October 19, 2018 at 11:55 am · kailashmantry · 0 comments
October 19, 2018
Insomnia is characterized as a sleeping disorder which is synonymous with, difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. It can be short-term (acute) insomnia or long-term (chronic) insomnia. Insomnia treatment is not something that is common or permanent.
Insomnia in itself is a side effect. There is no medicine for insomnia or drug for insomnia that can cure it permanently. If you suffer from Insomnia or you are just curious, you can refer below for further information on what causes insomnia, how to deal with insomnia, how to avoid insomnia or how to cure insomnia/is insomnia curable?
One way to do that is to keep track of your sleep problems and patterns via a sleep diary. Better yet, seek some medical/psychological advice. Refer to the sample sleep diary that is shown below. Although you will need to personalize your sleep diary to adapt it to your own needs.
Fill in this diary every day if possible; it is better to jot down freshly etched memories before they are forgotten or before they get mixed up with other memories. Try to keep this routine of writing in the diary, going on for at least a couple of weeks. The diary will help you keep things into perspective and act as a useful tool to analyze and understand the impacting factors.
Get to know what stresses you out the most!
Either with the help of your sleep diary or any other method, identify your worst stressors. Then rate the level of stress it causes from a scale on 1 to 10 with 10 being extremely stressful.
Once you’ve identified the worst stressors, think of ways to minimize them. This will help you in Curing insominia Immensely. For example if you find traveling in rush hour traffic stressful, then try to manage your travel schedule in order to avoid peak hours and in turn avoid stress.
Living in the present i.e. “in the moment” and having a good presence of mind has shown to significantly reduce stress levels. As it is known we can’t change our past but we can shape our future.
By living in the present, one is able to perform better as one is not thinking or worrying about the past or the future. This is a mentally richer way of living life, as instead of doing things on autopilot; we can take the matter into our own hands and be more aware of our present feelings.
Adopting this method towards life will help you to manage your stress levels more efficiently.
List your worries and concerns –
Write a list of to-do things or problems and possible solutions, especially if anxiety prevents you from sleeping. Get it over with before bedtime so that you are free to sleep without any burden.
Creating a to-do list can assure that you stay more in control of your daily life and better organized as well. Although you don’t need to finish every task on your list in order to relieve your stress or that itself will cause you more stress.
As quoted by author Richard Carlson, “the purpose of life isn’t to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way”.
Be more social, reach out to others –
As proven, studies have shown that people with good social networks tend to enjoy comparatively better mental health. This is partly because of being able to share your issues and life problems with someone who either listens to you or offers you a solution/consoles you.
Social support during periods of stress reduces tension and offers emotional support too. So try to meet your friends often, stay in contact and be involved with your family to maintain good bonding. Also, try to improve and widen your social circle if possible.
Laughter is a cure and it is contagious –
Laughter, humor, smile or comedy, all are one and the same; they incite the same feeling of happiness and excitement. A good laugh relaxes the muscles in the upper body and puts us in a positive state of mind for the time being.
So be around funny people, find a comedy skit online and spread a little laughter yourself.
Get out, be outgoing –
Increase the number of your outdoor activities, such as hanging out with friends or going for a walk on your own, visiting the countryside or even just doing some chores outside such as gardening or running errands has been shown to boost your mood, lower your heart-rate.
Research has suggested that people living near greener areas enjoy a longer lifespan and better health compared to their city counterparts. While some experts believe that higher levels on negative ions near areas with running water, mountains, trees and more natural surroundings in general are responsible in part for our well being.
Also spending time outdoors during the day can help you to sleep better at night. Exposure to sunlight stops your brain from producing the hormone melatonin, making it easier for your body to fall asleep more easily and sleep more soundly.
Find joy in exercising –
Exercise is an activity that helps to keep our body fit and healthy. It also helps to reduce stress and enables the stress hormones with “flight or fight” response to be put to good use. Exercise comes in various forms and is not just limited to gyms.
Walking, doing household, even chores are exercises that have been shown to offer stress-relieving benefits. Although exercising at the wrong time can have adverse effects on one’s body. On the other hand, insufficient exercise can lead to restlessness, feeling low on energy and create sleep problems.
Relaxation is key –
Relaxation acts as an antidote for stress and helps in slowing down the breathing and heart rate, in turn calming the mind.
In today’s world, most of us skip sleep to gain time to be able to do things that we prioritize more, even though we know that it is not good for our health. Such a sacrifice is made regularly because the conditions demand it.
Things that help you relax are subjective but yoga and light music are one of the most common therapies for relaxation. So at the end of the day, if possible, one should allow time for relaxation out of the available recreational time. Make it a habit to do so, as it will help in releasing stress altogether.
Transcendental Meditation –
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a technique of meditation which involves closing your eyes and repeating the same word again and again, to yourself. For example, the age-old practice of saying “Om” and calling God’s name to soothe your own soul and mind.
TM has been shown to relieve stress if practiced daily. It is expected to reduce insomia and improve your overall sleep quality. It can be achieved through either of the following as well.
Breathing deeply – To help you relax at bedtime, try deep abdominal breathing. Inhale slowly through your nostrils while counting to three and expand your stomach progressively. Then hold till the count of 3 and slowly exhale through your mouth, while counting to 6 and flattening your stomach. Repeat a minimum of 5 times.
Relaxation of muscles – It’s a technique used to release tension from the muscles and it aids sleep. Example – Take a deep breath and create tension in your face, close eyes tightly, clench your fists, tense muscles in your arms, toes and tense feet then relax and breathe out.
Keep your body and brain cool –
During night time, our brain tries to lower the temperature of our body to slow down the metabolism and lower our energy consumption to conserve energy. So as to encourage our body to sleep, keep the sleeping room fairly cool (16-20 Degree Celsius) and airy.
If you are awoken by sudden hot breezes at night, sleep with a cotton sheet under the duvet, so you can throw the duvet off and still have a light cover for you.
Adhere to the created sleep schedule –
One of the successful strategies to treat insomania is, adhering to an established daily sleep routine. The quality of your sleep is drastically affected by rapid changes in your sleep patterns as it confuses the body clock whereas going to bed and getting up at a set time keeps the body clock functioning properly, so it is easier to fall asleep.
Although you can experiment with the amount of time you spend in bed to determine what length of sleeping time leads to the best sleep quality in your case
Affirm and calm yourself –
Affirming yourself before going to bed helps in reshaping our beliefs and changing behavior as long as it is a positive affirmation. It is more effective if you write it in the form of your goals or achievements that you are seeking and getting into bed feeling exhausted. But this can’t be done if you aren’t in a calm state of mind.
There is no feeling worse than the one you get when you get in bed feeling exhausted and looking forward to sleeping, but being unable to sleep easily because your mind won’t calm down or stop your train of thoughts. To achieve that calm state of mind, try imagining a peaceful setting, watching ASMR or other therapeutic videos.
Do not worry too much –
A few problems that are negligible during the day can seem highly problematic in the middle of the night when you are unable to sleep well. Your mind goes into overdrive, trying to think of a solution, even when there just doesn’t seem to be any.
Assuring your own self that there is nothing you can do about such a problem right now and go to sleep and worry about it tomorrow.
Visualization aids in sleeping –
Visualization helps to clear your mind of other thoughts by focusing on one particular thought. It is nothing new as we have been ‘counting sheep’ for centuries. Anything else which is similarly repetitive to it such as imagining climbing steps of a staircase while counting it; with each step leading to a deeper and deeper state of relaxation.
Don’t force yourself to sleep –
So it may seem that you have been trying to sleep for ages; you’ve tried all the earlier methods but none of them seem to work. What to do now? How to fall asleep now? All these questions keep troubling you.
So just do the opposite and use your energy
into doing other things and try not to sleep forcefully and let it come naturally. This is a much more stress relieving way of trying to sleep.
Turn your sleeping environment into a sanctuary –
Too much noise can disturb REM sleep, and most people sleep more soundly and find it easier to sleep in a quieter environment.
A double glazed window can help significantly, to reduce the noise levels inside the room. Earplugs too can help and be used as a temporary solution, especially if your partner or any family member sores.
Studies have shown that white noise helps most people sleep better compared to those who weren’t exposed to white noise.
White noise such as the sound of ocean waves or some quiet place, can be used to filter out background noise and encourage slower brain waves for improving your sleep overall. It doesn’t work for everyone though. Some people get disturbed by any kind of noise or the slightest noise during their sleep.
Avoid watching television or using computer, smart-phone right before bedtime as it can over-stimulate the brain. The light emitted by those devices can interfere with the production of hormones that regulate the sleep/wake cycle.
Sleep on a good bed –
Around a third of our lives are spent in our beds, yet most of us pay very little attention to whether they are comfortable, sleep enhancing and supportive or not. If you wake up with aches and pains it is a sign that you are not able to sleep well in your bed.
Generally, you should replace your bed at least every 8 years. You should change the mattresses too as soon as they start to sag or become uncomfortable and lumpy. Lastly, don’t forget to change or choose a pillow that shall provide support for the neck and head and keep your spine in line with your neck.
