How To Treat Insomnia? is the biggest question facing people worldwide? Let’s go through this article and be aware of the facts related to this sleeping disorder.
It was 3 am. Lisa was still wide awake. She couldn’t get sleep even though she was tired with the constant busyness, meetings, deadlines, household chores during the whole day. She kept tossing and turning on the bed till 12. Later, she tried watching TV, reading a business magazine and chatting on social media portals. But everything was in vain. There were no signs of sleep.
The next day she felt drowsy and extremely sleepy while making coffee. Even a clean bath couldn’t remove her drowsiness. Two cups of coffee had not played the role of keeping her alert and stimulating her to work. Another office day passed in extreme sluggishness and complete absence of enthusiasm.
“Try yoga in early morning. It will kick off the drowsiness completely.”
“Drink a glass of soya milk or cow milk at night.”
“Try reading a boring magazine or a newspaper. It works.”
“Meditate at 4.30 in the morning for at least 15 minutes. Know about yourself.”
“Cut off tea and coffee from your regime.”
The suggestions and advice poured in but Lisa was not able to get rid of the rigid disorder called INSOMNIA. She wished she had the habit of falling asleep quickly as soon she would lie on the bed. She tried each and every suggestion for initial few days but nothing resulted out of it. Later, she began suffering from other issues such as acidity, loss of concentration and difficulty in breathing.
Some of us must be suffering from a faulty sleeping condition known as insomnia. Let us first understand what insomnia is and its causes and then we will see how to treat insomnia.
Meaning of InsomniaInsomnia refers to a person’s inability to get sleep at night or if a person experiences difficulties during sleep. During this condition, it may take a long time for a person to fall asleep. The person may keep thinking over unnecessary aspects, watch or read something or resort to sleeping pills or other improper sources to fall asleep. In some cases, the person may keep waking at irregular intervals during sleep, mostly due to dreams or other extrinsic factors.
Insomnia has adverse effects on the body. The short-term effects are:
- Low enthusiasm at work or study,
- Difficulty in concentration,
- Frequent mood swings,
- Feelings of boredom.
If insomnia is neglected and persists for a long time, then it may have dangerous effects on the body. It may lead to following health problems:
- Fluctuations in blood pressure levels,
- Alzheimer’s disease.
Moreover, it will have a negative impact on your professional and personal life. No one likes to communicate with a grumpy and irritating person.
Causes of InsomniaIf one takes appropriate steps to eradicate insomnia from life, then it is definitely an achievable target. You can implement many valuable and rich rituals in your life to enjoy a deep and sound sleep at night and be productive and energetic rest of the day. However, it is recommended to identify the core reasons that are causing insomnia.
1. Anxiety, Tension And StressThis is one of the main reasons for insomnia. We often say to ourselves and others, “I was so tensed that I couldn’t catch sleep last night.” Is something worrying you? Are you depressed since many days? All the emotional factors such as grief, trauma, anxiety, stress, depression, constant worry can lead to insomnia. If your problem is acute, you have to treat it first with the help of your family members and a consulting psychologist.
2. Certain Medical ConditionsIf you are suffering from medical conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, Parkinson’s disease, allergies, thyroid issues, cancer or kidney problems, then it is likely that it will impact your good night’s sleep adversely. It is advisable to obtain suitable treatment for these disorders first.
3. Intake of MedicinesEven medicines such as antidepressants, steroids, common cold and flu tablets, stimulants can interfere with your full night’s sleep. You need to determine first which medications are affecting your sleep and get it substituted or removed.
4. Regular Habits
- Do you have a habit of drinking a mug of coffee after dinner or just before bedtime?
- Do you usually eat a piece of cake or have a cold, sweet beverage before going to bed?
- Do you consume heavy meals at night?
- Do you exercise every day or meditate or do yoga?
- Do you watch TV at night for prolonged hours or are glued to your computer or mobile screen?
- Do you have the habit of checking messages after every minute even at night?
These above few actions are performed unknowingly by our brain. But subsequently, these actions take the structure of habits that hamper with our night sleep. As a result, we do not feel refreshed the next day. As most of us have adopted a sedentary and ‘smart’ lifestyle, the sleep schedule is affected without any reason.
5. Evaluate Your Own BedroomIn some cases, the place where we sleep and on what we sleep influences our sleep schedule. If there is excessive light, heat or coldness, or noise in your bedroom, then it can distract your ability to fall asleep. If your bed is noisy or the mattress is uncomfortable or not in a proper level, then the whole night you will not gain comfort on it.
6. Over-Thinking and BroodingSometimes, we try to make our lives so much busy and happening that our days are full of recurring activities. The same cycle continues in the night. At bedtime, when our mind and brain should be free from unwanted thoughts, tomorrow’s agenda, or weekend plans, we just give another chance to entangle it.
Further, let’s see how to treat insomnia!
How To Treat Insomnia?A health practitioner will help you in resolving the problem of “how to treat insomnia” and the resulting impact. However, if you wish to implement certain lifestyle decisions in your life to treat insomnia, we have a provided a complete list of the valuable, self-help tips and techniques. All you need is to be strict, consistent and dedicated in treating your insomnia. You also have to be patient to notice the outcomes as treating insomnia is not an overnight job.
