Are you having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep? Are you waking up in the middle of the morning feeling wide awake? You may be suffering from insomnia and you need to understand how important it is to be able to sleep the necessary hours.

What are the types of insomnia?

The insomnia can be classified as transient, acute or chronic.

  • The transient insomnia lasts less than a week. It can be caused by another disorder, by changes in the sleeping environment, by sleep time, severe depression , or by stress. Its consequences – drowsiness and psychomotor performance – are similar to those of sleep deprivation.
  • The acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well for a period of less than one month.
  • The chronic insomnia lasts more than a month. It can be caused by another disorder, or it can be a primary disorder. Its effects may vary depending on its causes. These can include muscle fatigue, hallucinations, and / or mental fatigue. Some people living with this disorder see things as happening in slow motion, in which moving objects seem to blend in. It can cause double vision.

What can be some of the causes of insomnia?

  1. The use of psychoactive drugs (such as stimulants), including certain medications, herbs, caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines, methylphenidate, and MDMA.
  2. The hormonal changes such as those that precede menstruation and during menopause to life events such as fear, stress, anxiety, emotional or mental tension, work problems, financial stress, the birth of a child and the duel.
  3. Mental disorders such as bipolar disorder , clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dementia, or excessive alcohol use.
  4. Certain neurological disorders, brain injuries, or a history of traumatic brain injury.
  5. Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis .
  6. Over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills can lead to rebound insomnia.

Side effects of chronic insomnia

The effects of insomnia on the body are very remarkable . Generally, people complain that they lack physical energy and are more physically tired than people who get a normal night’s sleep.

Psychological changes- You may notice that you are not able to think clearly as much as you used to. People with insomnia are generally not able to get adequate REM sleep (which helps cool the brain). You may be more irritable than usual and may feel: stress, anxiety and / or depression during the day.

Personality negatives – You may notice that as your insomnia becomes more severe, you become unhappy with changes in your personality. Plenty of people with insomnia are more irritable, angry, and have mood swings more often than people who get a good night’s sleep.

Behavior Changes – You may develop less productive behavior patterns and feel much less motivated to do simple tasks. Most people experience some changes in their ability to do their jobs productively.

Natural remedies for insomnia

Have you ever tried taking a natural remedy for insomnia?
Most of them work surprisingly well, and many are really free. You don’t even need to go to the store to buy a supplement to help you sleep better. However, you will have to take the time to do work on yourself, changing old habits and integrating new, healthy habits.

1. Visualization

Simply closing your eyes for at least 20 minutes and resting, imagining yourself will help you physically relax . Some relaxing music, ambient, nature sounds, or white noise may help during this process, but those details are up to you. I imagine myself every day and I always feel relaxed afterwards. It will certainly help you fall asleep faster if you suffer from insomnia.

2. Cardio exercises

If you do a tough cardio workout for at least 1 hour a day, you will burn the energy that is normally bottled up inside when you go to bed. Cardiovascular exercise is one of the elite natural remedies for insomnia in children as well as adults. Almost anyone can do some form of cardiovascular exercise – whether it involves playing soccer, running, rollerblading, or doing a beach workout. If you burn calories you are too tired to be awake.

3. Eliminating things from your diet

Many natural remedies for insomnia in adults and children can be obtained from a healthy diet. If you eat healthy foods, it will give your brain vital nutrients and give you what it takes to help you fall asleep at night. If you are constantly consuming caffeine and alcohol consumption, you are likely to struggle with insomnia. Cut out unhealthy foods, drinks, and medications, and you will get better – but the improvement is not going to be overnight as it may take a few months, but it can get started.

4. Stay away from drugs and alcohol

If you are able to stay away from things like tobacco and alcohol, it is probably the best way to cure insomnia symptoms quickly. If you are in college and feel like you should be enjoying these substances, think about the damage they are doing to your body. Then ask yourself if you want to go through with the damage. Believe it or not, there are a ton of people who don’t drink or do drugs all over campus, if you look around you.

5. Avoid caffeine

Many people drink caffeinated beverages like soda, coffee, and energy drinks late at night and wonder why they have insomnia. Use common sense and stay away from these kinds of things if you want to get a better night’s sleep. It is recommended to stay away from these products completely, you should just cut it out of your diet and see if it makes a difference after a couple of weeks.

6. Treat Melatonin

This is without a doubt the best home remedy for insomnia. Melatonin is a natural compound supplement that can help cure your insomnia. When the sleep cycle gets out of its natural course, it becomes melatonin deficient when it is time to go to bed – this translates into tendencies in people with insomnia. Try taking some melatonin supplements to see if they help you get a more restful sleep.

7. Herb Valerian

This is a less common herbal insomnia solution that people use to help them sleep. Some people swear by taking this, while others do not find it to be effective. The easiest way to find out if it works or not is to give it a try for yourself.

Experts advise looking for a natural herbalist in your area. They will be able to tailor specific requirements to suit your circumstances. It is also important to understand any risks created from mixing herbs and medicines.

8. Hot baths or showers

Taking a hot bath and / or shower will allow your body to relax. The hot water relaxes your muscles, joints, and this in turn helps calm your racing thoughts that keep you awake and unable to sleep. Going into a hot tub and / or sauna would probably have a very similar effect.

10. Read a book before bed

Probably the easiest natural cure for insomnia is to simply open a book and read. Not only is it going to make you more aware, it is actually going to change your brain waves in a slower pattern. As you get caught up in what you are reading, your mind shifts to a slower brain wave state. Compared to browsing the Internet or talking on the phone (which will keep you awake), reading helps many people start to feel sleepy.

11. Avoid the computer – The best thing you can do for yourself before bed is to turn off the computer if it is distracting.

12. Turn off your mobile phone – Mobile phones are nothing more than a distraction when you are trying to fall asleep. If you take the time to turn off your phone, you won’t be too busy with late night texts or messages. Do not accept calls after a certain time so that you can take a break from all the talking.

13. Turn off the TV – A lot of people watch TV before going to sleep. Based on my own experience, I know that watching an entertaining show or movie can keep me going for much longer than expected. Turning off the television will help minimize distractions so you can fall asleep.

14. Listen to soothing music – soothing or relaxing music works great when you are trying to get some sleep.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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