“Sleep is such a luxury, which I can't afford.”
If you live with insomnia, you may find it difficult to fall asleep and/or stay asleep and as a consequence you wake up feeling exhausted, moody, experience difficulty concentrating and remembering things throughout the day.
Quality sleep plays an imperial role in our overall well-being. Not getting the sleep you need on a regular basis can have a pretty big impact on mental and physical health, not to mention quality of life.
Recent studies show about a third of all adults report some insomnia symptoms, 6 to 10 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia disorder.
Types of insomnia
Let’s review different types of insomnia and its characteristic:
Acute insomnia refers to short-term sleeping difficulties that last no more than a few weeks.
Chronic insomnia refers to a pattern that affects your sleep for 3 or more days each week on a regular basis.
Onset insomnia describes difficulty falling asleep. The issue might happen as a result of caffeine use, mental health symptoms, or other common insomnia triggers.
Maintenance insomnia refers to trouble remaining asleep or consistently waking up throughout the night. This type of insomnia might relate to underlying physical and/or mental health symptoms.
Juvenile insomnia is a consistent trouble falling asleep, refusing to go to bed, or both. Oftentimes it can be related to the lack of schedule.
Stress as a cause of insomnia
In order to get rid of insomnia you need to figure out the underlying cause. Among many others, the leading place is stress.
What is Stress? Stress is a natural response of the organism to various triggers.
Physical - poor posture, injuries, car accidents, illness or lack of exercise. Physical stress most often affects muscles, tendons, and bones as well as organ systems. Some physical stress is relatively easy to detect and can be corrected with adequate rest, exercise, massage therapy and chiropractic care.
Chemical - pollution, food additives, pesticides, cleaning supplies, personal products and even medication may contain chemicals that poison your body to one degree or another. Poor diet is also a chemical stress because you don't have the building blocks your body needs. If we can identify toxins then we can often avoid them. Eating a healthy diet will also help your body eliminate toxins.
Emotional - emotional anxiety is most harmful to the body when it is prolonged. If there is no outlet for the tension, the stress builds up like steam in a pressure cooker. Challenging work environment, financial worries or the loss of a loved one can push your body into "Fight or Flight" mode. Often times we cannot control the circumstances, though we can control the way we feel about them.
Thermal - when the body becomes overheated or chilled. Usually, it is short-term, since the body has a regulatory system to help us to adapt to the environment. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the effects of thermal stress and it might be life threatening. Thermal stress is often hard to detect unless you are aware of the signs.
Lifestyle changes and home remedies can often help manage insomnia symptoms, which are not related to professionally diagnosed disorders and illnesses.
Herbal supplements such as St. John Warts and Ashwagandha, taken on a regular basis, helps to improve the emotional and mental well-being. Herbal tea includes Camomile, Lavender, Lemongrass, Valerian root, Ginseng, and many others.
Meditation is the most powerful tool to maintain the overall well- being. There are various types of meditation, I am sure you will find yours.
The B vitamins are used up by the stress response, so maintain a good diet, rich in green leafy vegetables and protein.
Reduce the load of toxins - on all levels
Acupuncture. Many people find this traditional Chinese medicine technique, which involves thin needles inserted at pressure points across the body, helpful for easing insomnia symptoms.
Physical activity - as a yoga teacher, of course I would recommend the asana practice. Though you can definitely find any type of activity that is most beneficial for you, as long as you make your body move!
Aromatherapy - essential oils are my everything! I apply them on my skin, add them to the epsom salt bath, diffuse them and even add them to my house cleaning routine. Select something that is really pleasant for you - Lavender, Rose, Bergamot, Orange, Clary Sage, Lemon, Sandalwood.
Remember, Insomnia is a signal that your body needs your attention. Oftentimes we serve others, though forgetting our own needs. Practice self care, appreciate and honor your body as a temple of the divine. Invest your time for your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Love yourself!