1. Implement Healthy Daytime HabitsHere goes the cliché, ‘What you sow, so shall you reap.’ Thus, whatever efforts you are putting in inculcating healthy daytime habits, it will show a positive impact on your full night’s sleep. You have to be careful in drinking that extra cup of coffee or napping in the afternoons.
Some of the healthy daytime habits are as follows-
- Avoiding excessive consumption of tea and coffee during the day.
- Drinking herbal or green tea during the day.
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes in the morning.
- Meditating or doing yoga for at least 15-20 minutes in the morning.
- Performing deep breathing exercises.
- Avoiding consumption of sugary foods and heavy meals at night.
- Avoid napping in the afternoon.
- Avoiding overthinking and stressing during the day.
2. Create and Follow a Bedtime RoutineWhen we were kids, we were narrated bedtime stories by our grandparents or parents. Sometimes, they also used to sing sweet songs for us. We had a specific routine, ‘Stop watching TV or studying, drink milk, check whether doors are locked, dusting the mattress, putting a clean bed sheet and a pillow cover, have a nice, small chat in bed and finally bid goodnight to everyone.’
Now, we have grown up and become smart and proactive. Till late night, we are either checking social media messages or watching videos on our mobile. We don’t care for a clean bed sheet or a decent bedtime routine. But if you really want to get rid of sleepless nights or disturbed sleep, then adopt a bedtime ritual. Here are few tips:
- Before bedtime, switch off the screens, whether it is LCD or a mobile screen. The harmful rays are disturbing your eyes and the visuals are interfering with your brain’s normal functioning.
- Do not watch TV, study or work on your laptop in your bedroom. Your bedroom is exclusively made for sleeping and make proper use of it.
- Do not argue or get indulged in an interesting debate just before bedtime. Keep your mind calm. You can talk with your family members about the day but don’t stress it out.
- If you keep staring at the bedroom clock or are distracted by its ‘tick-tick’ sound, then shift it to another room.
- If you can’t catch sleep, don’t keep lazing or tossing on it. Just get out of the bed and engage in a relaxing activity such as drinking herbal tea, or reading something light.
- If worries and unnecessary thoughts are hammering your mind, then perform deep breathing exercises. Say to yourself, ‘This is my relaxation time. I am going to think or worry over it tomorrow.’
Here is a typical bedtime schedule for you. You can obviously make changes as per your wish.
- Switch off the TV.
- Chat with your family members on a light, hilarious topic.
- Drink herbal or green tea or milk along with your family.
- Read something light or spiritual or listen to your favourite, quiet song.
- Dust your mattress, put a clean bed sheet and a pillow cover.
- Close the windows and switch off the lights.
- Perform deep breathing exercises or meditate.
- Go off to sleep.
3. Beat The Stress, Beat The AnxietyAs we all know that stress is one of the major reasons for insomnia, let us understand how to beat it first. We have brought some stress management tips to you.
- You cannot be an all-rounder or a perfect person. So, don’t try to take up all the work at home as well as in the office. Learn to Delegate repetitive tasks to subordinates.
- Take up challenges which are within the orbit of your capacities and competence.
- Get rid of future worries. You do not know what future has in store for you. So, just relax and live in the present.
- Don’t brood over the past. The past is over. You cannot go back and change it. If your past has taught something, then learn from it and apply in the future. But there is no point in brooding and over-thinking over it why you did in the past and why you should have done something different.
- Practice the technique of mindfulness. In the world of multi-tasking, we have to manage multiple tasks at one time. You end up in chaos and confusion. You have to focus on one aspect at one time. If you are making tea or coffee, don’t worry whether you will get your usual bus or train. Concentrate on the aroma of the coffee and how to blend it perfectly. Enjoy the experience of drinking coffee in the morning. Everyone does not get a chance to do so.
- If you have any issues, then discuss it with your friends or family members. Get help from an expert. You may unexpectedly come up with a concrete solution. It’s better to discuss instead of experiencing sleepless nights.
- Smile often. Laugh often. Treat sleep as relaxation method and not mere tossing and turning in bed for 7 hours.
In The Initial Days
- As we have already mentioned, treating insomnia is not an overnight job. It will take consistent efforts to reach the goal of getting a peaceful night sleep.
- Do not stop your bedtime rituals and daytime habits if you feel nothing is working out. It will take time.
- Take help from your family members and friends. If your family is having faulty habits, then explain to them the negative effects of such habits. Persuade them to start a bedtime schedule.
- Shut down the thoughts of the day.
- Do not consume sleeping pills, even if you are tempted to do so.
- If you feel that you have a chronic problem of insomnia, then don’t hesitate to take help of a doctor.
Thus, we have discussed how to treat insomnia. Insomnia can be treated effectively by identification of its main causes, and implementation of healthy daytime and bedtime habits. A person should realize that a night’s sleep is a kind of relaxation for the complete body and mind. One can definitely use the above techniques to get rid of difficulties in falling asleep.