Sleep issues anyone? Are you having a hard time falling asleep? Do you fall asleep just fine but then wake up and cannot go back to sleep?
How do you feel after a night of sleeplessness? How about a few nights of restless sleep or of waking up frequently? How about weeks of not sleeping well? Sleep issues can indeed influence every aspect of your life….
How do sleep issues affect your health?
Often symptoms of insomnia include irritability, difficulty concentrating, tiredness during the day (obviously), and generally not feeling well.
People are much more prone to accidents in the household and on the road when they have sleep issues. Sadly, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Sleep is crucial for our health.
Our body and mind require sleep for proper functioning on all levels.
Did you know that losing only half an hour of your usual sleep time will trigger weight gain and insulin resistance?
Did you also know?
- Chronic sleep deprivation (even just 30 minutes lost here and there) results in impaired memory and learning abilities.
- Chronic sleep deprivation is also a risk for Alzheimer’s disease. http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/03/19/mice-study-links-sleep-problems-to-alzheimers/67317.html And if this is not scary enough, sleep deprivation is also related to:
- Obesity in adults and children • Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance
- Cardiovascular disease and hypertension
- Anxiety symptoms
- Depressed mood http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/ What are some of the reasons why people do not sleep well?
Causes of acute insomnia or other sleep issues can include:
- Significant life stress (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, moving)
- Emotional or physical discomfort
- Environmental factors like noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that interfere with sleep
- Some medications (for example those used to treat colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma) may interfere with sleep.
- Interferences in normal sleep schedule (jet lag or switching from a day to night shift, for example)
Causes of chronic insomnia include:
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Chronic stress
- Pain or discomfort at night http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/insomnia-symptoms-and-causes
So What Can You Do To Improve Your Sleep Issues?
Of course it will be good to resolve the underlying issues and difficulties in your life if these are the cause of your insomnia.
Some issues are easier to resolve and some are harder.
Here are 10 things you can do to help yourself sleep better and some steps you can take to resolve your sleep issues:
- Make your bed and bedroom a place for sleep (and sex) only! No emotional discussions at bedtime in bed. No watching TV and falling asleep. Avoid reading on a tablet right at bedtime. That bluish light is no good for your sleep cycle. The bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep.
- Create a pre-sleep ritual: a hot shower or a bath, a cup of hot herbal tea (not green or white), listen to soothing music for 10 minutes, meditate (more on that later).
- Make your bedroom dark and quiet. If there is outside noise use a white noise machine with bubbling brook or rain, this will soothe your brain and ease it into sleep. Invest in dark blinds or curtains.
- Start a mediation practice. Meditation eases stress and calms your mind. You can meditate as part of your pre-sleep ritual or any time during the day. The benefits of meditation last and linger for you throughout the day and throughout your life. Read my blog on the benefits of meditation.
- Avoid alcohol at bedtime. While it may help you fall asleep, once it is metabolized it will create sleep problems and your sleep will be affected.
- Coffee anyone? I know, I like coffee too. It stays in your system for 14 hours. Caffeine is a stimulant; there is no way around this. It gives you a fake boost and it will interrupt your sleep pattern. If you drink coffee and you do not sleep well, stop drinking coffee the latest 7 hours before you go to bed.
- No vigorous exercise before bedtime. You can go for a yoga class because that will end in a relaxation and by the time you get home you will be ready for bed. Any other exercise will get your heart rate going and stimulate you, not what you want for a good night sleep.
- No heavy meals at bedtime. The digestion process is not conducive to a goodnight sleep. A light snack is fine. Complex carbohydrate with a little fat is best. Whole grain crackers with a little almond butter for example.
- Hypnosis for sleep works wonders. It really does. My husband who is the biggest skeptic just slept for the first time of his life on a Trans-Atlantic flight using a hypnosis sleep recording. He has been using the tape at home as well and is reporting great results. There is multiple research to support my husband’s success story and here is one such reference http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24882909
- The use of some supplements as sleep aid has support in the research. Melatonin, Valerian, and Kava are recommended by two medical sleep experts in an article on webmd.com. If you want to try melatonin, it has been my clinical experience that the sub-lingual kind works much better. Do your research and make sure that these supplements are not contra-indicated for a health condition you have or medication that you take. The article recommends chamomile tea at bedtime as well. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/natural-good-sleep-tips-on-melatonin-valerian
In my practice I help my clients resolve the issues that trouble them in their lives and very often as I use hypnosis or other tools to improve their quality of life and bring about positive changes; their sleep is one of the things that gets better as well.
This is not surprising. If you are calmer, happier, more comfortable and healthier, of course you will also sleep better.
I do find that you can improve your sleep by following the above steps even before you managed to solve your bigger or deeper issues.
Sleep is crucial to our health and no chemically induced sleep can truly imitate the benefits of a naturally refreshing good night sleep.
Hypnosis can help if you are fighting with sleep issues.
Contact me for your 30 minutes free consult. You can use the button below to schedule or you can call me (561) 504-6669