Have you ever lain in bed for hours before you actually get to sleep?
Have you ever been too tired to function, work, have a conversation or even just get through your day?
Ever had to avoid social activities because you know you wouldn’t have the energy for it?
You’re not alone in this. Insomnia affects a lot of people, but luckily there are some ways to defeat it.
Tips For Dealing With Insomnia
You have spent countless nights being restless in bed, trying to find a way to fall asleep. Then, you finally drift off to sleep hours later, the slightest noise or movement jars you awake once again. It is a frustrating scenario, and unfortunately, it plays over and over again, night after night.
You know by now what it’s like when you don’t get a solid night sleep: tiredness, irritability and a loss of concentration are high in the side effects list for insomnia. Therefore, it is important that you find an insomnia cure as soon as possible.
Aromatherapy helps some people relax; experiment with scents such as lavender or chamomile to help you sleep. You could spray some essential fragrance oil on your sheets or light up some aroma candles. Juniper and pine, for example, are sleep aids because they are reminiscent of deep forests and Christmas – certainly comforting associations.
Although Aromatherapy will not totally cure your insomnia (you will have to find its root cause) it will go a long way to helping you.
Lavander is one of the best known of the aromatherapy essential oils. It is known for its relaxing effects. Some studies have been found to reduce depression and anxiety. Lavander oil is made by the steam distillation of the lavender flower. The oil is also often used in the production of perfumes.
Jasmine is also a well-known essential oil. The fragrance of Jasmine has been described as sweet and relaxing. Many people also drink Jasmine tea; this is nice to drink before bed for its calming effect, and will work as a light sleep aid.
Lemon Oil (Yuzu Citrus Scent) has recently been found to be beneficial to relaxation and sleep. The studies done on this have been performed in Japan. The studies have found that Yuzu Citrus scent will lower your heart rate and anxiety levels in just ten minutes. Yuzu is a type of lemon which is found in asia, and it is also very important to asian cuisine. Traditionally, as far back as the 18th century, the Japanese would use Yuzu in their hot baths.
Stop smoking! Nicotine is a stimulant and has been linked to many sleep problems. In one recent study, smokers were more likely to report problems falling and staying asleep compared to non-smokers. Similar to caffeine, nicotine is both a drug and a stimulant. It impacts the ability of a person to fall asleep, and effects the quality of sleep.
Smoking will change your natural circadian rhythm. That is, it will knock your body’s natural clock out of sync. It was found in a study that mice who were subject to tobacco smoke had a huge disruption to their natural circadian clock. This could lead to depression and anxiety.
Smokers also wake up more frequently during the night and have more restless sleep. There was a study done on this by scientists at John Hopkins University. Using an EEG they discovered that the brain patterns of the smokers had less deep sleep than the non-smoker and the non-smokers had more restful sleep.
Because of all this many smokers suffer from insomnia.
Natural Supplements and Sleep Aids
There are different types of sleep aids available as pills, some contains harmful ingredients, some are addictive but the best are the herbal pills. They are much safer and better than the synthetic ones. Pills based on herbs can improve your health because they are nutritious and healthy.
As for supplements, there are two excellent natural choices for sleep help — melatonin and 5-htp. Next time you have trouble falling asleep, consider using melatonin as a viable alternative to standard sleeping medication, gently inducing sleep without the ‘morning grogginess’ associated with drugs. 5-htp increases the brain chemical serotonin, known for improving mood and relaxation. Each can be taken 15-45 minutes before your bedtime.
Regular, long-term use of drugs and sleeping medications can have a negative effect on your sleep cycle. In essence, your body forgets how to fall asleep naturally. You begin to rely upon the drugs and truly believe that you can’t get to sleep without them. If you try to stop taking the sleeping pills, your insomnia will return with full force.
In the short-term, a sleeping pill may well ease your sleeping problem, but as an aid to dealing with insomnia naturally it’s important that you have some understanding of the multitude of side effects from their use – dependence being one example.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol turns into sugar in your bloodstream and will keep you awake, or at least keep your body fighting off the sugar, all night. Not as bad as caffeine, perhaps, but still an issue. It is going to impair your sleep.
