Best Natural Remedies for Insomnia
What is Insomnia?
A sleep disorder where the person is unable to fall or stay asleep befits the description of Insomnia. Insomnia patients also complain of waking up very early and not being able to go back to sleep.
Insomnia can be of two kinds: Acute (short-term) and Chronic (long term). Under Acute Insomnia, the patient has sleep troubles ranging from days to few weeks. And if the person is rendered unable to sleep for over a month, then they are suffering from Chronic Insomnia.
Sleep insomnia leads to a fall in your energy levels and mood disparities. In the process, your overall health and efficiency at work suffer.
As a response to your query regarding how much sleep should you get, know that the general recommendation for adults is getting 7-8 hours of sleep during the night.
Types of Insomnia
Insomnia is further classified into Primary and Secondary Insomnia, as seen below.
A person suffers from Primary Insomnia when their sleeping troubles bear no relation to any underlying medical conditions.
The probable causes of Primary Insomnia include high-stress levels, changes in sleep schedule, among others.
Secondary Insomnia is a condition where the person is ailing from medical conditions and, as a result, is having difficulty falling asleep.
Health conditions such as heartburn, arthritis, asthma, and cancer cause sleeping disorders. Additionally, chronic body pain, excessive alcohol consumption and intake of medications lead to Insomnia in some cases.
Besides, insomnia and anxiety go hand in hand. As such, if a person does not get adequate sleep, they remain anxious during the day. Also, if they’re suffering from anxiety, then they suffer from anxiety-induced insomnia and hence, face difficulty getting sleep.
Similarly, other mental health conditions such as depression are linked to insomnia. Other causes of secondary insomnia are endocrine disorders, hyperthyroidism, and allergic reactions. Sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea can render the person unable to sleep as well.
Insomnia: Risk Factors
Generally, women are more prone to insomnia than men. Also, youngsters are less susceptible to insomnia than the elderly groups.
Other risk factors that cause insomnia include long term illnesses, mental health conditions, and working in irregular or night shifts.
Insomnia in youngsters
Children and teenagers have sleeping troubles because they resist adhering to a regular bedtime schedule. In general, their internal clocks are delayed and they tend to sleep late at night and sleep for longer in the morning.
Symptoms of Insomnia
If you are plagued by the ‘do I have insomnia’ query, you must look for the signs of insomnia. Sleeping and grumpiness are indicators of insomnia. So, if you are feeling tired or grumpy, or having difficulty concentrating, even after sleeping for around 7 hours during night-time, then consider consulting your doctor for an insomnia diagnosis.
When to see a doctor
With sleeping disorders (including insomnia), you may not be able to work well. If the problem persists, check with your doctor to identify the causes for your sleeping troubles and the best insomnia treatment, bearing in mind your physical condition. If your doctor perceives you’re suffering from sleeping disorders, they will advise going to a sleep center for advanced testing.
Diagnosis of Insomnia
As part of the insomnia diagnosis, the doctors will conduct a physical exam. Also, you will need to tell them about your medical history and sleeping patterns.
Before initiating treatment, they may ask you to maintain a sleep diary for 1-2 weeks. As such, you have to keep track of your sleeping patterns and record how you feel throughout the day. More so, they will prescribe special tests at sleeping centers.
The medical experts will, also, explain why sleep is important, propelling you never to underestimate the importance of sleep.
If you’re wondering why is sleep important, then know that you need sleep for your body and brain to repair themselves. Sleep is important for a good memory as well.
Now, if you are suffering from insomnia, then you become susceptible to a host of medical issues. Obesity, hypertension and depression are some conditions that arise due to inadequate sleep.
Besides, if you want to know more about how sleep affects health, then note that you may not be able to focus and feel grumpy and anxious during the day if you do not sleep well. Also, older woman heighten their risk of falling if they are sleep deficient. Further, insomnia patients react slowly which can even cause car crashes at times.
Under insomnia treatments are included the natural remedies and medical treatments. Refer to the following details to know more about the natural remedies for insomnia.
The melatonin hormone regulates the sleep-wake cycle in the brain. Also, serotonin produces melatonin when exposure to light reduces during the night. Now, as a sleep solution, melatonin supplements are advised for disorderly sleep conditions resulting due to aging, jet lag, depression, among others.
