Much More Common Than You Might Think
Insomnia, or trouble sleeping can be much more than just aggravating or depressing. It can have an overall effect on your health and wellbeing.
Tired, but can't sleep? Becoming agitated and physically restless? Turning this way and that trying to get comfortable? Thinking about tomorrow and worrying about the future?
Exhausted and fatigued this is the process that goes on all night long for people suffering from the problem of falling asleep.
Sleep that used to come naturally to you when you were a baby now seems to allude every effort you try to make. Any of this sound familiar?
Recent studies have shown that approximately 25 million Americans suffer from chronic insomnia.
Some reasons for these sleepless nights include:
Restless Leg Syndrome
- Circadian Rhythm disorders
- Alcohol and other drug abuse
- Life changes and/or life stressors
- Sleep Apnea
Consult with your medical practitioner in order to determine the exact cause of your sleep problems.
He or she may order a sleep study, depression screen, check social stressors, order a blood panel to check mineral and vitamin deficiencies, or any number of interventions to identify a cause and get your sleep patterns back on track.
In the meantime here are a few suggestions on how to reclaim your
- Eat plenty of curd or drink a glass of water with 2 teaspoons of honey for insomnia.
- Drink Chamomile Tea an hour before bedtime and take Valerian root with it.
- Before going to bed eat 1 ounce of protein, 1 ounce of cheese and 5 grapes.
- Stay away from alcohol as a sleep aid. Studies have shown that once asleep an individual does not reach the restorative level of sleep that results in feeling well rested in the morning.
- Exercising regularly does a great job of regulating sleep cycles. But do not exercise within two hours of bedtime.
- Don't watch TV in bed and make your room dark. Lights out.
- Take a shower or bath before bed.
- Get out of bed if you haven't fallen asleep within 15 minutes. Once out of bed do not turn on the TV, get on the computer, listen to stimulating music, or turn on a bunch of lights or anything else that stimulates your brain into high gear.
- Once out of bed sit quietly, meditate on emptying your mind, listen to quiet relaxing music or try light reading.
- Stay away from caffeine.
Here are some relaxation techniques which can help when fighting insomnia:
- Imagine (feel) your body becoming extremely heavy and is being pushed into the mattress because of its increasing weight. Your whole body including all limbs are totally immovable, no matter how hard you try to raise your arm or move your leg.
- Then imagine (feel) your body to be lighter than air and floating up into the sky with the clouds. You are completely weightless.
- Then imagine that all your joints are connected with strings like a puppet would have. Imagine (feel) your forearms dangling at the elbows. Imagine (feel) every part of your body dangling by only a tread swaying back and forth as the wind or gravity might cause it.
- Then imagine (feel) that your whole body is completely full of air. Let the air out slowly of each body part feeling the sensation of that body part sinking in as the air is released. First the right foot, then the left, next the right leg and so on. Collapse every body part in as the air is slowly let out all the way to your head.
- As you do each of the steps imagine every body part, small and big, including toes, fingers, trunk, etc.
Other insomnia techniques include:
- When you lay down to sleep try consciously to deepen and lengthen your breathing patterns - shoot for five second inhales and five second exhales.
- Take a deep breath and hold it while you tense up the muscles throughout your entire body and hold for 30 seconds. Exhale and relax repeating three times.
- Purchase a CD designed for sleep
- Don't take daytime naps and learn about reducing stress in your life.
Too many nights with insomnia can lead to many problems. After just two nights without sleep intervention probably is needed.
If worse comes to worse your doctor can prescribe many effective medications used for sleep including Ambien, Temazine, Sonata, Remeron, Benadryl and others.
Take good care of yourself - a good night sleep is a valuable gift you can give to yourself.
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