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Chapter 4: The Cure of Insomniac: Natural and Artificial Remedy
Sleep is incredibly important for health. We need sleep for our bodies to heal and rejuvenate from our day’s activities. Unfortunately, many people either have difficulty falling asleep or simply don’t get enough sleep, which is where Insomnia remedies come in.
There are two basic categories when it comes to Insomnia Remedies.
The first is an Artificial Remedy. This type of Insomnia remedy or medicine can be found in the pharmacy and clinic. They are usually prescribed to target the sickness at the source. Artificial remedy usually costs a bomb, but it typically delivers fast results. Most medicine today is toxic, filled with harmful chemicals that are not safe to be consumed for a prolonged period of time.
2. Natural Remedy
The other kind of remedy is called Insomnia Natural Remedy. People have practiced natural medicine for centuries. This type of remedy utilizes the body’s natural healing process for beating insomnia. It is often less expensive, but what makes them stand out is the fact that they’re not as toxic as Artificial Remedy.
Regardless of which kind of remedy you choose, the goal is to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. These remedies are meant to aid you to get more rest at night. Most of these remedies will cause drowsiness, so it’s best to take them right before bed unless it states otherwise. It is also important to make sure that you talk to a doctor before getting any medication listed below.
1. Eszopiclone: Also known as Lunesta, is a group of drugscapable of putting you to sleep easily and quickly. Statistics show that Lunesta is can put most people to sleep for an average of 7-hours. It’s a strong group of drugs, so make sure you stay away from it unless you’re able to have a full night rest to prevent grogginess. FDA limits the drug dosage to be not more than 1mg. Any more than that might bring upon the risk of grogginess the next day.
2. Ramelteon: This group of drugs functions differently, it doesn’t cause adverse effects to the users such as grogginess, drowsiness, and so on. Common drugs used to induce sleep targets the CNS (Central Nervous System), depressing its functions and put the user in a sleepy state. Ramelteon, on the other hand, targets specifically the sleep-wake cycle. This drug is prescribed to those who have difficulties falling asleep. Due to the lack of side effects, Ramelteon can be prescribed for long-term use. The drug has also shown no history of abuse or dependence.
3. Zaleplon: Also known as Sonata. Most drugs have a long activation time in the human body. Sonata isn’t one of them. Among all the latest sleeping pills, Sonata managed to stay active in the system for the shortest amount of time. In other words, this drug leaves little to no side effects the next morning. For instance, if a person has difficulty falling asleep, a pop of Sonata pill will help him fall asleep without feeling off the next day.
4. Doxepin: Also known as Silenor. This group of drugs is prescribed specifically to those who have difficulty staying asleep. You can say that this is an artificial remedy for the “light-sleepers” who easily wake up at night due to a minimal amount of stimuli. It acts by suppressing the histamine receptors, thus aiding your sleep maintenance after you’ve fallen asleep. As this drug requires you to stay asleep for a set amount of time, do not consume Silenor unless you’re able to sleep in for full 7-8 hours at night. The dosage depends on your response to treatment, health, and age.
5. Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are useful for both short-term and long-term insomnia. It has a lasting effect on the body as it stays in the system for a long time. So, for those who’ve had insomnia for a long time, this drug can aid them in their journey to full recovery.
It’s commonly used to treat prolonged nightmares and sleepwalking. As the effect of this drug is unyielding, you might feel tired and drowsy the next day. Another side effect of this medication is that this drug can result in drug dependence, meaning that you might have to rely on this drug to fall asleep and stay asleep in the future.
Benzodiazepines can be found in sleeping pills Triazolam (Halcion), Alprazolam (Xanax), Temazepam (Restoril), and others.
It is important to get a medical evaluation before you take any sleeping pills. Visit a doctor for a thorough examination. Always consult your doctor about the adverse effects of any medication before deciding which pills to take. Each drug can cause different side effects. The side effects can be a headache, severe allergic reaction, prolonged drowsiness to just name a few.
On the other hand, some would prefer to go for natural remedies instead. You don’t have to depend on chemicals with harmful adverse effects especially upon waking up. Instead, why not use natural remedies to repair your sleep cycle and put an end to insomnia.
1. Go Camping
When the lure of the TV or fiddling on the phone keeps you up late at night, it’s time to grab the tent and go camping. Stay away from electronic devices and enjoy a digital detox once in a while. Put yourself in a distraction-free zone and be mindful of your surroundings and yourself. Utilize this time to meditate, do some yoga, write, recollect your thoughts, or simply breathe.