At first the alcohol may act as a stimulant as the brain will experience many feel-good chemicals as soon as it’s consumed. Soon however it will begin acting as a depressant and at higher levels of blood-alcohol levels this could be dangerous.
Drinking excessive alcohol before sleep seems to have a “rebound effect” that means you will sleep deeper for the first part of the night, but then become more restless at later parts of the night. Alcohol interferes with sleep homeostasis, which is the body’s natural sleep-regulating mechanism.
A lot of people have problems when they combine their prescription medication with alcohol, especially if they are on sleep medication. You will often have warnings on the medications instructions advising you to avoid alcohol while taking them, and these instructions should be obeyed.
It is overwhelmingly clear now that alcohol should NOT be used as a sleep aid. Alcohol will disrupt your sleep and will impair the quality of your sleep.
Recovering alcoholics will often also have sleep problems. They may be able to initially get to sleep easily, but then their sleep will be disturbed later on in the night.
They will also have less deep sleep. These sleep problems could affect the recovering alcoholics for months.
Stress is a huge factor in insomnia. People who spend some time relaxing and not worrying about their problems allow their body lessen the levels of stress hormones, they will begin to feel better about their problems.
Not all insomnia is due to stress, but people who are under a lot of stress can have insomnia.
If you want to know if your insomnia is due to stress, you can simply ask yourself the question “When did it start?” If your insomnia started around the time your stress started then that may be the problem.
To start dealing with your insomnia you must know that you must deal with the underlying cause of it. Deal with your stress.
There are a few ways to deal with stress and a very good way is with mediation. Meditation does not have to take much time, just 15 minutes per day can go a long way to helping you. There are many meditation tutorials available on YouTube and Google.
Meditation is very simple to practice, and you can learn how very easily. Meditation has more benefits than just reducing stress, many people report improved physical health, and that their mind is clearer and their thinking is sharper.
You must also be able to control stress at your place of work. Many people who are under stress say that their job is a main source of it. Sometime the stress is caused by excessive workloads, tight deadlines, unfriendly colleagues, and lack of social support.
You must take time to recharge from all this, and find some healthy responses to the stressors.
There are many herbal teas available that can help you relax and have a good night’s sleep.
Chamomile Tea is a favourite. It is well known as a relaxing herbal tea, nice to drink before sleep. The tea is made from dried chamomile flowers infused with hot waters. You can buy this in many health food shops. Chamomile is currently under preliminary research for its anti-anxiety properties. It is often cited as the best tea for sleep and also has some anti-depressant qualities.
Valerian Tea is also known as a favourite sleep aid. Valerian tea will be much stronger than Chamomile, and is used mostly for people who find it more difficult to sleep. There have been studies done on valerian tea to find that it is more potent that Chamomile tea as a sleep aid. Valerian root is a strong natural sedative. The use of Valerian root as a sleep aid goes a long way back. Right back to the second century. It was known to reduce anxiety and help sleep quality.
Decaf Green Tea is a nice option for a bedtime tea. Decaf tea includes theanine, which is known for reducing stress and improving sleep. A study done on this has found that people who took theanine before bed reported that they had a much better sleep quality and woke up more rested and refreshed.
Lavander Tea reduces stress and anxiety, and its essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Lavender tea seems to have much stronger effects on women. It also has an anti-depressant effect and helps eliminate day-time fatigue.
Medical Causes of Insomnia
There are a lot of medical conditions which can lead to insomnia. They make it difficult or impossible for a person to fall asleep.
Some conditions that cause insomnia are sinus allergies, arthritis, asthma and chronic pain. In these cases the medical condition must be treated, then the sufferer may be able to get back to having good sleep.
Insomnia and Mental Health
Mental health conditions such as depression could lead to insomnia. In many cases the person may not be able to sleep because of the struggles of dealing with their depression. For example, many depression sufferers could have intrusive thoughts that cause them a lot of distress.
Insomnia is more prevalent in people who suffer from Major Depressive Disorders.
Depression can also lead to low energy, loss of motivation, and overwhelming negative emotions.
It is now known by the medical community that there is a link between insomnia and depression.
The lack of sleep experienced by someone who suffers from depression may make their depression worse, it must be known, though, that depression is treatable by support from doctors and from family.
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