Published On: Thu, Nov 15th, 2012

Overcoming Those Sleepless Nights

When night dawns upon, many of us are very eager to get to bed and have our heads feel the touch of the soft fluffy pillow, close our eyes, and sink into a night of sweet dreams. However there are quite a few of those who find it difficult to fall asleep at night. As one may toss and turn multiple times repeatedly in bed, checking the alarm clock occasionally to see what time it is. The clock ticks midnight, and your still not asleep, and the hours drag on to the early hours in the morning. Your feeling drowsy, but when you close your eyes, a chaos is tumbling in that brain of yours. It maybe that you sleep for three hours a night, or three hours a week, but at the end of the week you find that dark circles have formed around your eyes. It is normal when you cannot sleep for a day or two due to some temporary stress related thought which can be easily solved, but it is not normal when you cannot sleep for weeks or months at a time. Being a concerned individual about your health as you should be when you go and consult with a doctor, listing out your symptoms, you are diagnosed with insomnia. Now you may think to yourself “insomawhat?!”The doctor gives you medications so that you can fall asleep at night more easily. You think that you’ve found a solution to your sleepless nights finally.
But ask yourself how long will you continue to fall asleep with the help of these prescribed medications? You may find that it will eventually become a burden.

Having suffered from insomnia for nearly 10 years, I can tell you that prescribed medications may not always be the best way to help you fall asleep every night, though taking it in severe cases or when in desperation would be necessary as according to the doctor. You need to also think about first taking a look at the cause behind your insomnia. Insomnia occurs due to stress or other mental distractions caused subconsciously, or consciously. Thoughts about ongoing issues or matters relating to work, school or home scrolling through your mind while you attempt to fall asleep is not the most pleasant of things to go through. It is somewhat of an annoyance which should be dealt with by clearing your mind. After having consulted the doctor who has diagnosed you with insomnia, try talking to a family member, or a friend regarding any issues which you may be facing in your life that might be causing you to toss and turn at the wee hours of midnight. Meanwhile, aside from the medications know that there are some of the “everyday” methods which can be tried out to help you fall asleep.

These “everyday” methods are what our dear Mothers and Fathers would tell us to do when we have a hard time falling asleep, so here are a few tricks which may help you fall asleep at night:

-First and foremost try getting into the practice of doing yoga! It will help you relax your muscles easing your tension mentally and physically.

-Read a book! Do you remember how your mother and father would tell you bedtime stores to help you fall asleep at night? Well maybe if you read a nice story before bed till you feel yourself falling asleep, it might help a whole lot.

-Drink warm milk! It does the trick at times because an intake of an amount of calcium according to doctors can help reduce stress.

-Have a bedtime snack with you warmed up milk, which contains high proteins such as hard boiled eggs or have almonds which contain magnesium helping you to relax your muscles.

-Have a nice warm cup of DECAF tea such as chamomile tea or green tea which contains theanine (an amino acid), which helps you sleep.

-AVOID eating chocolate or too many sweets before bed! It is known to cause nightmares, and due to the amount of caffeine which it contains, the sugar will surely keep you up.

-Avoid drinking too much coffee in the evening hours. Coffee is very addictive, and sometimes coffee drinkers may crave a sip or two few times a day just to get the hype from the caffeine in order to keep going so it would be better to reduce the intake of coffee.

-Listen to light music, or nature sounds (you can buy CD’s or download these sounds online). It is a way to relax your mind.

-Avoid exercising in the evenings. When you hit the gym late in the day it can only keep you awake due to the high amount of adrenaline rush that is caused by your workout.

-Avoid thinking too much….it isn’t always good for you to over think, it will cause an even higher amount of stress.

by Denisha Sahadevan

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Overcoming Those Sleepless Nights