Unfortunately, even minimal sleep loss can take a toll on your mood, energy, efficiency, and ability to handle stress. Ignoring sleep problems and disorders can lead to poor health, accidents, impaired job performance, and relationship stress. If you want to feel your best, stay healthy, and perform up to your potential, sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder which is usually tied to an underlying mental or physical issue. People who have insomnia have problem falling asleep, staying asleep or both. As a result, they may get too little sleep or have poor quality sleep. Insomnia can be minor, acute or chronic. Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, can even contribute to serious health problems and ability to think or function properly during the day. Sometimes, Insomnia only lasts a few days and goes away on its own, especially when the Insomnia is tied to an obvious temporary cause, such as stress over an upcoming presentation, a painful breakup, or jet lag. Other times, Insomnia is stubbornly persistent or chronic. Psychological problems that can cause Insomnia are: depression, anxiety, chronic stress, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. Medically speaking, a lot of health related problems can cause Insomnia, such as Asthma, Allergies, Parkinson’s disease, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Kidney disease. Certain Medications or antidepressants can cause Insomnia, cold and flu medications that contain caffeine high blood pressure medications. Though, most people have experienced trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary, due to stress or other outside factors. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your energy, emotional balance, and health, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders that cause Insomnia: Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, restless Legs Syndrome.
How to Fall Asleep
Falling asleep is not as simple as placing your head upon a pillow and shutting your eyes. Thoughts, worries and discomfort all have a way of worming their way into your mind, preventing you from falling asleep. Fortunately, there are quite a few positive things you can do to restore your ability to fall asleep within just a short time after going to bed. Some of the suggestions might require strength of purpose but since your sleep is very valuable, it is worth the effort:
- Your bed/bedroom must be comfortable, dark, pleasant and free from distractions.
- The room temperature has to be regulated by either turning on a fan or air conditioner if the room is stuffy or by covering yourself with a blanket if you are cold.
- Adjust the lighting in your bedroom by putting off the light, turning away from any light source, moving your night light to a nearby space close to your bedroom so that you can still see the glow.
- If you are the type that sleep best in total silence, then you will have to block out any form of noise but if you need ambient noise to fall asleep, listen to a low volume music that is soothing.
- To fall asleep, wear comfortable pajamas that are neither scratchy nor tight.
- You should always either have a refreshing night bath, or drink some warm milk before going to bed or both.
- Incredulously, reading at bedtime while you are already in bed and ready to fall asleep helps a lot.
- Deep breathing and fantasizing about living your dream can help a great deal, e.g., building your dream house or riding your dream car.
- If you fail to fall asleep after trying for a while, get out of bed and distract yourself a little while may be with watching an interesting movie or playing a game.
- Eat bananas, avocado, peanuts, milk-based drinks at bedtime.
- Don’t skip your dinner. If you go to bed with an empty stomach, you can hardly sleep.
- If you have trouble falling asleep at night, avoid taking naps during the daytime or nap no more than 15 minutes.
- Reduce your stress levels.
- Switch off all mind-stimulating electronic devices in your bedroom.
Finally, it is not normal to feel sleepy during the day, to have problems getting to sleep at night, or to wake up feeling exhausted. Even if you have battled with sleep problems for so long that seems normal, you can start by tracking your symptoms and sleep patterns, and then making healthy changes to your daytime habits and bedtime routine. If self-help does not do the trick; you will have to turn to sleep specialists. Together, you can identify the underlying causes of your sleeping problem and find ways to improve your sleep and quality of life.