Why you can’t fall asleep and what you can do to help

November 12, 2012

Why you can’t fall asleep and what you can do to help

A good nights sleep is essential for maintaining our overall health, as our bodies need this time in order to repair and recharge. It is during sleep that our body creates and releases certain hormones and chemicals such as the hormone required for growth as well as one that activates and promotes the immune system. Therefore anyone suffering from a lack of sleep or with an inability to stay asleep for a solid amount of time may find that they begin to suffer from effects to their health.

The definition of the problem

There are differences between people who cant fall asleep and those who cant stay asleep and it is important to carefully determine which one you suffer from, although it could be both. By defining exactly what the problem is, it makes it easier to identify the cause and ultimately treat the problem. This will also give an idea as to whether your diet is a factor of the problem. However, whether you can’t fall asleep or can’t stay asleep, the problem is probably linked to stress and exhausted adrenal glands. Of course there some of the more obvious and commonly heard suggestions given to those who can’t fall asleep including no caffeine, turning the lights down completely and keeping the bedroom only for sleep, no work or TV. As well as these favourites there are some further suggestions that you may not be aware of.

The key factor of the problem

The key factor that you must consider if you have problems falling asleep is whether or not you are allowing your mind and body to fully relax before expecting to fall asleep. If you think about the past for a moment, to the times before the light bulb and consider the kinds of things we would be doing by the time the sun was beginning to set. With not a lot else to do, we would begin to unwind and prepare for bed. This would probably involve things such as reading, going for a walk and talking with the family, all things that promote relaxation. This was all important, so that our bodies automatically knew that when the sun goes down it is time to relax because the brain would send neurotransmitters telling the body to rest and begin to switch off. This was an important part of the way our bodies have been designed or developed to get the amount of sleep it needs.

Tips for people who can’t asleep

Modern society however has caused a change to the activities we participate in before bedtime. Whether it is playing video games, working late or running around after the children, most people find themselves going to bed with fully stimulated minds that are simply not easy to switch off. Stimulatory brain messengers that are being released include dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, which all have an effect similar to coffee and will make it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Sleeping pills block these messengers but often with unwanted side effects. Surely better than medication to block them, preventing them from being stimulated in the first place makes more sense. Here are a few tips on what those people who can’t fall asleep should be doing of an evening:

  • Stop working at least an hour before you intend to go to bed

  • Take a relaxing nutritional supplement such as magnesium, chamomile or valerian

  • Read a book just before bed to give your mind something to ponder whilst you sleep

  • Try some light stretching to relax you just before bed

  • A warm bath containing two cups of Epsom salt

  • Try out one of the new holographic chips to aid sleep

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