Insomnia Help To Get You To Sleep

by PamelaNRed

There are many reasons we can’t get to sleep at night. Finding the solution is better than taking medication, which can be habit forming and has all sorts of nasty side effects.

Sometimes there is a simple answer and changing our diet, behavior or lifestyle may do the trick.

Insomnia is a serious issue today. People fall asleep at the wheel causing accidents, they make more mistakes on the job than rested individuals and they have more health problems. When we don’t get enough shut-eye our immune system is lower making us more susceptible to illness.

Foods that keep you awake

Caffeine

Coffee, tea, cola, some soft drinks, chocolate and even some headache remedies have caffeine in them. Not everyone knows this but Mountain Dew has as much caffeine as Coke.

Most carbonated drinks that have color include caffeine in their list of ingredients. When in doubt read your labels.

Chocolate has caffeine in it.

As we get older we are more sensitive to caffeine. You can drink decaf coffee, tea and soda. It may take some getting used to especially if you are hooked on caffeine but it can be done.

Cutting back works for some but for others eliminating caffeine completely is best.

Spicy foods

This can cause some people problems late at night in the form of heartburn, indigestion or speeding up your heart rate. Keep an eye on your diet and see if you notice this being an issue.


Stress

We all have things in our lives that consume our thoughts, some more than others. There are times we have more than our share and it can keep us awake at night.

Try not to discuss or dwell on it right before bedtime.

Sleeping cherub
Sleeping cherub

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Stimulus

Don’t exercise right before bedtime. Exercising is great but when we get our blood pumping that late at night we wake ourselves up and make it more difficult to sleep.

Don’t watch an action film or listen to heavy metal music. Anything that gets your heart rate up is a potential eye opener that will keep you up late.

Medications

Some prescriptions have the side effect of insomnia. Read your print out that came with your medications. Ask your doctor if taking it at a different time of day may help. If you continue to have problems see if there is another drug that will work just as well.

There are doctors who remedy a problem with a sleeping pill instead of trying to change the medications you are on. Do your own research so you are educated on your options before seeing your physician.

Steroids like Prednisone can keep you awake at night. My doctor told me I could take them all at once in the morning instead of spreading them out over the course of the day. See if your doctor thinks this is a good idea for you if you notice them affecting your sleep. Most people don’t take them as a maintenance drug but if you are on them for an infection, you need your sleep to heal.

Too many fluids before bed

We should drink plenty of water during the day but taper off after dinner so you don’t have to get up during the night to relieve yourself interrupting your slumber.



Ways to help you get to sleep

Watch a comedy or other enjoyable show just make sure it isn’t over stimulating.

Listen to soothing music.

Burn candles. (Don’t fall asleep with them burning.)

Meditate.

Get a massage. If you have a significant other that can give you a nice back rub this helps some relax and sleep better. Don’t use strong liniments that may keep you awake instead go for light scented oils like lavender.

Back massager- if you can’t get a massage from a person these chair models are nice too. Turn it on and relax for a few minutes while it loosens your muscles.

Take a warm bath. If you don’t have a bathtub a shower will work.

Drink chamomile tea.

Melatonin- I know I mentioned getting to sleep without an aid but this one is a natural herb. Be sure to read and follow the directions.

Read a book instead of watching television.

Make pills a last resort

Sleeping pills are habit forming and not good for us. If you can figure out ways to help you sleep without taking them you will be better off.

Updated: 04/26/2012, PamelaNRed
 
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Sheila Newton on 07/17/2012

Excellent article. Well done, Pamela.

Tolovaj on 06/22/2012

My problem is not being sleepless, it is opposite: how to stay awake.

But I have, just like everybody I guess, experienced my share of sleepless nights and this was caused by too much hard feelings to some people who were not worthy of my time. When I cleared that, the sleep problems were gone for good.

Guest on 05/12/2012

I have this problem. Thanks for sharing these tips. I hope this article will help me. Regards

PamelaNRed on 04/28/2012

Katie, I should have added some OTC medications. Benadryl helps some people sleep but Sudafed usually keeps us awake. Try eating more local honey in the spring and fall when plants are pollenating and see if that doesn't help your allergies.

Flora, I have to cut caffeine out altogether. Now I mostly drink water and in the morning decaf green tea.

FloraBreenRobison on 04/27/2012

I have insomnia naturally even when things are not stressful. But this has been a stressful year for me, so my sleeping pattern tin 2012 has been no pattern at all. I can't have caffeine after 7pm if I'm going to get to sleep by 1am. Really. But Dad gets sleepy when he drinks coffee. He falls right asleep -why!?!
as for the fluids and types of food, that is a given. I find that excercising can make me exhausted if it is exercise in terms of me trying to carry something heavy from one room to the other (as I have to do this with one hand). When I take down a heavy bag of garbage downstairs and to the bin and heave it over the side, I find I need to law down for an hour to catch my breath, even if I don't sleep. I don't way much in the first place. But dancing, that would be bad. Luckily, we are not allowed to play loud music or jump around after 10pm in our building. (Some people ignore this rule as well as ignoring he no noise before 9am rule, but I don't want to make enemies of my neighbours. I don't annoy them and then I have the right to complain if they decide to play loud music at 6am).

katiem2 on 04/27/2012

I recently spent three sleepless nights. I'm not one to suffer with such sleep issues. BUT, I got a bit of a hard time with allergies this season and ended up taking a prescribed decongestant, oh did it have me flying 100 miles an hour. It worked on my clogged head but kept me up buzzing and couldn't eat a thing. I now will call my doctor making her aware I think the meds are keeping me up. Thanks for the help, you've no doubt saved my sleep.

sheilamarie on 04/26/2012

Lack of sleep causes many other health problems. You have given us some good advice.

teddletonmr on 04/25/2012

There is nothing like a good nights sleep. Thanks for the tips on how to get a restful nights sleep.
Be well, Mike

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