Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person has difficulty falling asleep, sleep quality or sleep quality. According to a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, one in four Americans develop insomnia every year, but fortunately, about 75% of these people recover without developing insomnia consistently, while the other 25% Acute insomnia progresses
People over 60 experience sleep sickness more often than younger people. Women are also twice as likely to have sleep problems than men. There are a multitude of possible causes of insomnia, including:
- emotional stress,
- mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety,
- chronic pain,
- heart failure,
- restless leg syndrome,
- circadian rhythm disruptions, such as jet lag or working night shifts,
- sleep apnea,
- certain medications,
- heavy smoking, and
- excessive alcohol intake.
Insomnia is yearning, exhaustion and despair. Some people turn to sleeping pills, whether over the counter or over prescription, that can help improve sleep while taking them. But insomnia is usually suspended once they are used because drugs do not treat the underlying causes of insomnia.
Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone that is sold as a supplement. It is sometimes useful for sleep problems and time intervals. People who report that melatonin does not work often make the mistake of taking high doses of several grams. Very often, only 300 mcg is sufficient.
Always start with the lowest dose before increasing the dose. Getting “schedule release” melatonin is also beneficial, as it will help you stay asleep longer. However, melatonin does not address the underlying causes of insomnia.
A more successful approach to insomnia is to improve sleep hygiene and make lifestyle changes with cognitive behavioral therapy. Dozens of studies have shown that this strategy is extremely useful for treating insomnia. Next, we will examine these techniques in more detail.
Sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes
Habits that promote sleep
The goal is to sleep more easily, wake up less often and sleep less, and sleep more easily.
Regular lifting time. Set an alarm and get out of bed at the same time every day, no matter how little or bad you slept. Do not try to sleep on weekends as doing so will disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm.
Bed time reduction. Do not go to bed early, because you did not sleep well the night before. This will actually increase insomnia. Determine the initial sleeping time that begins with the desired time and decrease the amount of time you want to stay in bed.
Bedtime The average bedtime is 1 hour and it can range from a minimum of 6 hours to a maximum of 9 hours. If you sleep on average 5 hours or less at night, then your time in bed should be 6 hours. If you sleep 8 hours, then your time in bed should be 9 hours.
In other words, your time in bed should match the amount of sleep you average per night. The aim is to prevent the bed from becoming a wake-up signal rather than a signal for sleep. For insomnia that has already ended, the hardest part is waking up until bedtime. Try a light activity and avoid going to bed. When you start sleeping better and more hours, you can allow at bedtime.
Take part in relaxing activities and relax slowly while sleeping. Avoid provocative activities such as phone calls, discussions, emotional discussions, work-related activities, surfing the Internet, paying bills or dirty television shows.
If you need to take a nap after a bad night’s sleep, limit your nap to 45 minutes and do not take it after 4 pm.
Stimulation control methods
The purpose is to help unheard the connection between bed and insomnia.
Use the bed just for sleeping and having sex. Do not watch TV, work, study, play video games or talk on the phone. If someone is reading a book or watching television, you fall asleep, set a timer to turn off the light or the television after 30 minutes.
If you cannot sleep within 30 minutes or if you wake up during the night and cannot go back to sleep within that time, then get up, go to another room or sit in bed and do a quiet and relaxed activity Do it, like reading a book or watching TV until you feel sleepy. Do not lie in the spinning of the bed.
Do physical activity in some form or the other every day. Apart from going to the gym, it can also include car washing, mowing the lawn, rubbing leaves, climbing stairs, cycling, walking uphill, etc. These activities can be divided into several short sessions. But they should add at least 30 minutes per day. However, it is better not to exercise until 3 hours before bedtime.
Stay in contact with sunlight during the day. If you work indoors, go out for coffee or lunch. This will help regulate the production of melatonin (sleep hormone) in the body and improve sleep. It will also improve your mood and energy.
Drinking 1-2 cups of coffee in the morning will probably not affect night sleep. However, if you do not sleep well, you should avoid caffeine after noon.
If you smoke and cannot quit smoking, try to eliminate it at night or near night. Nicotine is a stimulant and will make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to a drink at least 2 hours before bedtime. Night hats are not a cure for insomnia. Alcohol makes it easier to fall asleep, but it can make the dream lighter and more fragmented. It also suppresses deep sleep and increases snoring and sleep apnea.
Relationship of food and sleep
- Foods high in complex carbohydrates (eg, peas, beans, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice) have little sleep-enhancing effect because they increase serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that promotes sleep.
