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.

Originally posted 2012-10-18 14:34:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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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