If so you are not alone sleep disorders(often known as insomnia) plague many of us at some time in our lives. Perhaps the main cause of insomnia and restless sleep is the whirlwind pace that many of us live with day in and day out. Our ability to rest and restore is compromised, as we never seem to get a break from the constant activity in our minds and our lives. This is one of the main dilemmas that we face in terms of experiencing deep states of continuous sleep. We have forgotten how to turn our minds off due to the frantic speed of everything around us. We commonly call this “stress”, but this is only part of the picture. We are stuck in fight or flight mode, as we are trying to keep up with our hectic schedules and myriad responsibilities.
So how can we break this cycle which leads to insomnia?
- Acupuncture can be very helpful as it works on re-balancing our system. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which has been shown to be responsible for insomnia and anxiety.
- Meditation is a deeply restorative practice and can replicate many of the benefits of sleep. In sleep, our minds are still processing and dreaming. Spend 15 minutes before bed meditating and it will quite likely allow you to fall asleep faster and to sleep more peacefully.
- Yoga can also be very helpful in calming the nervous system.
- Diet. Certain foods, such as caffeine and sugar have been shown to have a profound impact on the health of the nervous system, cutting out caffeine (especially coffee) and reducing our white sugar intake (which can adversely affect our ability to relax, rest and restore) may well be beneficial.
- Bedtime routine. Having a bedtime routine so that your body knows it is time to go to bed can also be very helpful. A relaxing bath, avoiding technology (tvs, mobile phones and laptops) in the bedroom may aid in providing a restful environment.