Sleepless in the city: Is there a real cure for insomnia?

From crunching numbers in the day to counting sheep at night – sleep can prove elusive for the high-powered management executive.

Do you find yourself tossing and turning in bed for hours before finally falling into a restless sleep at 4am? Insomnia can affect even the healthiest amongst us, and there could be a whole list of reasons as to why you’re unable to fall asleep easily. Work-related anxiety is a common culprit in the corporate world, and it may be the thing that’s keeping you up at night.

Many of us are familiar with the stresses and rigours of managing teams and departments. Sleeplessness is commonly caused by the mind still being in work mode long after the body is ready to rest. Here are four suggestions on how to cure insomnia.

4-7-8 sleep hack

A quick trick to relaxing mind and body is inhaling for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds then exhaling for 8 seconds. Repeat. This breathing technique forces your body to slow down its heart rate and will slowly allow you to drift off to dreamland.

Read before bed

Instead of using your tablet or phone for sending out final instructions to your team in bed, pick up a book instead. Bed-time reading can be the perfect way to wind down after a hectic day and ready you for sleep.

Back-lit screens keep you awake

For many of us, our mobile devices are the first and last things we see in the course of a day. You might argue that watching puppy videos on your phone before catching some z’s is a form of relaxation, but the unnaturally bright light from your screen can cause your brain to go into overdrive. If you aim to fall asleep by 12am, then put your phone away by 11pm, preferably out of reach and facing downwards.

What you eat is how you sleep

Be aware of what you eat just before bed. If you think a heavy meal at dinner or right before bedtime will ease you into sleep, think again. The work your body needs to do in order to digest that feast will be keeping you up a few extra hours. Also, reschedule your evening tipple to just after dinner and not before bed. While alcohol has sedative effects and may seem like the perfect cure for insomnia, the quality of sleep you get is poorer. Alcohol dehydrates, which makes the probability of a refreshing sleep pretty low too.

To sum it up, there’s a good chance that the insomnia treatment that you’ve desperately been searching for doesn’t involve any form of medication. Keeping both brain and body in sync is one way that can help you get a better night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day’s challenges. With some simple adjustments to lifestyle and mindset, you’ll be able to enjoy a good night’s rest in no time.

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