March 03 2021
Commonly defined as the complete lack or inability to sleep, insomnia surrounds a vast number of other sleep complications like waking up in the middle of the night, waking up early despite sleeping for only 6 hours or less, non-restful sleep, trouble falling or staying asleep.
Among the many undermining impacts of 2020, lies insomnia.
A recent Google trends data as of December 2020 showed more than 85% searches related to insomnia in its algorithm both in the US and globally; so you are not alone in trying to break the cycle of insomnia amidst this acute pandemic phase.
- Travel or work pressure, jet lag and switching time zones in other words changes in the internal clock of your body.
- Little or no exercise, no physical activity
- Lying down on your bed the entire day
- Nightmares or bad dreams at night
- Recreational drugs like cocaine or drug abuse, consuming nicotine or alcohol.
- Depression, overthinking, anxiety
- Menopause and hormonal changes
- Sleep apnea or a disorder where a person’s breathing stops and starts when he/she is asleep.
- Underlying serious health complications.
How to know if you are an insomniac?
The common symptoms of insomnia include:
- Trouble sleeping at night
- Waking up frequently or too early
- Getting less than 6hours of sleep
- A general feeling of being sick all the time
- Daytime sleepiness or tiredness
Getting insufficient sleep or sleeping for only six hours or less can be detrimental to your health. Having less sleep at night can cause fatigue, dizziness, irritability. It weakens the immune system and makes you more prone to falling sick. It contributes to depression, declining mental health and anxiety. Reduces focus and decreases your performance at work or while studying and makes you feel extremely tired throughout the entire day. Insomnia also becomes extremely common with your age. As you age, you experience changes in your sleep pattern, activity, health and more medications which as a whole interferes with your sleep.
How to prevent or cure insomnia without medication?
- Don’t stay in your bed the entire day. Even when you are working, sit on your desk and chair.
- Try to maintain your sleep schedule. Try waking up and sleeping at your fixed time, including weekends.
- Avoid nicotine, alcohol. caffeine or drugs.
- Exercise or stay active every day. Regular activity will help in promoting good sleep at night.
- Don’t go to bed right after eating and avoid large or heavy meals.
- Take a warm bath or try reading a book, it will help you calm down and get a good sleep.
- Avoid watching television or using your phone right before bedtime, the blue light emitted suppresses the secretion of the hormone melatonin which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle of yours.
- Listen to some soothing music or delta waves music for deep sleep. Delta waves help in making your brain go to deep sleep faster.
- Indulge in brief cognitive behavioural treatment intervention for treating insomnia.
- Use lavender essential oil and add it to a diffuser in your room or put a few drops over your pillow before sleeping. Lavender enhances your mood, makes you less anxious, reduces pain or headaches and helps in promoting sleep.
Other helpful natural supplements for treating insomnia
- Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone which is produced naturally by your body and it gives a signal to the brain that it is the time for sleeping. Its levels fall in the morning and it rises by the evening. But in cases like stress, jet lag, etc melatonin imbalance occurs and that is when it’s supplements become useful. Famous among people who are travelling across countries, working in night shifts or those who want to consider safer alternatives to sleeping pills.
- One of the promising natural melatonin supplements is Alvizia’s Aleepsleep non-habit-forming sleeping supplements.
- Magnesium: Besides helping with a million other functions in the body, magnesium also helps in cooling and quieting your mind, providing a relaxing effect which makes it easier for you to fall asleep. It increases the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which sends calming effects to your body and mind. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can cause insomnia or sleep interventions.
- Lavender:Using a lavender-infused moisturizer or essential oil on your body or over your pillow helps in making you calm and relaxed. Its scent lowers your heart rate, skin temperature and anxiety. Use a diffuser in your bedroom or apply a few drops on your pillowcase to have an uninterrupted sleep at night.
- Valerian:This plant has been used as a natural ingredient for sleeping disorders since a long period of time in history. Its roots can be brewed in a cup of water and consumed. Studies have shown that it helps in raising the GABA levels in your brain which provides a calming sensation for you to sleep without worries.
- Glycin:This tiny amino acid helps in increasing the levels of serotonin or the “happy hormones” in your body encouraging you to doze off in no time. Researches have shown that glycine supplements are otherwise safe; it has a big impact on treating insomnia.
- Chamomile:It’s calming properties are because of the presence of the antioxidant called Apigenin which works on your brain cells and gives you a soothing feeling. Consuming chamomile tea an hour before sleeping has said to be extremely effective for calming your nerves, lowering your heart rate and giving you a sound sleep at night.
- Passionflower :This had been used by the native Americans owing to its calming properties. This contains the chemical GABA, which, as discussed before induces a soothing effect on your body, encouraging you to sleep. Researches have shown that people who consumed passionflower tea have reported getting a night of better sleep as compared to placebo.
The final word
If you are having trouble sleeping at night or any of the complications stated above, there’s nothing to worry. Even if you have underlying mental issues that are making you sleepless for nights, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There's a cure to everything. Talk to your physician or doctor. Besides maintaining a healthy diet and safe habits, they’ll help in figuring out the possible implications, treatment and medicines, for you to resume a normal lifestyle soon.