All About Insomnia: Info & Tips
Insomnia can happen to anyone and sometimes we are not quite sure why.
It is when you have great difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep even when you are presented with the opportunity to get a full nights rest. You may even find that you are waking up in the wee hours of the morning way before your alarm was even scheduled to buzz sweet nothings into your ear.
People who truly suffer from the sleep robber we call insomnia, they have reported having a poor quality of life compared to those who do not have to deal with this sleep disorder. Insomnia not only affects your nights but your days as well.
- Lead to negative work and school performance
- Impair decision and decision making
- Make it hazardous and dangerous to drive and operate machines
- Contribute to depression and well as worsen other mental, emotional, and mood disorders.
- Greatly affect your relationships
- Affect a person’s mood negatively as well as increase anger issues, irritability, and anxiety
- Cause daytime sleepiness
- Cause low energy levels
- Lower motivation
Insomnia is life-altering and not everyone who suffers from the occasional sleepless nights actually has this condition. Nights of lying awake in bed can happen to people who do not suffer from insomnia due to things like major life events, anxiety about a specific issue or concern, or even something as simple as consuming too much caffiene before bed. (For adults 18-years-old and up, 30 to 35 percent of adults have made complaints about having insomnia.)
It is more common for women, older adults, people who are under high amounts of stress, and people who suffer from mental health and/or addictions issues to be diagnosed with insomnia. It is also very common for people with pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, and even neuropathy to suffer from it as well.
There are two types of insomnia:
- Short-Term: With this short-lived and insomnia, periods can last up to three months. (This only happens to about 15 to 20 percent of adults.)
- Chronic Insomnia: With this type of sleep disorder episodes happen at least three times per week and for at least three months per episode. (This typically only happens to about 10 percent of adults.)
Tips To Help You Get A Better Nights Rest:
Here are some types that I have compiled to help you try to ease your insomnia so that you can get a good nights sleep! These tips have come from my own personal doctors as well as all over the web. The more tips you try to utilize and put into your everyday life, the higher the chance of conquering this sleep-robbing disorder.
(Keep in mind that if your insomnia is caused by an underlying condition that you will need to seek out help and try to treat that condition before kicking insomnia to the curb!)
- Shut off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you plan on going to bed. Electronics such as smartphones, tablets, TVs, and computers give off a type of blue light that actually stimulates our brain. So if we were to try to sleep immediately after getting off the computer, our brain is so active that it usually takes us longer to fall asleep.
- Take a warm bath or shower before bedtime. Then spend 30 minutes winding down without using electronics or anything that would be over stimulating.
- You should try to read a book or write in a journal during your 30 minute period before bed. (Note: Journaling before bedtime can be an excellent way to get the days events, dramas, and stress off of your chest. Doing this can actually help you feel more relaxed before you go to sleep as well as help you get a better nights rest.)
- Turn all of the lights out at bedtime. This includes TVs and computer screens or monitors. (Which shouldn’t be on in the first place 30 minutes before bedtime.)
- Drink a nice hot cup of tea. Herbal teas such as chamomile are a good choice to relax your mind and body! Drink this at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Do not eat or drink anything 30 minutes before you plan on going to bed. If you get dry mouth at night, just take small sips of water when necessary.
- Try to wake up and go to sleep around at the same time every day. If you choose 9 am to wake up every day, but didn’t go to bed until 5 am, you still need to wake up at 9 am. This is a way to train your brain and help develop a sleep cycle. After practicing this for a while you may find yourself waking up close to your usual time before your alarm has even gone off.
- As hard as it may seem when you were only able to get 3 hours of sleep, avoid naps altogether so that when bedtime rolls around you are actually ready to fall asleep.
- Do not exercise right before bedtime because exercising can actually stimulate you and can give you even more energy. Make sure to finish your exercise routine at least three hours before you plan on retiring for the night.
- Limit activities in bed—your bed should only be used for sleep and, of course, play time with your significant other. You should not be using your laptop, talking on the phone, writing or doing anything else while in your bed. This is because you want to train your brain to realize what your bed is actually for which can help make your body know it’s bedtime when you lay down at night.
- About an hour before bedtime, take the time to write out a list of tasks, reminders, and goals regarding the things you have to do or remember for the following day to help try to eliminate bedtime worries.
- Buy blackout curtains for your bedroom so that at night your room is as dark as can be to avoid the outside lights or the early morning sun waking you up.
- Limit caffeine intake or even cut it out altogether. If you are a major coffee drinker, keep it to mornings only.
Thanks for reading!
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.