If you have ever experienced the beast of insomnia, we hear you! It truly is a pain and one with which many people have struggled. Why, then, is there not a cure? What is at the root of insomnia? How can we make it a little less bothersome?
An article from thesleepfoundation.org states that our bodies have two cycles - sleep and wake. ONLY ONE should be on at a time. When these are disrupted or incapable of functioning correctly, the result is insomnia. Some people have a vicious wake cycle that doesn’t want to sit in the back seat. You might have experienced this a time or two - your mind goes a million miles a minute replaying the events of the day or anticipating scenarios of the next. It can be extremely frustrating when all you want to do is sleep.
Some people have biological factors that cause insomnia. It can stem from a list of medical problems and sleep disorders. These include:
- Acid reflux
- Seasonal allergies
- Sleep apnea
- Restless leg syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety & depression
If you know you suffer from anything on this list, visiting your doctor and addressing medical concerns is an obvious course of action you should take if you’re not sleeping well. Sometimes, medication can help. Other times, however, this isn’t always possible or doesn’t fix the problem. Fear not, there are plenty of other options and avenues to explore. You have not come to a dead-end!
Whether or not you seek out medical advice, it is important to look at your lifestyle. Are you super active in the evenings? Do you watch TV or spend too much time on social media before bed? Does your last meal happen to be close to bedtime? Habits like these are most likely keeping you from getting more shut-eye. Try adding these into your daily routine:
- Get your exercise in at the start of your day. Allow your body to wind down at night so you can more easily reach a restful state.
- Turn off electronics at least two hours before bedtime. Instead, pick up a book and read for twenty minutes (preferably not a murder mystery, but hey, maybe that’s your thing).
- Eat your last meal of the day about three to four hours before you turn out the lights. A light snack can actually be beneficial before bed (cheese and crackers, or a glass of milk and a couple of oreos if it’s been one of those days), so don’t stress if you are a ravenous night owl.
- Meditate. We all read this suggestion and roll our eyes. But really, give it a shot. Just five minutes can be like a manual switch to those wake/sleep cycles and make a huge difference!
Insomnia doesn’t have to plague you for life. Sure, there will be flare-ups and stress-ridden times of life where sleep is elusive. But you shouldn’t have to struggle every night for the sleep you deserve. Chat with your doctor and make some lifestyle changes. If you’re at a loss, check out this article. Hopefully, you’ll soon be seeing more of your eyelids and less of the ceiling!