If you have resorted to researching Insomnia, chances are you’ve experienced a few sleepless nights, or it’s been happening for years, and you’re trying to get to the bottom of it. If you’re sick of being told to count sheep and pop sleeping pills, then read on. Back to sleep is going to show you the symptoms of insomnia, how to solve insomnia naturally, and ‘how to prevent insomnia’ tips and tricks.
What is Insomnia?
Let’s get down to facts; what is insomnia?
- Insomnia is the ongoing condition of an inability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Insomnia symptoms depend on the condition’s severity. Some people manage to function in mild cases, and for others, it can be debilitating. Insomnia symptoms include;
- Difficulty remembering things
- Inability to remain task-focused
While these symptoms aren’t directly a matter of life and death, the state of your mental well-being is of the utmost importance!
What Causes Insomnia?
What causes insomnia truly is the million-dollar question. Unfortunately, it’s not a one-word answer, instant fix kind of deal. But identifying the problem is undoubtedly the first step in improving your sleep patterns and as a result, your mental well being.
Insomnia can be a reflection of your current, daily functions. Often, people experience short-term insomnia when they are going through a particularly stressful time in their life – for example moving house, moving jobs, having a baby, choosing what matching cutlery set to buy and so one. But insomnia is no laughing matter. For most people that suffer from the condition, it affects their job, health, relationships and happiness. Now we can’t give you a step by step guide on how to move house or change jobs successfully, but we can give you some tips on how to calm yourself and invoke good sleeping habits (more on that later).
Another reason why insomnia happens could be a result of medication that affects sleep patterns, for instance; antidepressants, blood pressure medication, allergy medication and corticosteroids. We highly recommend chatting with your doctor and informing them of the issues that you are facing.
Insomnia can be a symptom for other conditions like anxiety and depression. It can also be the result of poor sleeping habits like too much screen time, lack of physical activity during the day, and overeating before bed.
Similar to the persistent drip of a leaky faucet, having an uncomfortable pillow can keep you up all hours of the night. Whether you’re a hot sleeper or a birthday suit, no blanket kind of snoozer Back to Sleep offers a wide range of pillows that are suited to every circumstance.
How to Solve Insomnia Naturally
Back to sleep recommends solving insomnia naturally instead of prescribing sleeping medication. When you take sleeping tablets, your body builds up an intolerance to it. While sleep medication will work in the short-term, you will have to increase your dosage or go back to square one.
Once you have identified the cause of your insomnia, you can select one or some of the methods of solving insomnia below that correlates with your particular condition.
Solve Insomnia with Exercise
Have you ever had one of those extended couch days with minimal activity only to find that at the end of the day you couldn’t switch off? Maybe this is you most days? If it is, perhaps the root of your insomnia is a lack of exercise.
A study conducted by the School of Medicine at UCLA found that individuals who exercised for an hour per day sat at the average sleep time for adults. That’s concrete evidence concluding that physical exercise leads to better sleep patterns and may result in fixing your insomnia.
Another study that supports these facts found that insomniacs that exercised 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes slept an hour longer and woke up less frequently than those that didn’t change their sedentary behaviour.
If you choose to take on the path of exercise, do some of it outside! Our body relies on vitamin D! Studies show that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to tiredness and fatigue, while this sounds like something that an insomniac might like, feeling these symptoms all day won’t help you sleep at night.
Our body also relies on the Sun to engage our body clock. Our body can vaguely identify what time of the day it is so it can release certain hormones giving you energy (for the day time) or mellowing you out (to catch some z’s).
Preventing Insomnia By Managing Stress Levels
Let’s start with a little fact flex; 40 % of people say that they feel tired or fatigued because of stress. Have you ever jumped into bed sleepy as a sloth and then continued to run circles around your brain for the next (X) amount of hours unable to switch off? Like what possible benefits come from thinking about what your shopping list looks like at four o’clock in the morning? We think like this because our brains are in overdrive trying to remember all the worries and concerns that have accumulated throughout the day. So how can we prevent insomnia by managing our stress levels?
Journaling is a handy insomnia prevention tip. By jotting down said shopping lists, potential Facebook announcements or whatever it is you’re thinking of in the early hours, you can eliminate that worry from the extensive collection. After a while, you’ll get good at letting go of the journal thoughts, making the sleep transition swift and brief.
Guided Imagery and Meditation
Guided imagery is an insomnia prevention technique that involves triggering sleep patterns through imagery. A calming image usually of a peaceful mountain stream or golden hills of sunsets is reflected upon just before sleep time. This calming image, in time, tricks the mind into thinking that it is a cue for sleep. Other avenues of this method can be through relaxing music and smell such as lavender and chamomile.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Sometimes stress is brought on by pent up energy that just, in a sense, needs to be shaken off. Progressive muscle relaxation consists of tensing your toes on every count up to ten; this burns off excess energy and allows your body to relax into the sleep transition.
Using the Correct Bedding
It’s known that good sleeping patterns can digress over time due to the decrease in the quality of sleeping equipment. Now you might think that equipment is a strange word in relation to sleeping but using the right mattress, pillow and blanket is indeed the necessary equipment in achieving ideal rest.
You might find that a mixture of all of the methods above help your sleep patterns or possibly none of them help; the most important thing to do is to keep searching for the root of the problem and introduce a new method of eradicating insomnia.
Optimise Your Sleeping Environment
Sleeping on the right mattress is the last line of defence to a good night’s sleep. You could be practising all of the methods above to help prevent and solve insomnia, but without the right mattress, they are forsaken and here is why. When we are sleeping, we lie in certain positions, the contact from, say, the arm to the mattress reduces the flow of blood through those blood vessels, the brain then tells us to roll over to regain blood flow. If you’re sleeping on a breeze block for a bed, then you’ll be tossing and turning all night.
Sleeping on the right mattress distributes the contact between you and the bed maximising blood flow and decreasing sleep interruption.
Back to Sleep are one of the leading mattress and pillow manufacturers in Australia consistently striving to help Australians and people around the world find the comfortable, peaceful sleep that they deserve.