Have you already heard about “insomnia identity”? If you firmly believe that you are suffering from insomnia, then you probably have it.
Continue reading to learn more about the so-called insomnia identity, as well as to know why worrying about being an insomniac can in fact wreak havoc on your overall health more than having poor-quality sleep and not complaining or worrying about it that much.
Worrying About Being Sleep Deprived Can Lead to More Problems
In the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy, a study conducted by a University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa psychology professor appeared.
What it said is this: people who believe that they are insomniacs tend to be at greater risk of encountering issues that can be linked to lack of sleep (anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability and various others) than individuals who do not regard themselves as insomniacs, whether or not they sleep well.
The said professor, who is named Kenneth Lichstein, by the way, also referred to those who believe that they are suffering from poor-quality sleep as having insomnia identity.
Prof. Lichstein is no stranger to sleep studies. In fact, he has done so many different sleep studies in a span of 20 long years. And through the years of doing sleep-related scientific investigations, he noticed a trend: worrying about not getting a good night’s sleep can be just as harmful (or even more harmful!) than actually suffering from insomnia.
So what’s the big problem with having insomnia identity? It causes someone who has it to worry that he or she is going to fail to enjoy a good night’s sleep, and this is something that can definitely lead to insomnia, a common sleep disorder in which an individual finds it hard to fall or stay asleep, or both.
Insomniacs who were not worried or complaining about not getting sleep that’s long enough or restorative, according to the said study that appeared in Behaviour Research and Therapy, seemed to be in a much better health state than those who are fussing over having insomnia. Having insomnia identity, apparently, is more damaging to one’s health than suffering from insomnia itself.
Simple Tips and Tricks to Enjoying a Good Night’s Sleep
Instead of worrying that you may not be able to fall asleep as soon as you hop into bed or you may wake up several times throughout the night, it’s a much better idea for you to try some really simple ways to enjoy 7 to 9 hours of restorative sleep.
The following are some surprisingly easy tips and tricks to getting high-quality and continuous sleep each time:
- Avoid taking daytime naps. Napping during the day can disrupt your body clock, and this can easily lead to a bout of insomnia. If you cannot help but take a nap at any time during the day, sleep experts suggest for you to keep it less than 30 minutes long only.
- Sleep and wake up at the same time every day. The goal is to have your body clock established so that you may be able to save yourself from having sleep disruptions. No matter if it’s a workday, weekend or holiday, it’s recommended for you to go to bed and wake up at the same time each time.
- Refrain from using gadgets. Experts say that you should never use your smartphone, tablet or laptop in bed – blue light their display panels emit can in fact cause a disruption in your body clock, keeping you from falling asleep and attaining sleep that’s continuous and restful.
- Turn your back on alcohol. It can be very tempting for anyone who is having a hard time falling asleep to consume alcohol. However, it’s something that can leave you feeling well-rested the following day as having alcohol in your system can actually keep you from having high-quality sleep.
- Drink chamomile or jasmine tea. Instead of alcohol, it’s a much better idea for you to have a cup of freshly-brewed chamomile or jasmine tea which is a well-known insomnia buster. A lot of people swear by tart cherry juice, turmeric tea, banana smoothie or warm milk before bedtime.
- Steer clear of a big meal before bedtime. There are a couple of reasons why having a square meal just before you try to go to sleep can keep you from having some Z’s: it can cause acid reflux which is a major sleep disruptor and it can in fact disrupt melatonin (the sleep hormone) production.
- Lower your stress levels. It’s a terrible idea for you to go to bed with a lot of worries and doubts in your mind as it can prevent you from having a good night’s sleep. Needless to say, you should consider meditating, getting a massage, taking a warm bath or listening to calming music at the end of your day.
- Try some sleep-inducing supplements. On the current market, there are many sleep-promoting supplements that you may give a try. Some very popular ones include magnesium, l-theanine, valerian root and ginkgo biloba. Just remember: consult your primary health provider before trying any supplement.