- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Put Your Brain to Sleep
Is it insomnia or your brain won't shut off
Let's face it, we all have been there at one time or another tossing and turning most of the night away. Then as you drift off to sleep, the alarm clock goes off because it's time to go to work. I spent ten years of my life, living on very little sleep. I could not shut my mind off at bed time no matter how tired I was. Did I forget to do something at work? Did I put lunch money out for the kids? What did I forget at the store? Do the animals have enough food until pay day? How much over time do I need this week to get by? Then I end up yelling at my brain "JUST SHUT UP".
Yes those were miserable days of my life because I was always tired, worried about everything, life was kicking my butt and my brain would not shut up. I missed so many hours of sleep in ten years, when I finally started sleeping I was amazed at how much better I felt.
Studies have shown that middle aged people have the most difficulty sleeping then any others. We have family to worry about and work and and and and and. It never stops. I would get so irritated when my husband snored all night because he was sleeping like a baby and I was up brain storming how I was going to fix the world. Well not really but you get my drift.
During my 40ish years I was a full time student, was in the process of writing two books and working almost 60 hours a week. I was a zombie. Now when I look back there is no way in God's green earth I would ever try that again. I accomplished a lot but it took a toll on my body.
By the time I was tired of being tired and finally went to my doctor she was understanding but said there is no reason not to sleep. Well of course now I agree but come on life doesn't stop because you want to sleep.
How We Develop Sleep Patterns.
I am a 60's baby and we went to bed before it got dark, we had to take a nap every day and that pattern continued with me for life. Yes I still nap to this day. Parents set the tone of your sleeping pattern from early on in life. Babies new born sleep any where from 16 to 20 hours a day until they get their sleep/eat pattern going. As we get older we need less sleep.
As we age we often experience normal changes in our sleeping patterns. We may become sleepy earlier, wake up earlier, or enjoy less deep sleep. Although these changes are a normal part of aging, disturbed sleep, waking up tired every day, and other symptoms of insomnia are not a normal part of aging.
If your parents let you stay up late and sleep late, it's probably still living with you now. The one important thing about trying to break a non sleeping pattern is to try and go to bed at the same time every single night. Once you develop a good sleeping pattern it will be easier.
SO HOW DO I SHUT MY MIND OFF?
When you constantly worry about life and you are stressed, your mind runs one hundred miles an hour. In order to stop this behavior, you have to learn to let it go. I know it sounds easy coming from someone else. When people constantly stress and worry, it may be time to talk to your doctor and ask for a medication to help you make your mind shut up. You're not crazy but you can become a lethal weapon if you continue on the path of no sleep.
For those of you who prefer to not take medication, then you have to find an outlet to make you tired enough to go to sleep. Do something relaxing before bed such as a yoga class, exercise, read a good book and I don't mean read one about serial killers either. Get a feel good book that is good for the soul and drown your mind into it.
Have a glass of wine to unwind from a long day. Take a swim. Get a hot tub. Drink some warm milk and you might be thinking ewwww because the only thing that is good with milk is Oreo cookies and I don't want hot milk either.
Tips On Getting a Good Nights Sleep
From the Mayo Clinic they suggest to try these things before contacting your doctor. It could be something simple as drinking too much caffeine before bed time or you are really having a tough time in your life. Either way, in order to get a good nights sleep, you have to find out what is causing it. In my case I chose to talk to my doctor and with a few medications I sleep like a baby now.
1: Stick to a sleep schedule.
2: Pay attention to what you eat and drink.
3: Create a bedtime ritual.
4: Get comfortable.
5: Limit daytime naps.
6: Include physical activity in your daily routine.
7: Manage stress.
Know when to contact your doctor when all of these things do not work. An occasional missed night of sleep is one thing but if you are not sleeping at all or barely sleeping, your doctor needs to help you.
If you can't sleep, your body can not rejuvenate and it becomes broken down and it can really get ugly.
Not Sleeping Hurts
If you have chronic issues with insomnia, you are hurting your body. You are not giving it the sleep it needs to repair its self. Make an appointment with your doctor and get help with your stress. One of the best gifts I gave myself, was a membership to a massage place. Weekly I go to distress myself.
If you are having pain and that is keeping you awake, then consult your physician. Chronic pain is known to break down perfectly healthy tissue.
Take a long warm bath. Jot down things you need to remember. Some people find that a gentle stretching routine for several minutes just before getting into bed helps induce sleep. Others practice relaxation techniques. Libraries or bookstores have books on developing stretching or relaxation routines as well as the internet. You can find videos on mostly any topic so why not find a few relaxation therapies videos instead of watching Criminal Minds (yeah I know it's one of my favorite programs).
Stop worrying about your aunts, daughters, uncles boyfriends baby sister. I have now said to myself if it won't matter in ten years then who cares.
Sleep with a fan running if you need noise. There is no way I can fall asleep to the tv but from childhood I have always had a fan. To this day I still sleep with a fan.
8 Hours of Sleeping Music
How Soft Music Can Help
In the video there are 8 hours of soft peaceful music that can help you get comfortable enough to sleep. Shut off the lights, turn on your computer and play this video. I have found comfort in listening to relaxing music. Close your eyes and let the music take you to a place you love. Hear the waves of the ocean calmly hitting against the embankment. Starting with your face and neck, tighten your muscles and relax them one group at a time until you have relaxed all of your muscles.
Get Rid of Your Crabby Self
Many people are very crabby because they are not sleeping. Kick them out of your life forever. You don't need crabby Jack to live in your house and destroy your happiness. Give him a swift kick and don't let him back in.
I think a lot of the violence that happens today is people are not sleeping and are just crabby. Well maybe not but I am sure they could have used a good nights sleep before they talked themselves into doing something that will keep them in jail the rest of their life.
If you can't stand yourself then 9 times out of ten no one else can either. Do your family and coworkers a favor GET SOME SLEEP.
Sleep it does the body good.