Click… click… click. The loud tick of the clock on your wall continues as your pattern of sleeplessness drones on. It’s been weeks since you have gotten any good sleep and you are at your wits’ end.
Well, you can at least take comfort in the fact that you are not the only one. Problems with sleeping have become a nationwide epidemic.
Over 50 million individuals report issues with sleep or staying awake in a non-routine way over an extended period of time. Many of these individuals have tried a number of techniques to solve their sleep woes. And yet, they still continue to burn the midnight oil.
There are a more than a few reasons why people can’t sleep, including stress and a shift in their circadian rhythm. Sleep issues can cause major problems such as concentration, memory loss and even diminished sex drive. So what can be done to remedy your sleeplessness when nothing else works? Let’s explore a few approaches to curbing those unending nights and getting your sleep pattern back on track.
When Counting Sheep Won’t Work
As a child you were probably told to count sheep. This monotonous exercise associated with inducing a state of drowsiness may work for some, but sometimes even a fluffy, angelic animal won’t work. Fortunately, there are proven methods that can enhance your ability to get enough sleep. Methods like a change in daily activity, the introduction of homeopathic approaches and supplements or Feng Shui can really knock you out. But many suffer still and as a last resort for sleep relief require prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Sleep relies on your body’s circadian rhythm or your sleep clock in order to create individual patterns of sleep. Waking up without even setting an alarm is a good example of how your body adheres to this pattern. When these patterns get disrupted, getting them back can be an enormous challenge.
There are a variety of behavior change strategies, including exercise that help your body get its rhythm back. Powering down technological devices is a great way to progress sleep since the light from these gadgets can interrupt your circadian rhythm.
When behavior change strategies like these don’t work, there are still numerous things you can do to help get a good night’s sleep. A variety of homeopathic methods, including aromatherapy and dietary supplements, can provide you restful sleep. Ah….the wonderful scent of lavender on your pillow case and the easing calm of chamomile tea.
In addition, you can modify the set-up of your bedroom to enhance your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Feng Shui is a popular way to decorate that can also have sleep benefits. Controlling the temperature of your room and not allowing pets are also good ideas.
And as a last ditch effort to alleviate your sleep deprivation, prescription medication or over-the-counter sleep aids may be the answer. Close to 9 million Americans currently use a prescription sleep aid to help them sleep. However, one of the primary issues of concern with any prescription or OTC medication is that they may cause you to become addicted. Consulting your physician before you decide on which type of sleep aid can help you is usually a good first step to curing your sleep deprivation problems.
The Impact of Stress on Sleep
Stress can have a huge impact on every aspect of your personal well-being and can take a negative toll on your individual health. Stress can cause heart disease and lead to premature death. Learning to cope with stress is essential to improving your sleep capacity and reducing many of the other ill effects caused by this menace.
High stress levels can impact both the quality and amount of your sleep. Managing your overall stress levels can be one key to better night’s sleep. Evaluating what is causing your stress and understanding how these contributing factors can influence your sleep is important to reducing the effect stress has on your sleep patterns.
Yoga and exercise are not only stress reducers, but have been cited as ways to produce better sleep patterns. Yoga allows for relaxing contemplation that can really recharge the body’s ability to both heal and calm itself. Simply wearing yourself out with exercise can lead to good sleep. So both “OMMMM” and “HIYAAA!” are stress reducers and sleep promoters.
Now it’s Time to Get Your ZZZZs
Sleeplessness suffers typically get trapped in a vicious cycle. Some cycles seem to last months and sometimes years. Getting good sleep involves action on your part.
So what are your waiting for? If there’s no change in your behavior, there’s no change. Use these strategies to break your cycle of sleeplessness and get your ZZZZs. These positive sleep strategies applied in a consistent way can help you get hours of sleep back — and ban insomnia from your bedroom.