About Insomnia – Help Me Sleep!

Can’t go to sleep? It’s called insomnia.

Let Tell You About Insomnia. (It Sucks).

I absolutely HATE insomnia. Sleeping is the time when your body repairs itself and your tissues grow into more resilient structures, all so that you can take more of a beating the next day. Disrupt your sleep, and you disrupt your growth – your gains, your progress, your strength, your endurance. Go without sleeping for long enough, and you regress. All of that time spent training goes to waste.

A dog without insomnia.

That is why sleep is absolutely essential – and it is a pretty well-known fact that without some shut-eye, your heath goes wayside. Yet, insomnia is still prevalent in today’s world. Plenty of people out there are yelling out “please help me sleep!” Today, we’re going to take a look at sleeplessness and see how we can fight it.

When most people are wide awake at night, tossing and turning in their beds, I can only imagine their annoyance at the situation. To them, they are stuck looking for a “cure” that will fix their insomnia. So, these people get soothing herb teas, or certain vitamins, or certain comfort foods, or prescription sleep-aids, or whatever else, in hopes of finally getting some slumber. I think this approach is the main issue when someone tries to fix their sleeplessness.

“Explain To Me Why I Can’t Sleep.”

In my opinion, when someone is unable to sleep, it is because of a lifestyle choice he or she has made. This can be a specific choice made solely on the same day the person can’t fall asleep, or an on-going ordeal that effects the person in the long-run. For example, in my case, if I were to consume caffeine or stimulants at some point throughout the day, my ability to fall asleep will be affected badly. This is even if I consume the caffeine many hours prior to going to bed. So, in this situation, I consciously made the decision to drink the coffee (or energy drink, whatever) because, let’s say, I wanted extra energy during that moment. I now have to accept the consequences for consuming a stimulant, one that is slightly addictive and may have negative health effects, because I wanted a “boost”.

Cup_of_coffee_(1)

For others, it may not be so simple or direct. For example, a man could have a 9-to-5 office job, that requires quite a bit of responsibility, and a lot of time on a computer. This man made the decision to work this job and to take on its requirements. It was his choice. Anyway, the added stress from the workload is starting to take its toll on the man, and the exposure to artificial blue light (from the computer screen) isn’t helping, either. Both stress and blue light can negatively affect sleep. so, the consequences for working at this job is reduced quality and quantity of sleep. The man may not realize it, but he was the one who brought upon the insomnia.

I understand that man cannot simply quit his job because his sleep is affected. People have bills. This is common sense. However, it must be realized that falling asleep is a delicate, complex task that can be impaired by the smallest of consequences in one’s life. A little stress, a little bit of junk food, a little bit of night-time TV, a small cup of coffee – all of these can be the reason why someone can’t sleep.

“Now, What Can Help Me Sleep?”

You must take the time to examine your lifestyle and figure out what you’re doing that’s causing your sleeplessness. I am no expert, but I know that diet, stress, light-exposure, vitamin D intake, and drugs can all affect sleep and insomnia. These may be useful topics to research for your own ailments.

Referring back to stress and blue light, there are some common fixes. For stress, I like squeezing a foam stress ball as hard as a can for a few seconds, then releasing. I repeat this a few times and feel a bit “drained”. It’s quite relieving. For excessive blue light (such as having to use the computer for hours during the night), one can use eyeglasses that filter out the blue light so that computer work can be done with worrying over sleeplessness.

Orange glasses block blue light, helping with sleep.A pair of blue-light-blocking glasses.

honestly, these are simplistic and underwhelming pieces of advice, but if I avoid stress (or at least de-stress) and avoid excessive blue light at night, I fall asleep much earlier. Sometimes it’s not about the biggest possible changes, but the smallest little changes that we actually follow.

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One Comment

  1. Photo Credits
    Full moon. Author: Luc Viatour. commons.wikimedia.com
    Sleepy puppy. Author: Shawn Baird. commons.wikimedia.com
    Cup of coffee. Author: Jon Sullivan. commons.wikimedia.com
    Orange glasses. Author: Ben Lipkowitz. flickr.com

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