Hello, my insomnia!

  • 2010-04-15
  • By TBT staff

RIGA - Statistics show that an enormous amount of people suffer from sleep disturbance. For example, every third American, every fourth Briton and 1/5 of people in France have disturbed sleep. These facts show the real scale of the problem.

Neurology and psychiatry are the sciences that are engaged in research and treatment of sleep disorders. There are over one hundred different abnormalities and sleep disorders. They can be small or even life-threatening. This is also evidenced by the widespread usage of sleeping pills.
Insomnia is one of the most frequent manifestations of sleep disorders. Of course, you can also treat insomnia with the help of drugs, but these can cause side effects and you can get used to them very quickly. Therefore, if your insomnia becomes chronic, you better not attempt self-treatment, but seek medical help from a doctor. If you rarely have insomnia, you can get rid of it on your own. Let’s try to understand the causes of insomnia, and perhaps you will find several ways to fall into the arms of Morpheus faster.

Many of us periodically face situations when it is hard to fall asleep, despite all our efforts. You turn from side to side and count the sheep, but sleep just seems to have forgotten about you. Thoughts that you should definitely get some sleep because tomorrow is going to be a tough day with some important events keep bothering you.
Stop! Here’s the first reason. “Thoughts keep bothering you”, and hence - increased brain activity, which is working intensely on events that excite you. It is not a surprise that you cannot go to sleep. And the solution is simple: you should cast away all your anxious thoughts, set them aside and think about something pleasant! It is important that the brain is able to adjust to a calmer mode, and in the morning you will not even remember how and when you fell asleep.

Insomnia is often caused by fear of seeing nightmares, and this fear arises in your subconsciousness. To avoid this, a couple of hours before going to sleep you should think about some problem that bothers you and consider different options for its solution. Realizing that you have done your best to deal with it will help to calm yourself down and not think about it while lying in bed.

But the brain activity can make its presence felt even when there are no problems that bother you at that time of night. Then why can’t you fall asleep? Perhaps it is because of a cup of strong tea, coffee or any other soft drink. Although it is also true, that some teas have a calming effect. But if you are not sure exactly how the tea influences you, it is better to drink something else after dinner, for example, any juice or mineral water.

Another cause of insomnia may be what you ate (or didn’t eat) before bedtime. Eating plenty before going to sleep is not desirable: a high-fat meal will take a long time to digest and this will not let you fall asleep. At the same time, going to bed hungry is not a solution either. This mostly concerns those who like to stick to a diet. Do not torture your body, an apple before going to bed or a glass of kefir will do you good and will help you to fall asleep faster.

It is quite often that people have insomnia simply because they feel uncomfortable in their bedroom: it is too hot or too cold in the room, some lights or sounds are bothering you. So, before going to bed you should close the curtains tightly, turn the TV off, ventilate the room. You should always remember that there is nothing that has such a positive effect on sleep as a comfortable bed. It is possible that in order to get better sleep you need to buy a new bed with an orthopedic mattress or get bedclothes made from sheep or camel wool, which gives the best sense of thermal comfort.
Unfortunately, it must be admitted that there is no universal remedy for insomnia. But you can force yourself to go to sleep using other effective methods.

Take off the daily problems together with the clothes. Throw away negative emotions such as anger, resentment and envy. The British, for example, believe that in order to get a good sleep, before going to bed you should ask for forgiveness to all people with whom you had quarreled during the day. A Russian proverb says: "Envious people have bad sleep". So instead of making plans of revenge before bedtime, you should rather concentrate on something pleasant.

Mozart's music is an excellent remedy for insomnia. It is believed, that in comparison with other classical music compositions, Mozart's melodies have the greatest therapeutic effects. They normalize blood pressure and heart rate, relieve nervousness. However, if you don’t like Mozart's music, you can listen to any other quiet instrumental music before going to bed. It is excellent if it includes sounds of waves lapping on the shore and cries of sea gulls – it is great for relaxation. If it doesn’t have any effect on you as well, just try to ... turn the fan on. The monotony of its buzz will lull you to sleep in no time.

You have a dog – perfect! Firstly, it is proven that communication with our four-legged friends relieves stress, and, secondly, like it or not, but you have to walk your dog in the evening. A half-hour walk before going to sleep perfectly calms the nervous system.

Physical tiredness in the evening will make you fall asleep even before you get to bed. You have only one desire - to get to bed as fast as possible. Of course, it is not recommended to tire yourself out every day (this is also fraught with sleep disorders), but giving yourself a moderate physical load during the day is essential.
Relax in the bath with pine extract and sea salt. The water temperature should not be more than 37 degrees, and the duration of the procedure - 10-15 minutes. Then immediately go to bed.
By accustoming yourself to going to sleep at the same time, you will get rid of insomnia, because the body will "know" that it is time to get some shut-eye.

A boring book or television program ensures falling asleep fast (the studies of foreign language grammar at bedtime have similar effects on some individuals). It is a well-known fact that when you have to do something that seems uninteresting and boring, blood pressure drops, you feel weak and start yawning. You become terribly sleepy! And vice versa, when you are interested in something, you do not feel tired. This is why experts advise not to work at night or watch exciting TV programs.

Put a hot-water bottle on the feet – it helps many people to fall asleep. There is another way, less pleasant, but very effective: throw back your blanket and freeze for some time. Then cover yourself and you will have a pleasant feeling of warmth and happiness, and the bed will seem cozy. The same result can be achieved by getting out of the bed and walking barefoot on the floor for 10 minutes.

Make love! Time tested for centuries, this method is used by many people. After sex, we are as relaxed as possible. Besides, sexual satisfaction provokes secretion of substances in the body, which are "responsible" for sleep.
Fall asleep on the right side, slightly bending your knees. This position is considered to be the most suitable for sleep: muscles do not tense up, and there are no difficulties for the heart.

Stop worrying because of insomnia! Insomnia itself does not exhaust the body as much as worrying about it does. Concerns about "will I fall asleep tonight or not" and looking at the clock every minute can lead anyone to nervous exhaustion.