Sleep problems are increasingly common and affect many of us at some time or other during our lives. For about 9% of people insomnia however becomes a chronic condition which in turn can have dramatic consequences across a persons physical and psychological health.
Insomnia can manifest itself as difficult falling asleep, and/or difficulty staying asleep. Often the two go hand in hand.
Mental over stimulation, blood sugar swings, and emotional upset or stress are common factors contributing to insomnia. Nutritional deficiencies, a rundown nervous system, snoring, sleep apnea, nightmares, environmental factors, medical drugs, chronic pain, menopause, PMS, restless legs syndrome are a few of the other causes that may be contributing to insomnia.
What You Can Do
Homeopathy is very helpful in assisting with sleep, and this is something that is matched to your specific symptoms and causes. Come and see me for more information about that.
Coffee and all caffeine, should be avoided altogether, not just in the evenings, because there are studies which show it has effects for 24 hours.
Nutritional support should be applied, as a lack of certain minerals and trace elements can also cause insomnia.
Control blood sugar swings where applicable, with the use of certain minerals and also eating a small snack before bed.
Environmental factors. If this is an issue, correcting your sleep environment can assist greatly. Even very basic things like making sure the room you sleep in is clean and tidy, that you have clean sheets and clean air in your room, can make a big difference. There are of course factors, such as noise pollution from environmental factors, such as industry or the party next door or the kids who cannot sleep which will impact your quality of sleep. Do everything you can to create a good environment for sleeping.
General Tips to Improve Sleep
The following foods have been reported to me over the years to help with sleep from clients and people who have had success in treating this problem. Some may find these do not help, but it is worth trying:
- Baked potatoes with evening meal
- Hot milk before bed
- Chamomile tea
- Avoid eating foods with high processed sugar content, such as chocolates, cakes, ice cream, soft drinks.
- If you have someone who can give you a relaxing massage, try and convince them as this will help too.
- Going for walk before bed (see section “Exercise and Lifestyle” in this book on page 17) will also assist with sleep.
- Long hot baths before bed will often drain the body of energy and can cause sleep problems in some, however with others it does help – so you need to be the judge of this.
- Discipline yourself to get up in the morning, even if feeling tired. If you are in the habit of sleeping in then going to sleep at night at your usual time will be harder as your natural body clock will be thrown out.