Chronic insomnia reduces energy and mental clarity and raises risk of mortality. These lifestyle changes help improve your ability to fall and stay asleep.
Everyone has a bad night once in a while, but if you’ve struggled with sleeplessness for more than a month, then you’re experiencing chronic insomnia.
If you struggle with this frustrating condition, you know how critical sleep is for you to feel energetic and mentally sharp.
But knowing how important sleep is only adds to the pressure you feel every night when your head hits the pillow.
Here are the best strategies and remedies to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
1. Why You Need Sleep
You may be tempted to disregard your need for sleep, telling yourself you don’t really need much or that’s just the way you are.
But chronic insomnia is an insidious problem that is linked to a “who’s who” of diseases including depression, anxiety disorders, dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, substance abuse, obesity, and an overall increased risk of mortality. (2, 3, 4)
Inadequate sleep even disrupts your genes — just a single week of insufficient sleep can alter the activity of over 700 genes! (5)
According to Dr. Alexandros Vgontzas, director of the Penn State Hershey Sleep Research and Treatment Center, losing one night of sleep affects your mental performance as much as being legally drunk. (6)
And when insomnia is chronic it undermines the long-term health and function of your brain.
It’s also during sleep that your brain consolidates the day’s memories to ensure you remember what you learned the previous day. (10)