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When you consider just how important a good night's sleep is to our basic health, not to mention our sanity, it is surprising to learn how little medical science really understands about how we fall asleep and why some "cures" for insomnia work like gangbusters for some people and not for others. It is important to note that if you are experiencing severe insomnia and going days on end without sleep, push away your chair from the desk you are sitting at, pick up the phone and go to the doctor now. This following list is for people suffering from mild insomnia or for folks that just haven't been sleeping well lately.
Ah, drugs, the ultimate solution for all of the world's problems. A quick trip to your local drug store reveals an entire section stocked with dozens of different pills, powders and solutions that claim they can put out your lights out faster than a triple Long Island ice tea.
However, almost all of these pills are habit forming, and if you are one of the unlucky few to currently be on prescription strength medication for insomnia, those drugs are even more dangerous. Barbiturates are often ranked as one of the deadliest drugs currently in use and the amount needed to fatally overdose isn't that far from the amount you need to take to sleep.
While there is certainly a biological root in most insomnia cases, the condition is still treated as a psychological condition by some doctors. One of the mantras that you often hear repeated over and over is that the bedroom should only be for sleep and intimacy.
If you stay in your bedroom all day long, your body won't get the message that it is time to sleep since your immediate surroundings haven't changed. If you see yourself being stuck inside all day, try to stray as far away from your bed as possible so that when it is time to bed down, you are physically entering another realm.
For those folks that live in a studio apartment, you are pretty much screwed.
It is no secret that our lives are hectic from the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we lay down and fail at sleeping. Often times, we spend half the night going over in our heads our routine for the next day instead of resting up to execute said routine.
Believe it or not, grandma might have been spot-on when she suggested a glass of warm milk. An ingredient in milk known as lactium has been shown to help babies relax and fall asleep, and there is a serious placebo effect going on here, as well: if you begin to associate a particular behaviour, whether it be stretching exercises or warm milk, with sleep long enough, those behaviours will begin to make you sleepy.
If your current sleeping problems extend farther than just having trouble falling asleep, you may want to toss your current mattress and pillow combination and invest in something a bit plusher. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially if you are on a budget, but what could possibly be more important than getting a good night's sleep.
You can also try some Feng Shui action by moving your bedroom furniture around so that you have a fresh perspective on your bedroom every night instead of staring at that same ceiling tile or patch of stucco.
Although everybody reacts differently, an hour of exercise some time in the evening can tucker you out enough so that sleep comes much easier than it has in the past. What you are doing here is essentially trying to physically exhaust yourself into falling asleep easier. Your problem may stem from something as simple as not exerting enough energy during the day for your body to be tired enough to sleep, even if your mind is spent from thinking all day. Try to inter-mingle physical activity with mental activity if at all possible.
Insomnia cures are sort of like cookie recipes; everybody has one and no two are quite the same. Some people swear by a hot bath before bed which can relax your muscles and help with relaxation and slowing your brain down, while others say that a completely dark and quiet room is the only way to go, so maybe a pair of earplugs and a sleep mask are what you need. Try adjusting the temperature in your room so that it is either hotter or colder, depending on what you find comfortable.
Insomnia isn't a condition to be taken lightly. It can strip away your grip on reality faster than any other condition, save Alzheimer's. If you are having serious issues with sleep, do not hesitate to speak with a doctor.
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