How to Resolve Sleep and Insomnia Issues
Help For Sleep and Insomnia Issues
Sleep and insomnia issues can be caused by medical conditions such as sleep apnea, hormonal imbalances, and heart and lung disease. It would be best to visit an acupuncturist specializing in sleep or a natural health doctor to treat such medical conditions. Though the evidence suggests avoiding sleep medications, because they do not lead to a deep, healthy sleep and can have many negative side-effects, including addiction. Many other pharmaceutical medications, including anti-depressants can also cause insomnia.
The intention of this article is to focus upon the common causes of insomnia and how everyone can enjoy a more restorative night’s sleep. Even minor sleep and insomnia issues over time can lead to major health problems, as well as to early aging, poor brain, memory and concentration issues, and decreased energy.
Some Helpful Tips
Are you sleeping deeply 6 to 8 hours every night, without getting up in the middle of the night, and are you awakening feeling refreshed, restored and well rested? If not, here are the major factors that can help your sleep and insomnia issues:
- Eliminate all light sources. Your room should be pitch black. Cover the windows very well. You can get room darkening shade material at a fabric store. Do not use a night light, and there should be no LED lights anywhere in sight. If there is an LED light you can’t remove, cover it over with nail polish or tape.
- There should be no electronic or electric appliances or gadgets in your room that are plugged in. All wireless should be off in the house at night. Set up a timer at the outlet that your wireless is plugged into and have it automatically go off at bedtime and come back on in the morning. Cell phones should be on airplane mode. There should be no electric clock radio or any such thing in your bedroom. Ideally, bedrooms are for sleeping and sex. Make it very comforting and beautiful.
- There should be no electric blankets plugged in. And bedding should be of natural, breathable fibers. It is best your mattress does not have springs and your bed is not a metal frame.
- Air temperature should best be on the cool side and of good humidity. In the months when the heat is on, use a humidifier in your whole house or bedroom. The Vornado evaporative humidifiers are an excellent choice and the best I have ever used. They are well designed and you do not need to use any chemicals in them.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar and other substances that disturb sleep. Do not eat a heavy meal within a few hours of bedtime. It is okay to have a light snack if you wish.
- Before bed take a warm shower or bath, this is very helpful to relax the body. If you read near bedtime, be sure it is something light and relaxing, perhaps spiritual. Drink some water or warm relaxing bedtime tea, though do not drink so much it wakes you up to urinate in the night.
- Getting adequate exercise has a very positive affect on sleep, and the opposite is true if you are not getting enough. It works best to exercise in the morning, or no later than early evening, otherwise it can be too stimulating for sleep. For more detailed advice on exercise read my article here.
- A great majority of sleep problems are caused by anxiety, trauma, sexual abuse, PTSD, chronic pain, divorces, depression, life transitions, and other emotional upsets. For such issues it is best to work with a psychotherapist who is able to assist you in clearing these issues. See my articles on psychotherapy and clearing emotional issues and trauma here.
Here is a list of safe supplements that many people find helpful for periods of time when they need extra support or while they are working on clearing the deeper underlying sleep and insomnia issues:
- Melatonin – Most Melatonin on the market is synthetic. I only recommend Premier Melatonin-ND which is live-source, non-synthetic melatonin.
- Magnesium – is very calming to the nerves and relieves muscle tension, stress and anxiety in the body. See all our magnesium here, magnesium threonate is especially good for sleep, we also have Premier Magnesium Powder, and BioNativus Liquid Mineral Concentrate for high quality forms of magnesium.
- Calcium – is also very calming in similar ways as magnesium. Most everyone could use extra magnesium, though not everyone needs calcium. Premier Coral Calcium Plus is an excellent choice.
- Premier Tranquinol – A botanical sleep formula; neurotransmitter balance for restful sleep and relaxation.
- Loomis CLM – A wonderful product that can be used throughout the day as well as for relaxation and calming support.
- Premier Adaptogen – Highly recommended against stress and for foundational hormonal, nerve and endocrine balancing support.
- Premier Max B-ND – Live source, natural, non-synthetic B vitamins. Helpful and needed by everyone experiencing stress, anxiety and lack of sleep. Best used in first half of day.
See All Our Sleep Support Supplements
If you do wake up in the night and can’t sleep, try to stay lying down for at least five total hours. Research shows that this amount of time is needed to rejuvenate and reset your adrenal glands. If after this time has elapsed you cannot go back to sleep, sit up and meditate. At some point you will become drowsy, then slide down and go back to sleep. Do this rather than lying there and trying to force yourself to go to sleep for a long time. Also, avoid checking the clock and turning on the light. Do not turn on the TV and computer. In fact, it is best not to be looking at TV, cell phones, iPads and computers within an hour or two of bed. It is better to read or do something relaxing for your brain. It is a good practice to turn down all the lights in the house in the last few hours before bed, this aides and supports the natural sleep cycle.
Outside of the advice above, the most help I have ever received for sleep issues or insomnia is a good Acupuncturist. Here is one in Boulder.
I also highly recommend a daily meditation practice!
Wishing everyone a beautiful deep sleep tonight and always!