Sleeping is essential to the human body because, while we sleep, our cells regenerate and that is why we feel refreshed when we wake up in the morning. Inadequate sleep can lead to severe harmful effects on your health. Recent studies have proven that sleep is vital for a healthy immune system function, thus maintaining the body’s ability to fight off sickness or illness. Sleep is also vital for normal functioning of the nervous system and its ability to function mentally and physically. That is why we need it so much in our lives and that if we don’t get an adequate amount of sleep cell we turn into complete zombies. A lot of people, maybe even you, suffer from sleeping disorders. The most common would be insomnia.
So what exactly is insomnia? Insomnia is known as a lack of sleep or difficulty falling or staying asleep. Insomnia is just one of the three sleep disorders. The other two are disturbed sleep which is obstructive sleep apnea and excessive sleep which is narcolepsy. Sleep disorders can be easily managed once properly diagnosed.
The amount of sleep you need would depend on several factors such as age. Infants sleep almost 16 hours. As for teens they need 9 hours of sleep in a day. Adults need an average of 7 to 8 hours while elderly people require much sleep as compared to teenagers. About 50% of elderly individuals have some type of sleeping disorder.
Going back to the topic at hand, what are the signs that show that you have insomnia? Simply put, the symptoms include difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep during the night. Other symptoms are difficulty in returning to sleep once aroused and waking up early in the morning. Insomniacs have what we do not consider to be a refreshing sleep. Having insomnia causes one to feel sleepy during the day thus not being able to concentrate during work hours. An insomniac also has difficulty concentrating and is quite irritable.
Before blaming other factors, consider the food you eat during the day or before you go to bed at night that may affect your sleep such as drinking coffee in the middle of the day. Caffeine would make you stay up until the wee hours of the morning when taken in the late day. Next, assess your lifestyle. Are you stressed? The simplest solution would be not to bring stressful thoughts to bed. Sleep is supposed to be relaxing and thinking of stressful thoughts would not aid in helping you fall asleep or staying asleep. If these aren’t the cause of your insomnia, then are you having problems that affect you emotionally? It would be best to sort out these issues first.
So how does one manage insomnia? There are certain medications prescribed by doctors if you really have done everything to fall asleep but still fail at it. There are pills for sleep disorders that can be bought over the counter as well. Now if you haven’t tried everything yet to help you go to sleep. Try these simple tips I’ve listed below and in time you’ll be snoozing until the alarm rings.
1. Set the sleep stage: relax your body hours before sleep. Trying out relaxation techniques such as mediation would definitely assist you in sleeping.
2. Like I’ve mentioned above, never bring stressful thoughts into bed. Set them aside and think of them tomorrow. Sleep is sleep and should not contain bothersome thoughts. To help you out, list all these “problems” before you go to bed and once you get up in the morning you’ve got it sorted out in front of you to solve.
3. Try eating a light snack that is rich in carbohydrates like a plain bagel. These will help you relax but do be sure not to over eat. Indigestion has been proven to interrupt sleep.
4. Remember back when you were a kid you always had a glass of milk at night? Try that one as well. Milk contains tryptophan that aids in helping you fall asleep.
5. Go to bed once you feel sleepy. Do not over exert yourself. If your body says enough is enough, listen to it and give it the rest it deserves.
6. Follow a strict sleep schedule. If you go to bed by 8 pm then keep doing so. Wake up at a scheduled time as well so you won’t tend to over sleep.
7. Never bring “work” to your bed or sleeping area. The bed is only for sleeping so avoid bringing work to the bed such as documents to read through or your laptop to check if your secretary did send the emails you asked her to. If you continue with this type of behavior, then the mind would not relax every time you step into bed to sleep.
8. Bothered by the light? Then wear a sleep mask or use dark curtains. Bothered by the noise? Then wear ear plugs.
Knowing these tips, you’ll find it easy to sleep at night and feel refreshed every time you get out of bed in the morning. Just make sure you get the healthy amount of sleep and always make sure to listen to your body.