Insomnia Improvement Guide
Do you have a hard time falling asleep at night even when you are extremely tired? Or do you have gaps in your sleep where you end up staying awake until morning time? If yes, then this article may help you get some answers on how to improve your sleep outlook. Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders in our world today and is something that can be solved if addressed in the correct way.
Insomnia can usually take a huge toll on a persons mood, energy levels and the ability to maintain an optimum psych as you work and function during the day. Also, when the situation gets to chronic levels, it can affect your health.
That is why you need to be aware of what insomnia truly is and better understand how to deal with it. Luckily, we have compiled a list of simple home remedies that will help you be in a better position to deal with your sleeping problem.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is the inability to stay asleep at night or indeed to fall asleep in the first instance. However, since everyone requires a different level of sleep, then insomnia can be redefined by the level and quality of sleep you are able to achieve. Generally the lower the quality and quantity of sleep you achieve on a nightly basis the more severe the effects will be.
Even if you spend around eight hours asleep every night, as long as you wake up feeling drowsy in the morning time then that can also be defined as insomnia.
Even though insomnia is a simple sleep disorder, it’s not a single entity. In most cases, you can regard insomnia as a symptom of a much bigger problem. The underlying problem that will cause insomnia to develop, usually differs from one individual to the next.
Either way the end result leads to exhausting mornings and other side effects for the person involved.
Some of the problems that usually result in insomnia include;
Stress can be caused by various different reasons. From school work, finances or family. Some of these problems will result in you staying up all night long as your mind races and frets. Unfortunately, stress is something we cannot simply avoid. Scientists have established that we have a flight or fight response pre -programmed to enable us to deal with certain situations. While this is true on a basic level i.e we will run from a tiger and also protect our family, we have advanced as humans in the sense that we have the ability to improve and develop our analytical awareness, problem solving abilities and planning.
We only need to learn how to deal with stressful situations in a better way in order to feel better and sleep better. Continue reading and we will show you what to do when stress levels start affecting your sleep and life in general.
Sleeping is directly related to your circadian rhythm. This rhythm helps when it comes to letting your body know when to sleep and when to wake up. Therefore, this rhythm is important to your sleeping routine. With that in mind, whatever will affect your rhythm will in the end cause problems to your sleep pattern. Work can be demanding sometimes especially if you have to travel long distances. The change in time zones can and does have an effect on your circadian rhythm. That’s actually where the word jet lag came from initially.
An irregular sleep pattern is one of the major causes of insomnia. Poor sleeping habits will take a toll on your sleep pattern and so result in a greater chance of insomnia developing. Other poor sleeping habits include uncomfortable sleeping environments, eating late, watching TV all night in to the early hours, video games when it’s almost sleeping time amongst many others. Although some of these things can be a bye product of insomnia in themselves. For example a person worrying about paying their rent or mortgage or some other loan may use these elements as an escape valve rather than actually focussing on establishing a way to solve their debt issue.
Eating Too Much
We all have a certain food intake capacity which is unique to us. You might think your friend is eating too much but within reason he or she may be eating just the right amount for their body. Therefore, we need to know and establish what amount is okay for us to eat. When you end up eating too much, it will affect your sleeping habits especially if it’s late in the evening or before bed. Eating the wrong type of foods like sugary foods before bed will also impact on your body’s ability to unwind and switch into sleep mode.
There are certain medications that can actually interfere with your sleeping routine. This will cause you to experience insomnia at night. Such medications include the ones used to treat allergies, colds, high blood pressure, and depression among others. You need to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if the situation gets out of hand as you may need a change your prescription or try an approach more in line with the natural rhythm of your body.
If you’ve recently experienced stroke, you are bound to have insomnia whenever you think about the situation again it can be frightening. This can be depressing and sometimes result in emotional trauma. If you are a recent patient who has just suffered stroke, then you need to check in with your psychiatrist or someone you can trust in order to discuss your feelings and observations. This will help you get the required help. Don’t hide your problems, fears or apprehension.
Alcohol, Nicotine or Caffeine
Lots of people love to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. The aroma that comes from an espresso machine is something that will give many people a joyful lift before starting the day. But most people don’t realise that coffee is best taken in the morning. It will give you the energy you need to keep going the entire day. When you take a cup of coffee in the evening, the energy that you are supposed to use to continue with your daily routines, means you are bound to end up using it to stay awake all night.
Alcohol is another big issue when it comes to your health. Alcohol is a mind altering substance and has been linked to depression in countless people. If you get used to taking alcohol every night, what happens the day you don’t have that liquor? The effect is that you will end up staying awake all night. So you will be much better served by avoiding the temptation to turn to alcohol to get you to sleep.
Nicotine like alcohol and coffee is another addictive chemical found in cigarettes and more recently vaping pens and it is worth noting that it can also be another contributor to your insomnia situation.
As much as we would love to stay young forever, age catches up with us all eventually. There’s very little you can do when it comes to age and insomnia. But there are a few ideas that you can try and they will make your time easier. We’ll be discussing them soon.
Types of Insomnia
Primary Insomnia; this is a type of insomnia that is not associated with any other type of disease or disorder. That means that the only thing that is ailing you is insomnia itself.
Secondary Insomnia; on the other hand, secondary insomnia is a type of insomnia that has a direct link to other sleep and health problems. These can be things like asthma, heartburn, cancer, depression, arthritis among others. It could also be because of pain the patient is experiencing or even the type of medication or substance they are taking for instance alcohol.
