Sleep has been called “food for the brain.” I think you recognize why. It is said by many experts and scientists that getting enough sleep everyday can lower one’s risk from many diseases; obesity, diabetes, and stroke are some examples. But what if I have Insomnia?
British researchers in the “Whitehall II Study” looked at how sleep patterns affects the mortality of more than 10,000 British civil servants. The results in 2007 show that those who had 7-3 hours a night doubled their risk of death from all causes. I guess that’s why I love sleeping. Although you yourself may also be “in love” with sleeping, you may have these same problems.
The Dilemma in Sleeping
There are times when I can’t sleep early at night; like I’d want to sleep from 8 but was able to sleep at 11. The next day and I woke up unintentionally so early–like 4–then tried to sleep; I can’t get myself to sleep. Can you relate?
Then there are nights that I can’t sleep, but I slept at that morning. Sometimes, I don’t sleep; that actually never happened to me but, do you also experience these in sleeping? It’s called insomnia.
Causes of Insomnia
- Stress. Concerns about work, school, health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma—such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce, or a job loss—also may lead to insomnia.
- Travel or work schedule. Your circadian rhythms act as an internal clock, guiding such things as your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature. Disrupting your body’s circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Causes include jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones, working a late or early shift, or frequently changing shifts.
- Poor sleep habits. Poor sleep habits include an irregular bedtime schedule, naps, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and using your bed for work, eating or watching TV.
- Blue light. Computers, TVs, video games, smartphones or other screens just before bed can interfere with your sleep cycle. The type of light (called “blue light”) coming from a phone, a TV, or any other device can make it harder for you to get to sleep.
- Eating too much late in the evening. Having a light snack before bedtime is OK. But eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down. Many people also experience heartburn, a back flow of acid and food from the stomach into the esophagus after eating, which may keep you awake.
- Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Coffee, tea, cola and other caffeinated drinks are stimulants. Drinking them in the late afternoon or evening can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is another stimulant that can interfere with sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.
What Can Help You Get A Good Sleep
- Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including weekends.
- Stay active and exercise—regular activity helps promote a good night’s sleep.
- Check your medications to see if they may contribute to insomnia. If it does, do not throw them out immediately. Consult first your doctor for alternative medications.
- Limit naps.
- Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol, and don’t use nicotine.
- Avoid large meals and beverages before bedtime.
- Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep and only use it for sleep.
- Create a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as taking a warm bath, reading or listening to soft music. Do not read using your device–it emits blue light. Rather, use a hard copy of the publication you’re reading.
Doing these may be hard at first, but these will help you get into your healthy sleeping routine. Let your phone “sleep” and let your brain “eat”.
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2 Replies to “Insomnia—Causes and Treatments”
Hi Zedd, You know what, when I feel stressed I always read your blogs even if I didn’t understand them all. I know you don’t know me but I want to say Thank you for making me feel better .. you don’t know you’re making me happy…
Hello Naomi. I’m glad to hear that you read my blogs and if I did make you feel happy, all thanks to Jehovah! But please let me remind you that we should prioritize our website—jw.org—when we feel stressed. My blog may be helpful in this field, but I humbly say that it’s nothing compared to Jehovah God’s Word and provisions that we can find on jw.org. So please, continue visiting jw.org as a priority and please make my blog second only.😁 Thanks.