Overcoming Insomnia: Seven Solutions to Sleepless Nights
By Jordana Van on October 22, 2012
There are few things more frustrating than being unable to sleep. During a particularly difficult time in my life, I experienced so many back-to-back sleepless nights that I dreaded going to bed, knowing that all that awaited me was another long, uncomfortable stretch of tossing and turning and clock-watching. I was deeply afraid that I would never sleep again.
The more we fear something, the more likely we are to create it, and I went many more restless nights before I finally figured out what was going on and processed the explanation deeply enough to benefit. In the interim, however, my coffee cup was an extension of my hand, I ate my weight in carbs on a daily basis in an effort to stay awake and I was dangerously cranky. I was sluggish and stressed, could barely remember my own name and looked like hell.
So when I finally did sleep again . . . Oh, such bliss! There really isn’t anything like a good night’s sleep. If you, too, are beginning to believe that you may never sleep again, then read on. Nighttime Nirvana is on its way!
1. Stop drinking caffeine by 3:00. This means avoid both coffee—even decaf (which actually does contain some caffeine)—and caffeinated tea, as well as energy-drinks. Similarly, steer clear of those oh-so-yummy chocolate-covered espresso beans. You’ll thank me later.
2. Certain teas, such as chamomile or valerian, are renowned for their relaxation-inducing qualities, but if you are already prone to making nightly visits to the restroom, steer clear of this one. They will actually create a more active night for you.
3. Limit your sugar-intake, particularly after 3:00 P.M. One small piece of chocolate or bite of ice cream near bed is okay. A piece of cake or a sugary soda is not. Remember, we often eat sugar to perk us up.
4. 1 to 1 ½ hours before bed, take a hot bath. If you can, add some lavender and/or chamomile essential oils. I like to add a little ylang-ylang, too. While the oils will help your body and mind wind down, the heat of the water is actually the most powerful component, as we sleep best when our body temperature is lowest. The hot bath relaxes the muscles, your body temperature elevates, and afterwards, when it starts to drop again, drowsiness occurs. If you don’t have a bathtub, try taking as hot a shower as you can comfortably stand. I’ve found that a very hot shower, if I stay in it long enough, can be just as therapeutic.
5. Similarly, turn down the thermostat. Because a lower core-temperature creates drowsiness, we sleep better when it is cooler. But make sure you have enough blankets to keep you sufficiently warm. Freezing will keep you up just as surely as roasting.
6. Turn off the TV! Read a bit before bed, do affirmations or meditate. While TV-watching can indeed be very relaxing, in my experience, it actually hinders our sleep-pattern rather than helps. If you are a pre-bed TV-watcher, just give this one a try for a few nights and see if it makes a difference. If it doesn’t, you can always go back to your previous pattern.
7. This is for all you Type A’s out there: Keep a small notepad and a pen by your bed. If you wake up with a running to-do list in your head, or with a brilliant new idea, write it down so you won’t have to worry about forgetting it, then go back to sleep! You would not believe how effective this one, simple thing can be.
Still sleepless? In many cases, insomnia is a symptom of a more complex issue, rather than the problem itself. If your body has created sleep apnea, for example, or if your liver is particularly toxic at present, sleepless nights are a natural consequence. The same is true when you are sharing a bed with someone who snores, when you are the parent of a fussy infant or live in an especially noisy neighborhood. However, when you are otherwise physically healthy, there are no external noise-issues and you still cannot sleep, a very particular set of thought-patterns may be at work.
Before you see your doctor for a prescription, contact me to assist you in determining whether a belief-system or other energetic issue is behind your difficulty. I can just about guarantee you that it will be less expensive in the long run than the doctor’s visit co-pay and prescription-costs, and it’s highly likely that you will be sleeping again before you know it. To reach me, please visit me at my website www.ravenlightholistichealing.com. (Please note that my advice is not to take the place of that of your physician, and should rather be used in tandem with his/her recommendations. You should see your doctor for all enduring medical conditions, and do not stop taking your prescriptions without your doctor's say-so).
Sweet dreams, my loves!
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