Many people occasional or frequently have difficulty in sleeping. Sleeplessness is therefore a widespread problem and is one of the commonest complaints met by physicians. Doctors generally prefer to use the term insomnia for prolonged failure to obtain enough sleep to maintain health and well-being.
It may take the form of inability to fall asleep upon retiring, frequent awakening in the course of the night or awakening before enough sleep have been obtained. What can you do when you find yourself in such a problem?
One of the first things to do is to check to make certain that it is not caused by some physical disease. Some persons worry considerably if they have sleepless night, failing to realize that occasional sleeplessness is not unusual. An average good sleeper may have difficulty in sleeping in about one night in ten. Yet one bad night in ten can cause a person to worry, build up anxiety, which in turn brings more sleeplessness
Hence, have the wrong attitude towards sleep or some emotional anxiety can cause insomnia. Let us see how this comes about.
Trying too hard to sleep
Because of the fear of losing sleep, some persons try too hard to go to sleep. This defeats one’s objective, since it increases muscle tension and feeds back nervous impulses that keep the brain awake. Trying too hard to go to sleep does not work, because going to sleep is not done all at once, but rather little by little.
Human sleep is made up of several periods sleep, separated by shallow periods of slumber. Most persons are said to be half awake during at least one of this periods. Hence insomnia can occur when a person becomes alarmed about this momentary wakefulness and has trouble tapering off into sleep again.
However, at times what appears to be insomnia to some persons may be exaggeration. One may think that he or she was awake during the night, but may have been only partly awake. In the morning one may think that they spent a great deal of the night awake. But the loss of sleep is rarely as bad as it seems.
If a person feels a sense of well-being and is able to exert ones natural faculties the next day, then he or she needs no medical treatment for insomnia. What you need to do is learn how to deal with your emotional anxiety problems.
Deal with problems that cause emotional anxiety
Many persons tend to take their problems to bed and thus find it difficult to sleep. But one’s bed is not the place to solve problems, the place to take worries, the place to ponder over things that should have been done during the day or the place for anxious over the next day.
If one has a problem that can cause sleepless nights, then one should go about solving the problem by making the necessary changes in life to prevent the harmful negative emotional effects.
For example, living beyond your means will only bring sleep assaulting worries. Heavy debt will cause you to worry about how you will manage to make repayments. Or if one is hasty in their speech and in anger says unkind things to others during the day, one may lie awake at night worrying about what you said.
Remember emotional anxiety can play havoc with the soundness of your sleep. Therefore you should not overlook the fact that how you live your life during the day will ultimately affect the quality of your sleep. Hence, make the changes in your life style to reduce avoidable problems that cause needless tensions and anxiety.
Another very common cause of sleeplessness is too much stimulation just before bedtime. This is usually caused by taking beverages such as tea or coffee shortly before bedtime. Such beverages contain caffeine substance that may keep one awake. So cutting off strong stimulation well before bedtime, one has a better opportunity to go to sleep easily.
Unfamiliar noises are also likely to cause temporary sleeplessness, until one becomes accustomed to them. You may choose to use earplugs to overcome these disturbances.
Aids to sleep
It is surprising how many sleeping aids are on the market. There sleeping masks, pillows, soothing recordings and many others said to be sleep inducing aids. Whatever the aid, one thing is apparent, certain aids will work for some persons, but for others they may be of no help at all.
A few other non- gadget aids that work for some persons are these: A little exercise such as a walk in the fresh air for a half hour just before bedtime. Then reading in bed till drowsiness overcomes one. A well-needed vacation or change from the routine may help some find their normal sleeping pattern.
Sleeping pills are one of the most commonly used aids. Although doctors do not entirely give prescription for them, most doctor advice taking the pills for as short a time as possible and suggest using them only when sleep does not come because illness.
For example, persons who have an anxiety of not sleeping, the mere possession of a sleeping pill may remove the anxiety that really keeps one awake. However, pills are to be viewed as temporary crutches, not something to learn upon regularly. This is because they treat only symptoms and do not get to the central of the problems.
Wine and malt drinks such have long been used as aids to promote sleep. As a sleeping aid for elderly persons, some doctors recommend a little wine rather than drugs. However the use of any alcoholic beverage as a sleep aid comes with a word of caution. One should not take more than what is need for inducing sleeping.
Other persons troubled with occasional sleeplessness gain considerable benefit from herbs teas specially formulated for producing sleep. Herbs such as skullcap Valerian,Peppermint and Hops can help bring on sleep.
Some find that all they need to induce sleep is a little food at bedtime, perhaps along with a glass of milk. Others may also sleep well with merely some fruit, teaspoon of honey, a glass of fruit juice or some hot lemonade. Getting in the habit of going to bed at reasonable hour is likewise helpful.
Regardless of the cause, sleeplessness can be irksome problem, and it is hardly a joking matter to those so bothered. You may wish to experiment with some of sleeping aids. But in most cases, for lasting benefit, the emphasis might more profitably be placed upon learning what it is that keep one from sleeping and effectively dealing with that.