Hi, my name is Sid, I'm 19, and I've suffered from chronic insomnia for almost 8 months. I know it's not that long compared to a lot of other people but I'm in so much pain and I've tried multiple things to help that have done absolutely nothing for me. If any of you have any information at all that could help me, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!
Perhaps you could tell us a bit more about your habits, then we can give you some advice that's relevant to you.
First some basic rules:
- No coffee, Coke or Pepsi after 4pm. NO energy drinks whatsoever - they have ridiculous amounts of stimulants in them (e.g. caffeine, taurine, guarana), far more than coffee or Coke. They're designed to keep you awake for long periods, so don't be surprised if they do!
- Turn off your computer/tablet/cellphone at least one hour before bedtime. Technology stimulates the brain, and if it's stimulated it's impossible for it to sleep. Your brain needs at least an hour to calm down.
- No watching TV in bed. TV is not as bad as computers because you're watching it passively, but the flickering screen is still a stimulant so it's not a good thing to watch immediately before you sleep.
Feng Shui believers say that just having a TV or computer in the bedroom is enough to keep you awake because they're so full of energy - if you can't remove them, cover their screens with something before you go to sleep. A long shot, but if you're desperate it's worth a try!
- Know that it's normal to wake up two or three times during the night. Just waking up isn't insomnia - it's only insomnia if it takes you more than twenty minutes to go back to sleep each time.
One more thing: you can't "try" to go to sleep. Lying in bed worrying about whether you'll sleep, is a guarantee you won't sleep. Instead, do a relaxation exercise:
Close your eyes. Starting at your toes, tell yourself you're relaxing each part of your body. Don't worry if you can't feel yourself relaxing, just keep saying it,. e.g. "my toes are relaxed. my feet are relaxed. my heels are relaxed. my ankles are relaxed" and so on.
Evaluate your habits, and avoid stimulants before bed time - as in a couple of hours prior for instance. Try milk or milk products before bedtime if you can tolerate it. Maybe you can squeeze in a short nap during the day? Sometimes getting too tired can be as bad as sleeping too much.
Exercise more, this is a great way to coax your body into getting the rest that it needs!
Complete darkness is very important for proper sleep. Even the slighetest amount, like from a clock radio can disrupt your melatonin (sleep hormone) level. Put up black out shades and use eye shades for total darkness.
Room temperature is also key. Your room should never be hotter than 70%. 60% to 68% is preferable. I keep my bedroom at 60% and snuggle in my thick comfortor.
A hot shower or bath before bedtime raises body temperature and helps you feel sleepy and sleep more soundly.
Studies connect cold feet to insomnia. Even if your feet don't feel cold, wear socks or place a hot water bottle near your feet.
Ear plugs will block out unwanted sounds.
Take Melatonin, a sleep hormone which controls the circadian cycle,it works wonders for some people, better than any perscription drug.
Yeah, this is my problem too...my brain won't shut up whenever I want to go to sleep. But then again, I've been nocturnal for as long as I remember. I used to take pills (prescribed by my doctor), now I am trying to avoid it and trying to get into some natural remedies like, lavander oil and chamomile tea (caffeine free) before going to bed. I also avoid taking naps during day time. And, I do go for my regular wellness massage, which helps regulate my entire body system. I suggest, you see your doctor first to find out the culprit first. I wish you well.
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