Chronic Insomnia Vs Acute Insomnia
In other cases, insomnia may vary depending on how often and how long it occurs for. It can either be long term (chronic) or even short term (acute). As well as that, insomnia can actually appear in some instances and go at other times depending on certain times when someone has no issue related to their sleep. Other times, the acute insomnia can last from just a single night all the way to a few weeks. And the only time your insomnia will be categorized as acute is when it happens at least for three nights in a whole week or even longer.
So, above all how do you know that you are suffering from insomnia, well here’s how you will know. Some of the symptoms of insomnia include;
- Inability to sleep
- Waking up during the night
- Feeling of anxiety and worry
- Low concentration levels and poor memory
- Tiredness during the day
- Sleepiness when you are required to be awake
There are of course other symptoms so if you are unsure about your particular situation please contact a sleep specialist or other suitably qualified person. Now let’s mention some ways in which you can improve your insomnia using simple lifestyle changes.
Ways in Which You Can Curb Insomnia
When it comes to insomnia, treating all the underlying physical and mental issues is a good thing but it’s not always good enough when you need to cure insomnia fully. Before anything else you need to be careful and keep track of your daily habits. This is because some of the things most people do in order to cope with insomnia could actually be making their situation worse.
A good example of this is; some of the people who have to deal with insomnia use sleeping pills prescribed to them to fall asleep or even self-prescribed alcohol as a substitute in some cases. But what they don’t know is that such habits tend to disrupt the body’s sleep cycle even more in the long term.
Maybe the reason why you are insomniac in the first place is because you are drinking a lot of coffee during the day or you have irregular sleeping schedules, irregular exercising routines or you are exercising too late in the day.
In that case, poor day time habits as well as a poor nightly sleep will equally contribute to you being an insomniac. And when left untreated this may contribute to a viscous sleep cycle and may make it even harder to correct the whole situation. Therefore, making sure that you change the disruptive habits that are causing sleeplessness is more than enough step to curb your insomnia.
At first it may take a few days or even weeks for your body to get adapted but once it does you will eventually sleep better than you ever imagined. To start with, a comfortable, quiet and relaxing bedtime environment and routine will always ensure that you have incredible nightly sleep without having to worry about insomnia. This will not only help you sleep better but will always improve the quality of sleep that you get on a nightly basis.
1. Ensure That Your Bedroom is Dark, Quiet and Cool
In most cases, the actual reason why you can’t sleep well is either your bedroom is too noisy, has too much light or even a very uncomfortable mattress. And this will definitely disrupt your sleep. In that case, if you would like to improve your sleep outlook, you can try using ear plugs or a white noise sound machine in order to block noise from the external sources as you sleep.
You can also try using an eye mask to block out the light, open windows or leave the fan running so that the room remains cool. In other cases, you are advised to experiment with different levels of mattresses firmness, pillows and foam toppers until you get the best selection for you. At the end of the day this helps you to sleep more comfortably.
2. Avoid Naps and Stick to a More Regular Sleep Cycle
You are the only person who can support and train your biological clock. In that case, you need to support it by either going to bed or waking up at the same time every single day including the weekends. Therefore, even if you feel tired, ensure that you wake at the same time every single morning. This way, it will be easier for you to get back to your normal sleep rhythm.
Also, it’s better if you avoid sleeping during the day. This is because it will be harder for you to fall asleep during the night. If you can’t help but take a nap, ensure it’s not any longer than 30 minutes long, and it should be strictly before 3pm in the afternoon.
3. Keep The Screens Off at Least an Hour Before Going to Bed
As far as electronic screens are concerned, they emit blue light that tends to disrupt the production of melatonin in your body. In that case, you are more likely to encounter difficulty sleeping after using these blue light devices. If you are trying to deal with your insomnia, you’d be much better served by reading a book or listening to soft music instead of watching TV or spending time on your computer, phone or tablet.
At the same time, try to avoid engaging in any strenuous or stressful activities right before bed. If you are wondering what I’m talking about, avoid any arguments with your spouse, checking messages on social media or catching up on incomplete work. If you can, just postpone everything you need to do before bed until the early morning.
4. Learn How to Neutralize Your Insomnia Anxiety
In most cases, when you realize that you can barely sleep, this may in many ways invade your thoughts from there on. By this we mean that you will now start dreading going to bed since at the end of the day you will toss and turn in bed until it is 2am and you still can’t catch any sleep it seems.
Therefore, to deal with such agonizing thoughts, you need to learn how to associate your bedroom with relaxation and not lack of sleep and learn to redirect your thoughts to other elements more conducive to sleep.
Let your mind know that the bedroom is entirely for sleep. Keep away anything else that may be a distraction and things will get a lot easier for you over time. This includes keeping your bedroom clock out of view. Looking at the minutes or sound tick during the night when you can barely sleep may only get you more frustrated and anxious.
Also, if you can’t sleep at all, don’t force it. Get out of bed and do something relaxing like taking a bath or reading a book. When you are sleepy once again you can get back to the bedroom and sleep.
In most cases, you may try most of these self-care remedies and they may fail. This is not a reason to give up trying to curb and deal with your insomnia. You can still schedule an appointment with your sleep specialist and get professional help. This is especially true if being an insomniac, or having trouble sleeping is taking a big toll on your overall health as well as mood. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one of the best and most effective ways for addressing insomnia without any risks or side effects. It’s worth checking out.
If you found this article useful please like share and comment. Do you suffer from difficulty sleeping and have you found a unique and effective solution? If so please share it so other people reading can benefit.
Checkout the many other posts on the Snorefocus Blog Page