Being unable to sleep, getting up numerous times each night, or awakening too early is frustrating.
Many individuals suffer from one, or more, of the conditions listed above. All are considered a form of insomnia and insomnia runs the gamut from not falling asleep to awakening too early with many types of insomnia in between. It affects millions of individuals chronically each year. Some individuals battle it for a lifetime. People worry more now than ever before, while working more than ever before and are chronically sleep deprived even if they do not suffer from insomnia. One of the oddest things about insomnia is that the more sleep deprived and tired one becomes, the more difficult it might be to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Busy people tend to worry more and take their worries to bed with them each night. In addition, women tend to suffer from insomnia more than men, and researchers are not sure why.
Food, caffeine, and alcohol can all trigger insomnia as they affect brain chemistry.
Sugar has long been known as a pick-me-up so should be avoided before bedtime. Too many cups of coffee or other caffeinated drinks during the day can trigger insomnia. Although many individuals do believe that alcohol can relax them and help them unwind, it does the opposite when it comes to sleep. It not only contains sugar, but alcohol blunts some brain chemicals needed for a restful slumber. Another big factor and one that cannot be avoided is having to work nights. This disrupts the body’s Circadian Rhythm which is the sleep/wake cycle of our body clocks. Once this is disrupted a pattern for sleeping is not established internally within the body. Over the long-haul sleep deprivation has serious consequences and needs to be addressed. Both mental and physical maladies occur when restful sleep is not obtained for months or years. Depression can occur mentally, and oftentimes weight gain also occurs which brings with it, heart disease, diabetes, and other physical problems and diseases.
There are ways to address insomnia either through sleeping pills or natural sleep aids.
Many individuals who only have mild, intermittent problems sleeping resort to home remedies to help them sleep better. They might drink a glass or warm milk, or have a cup of chamomile tea, both of which are touted by many in helping them overcome sleeplessness. Other individuals will turn to melatonin which is wildly popular for assisting in sleep, or valerian root. All the home remedies, however, show no scientific evidence that they may assist, and like with melatonin, there can be side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and headache. Melatonin can also sometimes create anxiety or exacerbate depression, and this is noted on the back of the bottle as a precaution to those with existing mental conditions. If insomnia is extremely chronic and long-lasting, a trip to the physician is advised for sleeping pills or some type of sedative. Although too many sedatives can lead to addiction, taking one per day does not prove to be addictive, although they do lose the power to relax a person once a person’s body becomes used to the medications.
Clearing one’s mind before sleep is highly recommended with or without pills or home remedies.
Meditation is a good way to relax and clear away worries and any psychologist or doctor usually recommends learning some sort of meditation. Turning off all interactive devices, such as the TV, cell phone, and computers also help. It is never a good idea to be playing a video game or watching a riveting show or streamed video before attempting to sleep. These devices and activities engage one’s mind and “rev” it up so to speak, and even though a person might feel relaxed while engaging in these activities before bed, once in bed, the mind will not shut off automatically. Brain chemistry is a tricky thing and cannot be plugged and unplugged at will!
Individuals on a whole sleep less now than they did a century ago. They also nap more.
Because the public is overworked, overly worried, and overly stressed much of the time, individual snow surprisingly enough take at least one twenty-minute nap each day. Many do not admit to doing so but almost 40 percent of working adults do nap each day. This does not enhance sleep but instead disrupts it even more. No matter how tired one becomes napping makes sleeping at night even more difficult and should be avoided at all costs. Instead, try to regulate your Circadian rhythm by establishing a great sleep/wake cycle and stick to the same bedtime and wake up time each day even on weekends. A good solid schedule never hurts in the battle against insomnia.