If you have trouble falling asleep on most nights or wake up several times during sleep and feel tired during the day, it is time you acknowledge that insomnia is taking its toll on you.
Factors like increasing age, hormonal changes (eg: thyroid disease), physical ailments or diseases may cause sleeplessness. Any type of physical pain can also preventing you from having a good night’s sleep.
Regular night-outs or late night parties, high amounts of junk food (especially at night), irregular eating, sleeping at odd hours, working late nights or working the night shift triggers a random response in the “Circadian Cycle” (responsible for maintaining natural processes) and may eventually cause insomnia.
Some of the medicines like those for the heart and blood pressure, antidepressants, steroids, weight loss medications etc can cause insomnia. If you have been taking sleeping pills for a while, withdrawal symptoms may cause rebound insomnia.
Stress, anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders are on the major modern-day causes that can keep you awake through the night. Professional help may be required in such cases.
Tips to sleep better:
- Stick to your sleep time – Each one of one is unique, even with our sleep patterns. Some people feel refreshed with only 6 hours of sleep; others might need 9 – 10 hours. Know what your body needs. Fix up your sleep time accordingly. Always maintain regular sleep and waking up times to regularize your sleep patterns.
- Visit the doctor – Your physician can help to review any drugs, medical conditions or stressful situations that may be causing your insomnia or making it worse.
- Lifestyle management – Maintain a routine that is not extreme. If your work demands it, balance it by other factors like diet and a healthy mental state. Meditation, creative visualization may help you be calmer and restful.
- Daytime sleepiness – Stop those afternoon naps. Indulge in some physical activity that requires you to move about during that time.
- Physical activity – Physical exercise or a walk before bed time is ideal for chronic insomnia. Team up with someone or even with soothing music to help you maintain it as a habit.
- Diet – Have a healthy dinner, drink warm milk or herbal tea with camomile. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco to help you sleep quickly.
- Pamper yourself to sleep – Warm bath with bath salts, massages, soothing music or chants, stomach rub or a hot water bottle can help.
- Avoid any engaging activity – Watching TV or reading a book just because you cannot sleep may often work against letting you sleep.
- Do something monotonous – Count sheep or try to chant the alphabet backwards. Keep at it till you sleep out of sheer boredom.
Follow these simple rules and realize that your body needs rest and therefore it is absolutely imperative that you get enough sleep. Research suggests a lot of diseases, conditions, stress-related disorders, etc. can be avoided by ensuring you get a good night’s sleep.First Published: Jan 12, 2013 at 10:20 PM