Especially relevant, the National Institutes of Health, consider insomnia a sleep disorder where people find it difficult to fall asleep, sometimes for hours at a time. Furthermore they may find it difficult staying asleep, or they may wake up too early.
Most of all, insomnia takes on many forms. Some people fall asleep right away but they wake up too soon. Other people have a hard time falling asleep. But when they do they sleep a long time. While others have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep.
Indeed, at some point in their lifetime, most people have difficulty falling asleep once in a while. However, it’s only when this problem occurs frequently or regularly that people are diagnosed as having insomnia. In fact, studies show that up to 95 percent of Americans suffer from episodes of insomnia at some point in their lives. Furthermore, according to the American Sleep Association, 30 percent of adults report short term issues with insomnia, while 10 percent report chronic insomnia.
Transient insomnia is a temporary form of insomnia which may last anywhere from one night to several weeks. In fact, this temporary form of insomnia may be one night of poor sleep or recurring episodes of insomnia while sleeping normally in between episodes of insomnia.
Bad sleeping habits are one cause of insomnia. For example, these bad habits include:
- Eating a heavy dinner just before bedtime
- Drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening
- Falling asleep with the lights on, watching television
- Using cell phone, computer, or tablet before bedtime
Other causes of insomnia include anxiety, depression, and stress, along with medications used to treat them. Furthermore, medical conditions such as chronic pain, COPD, asthma, sleep apnea, heart failure, arthritis, thyroid problems, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and endocrine problems also cause insomnia.
So if you are having difficulty sleeping, follow the sleep inducing remedies listed below.
- Avoid the following before bedtime
- Emotionally upsetting conversations
- Scary movies
- Thrilling novels
- Smoking – Nicotine is a stimulant making it hard to fall and stay asleep. Studies show that nicotine increases insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep problems. Especially relevant, nicotine suppresses restorative rapid eye movement or REM sleep.
- Decompress before bed by taking a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, meditate or read a soothing book
- Keep your room quiet. For example, use a fan to drown out noise that you can’t control (such as street noise entering through the windows).
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible. Use heavy shades to block outside light.
- Alcohol can disrupt your sleep by interfering with your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up too early. In fact, alcohol blocks REM sleep.
- If you must snack, eat easily digestible snacks before bedtime. For example, eat cheese, fruits, or cereal with milk.
- Because the food won’t have time to be digested, do not eat an hour before bedtime
- Most of all get cardio workouts during the day
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Meanwhile, caffeine is found in many foods. Consequently you need to be careful to avoid these foods.
- Physically put your clock in a place making it difficult for you to look at it from your sleeping position.
- If you get too tired during the day, take a 20 minute or less day time nap.
- Remove all blue light emitting devices from the bedroom.
Finally, if none of these remedies work, it’s time to go see your doctor.