More so, the elderly groups can improve their sleep quality and alertness levels in the morning by taking melatonin supplements. However, they must consume the supplements two hours before they retire for bed. By doing so, they can increase their circadian rhythms as compared to taking the supplements at night which can lead to delaying them.
One of the best insomnia cure is light therapy. Insomnia patients benefit through light therapy where they are exposed to bright light via the light-box device, which mimics sunlight. As such, they can increase melatonin production through greater exposure to light.
Also, using light therapy, they receive more light which plays an important role in instructing the body when to fall asleep or wake up.
Consider going for a walk outdoors during the early morning or evening hours for soaking in the sun. Or you can opt for light therapy for around 30 minutes every day. Talk to your doctor to know whether you should avail home light therapy units as part of your sleep therapy too.
Weighted or Gravity Blankets
In recent times, weighted blankets have come to be recognized as the best sleep aid. If you sleep with a weighted blanket, you can enjoy more time in ‘deep sleep’ for the body relaxes due to the Deep Touch Pressure that these sleeping aids work by.
Sleep blankets for insomnia patients are also recommended because they stimulate the release of several hormones that enhance your overall wellbeing. Some hormones that the body produces with the use of gravity blankets include dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and melatonin (induces sleep).
To answer your query on whether ‘does sleep hypnosis work’, you must know that hypnosis induces psychological changes in the body which leads to sleep. As part of sleep guided hypnosis, your blood pressure levels and heart rate record a fall which induces body relaxation and, subsequently, sleep.
Also, the general notion is that hypnosis increases the effectualness of cognitive-behavioral therapy, through no sufficient data is available to ascertain the same.
Also, you can watch sleep hypnosis videos to understand more about how hypnosis works.
In the line of medications for insomnia, the doctors prescribe a host of sedatives, antidepressants, and antihistamines. Treating insomnia with Zoloft (an antidepressant) is effective because the medicine increases the levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormone serotonin within the body.
Also, doctors treat insomnia with Lexapro, which is the Escitalopram antidepressant sold under different brand names. Moreover, the antidepressant trazodone for insomnia is advised by the sleep experts.
However, keeping in mind that medication can have side effects. And the medical experts suggest taking them in low doses and gradually increasing the quantity to be on the safer side.
And if you are wondering whether ‘do sleeping pills’ work, then know that sedatives such as Zaleplon (Sonata) and Zolpidem (Ambien) have been approved for insomnia treatment. Other than that, sedatives such as Doxepin (Silenor) and temazepam (Restoril) are considered to be the best sleeping pills.
Additionally, among the best insomnia medication are included Ramelteon (Rozerem), Suvorexant (Belsomra) and Eszopiclone (Lunesta).
Maintaining sleep hygiene or having good sleep habits are among the best sleeping tips. Furthermore, you can prevent insomnia by:
Scheduling your bedtime routine such that you sleep at the same time in the night and wake up at the same time in the morning. Further, avoid napping during the day or you may feel less sleepy at night.
Avoiding the use of phones or computers before your bedtime. Doing so is important because they emit blue light and can cause sleeping troubles.
Abstaining from alcohol, nicotine and caffeinated beverages during the evening hours. Their intake hampers your sleep quality, leading to sleeping issues.
Adhering to an exercise regime. Perform low-impact exercises for 30 minutes every day and increase your time limit gradually. Exercise 3-4 hours before you retire for bed. Though, stretching your body an hour before sleeping is effective for getting deep sleep because of the body relaxation benefits.
Not eating heavy meals late in the day or you may find it hard to fall asleep during the night.
Taking measures to relax the body. Deep sleep music for insomnia patients is effective to help them sleep. Apart from that, you can read a book or indulge in warm water baths to induce relaxation in the body.
How to track sleep?
To track their sleep, many people are going to sleep with apple watch. You can download the AutoSleep app – the best sleep app for apple watch – if looking to track how you sleep. This app is the most popular sleep tracking app on the Apple Store and rightly so. Using the app, you can learn about your heart rate, deep sleep time, and heart rate.
In all, sleep tracking is a good way to learn about your sleeping habits and trends over time. Accordingly, if you are not spending adequate time in deep sleep, you can take measures for improving your time in ‘deep sleep’ mode.
Sleep Paralysis Vs Insomnia
Both sleep paralysis and insomnia are categorized under sleeping disorders. Any person suffering from sleep disorders deviates from their regular sleep patterns, affecting both their sleep quality and quantity.
