In our crazy, weird, contemporary world, an absence of sleep or unhealthy quality sleep has become a lot more common. Do you know what to do if you have problems sleeping? For some people, this can seem like an insurmountable problem. And considering some of us are reluctant to use any chemical prescriptions for the same, let’s discuss how to cure insomnia naturally.
You may toss and turn for hours and feel hopeless about getting any sleep for the third day in a row. Or maybe you just have the occasional trouble with sleep. Either way, sleep seriously affects your mental and physical well-being so it is important to get it right.
The Circadian cycle
Every living organism follows a schedule for the 24 hours cycle. Rooster knows when to announce the morning, tigers know when to go hunting, birds have a fixed time for food search, and so on. How do they know what time of the day is it exactly?
Well, it’s all about the intensity of light at that moment. The alternation of night and day isn’t that simple after all. It’s about what extent of the day is it or otherwise. That’s how our bodies sense the time and allot it for a certain activity.
If you’re used to eating at 2 ‘O’clock then you’ll feel hungry when it’s around the same time of the day. The same is the case with sleep. If it’s dark enough as it always is when you sleep, then your body expects you to sleep. We have sensors that sense the light, and its intensity to take such decisions by releasing relevant hormones.
Melatonin is the hormone that’s responsible for making you feel the need to sleep. Darkness triggers it, in layman’s language. It actually is responsible for the regulation of our sleep cycle. You may also be prescribed Melatonin deal with sleeplessness but that doesn’t answer how to cure insomnia naturally, does it?
What causes insomnia?
If you face any disturbance in the regulation of this particular hormone then you may get a circadian rhythm disorder. As the name suggests, it’s insomnia, the disturbed rhythm of the circadian clock.
Insomnia is also common in people suffering from lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In fact, insomnia is also found as a side effect during some treatments for leukemia.
Effects of insomnia on your health.
Apart from the suffering of not being able to sleep there are multiple complications that come along as a result of insomnia. The body when deprived of the reset it deserves and needs after a day’s work bears a lot of damage. It also needs to carry over other internal activities which are taken care of at night. Following are some of the effects of sleeplessness on your body.
- Concentration and other cognitive issues.
- Memory retention.
- Blood pressure.
- Mood swings.
- Prone to diabetes.
- Weaker immunity.
- Lower sex drive.
- Rheumatic problems.
- Risk of heart diseases.
- Mental health complications like stress and depression.
Get into the right mindset
No matter how difficult your sleeping issues are, you are not going to die from it. If you really have problems, go to the doctor, and even if you have problems after that, other steps may be taken but, basically, you are going to be okay no matter what.
Instill this fact into your mind. You are going to be okay no matter how bad your sleeping problem is. Often our minds get caught in cyclical traps. We get worried that we’re worrying and then worry more because we’re worrying about worrying. Know that even if you don’t sleep you will be okay. So you might as well relax, right?
Focus on your routine
Make sure you are going to bed at the same time each day. Set alarms on your phone and promise yourself that you will go to bed at that time even if you have more work you ‘should do’. Wake up at the same time too. This will help your body to know when it is time to relax and get ready for sleep.
Work on and develop your daily routine too. Everyone has their own preferences but having a form of exercise and time to relax is essential in every performance. Our list of How to cure insomnia naturally makes no sense without this point.
Exercise during the day
Exercise exhausts your body so that it will be more ready to sleep. Try to exercise every day with at least 4 of those days being strenuous exercise. You should be sweating during strenuous exercise by doing things like jogging, cycling, weights, dancing, soccer, etc.
Meditation has become more widely popular recently and for good reason. It has been proven to have a range of benefits. Meditation is a crucial factor in figuring out what to do if you have problems sleeping.
You can use guided meditation, apps, or a simple timer. All you need to do is find a focal point (most commonly breathing) and observe it. This helps your mind to calm down and it teaches you to let thoughts go rather than hold on to them or chase them around in your head.
Listen to white noise
Having something to drown out all other noises such as white noise or music can help your mind to unwind and reduce the time you spend tossing and turning. Putting on a fan or heater can be effective. There are also applications you can get for your phone which will play rain, wind, or ambient musical sounds.
Get the light, at the right time
If you want to know how to cure insomnia naturally then you must let the sun, shine on your face. It’s like if you don’t let your eyes tell your body that it’s morning, afternoon, or night, that is by depriving it of naturally occurring light then you may disturb the circadian cycle.
Even wearing sunglasses or a hat could hinder the process, or do damage. Get out there, and get the sun to treat your sleeplessness.
The screen light
One of the most important unavoidable aspects of the modern world is over everyday increasing exposure to screen light. Our work or even hobbies and leisure demand screen time. May it be checking emails, working on a project, speaking with family, or even lingering on social media.
All at the cost of straining our eyes with digital illuminations. The problem is more severe when it’s about time to sleep and we fail to get rid of this light. Exposure to light suppresses the excretion of Melatonin, the sleep chemical remember?
What makes things worse is the amount of blue light from the screens which does most of the damage as compared to other lights.
The best thing to do is to avoid the usage at night, or at least reduce it to a considerable extent. Also use blue light filters, over the screen or even the software which helps restrict the emission of blue light from the screen. You even get special blue light coatings on the spectacles for the purpose.
Go to a therapist or psychologist
The problems you have with sleeping may not be simple or easy to fix. It may be more to do with your mental health or a situation in your life. In that case, it is important to investigate further so you can find and tackle the root of the problem. Seeing a doctor (therapist, psychologist) is the best way to do this.