Help Me Sleep! – The Insomnia Checklist

Help me sleep insomnia check list

Everybody needs a good night’s sleep. Apart from giving you the chance to rest from the day’s activities, it is when we are in deep slumber that the body mends itself and prepares you for another day. So what happens then when you spend the night wide awake? You don’t get sufficient rest and your body won’t be able to make the necessary repairs.

This inability to get enough sleep is known as insomnia. If you have had one too many sleepless nights lately and you’re starting to wonder how to sleep better, then it’s time to evaluate the situation.

Here’s a quick checklist that can help you assess whether or not you are suffering from insomnia:

  • Do you toss and turn in bed for hours wondering how to sleep?
  • Do you find it hard to relax and slip into slumber even if you’re very tired?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night and then lie awake thinking how to go to sleep?
  • Do you have to resort to taking sleeping pills or alcohol just to catch some Zs?
  • Do you spend a good part of the day feeling tired, irritable, and sleepy?
  • Are you unable to function properly because of lack of sleep?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s likely that you are among the millions who lie in bed at night thinking, “How can I sleep?” Indeed, insomnia is the culprit behind many a sleepless night. But the good news is that there are many ways to get rid of it.

So if you are constantly wondering how to get more sleep, worry not. You may be suffering from insomnia now, but by taking the right steps, you can have sweet dreams instead.

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.

Will not getting enough sleep make me fat?

not enough sleep make me fat

It seems like a strange link to make, but researchers have found a link between not getting enough sleep and increased levels of obesity. The study of 18,000 adults discovered that those getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep were more likely to be overweight.

Why is this? There are two probable factors:

1) Sleep reduces levels of leptin in the body which is a protein that suppresses your appetite. So the less sleep you get the more leptin in your body and the hungrier you are as a result.

2) After not knowing how to get to sleep, people wake up tired and low on energy. They then to try to compensate by eating sugary cereals and breads, like pastries or croissants, to give them an energy rush to perk them up. However, this energy rush is quick but short lived, leading to further snacking and eating more food.

So when you think about it, it does make sense that people not getting enough sleep might have a propensity to eat more and put on weight. If you’re struggling to get to sleep each night and worried about putting on weight, it’s sensible to take a look at your morning breakfast habits. Instead of sugary cereals and pastries, try eating sugar free museli or fruit instead that will release energy gradually and keep you going until lunch time.

Tips on how to get to sleep

Other tips for discovering how to get to sleep include exercise after work (but not just before you go to bed), avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening. While alcohol can help you get to sleep it prevents you from reaching the deep restorative level your body needs to regenerate itself. You might find yourself waking up throughout the night and wondering whether you ever slept at all when it’s time to get up in the morning.

There’s often an underlying causes of insomnia, so it’s a good idea to consider whether there is anything troubling you or a a medical cause for your insomnia.

It’s wise to avoid sleeping pills, which can be addictive and make you drowsy during the day. Instead , try some herbal remedies for insomnia that will help me sleep, like chamonille tea which contains super nutrients that act on the brain the same way as anti-anxiety drugs, helping you to calm down and prepare for sleep.

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.

Jawbone UP24 Review – The Smart Way to Track your Sleep

Jawbone Up24 sleep tracker


Do you know that less than half of Americans get the recommended seven of sleep a night? A very alarming number considering the impact it can have your concentration, health and even your weight. A lack of sleep has also been linked to a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and depression (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)).

If you’re worried that you might not be getting enough healthy sleep, one way to check whether you have an abnormal sleeping pattern is with a sleep tracker. Better yet, if sometimes you cant sleep you, by tracking your sleep patterns and the patterns of your sleep you can identify the root of your insomnia.

Jawbone Up24 brings state-of-the-art technology to sleep tracking

There are a lot of sleep tracking apps and devices on the market, but Up24 by Jawbone could be the best yet. Jawbone Up24 can give you an in-depth picture of your sleep patterns as well as the impact of your diet and daily exercise. This allows you to make smarter choices about your lifestyle habits and changes you can make to get the optimal amount of sleep.

