Guide: How to Sleep with Insomnia & Sleep Better

Last Updated on July 13, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Learning how to sleep with insomnia is an ongoing battle that is fought by many every night. It is important to understand what the symptoms and causes of one’s sleepless nights are in order to find relief to get much-needed shut eye.

I. What is Insomnia

II. 8 Symptoms of Insomnia

III. 8 Causes of Insomnia

IV. 9 Tips for Sleeping Better with Insomnia

V. Sleep Better

Fighting dreaded insomnia is a battle for many exhausted souls. Having issues drifting off to sleep, or finding oneself waking in the wee hours, only to stay awake no matter how tired are symptoms of insomnia. Sleeping on a top memory foam mattress may be of some help, but those afflicted will want to follow some helpful advice in their effort to discover the elusive sleep.

I. What is Insomnia

Simply put, those with insomnia struggle with the capability to fall asleep or stay sleeping, or some battle both issues. This results in mornings of exhaustion from sleepless nights. With sleep allowing the body to restore and stay healthy, those who sleep with insomnia find themselves often feeling drained and ill.

Although experts may recommend an approximately eight hours of sleep time, actual slumber hours needed will vary for each individual. With this in mind, insomnia is not classified by the number of hours slept. Instead insomnia is diagnosed by how the person feels upon waking. Those who wake fatigued and not restored may be suffering from insomnia.

Insomnia may seem to appear as a single issue but usually is a result from another emotional or medical concern. Each person is affected differently and at diverse degrees of insomnia. Often insomnia is fleeting and can be alleviated with some easy changes in one’s sleep routine and environment. It is important for those with severe cases to work with a medical professional.

II. 8 Symptoms of Insomnia

Symptoms of insomnia will vary with each person. Some will have issues falling asleep while others will fall asleep easily but then wake throughout the night without being able to fall back to dreamland. All with insomnia will most often suffer from sleep that is not restorative leading to days of feeling fatigued. The symptoms of insomnia affect quality of life often leading to depression and poor performance at work and life.

1) Cannot Fall Asleep

No matter how utterly tired one may be, the bane of insomnia is plopping into bed only to lay awake exhausted staring at the hours going by on the clock.

2) Frequent Waking

Even those who can fall asleep the moment the head hits the pillow can find themselves struggling with insomnia when they find themselves waking all too frequently throughout the night.

3) Cannot Fall Back to Sleep

With the frequent waking comes the agony of not being able to fall back to sleep easily. The mind is racing as the body begs it to stop so it can get some much-needed sleep.

4) Unrestored Sleep

There are a few who do not even realize that they are struggling to stay in a healthy sleep during the night. These folks will wake from insomnia feeling tired and unrestored.

5) Cannot Sleep Without Aid

If one cannot fall asleep, or stay asleep, without the necessity of a pill or alcohol then this is a certain sign of an insomnia problem.

6) Over Early Waking

Early waking does not mean waking on a day off at the hour your alarm is set for work. Waking too early is much like those who wake during the night from an overactive mind causing the insomnia.

7) Daytime Exhaustion

Those who believe they do not have an insomnia issue may have to admit a problem when every day they are feeling exhausted as though they have not had healthy restorative sleep at night.

8) Poor Concentration

Like daytime exhaustion, poor concentration is also a sign that the body has not been fully refreshed from a good night’s sleep.

III. 8 Causes of Insomnia

There could be just one or several factors that can cause one to suffer from insomnia. Illnesses and emotional problems can all have an adverse effect on sleep. It is also important to note what foods and drinks one is enjoying that may be causing insomnia issues.

1) Excessive Stress

Too much stress can way heavy on the mind and body as cause problems when it comes down to finding sleep. Things like an ill family member or work deadline can lead to a mind too busy dealing with stress to allow the body to sleep well.

2) Depression

People who are depressed may be seen as hiding in bed all day but this does not mean that a depressed person is getting restorative sleep. Depression also is often a problem that is coupled with another cause of insomnia – such as anxiety, trauma, or additional illness.

3) Anxiety

Anxiety can be an ongoing mood disorder that causes endless sleepless nights, or a momentary issue as simple as waiting for a grade from a teacher.

4) Traumatic Experience

Trauma can strike at any moment causing heartache along with insomnia. Anything from a death to a fire, to divorce can all trigger nights of tossing and turning.

5) Medications

Although medication is supposed to help heal, there are medications that have adverse effects when it comes to sleep. These medications have the patient up all night praying for slumber to come.

6) Health Issues

There are some health concerns that one should be aware of that can cause insomnia. It has been found that heart disease, hypertension, and type two diabetes can cause problems with the ability to fall asleep.

7) Sleep Environment

A poor sleep environment with too much light and noise, and an uncomfortable room temperature can contribute to a night of insomnia.

8) Sleep Routine

If a sleep routine is broken so may achieving a decent night of sleep. To combat insomnia, it is important to stay true to going to sleep with the same healthy routine each night.

IV. 9 Tips for Sleeping Better with Insomnia

There are several tips one can try in an effort to get and stay asleep. One may find that by making some easy changes to lifestyle habits will pave the way to ridding insomnia.

1) Bed Activities

As enticing as the bed may be for hanging out to work and snack, try to keep limit mattress time to only what the bed was originally meant for – sleep and romance. Those with insomnia who sit in bed gabbing on the phone or working may find it difficult to morph from those active activities to find calming sleep. Some may even benefit from moving the TV out of the bedroom as well.

2) Same Wake Up Time

Although the day off is begging one to stay in bed and sleep late, it is unhealthy for the body’s clock to be thrown off in this manner. For healthy sleep and wake patterns, especially for those fighting insomnia, it is very important for the body to wake at the same time every day.

3) Stop Naptime

The idea of a nap on a rainy afternoon may be appealing, especially for one who is exhausted from insomnia. It is important to try to stop napping to allow the body to tire naturally to be ready for bedtime.

4) Regular Exercise

Sleep has seen to be improved by exercising regularly. Although one may think that working out right before bedtime would be the best way to tire out, this is actually wrong. Exercising works as a stimulant so make sure to do a work-out in the earlier part of the day and no less than three hours before retiring to bed.

5) Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

Caffeine and alcohol can impede on achieving a good sleep. Caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep so limit any caffeinated beverages or food for a few hours before bedtime. Alcohol may be thought of as calming but too much can lead to a night of waking, and tossing and turning.

6) Medication Awareness

Even with medications that say they may cause drowsiness many may have an adverse reaction causing to keep one awake. It is important to understand any medication that one is on and to communicate with health professionals about insomnia problems that may be affected.

7) No Nosh Before Sleep

Noshing right before bed can cause heartburn that can keep one up all night. Stay away from fluids also as this will only have one getting up to make frequent bathroom visits.

8) Comfortable Sleep Environment

Keep the sleep environment as comfortable as possible to invite slumber. A cooler room will provide a cozy cocoon to wrap up in for comfort. Noise should be kept at a minimum. If outside noises tend to cause waking, then a sleep sound machine may help with soothing sounds to mask offensive noise. Make sure that windows are covered from waking sunlight.

9) Curb Stress

Reducing stress is probably the most difficult of tasks since one will find it difficult to turn off their mind. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques can help. Each individual is different so trial and error is needed in finding what will help with stress reduction in order to get some much-needed sleep.

V. Sleep Better

Insomnia can seem like a never-ending battle but there is hope. Normally insomnia is a passing problem so one must work hard to understand the causes in order to rid themselves of this condition.

To help get the best restorative sleep possible one should make sure to have a great mattress such as the GhostBed Luxe, along with wonderful cooling GhostBed pillows, and comfortable bedding.

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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