Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep night after another? Are there times when you are so tired that you feel you can doze off as soon as you hit the bed but it doesn’t happen and you lie awake for hours? Do you feel tired all the time because you don’t get enough sleep?
Well, you might as well know that you are dealing with Insomnia.
Insomnia or sleeplessness is a sleep disorder that millions of people worldwide have to live with. A person suffering from Insomnia frequently experience irritability, anxiety, lack of energy and excessive drowsiness, which makes it difficult to learn, remember and keep up with tasks in hand.
It is largely associated with stress and unhealthy lifestyle. While the stress can be for various reasons like work pressures, emotional upheavals or medical conditions, some examples of LIFESTYLE specific reasons that can lead to Insomnia are listed below.
* You work at home in the evenings. This can make it hard to unwind, and it can also make you feel preoccupied when it comes time to sleep.
* You take naps (even if they are short) in the afternoon. Short naps can be helpful for some people, but for others they make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
* You sometimes sleep in later to make up for lost sleep. This can confuse your body’s clock and make it difficult to fall asleep again the following night.
* You work in shifts (meaning that you work irregular hours). Non-traditional hours can confuse your body’s clock, especially if you are trying to sleep during the day, or if your schedule changes periodically.
* Certain substances and activities, including eating patterns, can contribute to insomnia. If you can’t sleep, review the following lifestyle factors to see if one or more could be affecting you:
Heavy meals close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep. The best practice is to eat lightly before bedtime. When you eat too much in the evening, it can cause discomfort and make it hard for your body to settle and relax. Spicy foods can also cause heartburn and interfere with your sleep.
Alcohol is a sedative. It can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night. Alcohol contributes in poor quality of sleep.
Caffeine is a stimulant. Most people understand the alerting power of caffeine and use it in mornings & afternoon to feel awake and productive. Caffeine in moderation is fine for most people, but excessive caffeine can cause insomnia as it can stay in your system for as long as eight hours, so the effects are long lasting. If you have insomnia, do not consume food or drinks with caffeine 4-5 hours prior to bedtime.
Nicotine is also a stimulant and can cause insomnia. Smoking cigarettes or tobacco products close to bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep and to sleep well through the night. Smoking is damaging to your health. If you smoke, you should stop.
Those who are having trouble sleeping sometimes turn to sleeping pills, which can help when used occasionally but may lead to substance dependency or addiction if used regularly for an extended period. Instead try relaxation techniques that can help you sleep.
It takes regular practice to master relaxation techniques but the benefits can be huge. You can do them as part of your bedtime routine, when you are lying down preparing for sleep, and if you wake up in the middle of the night.
Deep abdominal breathing:
Most of us don’t breathe as deeply as we should. When we breathe deeply and fully, involving not only the chest, but also the belly, lower back, and rib cage, it can help in relaxation. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Shav means “dead body” & asana means “position”. The name itself suggests positioning yourself like a dead body. Quietly lie down with your back straight, legs slightly apart, hands on sides, palms facing the ceiling, close your eyes and breathe normally. Imagine the air you breathing travelling out of and inside your body. Lie down like this for 10-15minutes.
Progressive muscle relaxation:
Lie down or make yourself comfortable. Starting with your feet, tense the muscles as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10, and then relax. Continue to do this for every muscle group in your body, working your way up from your feet to the top of your head.
Workout in the evenings:
Exercising in the evening can help you burn all the unused energy in your body and release oxytocin. You feel relaxed, in control and ready for a good sleep. Make sure your workout and sleep time are 3hour away.
A warm bath before bedtime can help your muscles & joints relax. Add a few drops of essential oils, the fragrance can help ease your mind too.
Zero tech time:
Ban all technology an hour before bedtime. The light from TV, computer and phone screens make your mind alert. Not to forget how harmful phone radiations are!
I hope you have found the information useful. Happy sleep tonight!