Do you have trouble sleeping at night?
What do you do to try and get to sleep?
I am sure that most of us have experienced a sleepless night. With problems falling to sleep however, there are so many factors that contribute to this frustrating condition that it helps to ask a series of questions to pinpoint a cause, ruling out more serious sleep disorders. With today's multi-tasking lifestyles it is difficult to immediately transition to sleep mode at bedtime, leaving behind those lingering worries and responsibilities.
It is helpful to designate a wind-down time in the evening - sort of a pre-sleep relaxation-fest. Even if one feels exhausted, sleep can still elude. Each of us have our favorite activities and routines at night but if an inability to go to sleep is creating anxiety and fatigue the following day then perhaps it is time to rearrange the evening's events. Some sleep stoppers seem so obvious, like drinking coffee after dinner but for a crystal clear picture of potential problems, write down or document everything that occurs after dinner and before you lay that head in bed. After a few weeks of keeping a pre-bedtime journal it is likely that a pattern will emerge, hopefully highlighting the culprit or at least a few problem areas to focus on. If not, don't despair, here are a few things that are commonly suggested to enhance sleep:
Avoid any stimulating activities right before bed, like action-filled movies or games, loud music, work-related discussions, computers, etc.
Instead, focus on things that relax and calm, like reading, listening to soothing sounds, meditation and relaxation exercises, aromatherapy, massage....
Your bed should be in a well-ventilated, dark, quiet location.
Going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time each day is also helpful. It will become routine and your body will respond.
Don't hit the hay hungry but if you go to bed directly following a meal or snack, your body will continue to digest the food during the night instead of obtaining that essential REM sleep. Again, try to eat your last meal at the same time each evening, preferably a few hours before bedtime. Light snacks are preferable, like herb (chamomile) tea or foods with tryptophan.
Daily exercise is a good way to alleviate the stress that eventually prevents one from falling into a healthy restorative night of sleep.
These are just a few of the many things that can make falling to sleep more likely. As with any challenge in life, start with the solutions that are the easiest to accomplish first. Sweet Dreams
I often have bouts of insomnia,especially during the height of summer. I have never really been one for taking any kind of medication so that is something I try and avoid. What I do instead is to get up and wander around the room for a few minutes, trying to empty my head, which always seems to fill with repetitive thoughts at times like these.
Then I get a drink of water, slowly drink it and then get back into bed. The whole process normally takes me around 10 minutes or so and usually works pretty well for me.
Sometimes my sleeplessness comes from fretting over something that is looming over me such as a deadline or unpleasant duty, or money worries. The best thing I find to do then is to send some music through a pair of headphones, put them on and focus on that for a few minutes, however long it takes. On occasion I have fallen asleep with the music still going, a feat in itself given that my favourite genre is heavy metal.
Staying awake is more of a problem for me, day or night. Seriously. Either your body needs sleep or it doesn't. Don't get hung up on numbers.
Yes and/or no and it is cyclic. I do have trouble sleeping during the night hours of pacific standard/daylight hours. I know sounds too specific, yet seems to be so. My sleep hours are cyclic. They vary based on my present moods (consider I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder for near 25 years) and work load both physical and mental varies over the week days.
Generally I sleep 6 - 7 hours per 24 hour period. Yet, if I fall asleep at 7PM I will sleep to near 2AM. Thus, I awaken, yet it is night. In other words if I begin working physically at 7:30AM and work until 4PM more than likely I fall asleep earlier and arise earlier. However, if it is the second day being off, I do not do any real work and woke up at 6AM, so I fall asleep at 10PM and sleep until 5AM. As each individual is unique and some are cyclic with an 8 hour rest period those cycles are different.
More depressed symptomology equals more sleep in general. More hypomanic symptomology means less need of sleep. Both of those can lead toward awake hours during the night hours, yet may sleep at night. Usually more so during early evening hours is best for my self as an individual.
Melatonin does help me. I am not liberal with its usage. Melatonin is produced in our brain as a hormone. It is produced or triggered by darkness more than night hours. If during the late evening hours the room light and the TV is on then I tend to stay awake latter and have more trouble sleeping. That is governed on tiredness or the day's physical/mental activity. Consider age does have degree of affect over the whole process with the final effective outcome. I am near 60.
Taking the time to read articles on melatonin and not so much the hype articles selling their products one may learn that on cloudy days and at home artificial sunlight may help to regulate melatonin manufacture or better put non-manufacturer and less naps. Thus, one has more sleep at night resting the body and mind instead of awake trying to sleep with the TV (producing light limiting melatonin) and/or a reading lamp for instance.
A great article on sleep is good to know too. One learns the requirements for sleep as rest - psychological, body, and etc. If one does not tire oneself the TV is watched with a light on to a late hour then we ask does that limit natural melatonin production thus lessen the chance of sleeping during the night hours. (Need + inducement + acquiring needed rest = time for sleep)
Yes. The most often problem is that I cannot go to sleep before midnight, sometimes until 4 in the morning, but the usual time is 2. If I really want to force myself to sleep, I read some boring but interesting books. Crime and Punishment, Pride and Prejudice, I Am David, Edgar Allen Poe's stories, etc. Those usually knock me out after an hour.
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