We know how important it is to sleep the right hours and rest well during sleep. But, what to do if you can’t sleep and How to fight insomnia?
The most recent studies on this point indicate the ideal amount of sleep for an adult between six and eight hours each night.
Yet, anyone has experienced difficulty falling asleep at least once in their life, or worse, not being able to sleep for entire nights.
Insomnia can turn out to be a serious problem.
Suffice it to say that sleeping too little or badly affects the metabolism, promotes serious diseases such as diabetes, and can even damage the nervous system in the long run.
Therefore, if we often suffer from this type of ailment, it is good to remedy it. As we will see, before we get to drugs, drops, and extreme remedies, we have many possibilities to solve the problem.
So let’s see what insomnia consists of and what to do if you can’t sleep well.
The first thing to do when we are looking for a solution to sleep problems is to understand if ours is a case of insomnia or not.
The recognized symptoms are:
- difficulty falling asleep;
- awakenings at night with consequent difficulty in falling asleep;
Awakening at dawn
Anxiety, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
In general, if two or more of the above symptoms are present, we can speak of insomnia. The most common causes are to be found in all those events or circumstances that affect a person’s psychophysical state.
If we have suffered a bereavement, gone through a radical change, or just moved, sleep quality may be among the first to suffer.
However, some pathologies cause long periods of sleep-related difficulties: asthma, in particular, allergic asthma, depression, gastroesophageal reflux, are often contributing causes of insomnia. Not to mention some medications, which manage to affect the quality of rest equally heavily.
The environment also has a significant influence on sleep: a room that is too bright, too hot, or noisy will undoubtedly amplify any discomfort related to a bad relationship with sleep.
Among the environmental factors, circumstances such as shift work should not be forgotten (especially if it also involves night hours, upsetting the natural alternation of day and night) and the possible sudden change of time zone, the so-called jet lag.
Some remedies if you Can’t Sleep
What to do if you can’t sleep well, then? There is boundless literature of advice, tips, and remedies for insomnia.
Let’s see some of the most effective practical tips:
Regulate the sleep-wake rhythm: waking up and going to sleep simultaneously incredibly facilitates the body’s approach to a healthy and controlled relationship with sleep. Our biological clock is more potent than it appears.
Don’t get angry because you can’t sleep: not being able to sleep well is frustrating, but linking the moment of sleep to negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, and fear will certainly not improve the situation. Some psychologists even suggest not to keep a clock near the bed, not to stimulate the anxiety of falling asleep within a certain amount of time.
Do not linger in bed: if you are in bed after half an hour you still have not fallen asleep, it is better to go elsewhere. Also, do not tie the bed to anxious feelings; it is essential to get out of bed and engage in other activities.
Some suggest relaxing activities such as reading or listening to soft music; other schools of psychotherapy recommend instead engaging in activities that are detested, such as ironing clothes, to return associate the bed with positive and constructive emotions;
Practice relaxation exercises: fighting insomnia is, above all, a fight against anxiety, which feeds itself to the point of making sleep impossible. To avoid following the anxiety-inducing behavior, practicing exercises that relax the muscles or meditation may be useful.
As you can imagine, the best drug against insomnia is an excellent psycho-physical state. Anxiety, depression, trauma are the worst enemies of good sleep. So let’s see other factors that can change to improve one’s relationship with bed and sleep.
The importance of the environment
If you have tried everything to sleep, but without success, then it may be that the problem is in the environment in which we (not) sleep.
The room you sleep in can have significant effects on your sleep quality. And it is not just Feng Shui, whereby the position of the bed or the presence of objects above or under the bed can disturb sleep, but also some precautions that can make the room extremely more suitable for rest.
For example, the environment should be dark and quiet. Even if you live in the city, with windows overlooking the traffic or nightlife, it is essential to ensure a certain amount of silence: the use of earplugs, however unnatural, can undoubtedly be a valuable aid.
You should also know that the ideal temperature for sleep is slightly lower than you think: to sleep well, the room must be excellent. Never keep the climate in the bedroom above 22/23 ° C.
The quality of the bed plays a fundamental role in healing insomnia. However, the cause of inadequate sleep is often found in the network, in the mattress that is too hard or too soft, or even in the quality and type of our pillow.
There are also cases of people who have struggled with insomnia all their lives, up to the intake of drops and sleep potions, and have found a good relationship with their bed only by moving home.
This can happen, in particular, if you live in areas close to airports or in any case subject to significant traffic and sudden noises.
Lifestyle and sleep
Like all ailments – physical and psycho-physical – which tend to become chronic, even the difficulty in sleeping can, in most cases, be attributed to a sinful lifestyle.
The best drug for insomnia is, almost always, to assume good habits that support a good relationship with sleep.
When it comes to sleep, you should avoid subjecting yourself to visual stresses such as TV, computer, and smartphone. Even when they seem to relax us, these devices seriously disturb the pre-sleep phase.
Therefore, it would be an excellent habit to engage in relaxing activities for the senses and remove electronic devices from the bedroom. In particular, the presence of television in the room, which looks pretty comforting to most, is a ruthless enemy of good sleep.
An excellent sleep-wake rhythm can help by taking supplements that support our body in producing and using melatonin and magnesium.
The efficacy of melatonin is mainly linked to the balance of metabolism. Thus to the re-establishment of a sleep-wake rhythm adequate to our needs, magnesium. On the other hand, it is a mineral that participates in more than three hundred processes essential to the maintenance and development of our organism.
Magnesium deficiency can, among other things, negatively affect sleep quality and cause tiredness, irritability, and mood swings.
This mineral can be supplemented by eating pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables, and almonds or taking supplements readily available on the market.
First rule: calm and trust
So we have seen what to do if you can’t sleep or fall asleep. It should emphasize that grandmother’s methods are as effective as taking a drug or a supplement: it depends a lot on us—sleep disorders and their causes and the types of sleep disorders we experience.
It must also say that in the vast majority of cases, insomnia is a transient disorder, often caused by specific factors that will be enough to recognize, control, and modify.
It is also true that there are no simple methods of falling asleep instantly or asleep immediately. Such a claim only amplifies the anxious circle that fuels insomnia.
Therefore, the first rule to get back to sleep well is not to panic about insomnia, not to believe that you will never be able to sleep again, and not to get involved in the frustration that sleep disorders inevitably subject us to.
Instead, it is essential to think that our body knows how to self-regulate its functions and to have confidence in its ability to help us sleep when the body needs it.