Fall Asleep Easily
- Unable To Stay Asleep
- Poor Quality (Non-Restive) Sleep
- Poor Daytime Function
Fighting insomnia symptoms may be daunting, but here’s a few tricks:
- Exercise in the morning, rather than the afternoon. Exercising later in the day can make it hard to fall asleep at night (although exercising in general can help you stay asleep). Just make sure you’re not hoping on a bike right after you wake up, since first thing in the morning is the peak time for heart attacks.
- Reduce ambient lights and noises in your bedroom. Use blackout curtains, get rid of electronic devices with ever present LED lights blinking at you, and set a sleep time on the TV. Consider replacing light and sound with a restive smell like lavender, which is shown to aid sleep.
- Try a natural sleep aid that supports brain function. Many prescription sleep aids don’t produce restive sleep, leading the brain to act funny (side-effects like sleep-walking).
- Don’t eat or drink before bed. Eating can cause you to feel awake, and going to bed on a full stomach is hard on your heart, which then has to stay up late working to help you digest. As far as drinking, if falling asleep and staying asleep are problems, giving up fluids two hours before bed will reduce nighttime bathroom breaks that can restart insomnia symptoms.
- Finally, if your brain just won’t turn off, try meditative exercises before bed. Focus on clearing your mind (you can use the classic visualization of sheep—just turn them into a metaphor for your problems, and visual them also going to sleep until morning) will help you drift off to sleep.
What are your best tricks for fighting insomnia symptoms?