Create a bedtime routine –
Even though we spend time preparing for sleep, both physically and mentally, before bedtime and view it as a pleasure-able activity, we hardly unwind or have time to unwind before bedtime. In order to do that, we should try to establish a routine adapted to suit our needs and helps us to unwind. It could include having a sip of your favorite drink, listening to relaxing music, taking a hot shower, reading or anything else that soothes your mind and body.
Doing recreational activities before bedtime in a restricted manner is ok as long as until it helps you to relieve stress and doesn’t over exercise your brain. Your brain will automatically start to link these events with sleep, making it easier for you to doze off.
Reducing light exposure helps your body ease to sleep mode by increasing the production of the sleep hormone ‘melatonin’.
Limit the time you spend in bed –
If you spend a lot of time in your bed lying awake while watching something or just simply lying down, then try to reduce the number of hours you spend in your bed. Only approach your bed if you are sleepy or going to try to sleep.
This trains your brain to associate your bed with sleep as you will be using your bed to sleep most of the time. You should then approximately work out the amount of time you spend sleeping or consult your sleep diary if you have made one.
Decide what time you would/should get up. The goal is to establish a regular sleep pattern. Follow your natural sleep instincts.
Don’t keep tracking clock time –
In case if you wake at night and are trying to sleep again, do not look at the clock and stress yourself about how much time of sleep you have left as this can exercise your brain and delay your sleep. Try instead, to shut your eyes lightly and breathe deeply and slowly to put yourself back to sleep.
Summarized tips to sleep better –
Wear earplugs or earmuffs to block out any sort of noises that would disturb your sleep.
Try not to divide your sleep into multiple blocks of time.
Stay away from any devices of entertainment to avoid distraction before sleeping.
Make use of curtains or blinds, eye mask, to encourage your body to sleep by producing the sleep hormone.
Breathe deeply and slowly, do not procrastinate.
Keep your blood sugar balanced –
If you eat in a way that helps to keep your blood sugar steady during the daytime, it will help to ensure that your sleep isn’t disrupted by hunger. Do not overeat before bedtime as it is prone to cause discomfort while sleeping. Overeating will probably also cause an increase in your body temperature, making it a bit harder to fall asleep.
Similarly, do not eat too little either as you won’t have enough nutrients that the body needs to repair itself and hunger pangs can keep you from falling asleep or wake you up in the middle of the night.
Low glycaemic index (GI) foods take longer to digest and make us feel full for a longer time. GI refers to the rate by which a food raises the blood sugar level in the body. So high GI carbohydrates such as bread, cakes, sweets, etc cause blood sugar to rise rapidly whereas low GI carbohydrates such as porridge, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta and brown rice, multi-grain bread keep the blood sugar steady, which releases the glucose slowly and you are less likely to be woken up by hungry tummy during the night.
Eat Tryptophan & Vitamin B rich foods –
Tryptophan is an amino acid used by our body to make serotonin. Bananas are rich in tryptophan and are thus suitable as an evening snack. Low serotonin levels in the body are linked to inducing depression. Insomnia is one of the symptoms of depression. Serotonin not only calms the body, but it also encourages the body to make melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
Tryptophan can also be found in carbohydrate-rich meals. So, a carbohydrate evening meal containing brown rice or pasta or chicken and leafy vegetables shall provide a good night’s sleep. Eating a light carbohydrate snack before bedtime would curb your hunger and thus help in sleep well too.
Vitamin B is necessary for a healthy nervous system and to obtain relief, sound sleep. Vitamin B is involved in the control of tryptophan in our bodies. If Vitamin B rich foods still don’t help treat your sleep problems, then it is worth tying Vitamin B supplements to curb your body’s need.
Consume foods that contain magnesium–
Magnesium can act as a natural tranquilizer. Sometimes, waking up early in the morning can be attributed to the lack of magnesium. Insufficient magnesium has been linked to insomnia.
To ensure that your daily magnesium intake is adequate, eat a lot of leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, oats, peas, tomato puree and yeast extract. Avoid fizzy drinks as they contain phosphates that interfere with magnesium absorption.
Eat calcium and enriched foods –
The deficiency of calcium in the body often shows up in the form of insomnia or the inability to relax. Calcium has been linked with improved sleep. Dairy foods, low-fat milk, hard cheese and yogurt are great sources of calcium-rich foods. Green leafy vegetables such as watercress, parsnips, figs, dates, dried apricots, oats, lentils, beans, almonds, tofu and soya can also prove to be a rich source of calcium.
To increase your calcium absorption, sprinkle leafy vegetables with a little ordinary vinegar. It is recommended that your daily calorie intake should not exceed more than 2000-2500 mg. A higher will interfere with the absorption of other minerals.
