Most of us have nights when, no matter what we do, we can't fall asleep. You know the drill. They're those nights when you've got so many things on your mind. You're worked up, maybe from stress, or money. Maybe there's street noise and it's keeping you up. Maybe you had a cup of coffee after dinner, and you're actually stressed about it, because you recognize your body's response to caffeine at night, and you're thinking that you won't sleep because of it.
There are those of us that have chronic insomnia. This is a sleep disorder that stays with a patient for life. You'd be surprised though, that more often than not, your sleepless nights, be they trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up early or waking up groggy, are within your control. Let's take a moment to analyze some of the leading causes of sleeplessness, and if they're influencing the issues you're having.
In fact, many of the leading causes of sleeplessness are completely within our control. Drinking coffee within several hours of sleeping is obviously not a good idea, as coffee is a source of caffeine. Depending on your physiology, you might also do well to avoid tea, and even decaffeinated tea, as they also have caffeine, albeit in smaller quantities.
Alcoholic beverages are also best avoided, as alcohol, contrary to popular belief, is a stimulant. Having a few beers before bed might make you pass out, but it will certainly affect the quality of your sleep, and you'll more than likely wake up groggy, while wine and other alcoholic beverages can keep you from falling asleep at all.
Sleeping habits also play a key role in determining your ability to sleep. Circadian rhythm is your body's internal clock, which among other things, determines your instinct to sleep, and conversely, when to rise. Going to bed and getting up at different times can make it difficult for your body to set its schedule, contributing to bouts of sleeplessness.
There are, of course, issues beyond our control, that can affect our sleep. Stress is a leading contributor to sleepless nights. There is no getting around this, whether it's related to money issues, your job, relationships or other situations in your life that has you up nights. Depression is another leading cause of sleeplessness that can't be understated. These are issues that we all face, and while we often can't remove the causes of stress and depression from our lives, we can control how we respond to them. Exercise, stress management, counseling and/or medication, when appropriate, can alleviate the symptoms of stress and depression and reduce the likelihood they'll keep you from sleeping.
You can minimize your sleepless nights by maintaining a fixed sleeping schedule. This means going to bed and waking at the same time every night. Challenging as this might be, by setting a routine you allow your body to strengthen its circadian rhythm, making it easier to sleep and rise. This will also have a positive effect on your sleep quality. You'll feel refreshed after sleeping.
You can also make your bedroom a conducive sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sex and sleep, and resist the urge to read or watch TV in bed. Keep your bedroom dark and cool. A good set of curtains or heavy blinds should block light, particularly in the summer months, when the sun sets later in the evening and rises early.
Some people find that the noise from a fan helps them sleep as well.
Now, for those nights when, no matter what you try, you just can't sleep. Keep your alarm clock display out of sight, so you're not tempted to look at it. If you're not sleeping after half an hour, get up and do something. Reading is a good choice here, as it's not overly stimulating and keeps you focused. Then go back to bed. Still not sleeping? Try a few more times. If it persists longer than a few hours, get up.
In situations like this, the body needs tough love. Yes it's highly unpleasant going through the day without sleep, but by doing so you're making your body and brain even more tired. You will sleep again, this much is certain. By denying yourself sleep on these difficult nights you're raising your sleep deprivation. And very soon, your only instinct will be to sleep!
Then, once you've gone through your unpleasant, sleep-deprived day, do the following things.
Eat your dinner at least three hours before bed, so your body has time to digest the meal before you start shutting down for the night. Refrain from excessive alcohol (this varies according to the individual, but more than two drinks several hours before bed is probably pushing it). Don't drink coffee, caffeinated soft drinks like Coke, or even tea.
About two hours before bed, take Alteril, an all-natural sleeping aid that contains melatonin, a sleep inducer found in warm milk that encourages sleep. Yet because the ingredients are natural, Alteril doesn't come with the dangerous side effects associated with sleeping pills, including dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
Stick to low-stimuli activities before bed. No action or horror movies. No reviewing money issues or watching sports. Just keep it light. Reading is good. So is light conversation, or surfing the net.
Then, assuming you've got eight hours before your alarm is scheduled to ring, go to bed.
You will sleep very, very well.
The bottom line when trying to beat sleeplessness is to manage what you can control. Don't drink caffeine or alcohol, eat large meals or deal with stressful issues before bed. Go to bed and rise at the same time every day, including on weekends. Make your bedroom a sleeping environment, dark and cool, and use your bed only for sex and sleep. Take a natural sleeping aid like Alteril for short-term sleeping problems, avoid prescription sleeping pills, and consult with your doctor in the unlikely event that your sleeping issues last longer than a month.
By managing the factors that influence your sleeping patterns and taking a safe and proven sleeping aid like Alteril to ensure you get a good night's rest when you need it most, you're setting healthy sleeping habits that will see you through the highs and lows of life that, whether stressful or not, will have you sleeping soundly.
Article courtesy of the Alteril website
*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.