According to a recent survey, an estimated 30-40% of Americans experience insomnia every year.
Sleep is essential for our health. While sleeping, our bodies and brains repair themselves and clear out toxins that had built up during the day. Insomnia is when someone is having difficulty with sleep initiation, quality, or consolidation despite various attempts and adequate time to sleep. In simple terms, it is the inability to fall or stay asleep for at least three nights a week, for about three months.
There are two types of insomnia: primary and chronic. Chronic insomnia leads to daytime sleepiness, low energy, feeling unwell mentally and physically, and lethargy. Common symptoms are mood swings, anxiety, and irritability due to lack of sleep.
There are various causes of insomnia. General medical or psychiatric factors can contribute to sleepiness. Common ones are:
- Disruption in circadian rhythm.
- Psychological issue.
- Medical condition.
- Neurological disorders.
- Apnea and asthma.
- Gastrointestinal disease.
- Side effects of medicines.
- Restless legs syndrome.
Beyond biological factors, other things that can keep you from sleep are:
- A traumatic event.
- A bad sleep environment.
- Partner with sleep problems.
- Newborn baby.
Insomnia can affect anyone, including men, women, and children. People suffering from stress, depression, and other mental health conditions are more prone to insomnia. Fortunately, primary and chronic insomnia can be treated, which usually takes a few days or weeks. In some cases, people may adapt to sleep-altering patterns or surroundings and return to their normal sleeping habits on their own. In other cases, people need a doctor to treat their health problems and symptoms associated with insomnia.
It is difficult to change daily routine habits, but trying to do so can definitely help you improve your sleeping quality. There is no need for drugs or medicines; simple yet effective natural remedies can bring critical benefits to your life.
- Sip warm milk and honey. A warm mug of milk and honey is one of the effective natural sleep remedies. Milk has the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the ratio of the serotonin hormone in the body. Honey boosts the transmission of that hormone to your brain. A banana along with the milk can provide vitamin B6, along with the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that works as a sedative.
- Create a sleep-friendly environment. For insomnia patients, a relaxing and calm environment is necessary for uninterrupted sleep. Try removing clocks and gadgets that glow. Pings from your cell phone can disrupt your sleep cycle. Try sleeping in a darker room for maximum comfort, with an adequate room temperature of between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Try CBT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on discovering and altering thoughts or feelings that lead to depression or stress. CBT therapy can retrain your body and mind faster and promote deeper sleep. It has been shown to have effective results compared to a prescription sleeping pill. It promotes a regular sleep schedule by having patients go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Adopt bedtime rituals. Poor nighttime sleep patterns are possible reasons that you are not following a good bedtime ritual. Avoid hectic schedules, and make a priority of going to bed at a particular time. Going to bed and waking up at scheduled times trains your mind and body to adapt to regular habits of sleeping. You can also introduce reading or listening to soothing music, which can help quiet your brain and prepare for sleep. Stay away from phones or laptops, which can distract you from your sleeping routine.
- Drink herbal tea. Valerian tea is an effective way to treat insomnia. The herbs found in the tea can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. The result is deep and satisfying rest.
- Stay away from stimulants. Avoid caffeine in your diet. Do not consume caffeine either in soft drinks or coffee.
- Do yoga. Performing asanas can reduce your stress levels and revive your cells. Breathing exercises can help you relax and fall asleep faster.
- Take a hot bath. Taking a hot bath for about 90-120 minutes can help you sleep much better at night. The ideal temperature of the water should be 98 to 100 degrees.
A sleep disorder can lead to various physical and mental health problems. Sleep is a necessity rather than a luxury. No matter the cause of insomnia, it is essential to cure it in its initial stages. Try these natural remedies, or if the problem continues, consult a naturopathy doctor for drug-free treatment.