Insomnia is a problem which affects a large number of people. This state can be very draining, and sometimes even frustrating. You are tired, but simply cannot fall asleep? How can you deal with insomnia and finally have the rest you deserve? Read our suggestions.
What is insomnia?
Primarily, we need to clarify the term “insomnia”. Occasionally people say they suffer from insomnia although they are nowhere near this problem. Insomnia is an inability to supply the body with enough sleep in order to be fresh and rested in the morning. Insomnia is determined by the amount of sleep necessary to an individual. Still, there are several preconditions which indicate you suffer from insomnia:
- Find hard time to fall asleep even though you are very tired?
- Do you have difficulties with falling in sleep again once you wake up in the middle of the night?
- Do you wake up too early?
- Have you find a hard time concentrating during the day due to the lack of sleep?
- Can you fall asleep without sleeping pills or a drink?
- Do you wake up feeling tired?
- Do you experience mood swings, fatigue and a feeling you’re worn-out?
Causes of insomnia
Insomnia has various triggers. Psychological problems and emotional stress are some of the reasons. Anxiety and depression are the 2 main reasons. This category also includes anger, sadness, grief and trauma. Diseases can also be triggering factors like reflux or some drugs, they too can interfere with sleep. Sleeping disorder is a common source of this problem. Change in time zones or long-distance travels can trigger sleeping troubles as well.
Answer this questionnaire and deal with insomnia
If you answer “yes” to any of the proposed questions, it may indicate the cause of your inability to fall asleep.
- Is your sleep environment light and noisy?
- Do you watch TV, play video games or use a laptop/PC or a cell just before going to sleep?
- Do you drink caffeinated beverages before sleep?
- Do you have the standard bedtime?
- Do you eat or workout just before going to sleep?
As mentioned before, if you’ve answered any of these questions with “yes”, you should focus on that particular issue. It may seem not a big deal to you at first, but in reality, it matters a great deal. For instance, blue light is reported to reduce the level of melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone) and this affects sleep patterns. Also, exercising or any intense physical activity shouldn’t be practiced before bedtime. Relaxing activities are something you should resort to. Caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee shouldn’t be drunk at least 8 hours before going to sleep.
How to cope with insomnia
Try to develop a good bed routine, meaning – go to the bed and wake up at pretty much the same time every day. Avoid afternoon napping which can interfere with your sleep. A drink may help you sleep, but it may also affect the quality of sleep. Avoid late night meals, especially greasy food which takes too long to digest, not to mention it can cause problems to people who suffer from gallbladder problems. Besides smart decisions during the day, you can also introduce a pre-sleep routine which may help you to get a good night sleep. A place where you sleep needs to be quiet, darkened and colder. It has been proven that it’s much healthier to sleep in a cold room than in the heated one. Use the bed for sleeping and nothing else (not eating or watching TV). And when you have troubles falling asleep, don’t just lie on the bed helplessly, this will only make you more frustrating. It would be better to get up, read a book, drink a calming tea or do something else which relaxes you.
As you lie down, think how muscles relax, starting from your feet up to the top of your head. At the same time, make sure you’re taking deep breaths, i. e. breathe in and feel your stomach expands and then breathe out and push the stomach out. Breathe through your nose. Take a deep breath (inhale and exhale) at least 10 times. Don’t try to think too much about your (failed) attempts to get some sleep. Relaxation should be your top priority, not worries. Use visualization technique or write down your worries on a paper. They’ll still be where you’ve left them and then, after getting a good night sleep, you may think about your worries and ways how to solve them. You can also use some food supplements and then there is melatonin we’ve already mentioned, but it’s better you don’t take it as a supplement to avoid side-effects. A plant called valerian is a well-known component of numerous sleep-inducing products. But in this case, the rule is – more is more so don’t save up while buying valerian. If you rather go for sleeping pills, consult with your doctor first.
In case you cannot treat insomnia and it causes you huge problems at work and in communication with people in general, perhaps it would be best to seek professional help. Insomnia can tire you out, but the people around you also. Try some of our tactics for starters and we wish you the best of luck!
Translation: G. Dujmović