Insomnia, that horrible moment when you look forward to getting to bed, you sink down nice and comfy ready to have a wonderful blissful sleep and nothing! You’ve suddenly got that song in your head that played earlier on the radio, you’re thinking about your to do list tomorrow and the monkey mind chatter that just won’t stop.
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Not to worry it’s not all lost, there are simple changes you can make to help you to have that lovely, blissful night’s sleep.
What Is Insomnia To You?
Insomnia you may think is a simple case of not being able to sleep when you go to bed, however what it truly means is poor sleep and not getting enough sleep through the night. Know that you’re not alone if you are currently suffering from insomnia maybe if you’re not sure if its insomnia you are suffering from there is a way of getting a better night’s sleep. There are different stages of insomnia that people have such as:
- Not being able to get to sleep
- Waking up too early
- Waking through the night unable to get back to sleep easily
If you suffer from any of these you may begin to feel that you wake up not feeling refreshed, tired during the day time you may find you suffer from a reduced level of concentration or even become irritable and simply not function well.
These times of insomnia can be short term and last between one to four weeks, or there are longer terms that last for four weeks or more.
How Do I Know If I Am Getting Enough Sleep
With most things in our lives we are all different and sleep is no different matter here, we all need different amounts of sleep. Some people are able to function well after having just 3-4 hours’ sleep, however most people do need more than this. 6-9 hours a night is average and most people would confirm that this is a normal amount for them once they enter adult life.
Your sleep pattern develops as you continue to get older from childhood, I remember as a child sleeping from 7:00pm – 7:00am an astonishing 12 hours! If only we could have those amount of hours now as adults, even just for one day!
The older you become the less amount of sleep you need, as a child we are continually growing and developing.
The majority of people will only take 30 minutes to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night only waking ever so slightly for a few minutes, not enough to fully wake you.
The most important thing to remember that we are all different, it’s simply down to what is right for you. If you feel refreshed and awake throughout the day you are getting the right amount of sleep for you.
What Causes Insomnia
Insomnia or poor sleep can occur from nowhere however there can be a number of factors that can cause it such as:
Awareness Of Being Awake
Have you ever had that moment when you wake up through the night and check your clock to see what time it was, you then wish you never did! Feeling like you’ve got to get back to sleep now and the more you try the harder it is to sleep. You count the hours until you’ve got to get up getting more and more irritated and anxious about the time and that you’re still not asleep.
Temporary External Problems
Thankfully poor sleep is often temporary and can be caused by stress at work, home, or a family problem playing on your mind. Even a slight change of routine can cause you to sleep less, these types of causes usually improve over time easily.
Anxiety Or Stress
Still have pent up stress or anxieties when you get to bed? These can inhibit you form falling to sleep easily and deeply causing a negative cycle of feeling more anxious and stressed that you’re not falling to sleep.
There are a number of illnesses that can cause insomnia for example illnesses that cause pain meaning you are uncomfortable when you go to bed.
Stimulants can hinder sleep patterns drastically having products such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can cause irregular sleep patterns as they generally awaken you and make you feel alert and ready rather than ready for a relaxed evening and deep sleep.
If you think you are suffering from any of these above don’t despair there are simple techniques you can add to your routine to help you enjoy a peaceful restful sleep.
What Can I Do To Enable A Restful Sleep?
I want to firstly say that insomnia whether it is short term or long term it can be overcome. Below I will give you a few simple tips to help you to hop on board the sleepy train and enjoy a restful night.
Just jump back to where I mentioned caffeine above, a little information around caffeine is it has a half-life of between 4-8 hours dependant on your metabolism which in basic terms means that the caffeine circulating within your system halves every 4-8 hours so if you have a coffee in the morning followed by one at lunch and one just before home time you are still wired by 11pm in the evening and can still have as much caffeine in your system as having a fresh cup just before bed. So please please please be aware of its cumulative effect and try switching from caffeine to decaff and if you’re feeling really brave just drink water.
Next you want to ensure your room is completely dark, when night falls our body instinctively prepares for hibernation. Studies have shown that even an LED light from your alarm clock or phone can affect your sleep quality, it’s not just the light in your eyes that matter it’s the photo receptors on your skin that pick up light, when the room is dark your body will secrete melatonin which is the body’s natural sleep hormone.
Getting jiggy with it……..………Really, the hormones released after sex are a natural relaxant, if you’re not in the mood even a skin to skin cuddle will release Oxytocin which is the feel good hormone which in turn can produce better sleep quality.
Give these little things a go, make simple changes and reap the benefits, enjoy a peaceful night.
There’s a great quote ive got from my husbands mum “I’ve done all i can for tdoay, there is nothing more i can do right now, and the best thing i can do for now is switch off and sleep so that im ready for tomorrow”