Help for Insomniacs
Approximately thirty-two million people in the U.S. are insomniacs. I don't know of anyone who hasn't had the odd sleepless period in their lives. Usually, it's stress induced and once the stress is gone, sleeping patterns can start to return to normal. Unfortunately, one person in eight isn't so lucky. That's what the statistics boil down to, one in eight. That's a lot of people who are not getting enough sleep. If you're among them, you're familiar with the frustration and all the associated symptoms. If not, you might be wondering if you have a problem. Hopefully, there is something here, in this hub, that will prove helpful to both groups.
Symptoms of Insomnia
So, how do you know when insomnia is serious enough for a doctor's visit? What telling signs indicate that you are a full fledged insomniac? Here are some symptoms:
- You have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
- Your exhaustion is affecting your daily life, i.e. poor concentration, irritability, forgetfulness, accidents
- You've tried everything, even things you shouldn't and nothing helps
If you've had trouble sleeping properly for a few weeks or more, don't put yourself through anymore suffering. Get thee to your doctor and ask for help. Your physician will make sure that there are no underlying medical conditions first then will likely start asking you questions. For example, are you a chronic snorer or have you gained weight? He or she will look into the most common causes initially to try to help you. If necessary, a sleep clinic may be recommended.
What Not to Try - Then What?
When you're desperate for sleep, you'll try just about anything. Insomniacs often resort to substances such as alcohol, antihistamines, cold medicine and even drugs. Many of these typically compound rather than help the problem.
Okay, so what should you do? There are a few things that you can try. If you're one of the luckier ones, you are experiencing a very short lived bout and the following suggestions will take care of it for you. Insomniacs who've lived without proper rest for some time may also be helped. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell for sure, you have to try it and see.
Zen Yourself to Sleep
If you are able, meditate for fifteen minutes before retiring. This can help clear your mind and body of stress, helping both to relax and prepare for sleep. Feel free to meditate for longer if you can because the more you do it, the less activity you'll have going on in your brain. When you get good at it, you'll be amazed at the difference. It may well become a bedtime tradition for you.
There are some common sense ways to prepare for bed that makes a difference for some people.
For example, retire when you're sleepy, preferably before ten. Mild insomnia and those tired mornings can sometimes be alleviated by this alone. Going to sleep by ten ensures a deeper, more restful sleep. If you are not tired by then though, don't force it or you'll stress yourself out and make things worse.
Something else you can do is avoid fatty or sweet foods. They are hard to digest and will keep you awake. You should also avoid having a heavy meal in the evening.
There are a few other simple tricks that can work:
- Have a relaxing massage
- Drink a glass of milk before bed
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day (slow down after 6 or your bladder may wake you from a sound sleep)
- Have a warm bath
- Put on soothing music to listen to while you drift off
- Limit your intake of caffeine and chocolate - any stimulant, actually
- Maintain a healthy diet and get regular exercise - it really helps!
Give any or all of these a try. They don't cost anything and they just may help you overcome insomnia in an easy, natural way.
Take Some Advice from Dr. Oz
Lose the Spare Tire
If you suffer from abdominal obesity, you are carrying around visceral fat. This is the stuff that accumulates as you avoid activity and eat saturated fats. It packs itself around your vital organs, robbing you of good health and good sleep.
People with excess belly fat are often awakened when they experience sudden changes in their blood glucose levels. What happens is, their blood sugar plummets and the adrenalin kicks in to make sure that the brain is getting necessary glucose. Naturally, the adrenalin rush wakes a person up. Apparently, 3 a.m. is the most common time for this to happen. Why? I honestly don't know but I suspect it has to do with the time of the last meal before bed.
Balancing the blood sugar is the key here. Stabilize it and you should sleep better. Diet plays a big part and there are some natural health products that can assist you. Don't forget about the exercise either because it's crucial and the only sure way to get rid of some of that abdominal fat that is contributing to your insomnia.
Help for Insomniacs - Additional Reading
May You Sleep Long and Well
I don't believe there is anything at all that can hurt you here. You have nothing to lose and a good night's sleep to gain.
Best of luck, may your rest be peaceful and your days energized.
© 2010 Herald Daily