December 15, 2020

Insomnia can strike even on the best of days. Added stress and anxiety caused by a worldwide pandemic makes it even more difficult to enjoy a night of adequate sleep. And yet a good night’s sleep keeps our immune systems in check. Sleep helps restore our body…and mind and is essential for keeping up with daily activities. Here are six proven things you can do right now for a restful sleep tonight. 

Check your meds

Sometimes the medicines you take to stay healthy might also be causing you to suffer from insomnia. “Many medications can interfere with sleep, including thyroid hormone replacement, ACE inhibitors and statins,” says Megan N. Freeland, PharmD, RPh. “If you think your medications might be causing insomnia, you should talk to your healthcare provider about it. They may recommend an alternative medication, reduce your medication dose, recommend a supplement like melatonin to help promote sleep or prescribe a stronger medication to help you sleep.” 

Turn off screens one hour before bedtime

The blue light that your smartphone emits is not only bad for your vision, but it’s bad for your brain too,” says sleep disorders specialist Harneet Walia, MD. “Research has found a correlation between suppressed levels of melatonin and exposure to blue light. Don’t look at TVs, computers, or phones at least one hour before bedtime. The lighting of the screen prevents our bodies from making Melatonin and the content we tend to look at on screens keeps our brains whirring rather than settling down.”

Skip the nap 

The Mayo Clinic notes that while short naps generally don’t affect nighttime sleep quality, long or frequent naps might interfere with nighttime sleep. Take a moment to relax and energize with a short walk outdoors instead.    

Swap out coffee for a glass of water after 2 p.m. 

Studies show that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduces total sleep time by 1 hour. Swap out coffee for a glass of water after 2 p.m. and it might prove easier to settle into sleep come bedtime.  

Take care of your TMJ

TMJ and other jaw disorders can interfere with sleep. Talk to your dentist about a mouth guard, or try a TMJ treating balm like TJz Balm, which moisturizes and relaxes the jaw for a more restful sleep.

Brew up a cup of chamomile tea 

Chamomile tea is a proven, natural remedy for insomnia. Brew yourself a cup of chamomile, wrap yourself in a comfy blanket. Listen to some gentle music and settle into bed for a restful night of sleep.