Chinese Viewpoints on Preventing Insomnia – Recommended Habits

Prevent InsomniaThere are many common methods of preventing insomnia in daily life, including maintaining a good sleeping schedule that ensures you sleep and wake up on time every day. Good bedding also has an effect on the body and prevents spinal disease.  A large number of experimental data and sleep culture in Western countries have shown that the mattress has critical influence on sleep quality. Experts also point out that choosing a quality mattress can be a plus for healthy sleep and has significant effect on improving sleep quality. Adults should aim to get a minimum of six hours of sleep per night without interruption. Try to avoid daytime napping for more than 15-20 minutes.

Regular exercise is also an important method to effectively prevent insomnia. Maintaining a certain amount of exercise every day can ease tension accumulated during the day, allowing the body and mind to relax, thereby reducing insomnia. But do not deliberately seek over-exhaustion. Exercising three days a week performing something simple as a half an hour of walking, working, swimming or cycling etc. each time is enough.

For people who suffer from insomnia, relaxing and controlling their emotions is also very important. Try to avoid feeling angry and frustrated in order to prevent frequent muscle tension or brain activity that makes it difficult to sleep. Listening to some soft music or talking with family members or friends over casual conversation also helps.

Active participation in sports and regular activities contribute to improved sleep, but insomniacs should note not to do strenuous exercise within two hours before bedtime. Moderate physical activity has great benefits, and physical along with mental work must be done in order to maintain people’s athletic and mental health.

Chinese doctors also say do not smoke, do not drink, be careful to eat light food, eat less seafood, eat more grains, and do not drink coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages in order to improve sleep.

The doctors also recommend women with insomnia to avoid drinking cola, coffee, tea and other beverages before sleeping, while also developing regular and disciplined life habits. Eat in a timely fashion, consume a diet of vegetables, and eat less deep-fried, spicy, and stir-fried food.

Patients should not worry, and instead have a normal and natural attitude towards insomnia. The more nervous, the more one enforces sleep, which is counterproductive. Some people who experience insomnia consecutively for a number of days become nervous, believe that if this continues the brain will not rest, and even if this does not shorten one’s life, it will make one sick. The excessive anxiety caused by such fear is bad for sleep and creates even greater health hazards.

Before going to bed, listen to rhythmic but dull sounds. For example: the sound of the train running, crickets calling, water dripping and the rain pattering, or hypnotic music soundtracks all establishes conditions to induce sleep.

Usually a sleep duration of 7-8 hours should be maintained, but not necessarily insisted upon, and sleep duration should take into consideration individual differences. Those who fall asleep fast and sleep deeply and few or not dreams need only sleep six hours to fully restore energy, whereas those who fall asleep slowly and whose sleep is shallow with many nightmares will still find it hard to feel refreshed even with 10 hours of sleep. They should adopt a variety of treatments to get effective sleep, as just extending sleep duration is hazardous to health.

Chinese doctors also emphasize that people ensure a good sleeping environment: Whether sleep is good or bad is closely related to one’s sleeping environment. At temperatures 15-24 degrees, one can get peaceful sleep. The smoke left from smoking during winter after closing the windows, as well as leftover gas from incomplete combustion, will make people unable to sleep peacefully. Those living in the vicinity of emitted high-frequency ionizing electromagnetic radiation, and do not get good sleep in the long term and experience diseases, should move to a residence further away.

What should be done about postpartum insomnia?

Insomnia appears in some women after childbirth. For these sufferers, rest at the same time every day. A 10-20 minute nap can re-energize you. But if a daytime naptime exceeds this duration, you might wake up feeling worse than you did before taking the nap.

Mothers should in 30-60 minutes before going to sleep do something to make themselves relax as much as possible, and should not let oneself be under the strong glare of light. For example, take a bath, quietly read some books, or watch your favorite movie.

Physical exercise can help you fall asleep better and improve sleep quality. Try to keep active during the day, and quiet down 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. The latest research shows that women who are kept busy from early in the morning gain more benefits from their sleep.