What Is Semi-Somnia?
Semisomnia - The 'Bad Sleep' Condition
Semisomnia is the latest condition to plague the population at large.
It isn't Insomnia, out and out sleeplessness; it is semisomnia, a kind of 'half' sleep that has 69% of the population having trouble sleeping..
So what exactly is semisomnia and might you have it?
- Does it take you a long time to get to sleep?
- Can you not 'switch off' your brain before you get to bed?
- Are you often tempted to take your mobile phone up to the bedroom with you or use your laptop whilst in bed.
- Is your working life encroaching on your home life?
If you said yes to any of these and are not getting a good night's sleep, you may be suffering from semisomnia, the latest sleep-related condition to be affecting people.
And semisomnia is no joke, especially as your deep sleep is extremely limited leaving you feeling exhausted during the day.
Dr Neil Stanley has been studying Semisomnia for several years, first for the R.A.F. and then the Clinincal Trials and Research Unit in Norfolk, England.
He claims it is 3 main things which cause semisomnia - technology and its omnipresence 24/7, allowing our working lives to overlap extensively with our down time and stress over the current recession and the extra pressure on our finances.
So what can you do to stop semisomnia in its tracks?
Causes of Semisomnia - Are You A Tech Wreck?
Technology plays a huge role in all of our lives; whether it be in our TV sets, X-Boxes, smart phones or laptops.
It is a now pretty unusual to not have some sort of tech in your home or in your hand.
Overuse of technology is thought to be one of the biggest causes of semisomnia.
Your brain is so used to having digital data and information fired at it for hours a day, often in short, sharp snatches of information (tweets, texts, status updates, likes, emails, IMs, etc) that it comes to expect being interrupted from other things every few minutes and this is no different at night. When this happens, semisomnia is the result, poor snatched moments of sleep with no restful qualities.
Whilst you're still engrossed in Twitter at 10 pm, you are never going to be in a state of winding down from your day.
You need to give your brain a fighting chance when it comes to switching off and allowing it to begin its 'recharge'. The full recharge comes with adequate sleep and semisomnia is not adequate sleep.
Technology is great, we all love it but you should set a curfew for the last time you will look at your laptop if you want your semisomnia to stop wrecking your life.
And your bosses should not really expect you to still be in work mode late into the evening - everybody deserves some down time, especially if you have a family and need some rest.
Semisomnia Survival - SWITCH OFF!
Leave your mobile phone switched off during the night or at least away from arms reach so that you will not be tempted to check on any messages or Facebook statuses if you happen to wake up.
Even better, switch off your phone. If someone needs you in a real emergency, they will ring your land line.
Make sure your laptop is switched off by 10 pm too - if you work at home, set yourself a time to 'clock off'.
In the long run, semisomnia and disrupted sleep may leave you unfit for work; better to make changes now and get some decent rest and be fit for your work during the day.
Why You Need A Good Night's Sleep
Our new technology filled lives have provided us with stimulus if we want it 24/7.
And for many people, especially young people, this has become the norm.
Some people see sleep as an inconvenience which gets in the way of doing other things but sleep is one of the most important things in our lives.
Your body needs several hours proper rest at the end of every day in order to function at its best.
Semisomnia, typically, can cut down the amount of sleep a person is able to have by half.
Semisomnia is the constant interruption of sleep and it goes on for most of the night with very little deep sleep taken.
Women suffer from semisomnia more than men and women's hormone levels can also affect sleep.
Stress is also thought to be a cause for semisomnia because people work longer days and regularly take work home with them (using technology again). At the present time, people are also worried about faltering finances and making ends meet; this kind of worry is bound to cause sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation like semisomnia can have major effects on your health as lack of sleep weakens the immune system.
A lack of good sleep over a long period gives you a greater risk of things like depression and heart disease and with a weakened immune system, usually mild illnesses like colds or viral infections can feel much worse.
Tiredness will cause you to feel run down and listless. You cannot function for long in that condition.
Semisomnia is a condition which can be cured with some straightforward life changes but it will all come down to a person's will and determination to get proper sleep.
Get Into Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep 'hygiene' is the broad term for the things we all do when we are getting ready to sleep.
For those who think that they may have semisomnia, it is essential to get some good sleep hygiene and break the habits and rituals which have now become 'embedded' (no pun intended) in your life.
You can alter the sleep habits you have now by:
- Having a fixed bedtime and awakening time ) - say go to bed at 10:30 pm and get up at 7:00 am
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, other stimulants, spicy foods etc for at least 4 hours before bed time.
- Don't take naps during the day.
- Do some exercise every day - nothing too strenuous necessarily but at least 20 minutes.
- Change or rearrange your bedroom - get some comfy bedding. Ensure the room temperature is pleasant to sleep in. Have some low light from lamps and draw your curtains so the room is darker.
- Make a rule that the bedroom is for sleep and intimacy only - no phones, TVs, games consoles. Reading is fine because it is quiet and can often aid relaxation.
Before going to bed:-
- Spend some time trying to relax - some quiet time with the TV switched off
- Do some meditation if you enjoy that.
- Establish a routine - switch off downstairs, put phone way, go to toilet, shower, brush teeth, put on night clothes.
Semisomnia can be dealt a fatal blow just by your own will to change your sleeping patterns - the suggestions above will be a good place to start.