Increase the intake of iron –
Iron absorption can be improved by increasing the intake of Vitamin C. Any deficiency of iron in the body is synonymous with restless leg syndrome, which is a type of sleep disruptor. Try to eat more vegetables, fruit or fruit juice with your meals. Tuna, salmon, sardines, eggs, liver meat, poultry, whole-meal bread, nuts and dry fruits are extremely good sources of iron.
Don’t drink too much liquid right before going to bed –
To avoid making trips to the bathroom, it is better to not drink large quantities of liquid before bedtime. Although a warm milky drink in light quantity can be consumed as it contains both tryptophan as well as calcium to soothe and to help the body relax.
Semi-skimmed or skimmed milk is best because they contain less fat and places less burden on the digestive system.
Tyramine should be avoided –
Tyramine is an amino acid that promotes the release of a chemical, norepinephrine. Norepinephrine has a stimulant effect on the body and it may interfere with sleep in some individuals. Thus, avoid eating foods that contain tyramine which include potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines and spinach.
Refrain from drinking too much coffee –
Caffeine is a strong stimulant with long-lasting effects that fill you with high energy. Even a single cup of coffee at bedtime can create sleep problems and lower sleep quality, affecting deep sleep, the most. A cup of tea too is not advisable before bedtime.
Try prescribed medication –
There are various herbal and other supplements that reportedly induce restful sleep and you can try them as a last option. Although, if you don’t notice any improvement within three weeks it is unlikely it will work in the future; In that case it is better to discontinue them. Sleeping pills can be a temporary solution though.
These remedies are still medicines and just like medicines they are prone to have side effects as well. So it is better to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Find out whether you have a sleep disorder –
Sleeping disorders are associated with low quality of sleep, and insomnia. It is essential to know about the most common sleep disorders, so that one can determine if it is the root cause of their sleep problems.
They include snoring, sleep apnea, sleep-related movement disorders, circadian rhythm disorders, night cramps, nightmares, narcolepsy, etc.
Essential oils can help you sleep better –
Roots, stalks, leaves and flowers of plants are the providers of essential oils. Scents released from essential oils affect the hypothalamus which is a part of the brain that controls glands and hormonal system. It influences the mood and lowers stress levels. This is the theory that aromatherapy is based on.
When used during baths, massages and compresses, the essential oils are absorbed into the body’s bloodstream and transferred to our organs and glands which benefit from its healing effect. Essential oils have been known to help induce sleep.
Try sprinkling a few drops of neat oil on your pillow before sleeping to fully benefit from its calming, soothing, sedative properties. During the day, using lavender oil can help reduce stress.
Acupuncture and acupressure –
Acupuncture and acupressure are both based on the same idea. Acupressure can be understood as ‘acupuncture without needles’. Both are based on the idea that life energy flows through channels in the body as meridians. Disruption of flow along any such point can lead to illness.
Stimulating specific acupuncture/acupressure points can relieve both pain and nausea as supported by scientific evidence. However evidence suggests acupuncture and related treatments might help insomnia too by relieving stress.
Reflexology can be relaxing –
The idea that our body has a few energy/reflex zones on feet, hands and head that run are linked with every other part of the body is referred to as, reflexology.
It is believed that these zones will adversely affect the functioning of organs, glands, bones and muscles that lie within it. Stimulating the zones with fingers and thumbs break down the granular deposits; releasing the flow of energy, encouraging self-healing in the affected parts of the body.
Massaging is an old technique, yet just as effective, even today for reducing stress. Basic massaging techniques such as stroking, kneading, friction, hacking and playing some relaxing music in the background can enhance your state of relaxation.
Yoga as a stress release –
Yoga is a form of exercise that indirectly helps you to relax by taking your mind off your worries. Yoga is ideally practiced early in the morning/evening to be able to wind down before your bedtime. Yoga helps in strengthening the body and increases flexibility. Yoga for sleeplessness acts as a stress reliever, more physically than mentally.
The relaxation provided by yoga can promote sound sleep, relieve stress and tension, ease pains and help to calm our mind. Thus, yoga is highly recommended if you have problems falling asleep. You can learn yoga by attending classes run by a qualified instructor.
Note – Dark circles, always feeling sleepy, low energy are all insomnia symptoms. There are a few Indian home remedies for good sleep, but none are permanent cures.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PROFESSIONAL CURE:
We would like to let you know that we provide medicine free cure for sleepness/insomnia at Kailash Mantry Health Care Centre. You can also watch the insomnia video that we have uploaded on youtube.