According to several studies, campers who stay away from gadgets and practice winding down rituals such as meditating or listening to music fell asleep about 2 hours earlier than usual. Another important point to remember is that digital devices contribute to insomnia. It is found that artificial light sources can negatively affect circadian rhythms.
Try sleeping on the ground, not in your car or cabin. That way, you’ll get grounded and be one with nature. Regardless of what you do during camping, the ultimate goal is to relax, remove yourself from distractions and demands from others, to stay away from artificial light, and be one with nature. Bath under the natural sunlight and fall asleep when the sun goes down. In no time at all, you’ll reset your sleep rhythms.
2. Music Therapy
Music has been used since ancient times to combat insomnia. It is a healing tool that can help to ease anxiety which can contribute to poor sleep quality. The major advantage of this technique is that it’s easy to use and has no side effects.
There are many different types of music therapies, and they differ in the types of neurological stimulation they evoke. For instance, classical music can be a powerful tool for comfort and relaxation while rock music may cause discomfort. Try to go for soft relaxing music that has sounds of nature like the ocean, birds, waterfall, etc.
Several studies showed that people who listen to calming music before going to bed had improved sleep quality during the night than people who don’t. Hence, if you’re having trouble falling asleep, this could be a solution.
3. Power Down For Better Sleep
Sleep is not an on-and-off switch. Your body needs time to unwind and ready itself for shuteye. Insomniacs often find it difficult to shut off their brain at night. You can try to power down for better sleep. This technique aids in quieting things down so that your body will understand that it’s time to get some rest. To set the stage for sleep, it is significant to unwind and dim our mind.
For instance, if you take a warm before bedtime, it’ll create a drop in body temperature, triggering the body to start prepping for sleep. By taking a warm shower, your body temperature will slow down metabolic functions like breathing, digestion, and heart rate. Your body will understand that it’s time to slow down and relax. If you have the habit of listening to music before heading to bed every night, your body will be conditioned that listening to music at night signals bed time.
It’s all about habits and conditioning. Carve out at least half an hour of wind-down time before bed to do breathing or relaxation exercise to clear your mind. The goal of this power down hour is to signal your brain that it’s time to wind down, relax and sleep.
4. Sleep In A Cool Room
Those who’ve problem falling asleep usually have a higher core body temperature immediately prior falling asleep as compared to their healthier counterparts. Thus, this group of insomniacs needs to wait for at least 2 to 4 hours before their body temperature lowers and initiates sleep.
Research shows that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 16 to 20 degrees Celsius. When you’re trying to sleep, your brain enjoys the cold environment.
Besides, sleeping in a cold bedroom also helps in anti-aging. It aids in releasing of anti-aging hormones known as melatonin, a potent antioxidant that tackles inflammation, strengthens the immune system, prevents cognitive deterioration and cancer.
There’s a saying that those who go to bed early and rise early live longer. It makes a lot of sense considering that sleeping in a cold bedroom reduces neurodegeneration and oxidative stress. I can go on and on regarding the anti-aging benefits of having a good night sleep in a cold environment. But the key to enhancing the production of anti-aging hormones in your body is to have an adequate sleep.
And the first step to do that is to create an optimal sleeping environment by lowering the bedroom temperature. Insufficient sleep brings a lot of harmful effects to your physical and mental health. Ultimately, it can put your life at risk. So make sure to fix your sleeping habits, and you can begin doing so by creating an optimal sleeping environment.
5. Break A Sweat
Exercise early. It’s no secret that exercise improves sleep and overall health. But a study published in the journal Sleep shows that the amount of exercise done and when they workout make a difference. Researchers found that women who exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes each morning, 7 days a week, have less trouble sleeping than women who exercise less or later in the day. Morning exercise seems to positively affect our body rhythms that in turn improves our sleep quality.
One of the reasons for this interplay between exercise and sleep may be body temperature. Your body temperature rises during exercise and takes up to 6 hours to drop back down to normal. It’s because cooler body temperatures link to better sleep. So it’s important to give your body time to cool down before bed.
Sleep is a crucial part of our health and healing. Take it seriously, and seek out the help of a functional medicine practitioner if you can’t get your sleep under control. All these require discipline and commitment. Once you reset your biological clock and fall back into the normal sleep rhythm, you’ll finally enjoy the benefits of restful, restorative sleep.
Chapter 5: Lifestyle Modification for Insomniac
In the previous chapter, we talked about the two fundamental categories of remedies to overcome insomnia. However, these extrinsic factors could not deal with the root of insomnia. Yes, you can feel better after trying out those remedies, but insomnia can only be healed completely if the origin of the problem is removed. Otherwise, there is a high chance for insomnia to relapse.
