Are you the one who longs for a good sleep, who tosses and turns but sleep is far too away from your eyes. You are feeling tired but your mind doesn’t understands this and keeps on thinking and thinking. Sometimes these thoughts may be very trivial also. When you go to bed, you worry about how you are going to face the next day full of so many challenges without getting good sleep.
If your answer is yes then you are suffering from sleep disorder i.e. Insomnia. But feel relaxed because according to surveys 93% of urban Indians are experiencing this same problem in one way or the other. Either it’s difficult for them to fall asleep easily, or they are light sleepers and gets awakened up during midnight and then sleep just vanishes away.
And then due to sleepless night comes the next day full of tiredness, headache, low concentration and irritability. All these after effects of sleepless night hampers your day time activities. Sometimes insomnia can also create havoc in your relationships with others. So it is very important to resolve this problem.
Roots Of The Problem:
To get completely cured of this problem, first it is necessary to reach the root of the problem. Insomniac person might be suffering from Primary or secondary insomnia. Secondary insomnia is caused due to some medical problems such as depression, cardio-vascular problem, cough-congested chest during night, prostrate problem, restless legs, some kind of pain or the worst due to sleep apnoea in which the patient suffers from automatic pauses in breathing.
While on the other hand, primary insomnia is due to stress and anxiety. This stress and anxiety might be work related or it might be due to the fear of another sleepless night. You also might feel stressed due to the alterations in your body clock due to your lifestyle. While secondary insomnia needs immediate medical help, primary insomnia can be treated by bringing some lifestyle alterations. But these alterations have to be followed up atleast for 4-6 weeks to see the results.
Change In Lifestyle:
Reach Peaceful State Of Mind Before Sleep
Do not go to bed too early. Switch off the television set atleast 30-40 minutes before going to sleep. You need to slow down the pace of your mind to reach the peaceful state which is a must, to fall asleep easily. For this, you can try reading which helps to bring mind at peaceful state. If you’re not falling into sleep within 15-20 minutes after lying down, don’t toss and turn. Instead get up, do some relaxing activity like listening to some light music or reading a book, until you feel calm and sleepy.
Maintain The Body Clock
Maintain your wakeup time everyday regardless of whether you slept nicely or had another sleepless night. This is a difficult exercise but will help your body to reset it’s clock. In a few weeks time, the body will start responding properly to sleeping and waking-up time. Also, as soon as you wake up, go in natural light and air. This also helps in resetting your body clock.
Note Your Worries On Paper
Keep a notepad besides your bed to write down what all thoughts crop up in your mind while lying on your bed. Spare 15-20 minutes during your day to think about your worries, your plans etc. Now while sleeping, if you have already thought over, your mind will be comparatively more in peaceful state. Keep on adding more thoughts in the notepad and if the mind starts going haywire, condition it that it can think later in the allotted time slot, now is the time to sleep. Your mind starts understanding this exercise on consistent repetition.
Changes In Diet
Simple changes in your diet too can go a long way in helping in insomnia. Avoid having heavy and spicy food before bed time. Having warm milk, preferably buffalo’s milk which helps in this condition. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in the secretion of a brain chemical serotonin, which calms the brain and sleep inducing hormone melatonin.
Avoid doing strenuous exercises 3-4 hours before going to sleep. Instead practice yoga daily. Some aasanas like pranayam, shavasana, pranadhara (these aasanas need to be learnt properly under the guidance of a yoga instructor) alleviates the problem of insomnia.
Maintain the sleep hygiene i.e. your bedroom should be clean and comfortable, dimly lit up before sleep.
Reduce Anxiety About Sleep
Most imperatively, try to reduce your anxiety about sleep. Think positively that you’ll be able to cope up with the day activities normally even after sleepless night and because you’ll be tired you’ll ofcourse catch on good sleep the next night. You might feel tempted to have a nap during the day but restrict it to a short duration.
These small tips prove quite handy in dealing with problems of primary insomnia.