Help Me Sleep! What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia and wondering how to get to sleep at night blights the lives of millions. If you aren’t getting  the recommended eight hours of sleep a night then you can feel lethargic, irritable and unable to perform at your best. Prolonged sleep deprivation can also be very damaging to your health, as your body hasn’t had time to rejuvenate.

Thankfully, wondering how to get to sleep need not be a long-term problem. Through taking the right steps to improve your ‘sleep hygiene’ and making healthy lifestyle changes, you can find ways to help you to get to sleep at night and enjoy more lucid dreams.

Why does insomnia occur?

There are a wide range of reasons why you might be thinking of visiting your doctor and asking them to ‘help me sleep.’ In fact, a reaction to medication could be the root cause, so it’s a good idea to check whether your insomnia started at a particular time.

More common reasons for insomnia are psychological, notably stress, anxiety and/or depression. There can prevent your mind from reaching the relaxed state you need to be able to drift off to sleep. So if you think your sleep deprivation might be due to a mental cause then the best advice is to try and resolve the issue that is making you anxious. Although this may be easier said than done, it’s far healthier than reaching for the sleeping pills.

Other causes of that can stop you from sleeping can include taking stimulants, such as tobacco, alcohol or caffeine, a couple of hours before you want to get some shut eye and descend into lucid dreaming. These put your mind into a heightened state of alertness which makes it difficult to firstly get to sleep and secondly to reach the level of deep sleep needed so your mind and body can rejuvenate itself during the night.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

Sleep hygiene is the process of creating the right conditions and patterns of behaviour for making how to get to sleep easier. Along with cutting out stimulants from your diet, good sleep hygiene tactics on how to go to sleep include going to bed at the same time every night, not watching TV in bed and not eating a large meal too late at night.

While sleeping pills can help for brief periods of insomnia, they can be addictive as you can start to think that the only way to sleep is to pop a few pills every night. Sleeping pills can also make you drowsy the next day, which can be dangerous if you work in a hazardous environment, such as a building site.

An alternative is to try natural remedies. This includes a warm glass of milk, bananas and camomile tea, which releases relaxing chemicals in the brain that can help you drift off to the land of nod.

So if you find yourself lying awake at night thinking ‘what can help me sleep’, try some of the tips in this article so you can stop counting sheep and spend more time enjoying lucid dreams catching zzzs.

Study Finds that Not Coping with Stress One of Main Causes of Insomnia

stress and insomnia

Stress has been considered as one of the most common emotional issues that causes Insomnia. A recent study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine investigated the factors that can affect our sleeping patterns. According to the study, it is not the stress that you experienced throughout the day that keeps you awake It is the way you cope with the stress and how you respond to your stressor.

The study sampled a community of 2,892 people with no history of insomnia. The participants were asked to report a number of stressful events that they encounter and their coping mechanisms with the corresponding stressful events.
The three coping mechanisms that were identified that are most likely to develop insomnia after a stressful event are:

  • Alcohol
  • Watching TV
  • Denial

According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America, they surveyed that almost 13 percent of Americans have turned to alcohol to ease down their stress level. But alcohol can cause sleep disturbance later at night, leaving you more exhausted and weak the next morning.

Those who opted to just watch TV or movies have a 4 percent risk of insomnia. They may forget their stressor momentarily while enjoying some entertainment, but the fact remains that their stressor is still unresolved and at the end of the day they have to come face to face with their problems.

The people who are in Denial and chose not to cope with their stress have the highest percentage of risk to develop insomnia, with a 9 percent increased of risk to develop insomnia for every sign of resignation.

Relieve stress to reduce insomnia

Thankfully, there are certain stress reliever strategies that can help you drift off at night. Dr. Vivek Pillai of the Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital suggested that mindfulness based meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia are two of the most effective methods that can treat insomnia.

I personally treat my chronic insomnia with breathing exercise and some cardio during the morning. A long steam shower an hour before my bedtime can also make a difference.

How Do You Get to Sleep with Restless Leg Syndrome?

restless leg syndrome can stop you getting to sleep

It’s hard enough to be an insomniac and not know how to sleep. So imagine how much harder it is for people suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).

Patients with restless leg syndrome complain about an uncontrollable urge to move their legs because of a creeping, crawling, itching or tingling sensation. The only way to relieve themselves of these odd feelings is to move their legs. This results to interrupted sleep or in severe cases, almost no sleep. Because of this, restless leg syndrome patients also worry about how to sleep more at night. They wake up tired, find it hard to concentrate, and are unable to function normally throughout the day just like most insomniacs.

Because of the similarities, many of the recommended natural remedies for insomniacs are applicable for restless less syndrome patients as well. The goals are the same after all: find ways on how to sleep better so that they can take on the new day with enough energy.