- Protein-rich food prevents sleep by blocking serotonin.
- To sleep more easily and have less awakening at night, try eating a light carbohydrate snack before bed.
- Avoid foods high in sugar, as they can cause an energy explosion.
- Avoid foods that can cause heartburn or any digestive discomfort.
- Avoid eating dinner.
- Reduce fluid intake after 8 pm.
- The study found that lack of B vitamins can affect sleep. If you feel that there may be nutritional deficiencies in your diet, consider taking B-complex supplements.
Establishing the optimal sleeping environment
- Ambient temperature can have a significant effect on sleep. Insomnia is associated with failure of body temperature at bedtime. Therefore, sleeping in a warm room will make it more difficult for the body temperature to fall. The optimum gold temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (or 16 to 19 degrees Celsius).
- Keep the room completely dark and quiet. In general, insomnia is more sensitive to noise. Older people, whose sleep is mild due to aging, also suffer from noise-induced sleep disorder.
- Some people are more sensitive to electromagnetic fields (EMF) than others. If this is the case, removing electronic devices from the bedroom may reduce the stimulation caused by EMFs.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable and provides adequate support. A sinking bed can disturb sleep by causing discomfort in the neck and back, while mattresses that are too rigid can cause discomfort to people with arthritis.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
CBT-I aims to treat chronic sleep problems that alter thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote deep sleep.
Stressful life events are the most common predators of chronic insomnia. Most insomnia and even some who sleep well have more trouble sleeping during stressful days. Studies have documented that increased daytime stress is correlated with less deep sleep, resulting in a milder and restless sleep.
Fortunately, there is an innate tool within all of us that can overcome these stress responses. This is called the relaxation response (RR), which uses the mind to control the body.
How to motivate RR
- Lie comfortably or sit. Relax all body muscles starting from the head that extend to the toes or vice versa.
- Take slow and deep abdominal breaths.
- Direct your attention with a neutral word towards calm, peace, relaxation, heavy or whatever you choose.
- Repeat the word in silence. Or you can imagine a pleasant and relaxing scene, such as floating on a beach, mountain, meadow or cloud.
- If your mind wanders or negative thoughts enter, many times say “no thoughts”. Then return to your word
- or scene and keep breathing deeply.
- Every day in the morning or afternoon, practice RR. Assign 10-20 minutes for RR. If you fall asleep, that’s fine. However, do not practice RR 1-2 hours before bedtime, as it may affect your sleep.
- When you improve RR during the day, you can try to use it when you sleep at night or after waking up at night. If you do not sleep in 30 minutes. Get up or sit in bed and do a light activity. Do not lie in the spinning of the bed.
- Be realistic and be patient. For some insomnia, it takes a few weeks before your sleep improves.
Why RR improves sleep
When practiced during the day, it counteracts daily stress responses, reducing the likelihood of stress hormones increasing at night.
When practiced before going to bed or after waking up, it helps to close the internal dialogue, calm the mind and relax the body.
RR Stage 1 produces a brain wave pattern similar to sleep, a state of transition between waking and sleep. When insomnia practices RR at night, it is easy to enter the dream of stage 1 and finally, in stage 2, sleep deeply and sleep.
How to remove negative internal dialogue
Last but not least, negative thoughts during the day or at bedtime play a powerful role in stimulating awakening and causing insomnia. Some negative thoughts and feelings are normal reactions to stressful situations, such as grief after death. However, some negative emotions such as anxiety, anxiety, frustration and anger are unnecessary, excessive and unhealthy. They cause stress reactions that negatively affect sleep. Therefore, it is beneficial to eliminate or reorganize these negative thoughts that cause more stress.
Become more aware of negative internal dialogue. Doing it or better, writing them and reviewing them at the end of the day.
- Keep in mind that most of these ideas are not true or very negative and pessimistic.
- Reflect past experiences and ask yourself: “Has anything like this happened to me in the past and if so, how
- did it happen?” Most likely, we worry too much and things rarely go as we imagine.
- Remove your negative thoughts and focus on positive beliefs.
- Do not generalize one problem for the rest of your life. See setback as temporary.
- Avoid blaming yourself for things that are beyond your control.
- Avoid dismissing positive events as temporary or due to luck or external reasons.
- Practice gratitude daily.
- Look optimistic and avoid pessimists. Both optimism and pessimism are contagious.
Fortunately, incorporating healthy sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, we can all say good night for insomnia!