Cure Insomnia Naturally
Nothing feels better than a good night’s sleep. However, many people today are unable to get the rest that they need. The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep is called insomnia and it can create havoc in one’s daily routine. A good night’s rest, which normally consists of 7 to 8 hours of sleep, is imperative to normal cognitive abilities, mood, and such things as your immune system. Insomnia can affect all of these. Not getting enough sleep can weaken your system, causing you to be more prone to sickness. Insomnia can also cause frustration and anxiety because you are unable to fall asleep. There are many methods on how to cure insomnia. Here are some of the more common ways to deal with the disorder.
What Causes Insomnia
There is no one thing that causes insomnia. Insomnia can be brought on by a number of things and sometimes by a combination of different causes. The reasons behind insomnia can be physical, psychological, and changes in our daily routine. One of the biggest causes of insomnia is stress and anxiety. Feelings of worry, fears, relationship problems, tension from work and financial struggles can all lead to insomnia. The same goes for depression. Feeling sad and depressed from life’s troubles can keep you from getting the rest you need.
There is a long list of physical conditions that can cause insomnia. The sleep disorder can be brought about by ailments such as asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, pain, and diseases such as heart disease and Parkinson’s. Lower levels of melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep, can cause insomnia. Meltatonin decrease the older we get which is why some older people have trouble falling asleep. Other hormonal changes, especially in women, can upset your body’s delicate balance and cause you to lose sleep. Pregnancy, menopause, and a menstrual period are common causes for women to have insomnia.
Other reasons for insomnia may include effects from current medications you may be taking, rotating shifts at work, too much caffeine, or even changes in one’s surrounding environment. For instance, if you move from a rural area to an urban area, the noise from outside traffic may keep you up at night while your body adjusts.
Symptoms of Insomnia
People who suffer from insomnia have difficulty going to sleep or they may wake up repeatedly during the night. This can cause feelings of being tired all the time or constant grogginess, irritability and being overall unproductive in your work. However, almost all of the symptoms dealing with insomnia are caused by the effects of sleep derivation. When your body does not get enough sleep, it can create a number of physiological problems. Problems the human body commonly faces when deprived of sleep include: anxiety, mood swings, nausea, irritability, inability to concentrate and memory problems, high blood pressure, weight loss or weight gain, depression, rapid heartbeat, headaches, and even hallucinations.
Most of the time insomnia is a temporary condition but if it lasts for more than a few weeks, it is called chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia can cause much more serious symptoms and health problems. These include hypertension, depression, and trouble with your immune system. As mentioned earlier, once your immune system gets low, you can be subject to more frequent colds and infections. If you already are battling some disease, a lowered immune system can cause any existing diseases to flare up. Chronic insomnia can also have lasting effects on your short term and long term memory.
Treatments For Insomnia
Insomnia is not a disease but a disorder caused by other problems. Before you can find a cure for insomnia, you have to learn to deal with your problems. Whether the cause is stress, depression, or other reasons, you will probably need to discus your sleep issues with a doctor. They prescribe medications or treatments that will help with anxiety and depression. However, be aware that these medications, if taken over extended periods of time, may interfere with your sleep as well and could be addictive. Medications may have side effects such as drowsiness and lack of focus during the day. Remember that insomnia is a symptom brought on by other problems. Medication may prove effective for short term but to get a healthy night’s sleep, you need to find and treat the cause of the problem. Besides your family doctor, a psychologist might be able to help with insomnia. They can give you techniques to help you relax and ease stress.
Other than professional help, there are some common methods you can use to help deal with insomnia. One of the most important is to keep regular bedtime and waking hours. Go to bed at the same time every night and try to wake up at the same time every morning. What this does is resets your body clock and trains your body to sleep regularly. If your daytime and nighttime hours are erratic, you will naturally have problems sleeping. Try not to nap during the day because that will only throw your body’s clock off. You want to train to sleep for a period of eight hours, not in blocks of a few hours at a time. Avoid napping during the day if you aren’t sleeping at night.
Being healthy is a key to a good night’s sleep and exercising can help with that. Try to exercise regularly but do it during the day or several hours before bedtime. Exercising right before bed will only interfere with sleep because your heart rate will be increased and it will only keep you awake.
Speaking of being healthy, don’t snack right before bedtime. Your last meal should be two or three hours before you go to sleep. Watch what you eat at night, too. A big, heavy meal at night is more difficult to digest. If you eat a huge meal right before you lay down, it can upset your digestive tract. If you are hungry and need a snack before bedtime, eat something healthy like fruit or yogurt. It is also a good idea not to drink any liquids before bedtime or else you may have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night which will interrupt your sleep.
Above all else, don’t use excessive amounts of stimulants like caffeine. Too much coffee or sodas during the day (or at night) can make it difficult to go to sleep at a decent hour and stay asleep. Energy drinks are also a bad idea at night. Also, there are some medications such as diet pills and cold medications that actually speed up your body’s metabolism. These medications will only interfere with getting to sleep. And never use alcohol as a remedy for insomnia. While moderate amounts of alcohol might make you relaxed, the continued use of alcohol will only end up having the opposite effect by keeping you up at night. As your body adjusts to the alcohol levels in your blood, you will have to consume more in order to get drowsy enough to get to sleep. Before too long, the alcohol will become a problem all its own.