Doctors from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have said that at least 1 out of 3 people suffer from some form of insomnia and sleep apnea. It is said to be present when you regularly have problems falling and staying asleep. Insomnia comes in many forms, from the very mild to the very severe. The end result is that you wake up from bed extremely tired the next morning and feel very unproductive.
There are many causes of insomnia. Drug/alcohol abuse, poor health, stress, prescription medication, depression, and anxiety can all contribute to poor night sleep. In a desperate attempt to fix their problem, some people turn to sleeping pills. This is very dangerous as these prescription sleeping pills are only designed to be taken for a short period of time. They are highly addictive and can cause more problems than they solve. If you experience sleep disorders or it is just difficult to keep fall asleep, you should search for a specialized doctor which can provide medical advice diagnosis and medications.
Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a medical term to describe what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. The average human being requires at least 8 hours of regular sleep per night. During those 8 hours, your body undergoes different types of sleep, such as REM and non-REM sleep. REM stands for ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ and is when your eyes physically move rapidly while you are asleep.
REM sleep is when dreaming occurs. Dreaming is thought to occur because your brain needs to process and ‘file away’ events and other things that were on your mind when you were awake. Non-REM sleep is the deep sleep (or ‘slow wave sleep’).
Both REM and Non-REM sleep occur anywhere from 3-5 times per sleep cycle. Your body needs both kinds of sleep and will normally self-regulate. The problem arises when external (or internal) factors inhibit or prohibit your body from getting both REM and Non-REM sleep that it requires.
When your body doesn’t get the type of sleep that it requires, you wake up in the next day morning and get out of bed feeling lethargic, with tension from the past day, tired, irritable, in back pain, and overall in a general malaise type of mood. If this situation keeps happening, you should visit a doctor.
Sleep disorders can affect all aspects of your life.
- Driving a car
- Being able to perform at your job
- Being able to study for school
- Relationships with loved ones
- Taking care of yourself
All these things (and more) can be negatively affected by sleep deprivation. Not to mention if they are neglected for long enough they can cause further (unrelated) health issues which could snowball over time. Such health issues as stroke, depression, obesity, back pain, high blood pressure, heart, and kidney disease can all be caused by a lack of sleep, make health issues over the long term. If you want to be sure which treatment to follow, you should visit a doctor and keep on his recommendations.
Ways to Deal With Insomnia
Due to the fact that insomnia can be caused by one or more mitigating factors, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all cure. For some people, it’s as easy as reducing the amount of stress in their lives (such as resigning from a stressful job) or limiting their drug or alcohol intake.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: White Noise For Baby?
For other people, it’s not that easy as the cause of their insomnia is more deeply rooted in other problems. Here are 5 tips for insomniacs that may help many people to heal their insomnia and get a sleep schedule without resorting to dangerous, addictive pills that could negatively affect their health even further. Let your doctor know if you wake up feeling unrefreshed or if you have problems falling asleep, so he can provide medical advice diagnosis or treatment.
There are many natural ways to help fall asleep. First off, you’re going to need to avoid caffeine and nicotine from your diet, because will interfere with the ability to sleep and keep sleep-wake. If you must partake, try not to ingest any caffeine (or a cigarette) after 12 noon every day. Assuming you follow the traditional sleep cycle of most people, this will give your body ample enough time to process and break down the caffeine/nicotine so that it’s no longer affecting you mentally and physically, and help you sleep better when you go to the bedroom around 9 pm bedtime.
You can also try to take a warm bath before going to bed, or exercise at least 45 minutes worth of physical activity done every day (eg: walking 10,000 paces). Starting to avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine, non-prescription medications like pain relievers and alcohol may seem to have the greatest effect upon those suffering from insomnia.
Chinese acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. So it’s no wonder that they have come up with a fix for some people who suffer from insomnia. It’s best to pay a visit to an acupuncturist, as they will be able to make a better determination if they can help you or not.
When you walk in, you’ll be given a consultation and the acupuncturist will want to know about your medical history, drugs you take, and anything else that may be relevant to your sleep problems. After hearing your story, they will then tell you their advice diagnosis or treatment to try, for good sleeping.
In a nutshell, acupuncture works because it stimulates the self-healing processes of the body. Acupuncturists know exactly where to stick the small medical needles and for how long. The needles may need to stay inside your skin anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. Most people report that during the treatment they feel extreme relaxation. The end result is a better night’s sleep for those who undergo it.
Meditation is an exercise of relaxation in which you sit still for 10-20 minutes at a time every day before you go to bed. You can close your eyes or focus your gaze on a particular point in the room (such as the flame of a small candle). You should find a quiet place, can use the bed and avoid any form of distractions, so you can have a good night. You can stand on your feet, or lay on your back in bed.
By you sitting there and focusing on your breathing, progressive muscle relaxation starts and you will find that you will become much more relaxed. You may not realize it, but if you are stressed in life, your breathing becomes very shallow. Meditation focuses on taking deep breaths, which in turn removes a lot of stress from your body and installs relaxation. Many people who suffer from insomnia report that performing just 15 minutes of mediation before going to bed has drastically improved their sleep. Extra tips, make your bedroom sleeping environment comfortable so you can get relaxation and restful sleep.
4.’White Noise’ Generator
White noise generators are designed to help drown out noises that may prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. There are variances in price, and the more expensive white noise generators come with features that literally ‘cancel out’ nuisance noises and help you get a regular sleeping time. They run anywhere from $15 for an entry-level model all the way up to the $50 model that features noise cancelation technology.
Avoid playing with your cell phone/smartphone/laptops/etc one-two hours before bedtime, it’s one of the tips. Keep the devices away from your bed, every night. Most of these devices emit a ‘blue light’ which can wreak havoc upon the internal clock of your body (circadian rhythm). This blue light tricks your mind into thinking it’s daytime and prevents the necessary natural brain chemicals from being formed that make you feel sleepy at bedtime.
Some of the newer cell phones have what they refer to as a ‘blue light eliminator’ which removes blue light from the cell phone screen. It is said that eliminating the blue light, it causes your brain to be in a more sleep ready state. Make your bedroom an inviting place to stay asleep for the whole night.
Both of these remedies can be purchased over the counter at any drug store and to make sure you fall asleep at night. Valerian root has been used by people to fall asleep since the 2nd Century AD. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. When the sun goes down, the pineal gland turns on the production of melatonin, and that eventually helps you fall asleep.
Both melatonin and valerian root have been studied in various scientific tests. They have been shown to help people get to sleep better. There are a few drawbacks. If you take certain medications you should ask your doctor if it’s ok to take valerian root or melatonin. As with any herbal supplement, you could experience dizziness, nausea, headaches, sleepiness in the daytime. It all depends on how your body reacts to the herbal remedy.