To help keep the restless leg syndrome symptoms at bay, experts recommend the following:

  1. Cut back on the caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. All three substances are known to interfere with sleep, so keep your intake to a minimum.
  2. Develop a regular sleep pattern. Some patients opt for a later bed time and also wake up later in the morning, since the leg sensations occur in the early evenings. Whichever schedule you decide to adapt, sticking to it is important to help condition your body to the idea of regular sleep.
  3. Do mild stretching exercises before bedtime. Stretching and gentle exercise can help lessen the persistence of restless leg syndrome symptoms.
  4. Watch your diet. Studies show that RLS may be caused by iron, folate or magnesium deficiency, so making sure you have enough of these nutrients in your diet can help prevent the attacks.

So if you are wondering how can I sleep with restless leg syndrome, try some of these tactics to see if they help

3 Steps to Changing Unhelpful Thoughts if You Can’t Sleep at Night

stop anxiety if cant sleep

If you’ve had a stressful day it can be difficult to shut off and forget about it when you get home. Your mind can keep running over what happened and stop you from being able to feel relaxed at bedtime. If you’ve had a long soak in the bath, maybe even meditated and had a nice warm glass of milk and still can’t sleep then you need to address the negative thoughts and emotions keeping you awake at night.

Try following these 3 simple steps to address anxiety levels and increase your amount of sleep:

1. Accept the unchangeable

If it’s something that happened in your past that’s troubling you then you need to let it go. If you are blaming others for your mistakes then acceptance can become a hard process to accomplish. Stop lamenting on your missed opportunities and accept the fact that it already slipped through your hands. You can’t change what happened in the past, it is better to focus on what you can change at the moment. Learn from your past mistakes and do not commit the same mistakes again.

Learn to forgive and forget. You can’t move on and start a new beginning if you are still trap on your wrath. It is always better to live life away from hatred and grudges. Success is the best form of revenge. Focus on being successful and live in the moment. That way you can be truly happy.

2. Change the changeable

Think of the things that are changeable in your life, yourself and your environment. The most important change you should make is to change how you react on anything thrown at you. It is your choice to react positively or negatively you can control your thoughts to draw a positive result.

It is best to react not on emotional impulse but rather on logical and rational actions. Keep in mind that if you react negatively you will get the same negative feedback. Try to wait a few moments before you react and give your reasons a chance to compete with your emotions.

3. Avoid the unacceptable

Walk away from people who are bad company. Use your judgment well, if someone in dubious character approaches you take a left or a right. If someone is trying to annoy you learn to ignore. If someone is trying to test your patience learn to laugh it out and stay your cool.

Maintaining an alert mind especially on negative situations that can endanger your personal safety, health, financial ventures and relationships is just one way of keeping yourself away from stress.

Life is always going to be stressful at times. However, thinking in a calm, relaxed way about yourself and the world around you can help to keep stress levels low and positivity high. Stress and anxiety is one of the main causes of insomnia, so if you can’t sleep try to address what is causing this stress and anxiety to help yourself to feel calmer, happier and more able to switch off and doze off at bedtime.

Study Finds that Insomnia and Restless Leg Syndrome Pose Greater Risk for Women than Men

restless leg syndrome can stop you getting to sleep

A Sleep in America poll of all adults revealed that women have more difficulty falling and staying asleep than men. This also means that they experience more daytime sleepiness at least a few nights or days a week. Women take longer to fall asleep than men and pose a rather indistinctive symptoms than men. This is due to the biological and physiological characteristic present in women. Some contributing factors for why women sleep differently are believed to be sex chromosomes, hormonal and physical changes, estrogen influence on our body, and biological conditions like menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. Pregnant women doubled the risk factor for RLS compared to women who have never given birth and men.

Nearly half of women struggle to get to sleep at night

Although women generally go to bed at a sensible time compared to men, 46% of women were complaining that they have trouble sleeping every night. This was according to several clinical studies gathered by Neurology Medlink and from several respected contributors. Aside from dealing with menstrual cycle, postpartum, menopause and pregnancy. Women are more resistant to high altitude periodic breathing than men and 10% of pregnant women are diagnosed with having restless leg syndrome. Another unaddressed problem is the diagnosis of sleep disorders in women. Sleep disorders in women are said to be under-recognized, misdiagnosed and mistreated. This should be communicated accurately without gender bias.

When women can’t sleep it can effect them in more ways than one

When a woman suffers from poor sleep quality compared to men, and is at higher risk for breast cancer, miscarriage and infertility, then the need to include these unique psychosocial issues into research should be prioritized. But how much sleep do we really need? These are the kind of questions I hear from my friends and family. What the research says though is that there is no magic number. But there’s no doubt that nobody wants to have their sleep disturbed by nervous leg disorder, man or woman.

