Is it insomnia? Feeling restless? Go to bed at night kicking and screaming? Hmmm, and that’s you not the children!
There are a number of factors that are associated with insomnia and/or a lack of rested sleep. These may be due to poor physical health, mental health, emotional health or environmental health such as poor ventilation, noise or excessive climatic conditions.
Insomnia means the inability to sleep or stay asleep. Insomnia can be short-term (referred to as acute) and brought on by stress, tension, anxiety, a current traumatic event in your life, hormonal or aging as well as the environmental factors above. Acute insomnia may last up to a few weeks, depending upon the severity of the event at the time.
Insomnia can become a cyclical pattern, for example when you are feeling out of sorts and don’t experience a decent night’s sleep that can make you more anxious, stressed and irritable during the day, leading to tossing and turning with more wasted days and wasted nights. Having said that, being stressed doesn’t mean you are going to experience insomnia and having insomnia doesn’t necessarily mean you are stressed.
If you are experiencing a lack of a decent night’s sleep over a period of months (referred to as chronic, i.e. on-going) this may be due to a medical problem or medications you may be taking. It may also be part of early childhood conditioning, such as the `early to bed, early to rise’ theory.
Interestingly enough the Mayo Clinic states risk factors of insomnia are as follows:
- You’re a woman - Due to hormonal shifts, pregnancy, menopausal sweats and hot flashes.
- You’re older than 60 - Due to changes in health, the aging process and sleep patterns.
- You’re on medication for a health disorder - Such as depression, bipolar and post-traumatic stress.
- You’re under stress - Such as the factors mentioned earlier.
- You’re a shift worker – Includes night shift and frequently rotating shifts.
- You’re a frequent traveller – Includes air travel and jet lag from crossing multiple time zones.
There are many suggestions to improve your quality of sleep, though sometimes it’s not possible to employ them and `one size does not fit all’.
Examples include though not limited to; have a set bedtime, wind down prior to going to bed, have a warm bath, have a relaxed bedroom environment, i.e. no television, laptops, having a hot toddy, mindfulness, mind-body therapies such as Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, medication, over the counter sleeping pills, etc. Though overall what works is going to be unique to you.
Just a brief mention that the adverse effects of over the counter sleeping pills has been well documented and that effort to reduce their use is on the rise. They tend to have limited effectiveness in the long term and people can still feel tired the next day due to the residual effect of the medication.
Your next nap or next step!
If you would like to know more about insomnia and related problems in more depth, you may find the following link helpful https://sleep.org/. Scroll down their page and you will find an interactive link as per diagram below that shows you very simply how sleep affects the body and vice versa.
If you would like to know more about the Bodi Wellness programs, make an appointment or if you would like to explore how Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy or mindfulness may help you, click here.