Are There Psychological Changes that Can Help Me Sleep Better?

is anxiety stopping you from sleepingAnother night spent tossing and turning in bed? Before you start losing hope, know that you are not alone. You might not know it, but every night there are plenty of other people begging the universe to ‘help me sleep!’

The key to dealing with your insomnia problem is identifying the cause. There are many possible reasons why sleep evades you night after night.

Sleep experts say that among the most common causes of insomnia are psychological conditions. This can mean anything from stress to depression and anxiety. In fact, most temporary insomnia attacks are tied to specific triggers such as stressing over major exams, suffering jet lag, or recovering from a painful breakup. Often, once you are able to overcome these situations, your sleeping pattern goes back to normal and you’re no longer constantly wondering ‘what can I do to help me sleep!’

How to sleep better by facing the mental causes

However, if you are suffering from chronic or recurrent insomnia, it’s possible that your sleeplessness is a symptom of a particular mental or physical issue. As mentioned, it can be caused by stress, depression, or anxiety. It may also be the result of bipolar disorder or a traumatic experience.

Instead of fretting over what you can do to help me sleep, ask yourself questions to help you determine if there are monsters in your mind that you need to battle. Are you stressed or depressed? Do you often worry about everything? Is there a recent event that triggered the insomnia attack?

As the saying goes, sometimes it’s all in the mind. Recognizing signs of a psychological issue can help you make the appropriate lifestyle changes so you can stop the nightly battle with sleeplessness. It will also help you decide if it’s time to visit your doctor. Finding out what’s causing your insomnia is the first step to knowing how to sleep better.

Originally posted 2012-04-30 12:33:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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.

Originally posted 2012-08-21 14:35:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Top 5 Things to Do When You Can’t Sleep

woman in bed with eyes opened suffering insomnia and sleep disorder

It is frustrating when you cant sleep for hours at night. Especially when you need to wake up early the next morning to catch a flight, to go for an interview or any one of a million important tasks done better without another sleepless night.

It’s almost funny how satirical how energetic you can feel when you cant sleep but are still wide awake. So here are five things to do when you cant sleep that might help your mind and body to relax:

1. Get up and do something – If you are feeling restless, you can walk around your living room to your bedroom and reserve your bed for sleeping. Avoid watching television or eating in your bed. Instead, grab a blanket and read a book downstairs or in your living room. This help your mind to feel more at ease and make you feel relaxed.

2. Try to stay awake during the day – This is why most people miss their flights the following morning because they tend take a nap on just a few hours early before their bedtime. So the tendency is they will be widely awake past midnight and doze off a few hours before their flight.

3. Do not drink too much before your bedtime – Drinking too much alcohol and taking drugs can affect your sleeping patter. Stimulants such as nicotine and drinking too much caffeine that contained in teas, coffee and energy drinks can make you stay awake at night.

4. Do not eat too much when you know you are too close to going to bedtime – The feeling of being full is uncomfortable and you would feel that you have to stay up late just to let your food digest.

5. Dont think about the fact you cant sleep – Finally the most important one is not to think about having insomnia when you are already on your bed. Do not let your brain stay awake because you have subconsciously told it that you are expecting it to occur.

So these are 5 things to do when you cant sleep that might help you overcome your insomnia and get more hours of healthy, rejuvenating sleep at night. What things do you do when you cant sleep?

Originally posted 2014-12-07 13:44:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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

Originally posted 2012-05-15 13:17:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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.

What is a Sleep Disorder?

a sleep disorder could be keeping you awake

On average we all need six to eight hours of sleep every night. Any less than this may effect you the next day, with symptoms like low energy, mood swings and concentration problems. However, from a medical perspective, these mere interferences may already be considered as signs and symptoms of a sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders are classified into:

1) insomnia

2) parasomnia or undesirable motor or autonomic activity during sleep

3) sleep disorders associated with medical disorders

4) proposed sleep disorders (e.g., pregnancy-related sleeping disorders.

They are affected by one’s amount and quality of sleep. Among them, the most common among children and adults is insomnia.

Insomnia is broadly defined as a condition where the person experiences inadequate or poor quality of sleep, difficulty in initiating and/or maintaining sleep, and sleep that is not restorative and/or refreshing.

It may be attributed to primary or secondary causes. The former refers to that which is unrelated to any unidentifiable medical or psychiatric disorder while the latter includes conditions where another disorder which contributes or aggravates the dilemma can be diagnosed.

A good example of a primary cause is adjustment disorder. One who experienced job loss, hospitalization and other stressful life events may encounter difficulty in sleeping. On the other hand, secondary causes include medical illnesses (e.g., respiratory disorders) and psychiatric disorders (e.g., anxiety).

Aside from its causes, insomnia may also be classified according to its severity. It may be mild, moderate or severe. As the degree of severity increases, the impairment to one’s social or occupational functioning increases (The International Classification, 2001).

Furthermore, the same classification may also refer to the frequency of one’s sleeplessness ‘episodes’. A person with a mild sleeping disorder encounters ‘episodes’ only for a few nights; whereas a person with a severe form of the condition encounters the same for more than a month.

Regardless of its cause or severity, a person must immediately consult a physician if he/she thinks he/she has insomnia. For one, it is considered as a medical condition; hence, it must be treated. Second, more than it being a medical condition, the condition may lead to devastating consequences.

What started out as lack of sleep may end with a person not living his/her full potential due to exhaustion, fatigue and even depression. Therefore, insomnia must be treated and not taken for granted.




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