Will Sleeping Pills Help Me Sleep?

medical treatments for insomnia

medical treatments for insomnia

In today’s fast paced world we’re always looking for a quick fix. Got a headache? You can get a pill for that. Need some energy? Knock back an energy drink. The same is true for when you’re wondering how to get to sleep.

Reaching for sleeping pills is the first resort for many. In fact, an article in The Guardian on Britain’s hidden addiction to sleeping pills has highlighted some shocking statistics. Ten percent of people now take medication for insomnia, which amounts to 15.3 million prescriptions every year costing the NHS £50 million per year in sleeping pills. What’s worse is that there has been a ten percent rise in people asking their doctor to ‘help me sleep’ and then knocking back some tablets.

The sharp rise over the last four years coincides with when the recession hits, and suggests that stress and money worries could be the psychological triggers behind people’s insomnia. But is medication the best way forward?

Addressing anxious thoughts can help sooth the soul and help the brain drift to sleep

While beneficial for people with chronic insomnia, a genetic condition or struggling through a brief period (such as a bereavement), sleeping pills can have some worrying side effects. People can form a dependency, believing they can’t sleep without them, they can have more accidents from feeling drowsy the next day and they certainly arent cheap.

It’s been suggested by a leading sleep specialist – Kevin Morgan, professor of gerontology at the University of Loughborough – that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might be a more practical solution for many people suffering from insomnia and wondering how to get to sleep at night. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that teaches people to challenge the irrational and negative thought processes that are causing problems in their life, and is a highly effective method of treating mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

With many people’s insomnia caused by anxiety or stress it makes sense that teaching people to address the underlying problems or thoughts causing their insomnia can be a more practical approach than simply popping a pill to paper over the cracks. The Department of Health in the UK is due to assign £400 million over the next four years to this type of talking theory, so it’s clear that the benefits are real and proven.

Combined with sleep hygiene practices

As always, the first step in tackling insomnia is to assess whether your habits are getting in the way of getting a good night’s sleep. This means adopting sleep hygiene practices to eliminate all the stimuli that could be keeping you awake at night wondering ‘how can I get to sleep?’

This includes avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine and alcohol, before you go to bed. While alcohol can help you fall asleep in can prevent you reaching a deep rejuvenating level you need for your body to rest and recuperate. Other habits to avoid are watching TV or sitting in bed working on your laptop late at night.

To help put your mind in a relaxed mood, there are also natural remedies you can try, such as chamomile tea, bananas or a warm glass of milk to help you drift off to the land of nod without the use of medication.

What is Sleepwalking?

Do you sleepwalk or know someone that does? If you do then you might have seen them appearing lifeless, like a zombie, shuffling around with their eyes closed and left wondering ‘what is sleep walking?’

It is quite difficult to understand how people are able to sleep while doing something else. But it is actually quite a common symptom of a sleep disorder.

Sleep-walking is one of the more common sleep disorders classified under parasomnias. It is characterized by complex body behaviour during slow-wave sleep and is most often evident during the first third of the night, or during other times of increased slow-wave activity.

Also known as somnambulism, the condition is more prevalent among children, and becomes less common as they become teenagers and then stops at reaching adulthood. Unfortunately, for some, the condition may last for most of their lifetime.

Sleep-walking is not limited to sleeping while walking. Some episodes include sitting up, fumbling, picking at bed clothes and mumbling. But usually sleepwalkers simply stand up and walk around quietly and aimlessly.

These episodes usually last for a couple of minutes and may occur three to four nights per week. After an episode of sleepwalking, the person is usually confused and remembers very little of what happened, if anything at all. Clearly, even they can’t understand how it’s possible to sleep while walking around.

What causes sleepwalking and can it be treated?

Research suggests that a variety of factors contribute to sleepwalking. These include genetic, developmental, organic and psychological factors. Furthermore, somnambulism can be triggered by fever, medication with some drugs, stress and major life events.

Considering that different factors contribute and trigger sleepwalking, it should not be dealt with alone. It’s recommended that someone suffering from sleepwalking should consult a doctor to discover whether there is an underlying cause. The doctor will not only help a sleepwalker identify the actual cause of the problem; they may also be able to give advice about improving sleep habits, having a good night’s sleep and how to stop sleepwalking.

Depending on the doctor’s assessment, the patient may also be recommended to seek additional advice from a psychologist or sleep specialist and discover how to sleep properly without sleep walking.

Help Me Sleep! The Physical and Medical Causes of Insomnia

Help me sleep tip - dont drink coffee late at night
Coffee is great in the morning. But not last thing at night!

Folks who fall asleep the moment their heads hit the bed probably don’t realize just how lucky they are. Unlike you, they don’t mumble “somebody help me sleep” over and over in frustration as they lie awake in bed. So what’s causing your sleepless nights? There are a number of possible reasons.

