What Is Insomnia?
Many people think the term “insomnia” refers to a complete lack of sleep. In truth, insomnia encompasses a host of sleep problems, including:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up in the middle of the night
- Early morning awakening
- Non-restful sleep
Remedies for Insomnia
- Wake up at the same time each day
- Eliminated stimulants before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea, iced tea, energy drinks and soda. Alcohol may make falling asleep easier, but it increases tossing and turning in the second half of the night.
- Do not eat or drink right before going to bed. Don’t eat a large, heavy meal close to bedtime.
- Take a warm bath or shower before bed.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. Do relaxation exercises before bed, including meditation and progressive muscle relaxation. Mindfulness meditation consists of slow, steady breathing while sitting quietly. You observe your breath, body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they rise and pass. Mindfulness meditation has numerous health benefits that go hand-in-hand with a healthy lifestyle promoting good sleep.
How to do one cycle of 4-5-6 breathing:
- Let your lips part slightly and make a whooshing sound as you exhale through your mouth.
- Then close your lips and inhale silently through your nose. Count to 4 in your head.
- Then hold your breath for 5 seconds.
- After, exhale for 6 seconds.
- Avoid being too alert at the end of each cycle. Try to practice it mindlessly.
- Complete this cycle for four full breaths. Let your body sleep if you feel relaxation coming on earlier than anticipated.
- Make your sleeping environment comfortable. Your bed should be comfortable, and your room shouldn’t be too hot, too cold, or too bright. If necessary, use earplugs and an eyemask. Be sure your pillow is comfortable.
- Go to bed when sleepy, and get out of bed if you’re tossing and turning.
- Turn off the alert for texts and emails on your phone.
- Turn your clock around so you can’t see the time.
- Limit naps.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week. Restrict vigorous exercise to the morning or afternoon. Exercise boosts overall health. It can enhance your mood, give you more energy, aid in weight loss, and promote better sleep.
- Get all your worrying over with before you go to bed.
- If you’re unable to fall asleep after about 20 minutes, leave bed and do something relaxing (like reading); return to bed later.
- Consider participating in psychotherapy.
A treatment plan may include:
-sleep restriction relaxation therapy
-sleep hygiene education
Relapse Prevention is an important element of psychotherapy. The patient needs to learn how to maintain what they’ve learned and prepare for the possibility of a future flare up. The patient needs to be reminded that lots of things may trigger about of insomnia and the main things one can do to protect against a new onset episode of chronic insomnia are:
- Don’t compensate for sleep loss.
- Start stimulus control procedures immediately
- Re-engage sleep restriction should the insomnia persist beyond a few days.