Your mood, your memory, your ability to deal with life’s daily stresses, are all sacrificed when you aren’t able to get a good long, deep sleep; especially the important REM (rapid eye movement or dreaming) sleep.
Your performance at work and your relationships with family and friends can suffer, too. Studies have even drawn a correlation to sleep deprivation and weight gain.
Plenty of books and websites are devoted to insomnia. It could probably be described as an epidemic in western cultures.
Sleepiness during the day is unsafe, if you’re driving or doing work with heavy machinery. Sleepiness can be caused by heavy snoring, hypersomnia, narcolepsy, and other sleep-related disorders.
• Your Mental Condition
Folks don’t get enough wind-down time from their daily routine. Vacations are not long enough nor frequent enough. People suffering from insomnia are usually under great stress, often due to finances or personal relationships. Depression is both a cause and effect of sleeplessness. Go to bed at the same time every evening. Try to relax before bedtime; take a warm bath or shower.
• Your Physical Condition
Too often we eat on the run. On the other hand, we often skip meals. Our bodies are two-thirds water, yet we tend to replace water with sugary or highly caffeinated beverages. No snacks or liquids an hour before bed should be the rule. Very few folks get enough exercise to normally tire their bodies. Some of us chemically lack melatonin and serotonin, natural sleep enzymes manufactured by our bodies.
• Your Environment
Your bedroom should be for sleeping, and that’s all – no TV, no laptop, no noise, no light. The air should be cool.
• Your Sleeping Accessories
This includes everything from your pillows and mattresses, on to your sheets and comforters. You may require an alarm clock-radio.
Fighting Insomnia Need Not Be Expensive
Scrutinising the lists above, you can probably engineer a normal sleeping routine without having to spend a lot of extra money. But sometimes it’s worth it to plop down a little cash for the sake of a good night’s sleep.
• White Noise
Especially if you sleep in the city near a busy boulevard, you might want to spend a little on a quality white noise device. You can get anything from twittering birds, to the sound of waves, or just a soft, white droning sound.
• Warm Teas
You need only do some online research, or visit your local health food store or farmer’s markets, to find some delicious tea infusions to help you sleep. The little money spent will be well worth the cost if it allows you to sleep.
• Herbal Sleep Aids
If you can avoid it, don’t get hooked on prescription sleep aids, especially when there are so many harmless yet helpful herbal concoctions available, including tablets or capsules. Again, search the Web, your local health food store, or an alternative market. Herbal remedies are considerable less costly than those offered by Big Pharma.
• Lights Out
Many people require absolute darkness to sleep. You may wish to purchase some good quality eye-patch masks. These are not only useful for blacking out the bedroom; they are conducive to catching a few winks when you’re on a lengthy plane or train ride.
• Mattresses, Pillows, Sheets, Comforters
The market is abundant with physical sleep aids. Memory foam pillows, pillow top mattresses, 1000-thread-count linen sheets, and a plethora of similar products are waiting for you to test. These can turn into pretty hefty items price-wise, so be sure you’ve exhausted all the other means first.
Some Serious Enough for Medical Intervention
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or other severe sleep disorders, you should consult with a physician or a sleep specialist. No good reason really exists for a person to go without sleep. And getting a good night’s sleep, or what comes naturally, shouldn’t drive you to the poorhouse.
Image: The Sleeping Beauty — Public Domain Photos and Images