You need to know that, while insomnia is a disorder on its own, it can also be a symptom of other underlying problems. These issues could either be psychological or physical in nature. Physical conditions include health problems like heartburn and hormonal imbalance. Insomnia may also be a side effect of certain medicines, particularly those for asthma, allergies, and heart problems.

So the next time you find yourself counting sheep at 3 a.m. think about the possible causes for your insomnia attack. If you’ve been suffering from acid reflux or you’ve been taking asthma medication, plan a trip to the doctor. Your physician might be able to recommend tips on how to sleep better.

An alcoholic night cap isn’t going to help you sleep healthily

If you are sure that you’re healthy, look into your daily habits. Do you drink coffee late in the afternoon or after dinner? Do you smoke or drink alcohol regularly? These habits could be causing you to wail ‘help me sleep!’ every night. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that keep you awake. Meanwhile, alcohol may be a sedative that can help you sleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep so you end up not feeling rested in the morning.

A simple elimination process can help you get to the bottom of your insomnia problem. By knowing the possible causes for your sleeplessness and paying more attention to your body, you will eventually be able to find the answer to the million dollar question: “What can help me sleep?”

Study finds jogging can help you sleep better

jogging can help me get to sleep

A recent study has found that jogging can help you sleep at night.

Insomnia is often caused by troubling thoughts. Worrying is one of the main reasons people have trouble sleeping. So it makes sense that going for a jog in the local park or forest can be beneficial to release the tension.

Doctors tend to agree according to a Glasgow University study. In a survey of 2000 active people, it found that jogging outdoors was twice as beneficial as exercising in a gym. You can read more about the study in this Daily Telegraph article.

The study concluded that being around nature heightens our sense of well being more than being indoors. In addition, the researchers found that exercising outdoors lifts mood and relieves stress. Both of these can be highly beneficial if you are suffering from insomnia and wondering ‘how can I get to sleep?’ at night.

So if counting sheep isn’t working, maybe you should put on your trainers and pound the earth in your local park for 30 minutes to see if jogging can helps you sleep instead.

Why Can’t I Sleep Through the Night? Top 5 Reasons and Remedies


why cant I sleep through the night

There are so many times when I lie aware wondering why can’t I sleep through the night? To give you a recent example, I have a big day the following day so I set my alarm early the next morning. I did not know what happened but it was already past midnight and I’m still wide awake!

I keep on back tracking what I did that day that means I cant sleep through the night. I was sure I did not took any afternoon naps not even a morning nap. I was dead tired the whole day because I did some general cleaning and throw away some stuff and boxes that was supposed to get trashed a long time ago. I’m used to sleeping late at night so I think my brain is having a hard time convincing my body to sleep early

Why can’t I sleep through the night whenever I set my mind to wake up early the following morning? That’s a question that has been puzzling me for a week now. So what I did a little research on the factors that affecting my sleeping habits and I’m pretty convinced of what I found on the reasons why I cant sleep  through the night.

You might also find below the most common reasons why most people are having trouble sleeping through the night:

1. Your room isn’t dark enough

If you cant sleep through the night, this is one of the factors that kept me awake. Because I usually don’t shutdown my laptop before going to bed, so it is mostly on after 30 minutes or so before it goes to sleep mode. Make it sure that your room is dark enough for you to sleep on. There shouldn’t be any lights on especially lights emitted from your TV sets, laptop or any electronic device. Because when your eyes were exposed to light during the night, your brain might be tricked into thinking that it’s waking time and most probably would result to reduce in the production of melatonin that causes sleepiness.

2. Room temperature is too warm

I sweat a lot even if I’m not doing anything I can feel my nose sweating. So basically I can’t sleep on a room with high humidity. I also found out that when you are about to sleep your body and brain has the tendency to cool down and you will thwart the cool-down process when your room is too warm. Keeping a fan or air condition on at a desired level of temperature is the best way to sleep.

3. Clockwatching

This is basically the main reason I think why I wasn’t able to sleep that night. I keep staring at the clock and was worried that I only had a few more hours left to sleep. It wasn’t a good idea at all, you would end up staring at the clock the whole night and not getting any sleep that you wanted. So keep your clock away from your bed and de stress your sleep.

4. Watching YouTube until you’re sleepy

This is one of the things I am guilty of and why I cant sleep through the night. Every time I go to bed I always have my Ipad beside me and browse on any YouTube videos. I thought at first it would help me doze off but it eventually keeps me awake until 2 or 3 in the morning. This is actually a bad idea because watching TV or YouTube stimulates brain activity, which is the exact opposite of what you want to happen if you want to sleep early.

5. Trying to problem-solve in the middle of the night

If you want to sleep early but anxious about something or you have a big problem that you are worried about. Don’t try solving it before going to sleep, redirect your thoughts to something less stressful. Because once you get caught up on the worry treadmill, you will stay awake much longer and wont be able to sleep through the night.