So what is the root of insomnia? For many, the primary cause of insomnia is having a poor lifestyle and sleep habits. Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference to the quality of your sleep.
Although not all insomnia is caused by stress, it is undeniable that people who experience ongoing stress are more susceptible to insomnia. In the case of stress-related insomnia, treating or eliminating the stress will alleviate insomnia. As mentioned in the earlier chapter of this book, stress affects the quality of one’s sleep which can upset his or her sleep rhythm. Thus, one will find it difficult to fall asleep at night and stay awake during the day.
It is important to handle all parts of your life in the best manner possible to ensure that you are at a healthy balance. You need to make sure that you are getting sufficient sleep on a daily basis. Sleep plays a major role in your physical health. Insufficient sleep for a short time may make you more moody and irritable. Long-term effects can be serious: cardiac problems, depression, stroke, heart attack, to name a few.
According to sleep experts, several studies showed that when people get sufficient sleep, they will not only feel better but will also increase their odds of living longer, healthier, and more accomplished lives.
To overcome insomnia, you should stay away from any nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. All of these will cause the mind to become restless overtime naturally. Having a constant amount of caffeine will force the mind to be more active than it is.
Most people need the energy to start their day, so they chose stimulant. Caffeine is one of the most popular choices of stimulants today to ensure alertness and wakefulness in the morning and for the rest of the day. However, they’re ignorant to the fact that caffeine is one of the leading causes of insomnia. It screws up the natural balance of wakefulness and sleep.
Therefore, insomniacs should stay away from these drinks to have quality sleep. Skip that coffee break, reach for a glass of plain water instead of the coffee, which may be the reason why you are having trouble falling and staying asleep at night.
Besides that, setting up a sleep schedule for yourself is one of the best self-help techniques for insomnia. It is a major step in overcoming insomnia for good. It is so important to go to bed at the same time at night and wake up the same time every morning because the body needs consistency. The body likes a routine. It thrives on habit. With a regular bedtime and wake-up time, your body is more likely to stay on track. If you can, avoid alternating schedules, late-night parties, night shifts, or other things that may disrupt your sleep schedule.
When you have a difficult time falling asleep, try to drink a glass of warm milk. It is a traditional remedy for insomnia, and there’s evidence that it can help you to get better quality sleep. Not only does milk help prevent hunger from disturbing your sleep, but it also contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which is converted in the brain into a “relaxing” chemical known as serotonin. Calcium is very pro-metabolic, reducing stress and decreasing levels of parathyroid hormone, which has been known to play a role in insomnia.
Not just that, you can always adjust your own daily schedule to include time for yoga or meditation. There is an abundance of evidence that yoga and meditation can improve sleep patterns, often dramatically. Having some relaxation time for yourself is important. These techniques can be done at home for both comfort and privacy. It helps to increase the total flexibility of your body, relax your mind, and destress your body. Try to spend at least 30 minutes a day to either meditate or yoga. Typically meditation and yoga are best done in the early morning, in a quiet place, and with exposure to sunlight.
For meditation, all you have to do is sit down and clear your mind. Try to listen to relaxing music to help calm you down. The moment you start to get used to the idea of meditating throughout the day, the mind will be able to relax faster at night and therefore you will have an easier time falling asleep.
As for yoga, you can either go for yoga classes with a bunch of friends or practice at home for more privacy. It will benefit your sleep in many ways. The practice of certain yoga postures will increase the blood circulation to the sleep center in the brain, which has the effect of normalizing the sleep cycle.
Remember, sleep is not a lifestyle choice or a luxury; it is natural and necessary. So root out the underlying causes, change your diet, drink a glass of warm milk, set up a sleeping schedule, do some yoga and meditate. Follow the pieces of advice mentioned above, and eventually, you’ll get your quality sleep.
Chapter 6: Switching Off
Fighting insomnia is an uphill battle. When you are trying to cure insomnia, you are actually trying to stop your mind from being too active at night. There is no reason to be afraid of staying up for countless nights in a row and wondering if it is all going to end.
Worrying will only bring about sleepless nights. So stop battling insomnia in your head! All that you need to do is ‘Switch Off’ your monkey brain.
At night, you want your mind to slow down to the point where you can quickly fall asleep. Having a proper amount of sleep helps you to stay fully alert the next day, and ensures a good night rest. One of the reasons why people struggle to fall asleep is because their monkey brain refuses to shut down. More often than not, they start thinking about useless things that serve no purpose but only hinder them from falling asleep.
Switching off needs practice. For many busy adults, the only time they reflect upon their lives is during bedtime! It’s good to reflect once in a while, but not during bedtime. Often times, this is the biggest culprit that stops you from falling asleep.