However, symptoms of insomnia include facing difficulty falling and staying asleep. On the other hand, sleep paralysis is a condition where the person is conscious but cannot move, ranging from few seconds to few hours.
As a retort to your question whether is sleep paralysis dangerous, know that this sleep disorder is not life threatening and bears no serious risks. Only the person gets anxious when affected by sleep paralysis.
Also, many people wonder whether is sleep paralysis real? Here, you must learn that as part of sleep paralysis, people have dreams and sensations as though they are real; and, thus, they tend to hallucinate. Even so, they are partially awake during sleep paralysis which causes the line between dreams and reality to blur.
Moreover, if you are wondering is sleep paralysis common, note that the sleep experts opine the condition is common and not serious.
Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia
The medical community perceives that insomnia is a symptom of anxiety and depression. Also, chronic anxiety can heighten the patient’s chances of developing both mental illnesses, depression and anxiety. Hence, people complaining of chronic insomnia must be examined to ascertain whether they have anxiety and depression as well. By stressing on chronic insomnia as markers of anxiety and depression, the sleep experts can detect medical illnesses at the nascent stage.
Additionally, many people ask whether can sleep depravation cause anxiety? Here, they must know inadequate sleep leads to anxiety. Also, anxiety renders the person unable to fall asleep.
Similarly, to answer your question on whether can sleep depravation cause depression, the answer is Yes.
Chronic anxiety prevents a person from falling asleep, though they sleep soundly after they get sleep. However, depressed individuals can fall asleep without much difficulty, but sleep lightly and wake up at frequent intervals during the night.
Even so, people suffer from insomnia if they are not overly anxious or depressed, particularly elderly persons.
In all, insomnia predisposes people to anxiety and depression, similar to anxiety and depression predisposing people to insomnia. Also, insomnia can be the early or first symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Do more women suffer from insomnia than men?
Yes, women are more susceptible to insomnia than men. This is because of hormonal changes in women during menstruation and menopause phases which affect their sleep.
Also, women suffer from insomnia when pregnant, due to the physical, emotional and hormonal changes that they undergo. Moreover, they may develop medical issues including fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and restless leg syndrome which cause secondary insomnia during the pregnancy stage.
How do I know if I’m getting enough sleep?
As a response to your query pertaining to how much sleep do we need, the medical experts suggest getting 8 hours of sleep during night-time. Signs of insomnia include dwindling energy levels, mood upheavals, sleepiness during the day, and concentration difficulties. If you are showing insomnia symptoms, talk to your doctor about a suitable treatment plan.
Does insomnia go away?
A) As seen earlier, that insomnia can either be acute or chronic. Abnormally high-stress levels lead to acute insomnia which lasts for a few days. Owing to an upcoming job interview or relationship breaks ups, you can take stress and suffer from acute insomnia which often goes away on its own. Usually, only patients having chronic insomnia have to take treatment for their recovery.
So, to respond to your query on is insomnia incurable, the answer is no. Also, you can sleep with weighted blankets for improving your sleep quality.
What is the ideal sleeping temperature?
As per the National Sleep Foundation, setting your bedroom temperature around 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit is considered ideal for sleeping soundly. Now, as you prepare for bed, your body temperature falls slightly for starting the sleep cycle. And setting your room to an ideal cool temperature is one of the sleep faster tips.
On the other hand, maintaining your room at warmer or cooler temperatures leads to restless sleep while interfering with your Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep – the sleep phase where you dream.
Besides, for toddlers and newborns, the ideal sleep temperature is considered to be little higher, ranging from 65- 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
What sleep position is best?
The sleep experts opine the best sleeping position is lying on your back with a pillow beneath your knees. Alternatively, you can keep the pillow on the side while slightly bending your knees for greater comfort.
However, other studies indicate sleeping on the side to be the most comfortable. More so, sleeping on the side is considered good for your brain health.
What is the best sleep music?
Listening to pink noise facilitates deep sleep, as per research studies. People who listened to pink noise before sleeping recorded a rise in the height of their brain waves. Pink noise oscillates between low and high frequencies to mimic sounds of nature – including constant rain or hitting of waves on the ocean shores. The balanced and soothing nature of pink noise helps to induce sleep.