Insomnia – Simple Tips to Get Some Sleep
Insomnia is becoming more frequent in our modern, busy society and although it may not be life threatening, it can have a significant impact on quality of life. Usually there are other factors at work like mental health issues andpoor nutrition, and the insomnia is one of a number of symptoms, but it can occur on its own with no other associated conditions.
The typical pattern is someone who lies in bed and can’t fall asleep for several hours or sleep onset insomnia, however another common pattern of insomnia is someone who goes to bed at ten or eleven o’clock then enjoys a good night’s sleep until three, four or five in the morning.
If you are waking at five, it might not be worth trying to get back to sleep. But if it’s at three, try getting up for 15 minutes, do non stimulating activitiessuch as practicing some mindfulness, focusing on the present and not getting caught up in your thoughts and then go back to bed. This can be repeated for as long as required. Another option is to use one of the mindfulness apps like Smiling Minds or CBT based insomnia programs such as SHUTi.
Talking of apps, devices can frequently be one of the causes of your lack of sleep. The blue light from screens decreases our production of melatonin, the hormone that governs the sleep-wake cycle by controlling your circadian rhythms. To counter the reduction in your melatonin levels, you can use the Night Shift setting on your phone– it gives the screen an orange hue– but it’s best to stop or at leastminimise your use of devices after dinner.
Getting a good night’s sleep the natural way
Having a sleep routine is very important to signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.
Avoid using computers, laptops and similar devices after dinner. Stop having caffeine after lunch and minimise alcohol, for although this may help the sleep onset, the quality of sleep is impacted and can often be disturbed.
If your melatonin is low, you could try using melatonin, which works well for sleep onset insomnia.Magnesium is a mineral that can promote relaxation and help you get a good night’s sleep. You can get different combinations which also contain calming herbs like Inositol, Passionflower and Zizyphus.
- Inositol has been called ‘Nature’s sleeping pill.’ It is a little-known member of the Vitamin B family that calms the racing mind. People can take it before going to bed and some people also take it during the day.
- Passionflower is the name for an entire genus of plants, some species of which have been used for many years in Europe to treat anxiety, agitation and, yes, you guessed it, insomnia!
- Zizyphus is a seed that has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to improve sleep quality and enhance mental relaxation.
So you don’t have to suffer with insomnia anymore. With the use of various strategies or natural supplements, you too can get a good night’s sleep.