Up24 is wireless, allowing you to stay connected to your Smartphone via Bluetooth. You can check out your notifications and see real-time updates of your goals anytime of the day. You can also team up with your friends and compare your sleep data and results. If you are annoyed by the sound of your alarm clock then Jawbone’s Up24 takes care of this too with a vibrating alarm that can pleasantly wake you up on the time you set.

Jawbone Up24 can tell whether it’s too much caffeine that means you can’t sleep at night

The one thing I also like about Jawbone Up24 is the coffee app. I’m an avid caffeine lover, I like my coffee black, with cream, with coco or marshmallows. I take them anytime of the day, basically I can’t control it. My addiction with coffee is way too much that sometimes I can feel my hands shaking involuntarily. My sister, who is a nurse, said that it’s the result of too much caffeine. Jawbone Up Coffee will able to understand your sleep patterns and help you identify the impact of caffeine intake.

In a matter of days you can identify how much you lost on sleep for every 100mg of caffeine . It helps you control and moderate your caffeine intake to be able to achieve your sleep goal for the day.

You can buy Jawbone UP Coffee app through App Store and Up24 Jawbone in Amazon. A good investment if you want to get more hours of sleep, to improve your health and eat better all at the same time.

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

Help Me Sleep! – How to Sleep Better Using Relaxation Techniques

meditating to help me to sleep

meditation cc by iandeth

Picture this: the clock reads 3 a.m. and you are still thinking, “How can I sleep?” You have a major presentation and you desperately need to sleep. But your mind is running at 100 miles per minute and you are still wide awake. Sounds familiar?

One of the most ironic things about insomnia is that it is a stressful experience that is often caused by stress. Something stresses you out and keeps you up. You end up even more stressed out because you can’t sleep. So what can you do to get the sleep you need? Relax.

There are different relaxation techniques you can try to calm your nerves and still your mind. Relaxing is one of the secrets of how to sleep better, so give these relaxation techniques a try:

Deep breathing – The goal of deep breathing is to get as much fresh air into your lungs as possible. You can do this by taking deep breaths from the abdomen. Breathe in from your mouth, inhaling deeply and feeling your abdomen expand. Exhale through your mouth and feel your abdominal muscles contract. Repeat until you feel relaxed. Do this regularly and you will surely be a step closer to mastering the art of how to sleep well.

Visualization meditation – Use your imagination to transport you to a place where you feel truly relaxed. Use your senses to imagine the things you will see, hear, smell, taste, and feel when you are in that place. Concentrate on the details and be fully present in that imagined place. Visualization techniques can help you relax and help you can learn how to sleep better.

Yoga and Tai Chi – Yoga combines moving and stationary poses with deep breathing while tai chi uses slow, flowing movements. Both physical activities promote stress relief and increase your body’s relaxation response.

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.

Help Me Sleep! – Four Sleep Hygiene Tips on How to Sleep Healthily

Sleep hygiene tips for how to sleep better

If you spend more time thinking of ways on how to sleep soundly than you actually do sleeping, then it’s high time for you to pay more attention to your sleeping habits. Also known as sleep hygiene, these activities can contribute to improving the quality of your sleep. By making simple changes to your daily routine, you can drastically reduce the amount of time you spend awake and wondering how do you get to sleep.

Here are four tips on how to improve your sleep patterns and catch more Zs at night:

  1. Develop a healthy sleep pattern. Your body clock is largely dependent on your daily routines. Developing the habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day is one of the secrets on how to sleep better.
  2. Avoid daytime naps. Sleeping during the day will lessen your need for rest later in the evening. Fight sleepiness by getting up and moving around. If you absolutely need a quick shut-eye, limit it to just 30 minutes before 3 p.m.
  3. Use the bed only for sleep and sex. Associating the bed with anything other than rest can make it difficult for you to fall asleep when you finally crawl under the covers. Do not bring work to bed and go to sleep only when you are sleepy-tired.
  4. Avoid heavy meals and strenuous exercise before bedtime. Both activities trigger your body to work and therefore keep you awake. If you are hungry stick to light snacks and when it comes to exercise, opt for relaxing stretches instead of rigorous workouts.

A good night’s sleep isn’t that hard to achieve when you’ve mastered the art of good sleep hygiene. Improving your sleep hygiene is a surefire way on discovering what you can do to ‘help me sleep well at night’.

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.