Do you have insomnia? If you’ve taken an insomnia symptoms questionnaire and found out you probably have insomnia, you may want to schedule a meeting with your doctor. You can work with a doctor to find out if you have any physical conditions that are causing the insomnia. But either way, you probably know that there are things you do that make it easier (or harder!) to fall asleep.
Do you make some of the common sleeping mistakes that make insomnia more likely? This insomnia quiz will help you pinpoint what you can change about your daily routine to make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Good luck!
Take the Insomnia Quiz
1. How do you prepare for sleep?
a. I watch a little TV to wind down.
b. I turn off the TV and take a bath or chat in bed with my significant other.
c. I have a glass of wine to help me relax.
d. I don’t do anything special. I work at my computer until it’s time to sleep.
Answer: (b) Turning off media such as the TV and relaxing with a spouse or significant other can help you turn your mind from daily chores and cares. A bath can serve the same purpose – it relaxes you and gets your mind off other things. The problem with watching TV or working on your computer right before bed is that your mind needs some down time before sleeping. And using alcohol to relax right before bed can actually help cause insomnia.
2. If you find yourself lying awake, unable to sleep, what do you do?
a. I stay in bed no matter what and usually think about all the sleep I’m missing and feel more anxious and angry.
b. I take a sleeping pill.
c. If I can’t sleep, I’ll get up for a while and read a book or something else.
Answer: (c) If you truly aren’t able to sleep after a few minutes, lying there thinking about it doesn’t do you any good. In fact, it can make things worse if it increases your feelings of anxiety and worry. And a sleeping pill may help in the short-term, but it has side-effects and can be habit forming. Sometimes the best thing is to get up and read, write, or do a simple task. This gets your mind off insomnia, and when you come back to bed you can start fresh.
3. If you have a bad night and don’t get enough sleep, how do you compensate the next day:
a. I go to bed a little earlier the next night.
b. I drink a lot of coffee or tea to help me stay awake during the day.
c. I take a nap to help me make it through the day.
Answer: (a) Going to bed a little bit earlier can help you make up for a lack of sleep and most likely won’t cause you more insomnia issues. Drinking beverages with caffeine and other stimulants may help you stay awake during the day, but they can also keep you awake at night as well, so this is not a good solution. And napping during the day will help you get through the day, but naps increase the likelihood that you won’t be able to sleep at night. Avoid napping if you can.
4. When you are in bed at night, what do you think about?
a. I think about all the things that I have to do the next day.
b. I basically flit from thought to thought – my mind won’t quiet down.
c. I try not to think too much while in bed. If I can’t stop thinking about something, I get up and write about it for a while.
Answer: (c) Keeping yourself from thinking about all the things you’re worried about is the best way to fall asleep. But it isn’t always easy to do it. If you can’t stop thinking about something, writing about it is a good way to get all your thoughts out so you can rest easy. Thinking about what you have to do tomorrow just gets your mind going. If your mind is racing a mile a minute, try to focus your mind or write out your thoughts first.
5. How is your exercise routine?
a. I don’t have time to exercise.
b. I try and get at least 30 minutes of good exercise at least a few times a week.
c. I try to exercise, but I usually don’t get to exercise until the evening.
Answer: (b) When you get consistent exercise several times a week, your body is more able to regulate itself and get the sleep it needs. If you’re not exercising, your body will be sluggish, and you may not be able to sleep properly. When you exercise in the evening or at night, it can wake up your body so that you will not be able to sleep when you need to. Exercise in the morning when possible.
How did you do?
Were you surprised with any of the answers? If you have insomnia, it’s likely that there’s something you can do to improve your sleeping environment or improve upon your sleeping habits. Many of us don’t practice correct sleep hygiene, and that can be part of the cause of insomnia. If you have the signs and symptoms of insomnia, don’t despair. Take a good look at your habits and see if there’s something you can do to make sleep come a little more easily.