So for those who want to reflect on their lives, consider waking up earlier to have time in the morning to do so or even schedule some time in the evening to do some reflection.
Stimulating Night = Bad Sleep
Another reason why people fail to switch off is that they have many activities at night that are over stimulating, causing them to stay awake instead of feeling tired. Some even love to have caffeine at night! No wonder people are struggling to fall asleep! So stay away from coffee, from your mobile phones, laptops, televisions when it’s bedtime. Avoid activities that force you to think and require physical exertion at night. And most importantly, avoid ‘Blue-screen’ from the electronic devices.
Never Miss Another Night of Sleep
Another key to fall asleep is to schedule your sleep. Most people don’t do that. Instead, they choose to fall asleep only when they’re tired. But what they should do instead is to set up their routine and schedule their bedtime. Upon repetitions, your mind will be conditioned to switch off when the clock hits the usual hour to fall asleep.
Having a regular sleep routine is arguably the best technique to ensure a better quality of sleep. In fact, our bodies thrive on a consistent sleep schedule and regularity. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, having a consistent sleep routine will definitely help in beating chronic insomnia once and for all.
The first thing you should do after you have eaten dinner and cleaned up for the night is to turn off any of your electronic devices. Having your phone or computer switched on when you are getting ready for bed will stimulate your brain and it will eventually hinder your sleep. Admit it, your electronic devices are addictive, and you won’t know when to stop.
The light will interfere with your sleep pattern and cause you to stay wide awake. It’s recommended to avoid using your gadgets at all costs at least 1 hour before bedtime.
Reading before sleep is fine, but not through your electronic devices. Reading a physical book as a hobby before bed actually helps you in getting ready to sleep. It’s better not to read in your bedroom. You’re encouraged to read in another room since you do not want your mind to be active in the room that you need to fall asleep in. Again, to condition your mind to switch off the moment you step into your bedroom. If you can completely relax when reading a book, then it’s fine to do it while laying down in bed. Otherwise, it’s best to read in another room.
The next thing you can do is listen to music and write down any kind of reminders that you will need for the next day. The music will help you to calm your mind and remove your stress away. Try to listen to music that is smoother and slower in rhythm. Listening to anything that is loud or exciting will stimulate the mind, and it will be harder for you to fall asleep. For instance, you’ll find yourself in a much-relaxed state when you listen to classical music than rock music.
Another tip is to plan your days ahead before sleep. Writing down reminders for the next day helps to clear out your mind. Staying awake in bed while constantly reminding yourself that you need to remember something will keep your mind active. Think of your notepad as a “dump it and forget it” vault. Simply grab a piece of paper and scribble a few notes down. It will help you calm down and fall asleep faster.
Another thing that you can do is have a relaxation drink such as tea right before bed. However, make sure that you stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and drinks with a high amount of sugar. A nice cup of tea can calm your mind down and helps your body to relax.
This is also an excellent way to create time for yourself. A time to quiet down and relax. You can do this while either reading or listening to music. If you don’t find pleasure in drinking tea, then consider having a light snack before bed. Do not consume anything that is too high in calorie and difficult to digest. Regardless, a light snack is good because sometimes, the reason why you’re having trouble getting to sleep is simply due to hunger.
Another way to ensure restful sleep is to bring down your room temperature. The best way to do this is to set your bedroom thermostat to be a bit cooler. Our body is conditioned in a way that when it enters a cooler environment, it will get a signal that it’s time to rest.
Also, why not take a quick shower right before bed. Preferably a cold shower to immediately cool down. Otherwise, you can try to get a bed fan, a cooler mattress, or go for a short walk before bed.
All of the things listed above can be a part of your bedtime routine. Go ahead and try them out and figure what works best for you and your schedule. In no time at all, you won’t have any trouble falling asleep and staying asleep again.
I hope this book can serve and guide you in stopping or preventing insomnia. You’re free to try any tips and strategies listed in this book to ensure a restful sleep. After all, restful sleep is the foundation for your mental and physical well-being. Whether it’s an artificial or natural remedy, lifestyle changes, or setting up a routine, all these contribute to preventing insomnia.
So what to do next? It’s time to take action today!
Find out which of these methods work best for you and implement them into your daily routine. Write them down and imagine how your average day looks like when you add these strategies to your routine.
Only by trying them out, you can find out the best way for you to overcome insomnia.
Thank you for reading through this article. i hope ypuve been enlightened enough and ready to taje back your life and sleep like a baby. i recommend yo check the video suggestion in the article as it would be very helpful to deal with insomania.