How to Treat Insomnia
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 13, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
How to Treat Insomnia
Insomnia is a condition when a person many not be able to initiate sleep or maintain sleep. A person with insomnia may have long term problems in getting to sleep due to many reasons but most complain that sleeplessness has made a huge impact on their daily activities.
Insomnia is one of the most common problems related to sleep due to the fact that there are more and more activities done for the entire day. Lifestyle and work is not limited to being awake in the morning anymore but work and play can now be possible even during the night. This change in a person’s sleep wake cycles can cause devastating effects on his health, his relationships with people around him and may even cause strain on his ability to concentrate and make accurate decisions.
Causes of Insomnia
There are a multitude of reasons why a person suffers from insomnia. Here are the most common factors that develop sleeplessness in a person:
- Shifting work schedules
- Illegal drugs (stimulants)
- Medical conditions (hormone imbalances and hypertension)
- Pain (acute or chronic pain)
- Menopause symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, headaches)
- Emotional problems
- Sleep problems (nightmares, night terrors)
- Environmental problems (mattress, lighting, noise)
Treatments of Insomnia
Insomnia is curable and preventable. There are pharmacological and alternative ways to reduce sleeplessness and start having a good night’s sleep.
- Talk to your doctor about the possibility of a prescription medication for sleep. There are many types of sleep medications but be careful for side effects and the increased possibility of dependence. Some examples are barbiturates, opioids, antidepressants and many more.
- You may try over the counter medications for sleep like diphenhydramine; melatonin and even herbal sleep aids to help you fall asleep faster.
- There are foods that are also known to stimulate sleep. Foods rich in tryptophan like turkey, tuna, salmon and the ever popular milk, are known to induce relaxation and ultimately sleep.
- The bedroom must be conducive to sleep. All distractions like the television, computer, entertainment systems and gaming consoles must be eliminated from the room. Any take home work should be done an hour before sleep to have time to relax and reduce stress before lying down n bed.
- Take a diary or a planner and write down all your thoughts, plans and worries for the day so you free your thoughts before you sleep. Keep this notepad beside the bed so you can write down your thoughts anytime you need to.
- Reduce lighting and noise in the bedroom an hour or more before your scheduled sleeping time. If you share your room with another person, wear eye covers or pads and use an earpiece to reduce light and noise. You may also listen to soft low music as you lull yourself to sleep.
- Replace your mattress; experts believe that a comfortable mattress and pillow are essential to getting a good night’s sleep.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan