How to Get to Sleep; Treatment for Insomnia

1.

Recognize what may be causing patterns of sleeplessness. There are a few possible causes for insomnia such as, physical illness, night-time discomforts related to menopause, pregnancy or chronic pain, problems with sleep apnea, being in a stress-filled (inconsistent and unstable) environment/lifestyle, excessive caffeine consumption, drug or alcohol use, side effects from medications, or the result of inconsistent sleep patterns.

Not having a consistent sleep routine (going to bed within two hours of the same time each night and waking up within two hours of the same time every day) causes your internal clock to be thrown off; creating further issues with your ability to get to sleep.

If you believe your sleeplessness is a resulting factor of physical ailments or medications, consider consulting with a medical or alternative health practitioner to seek solutions for these problems.

2.

Be aware of cyclical issues that may be a cause of, and also a result of insomnia. Sleeplessness or even inconsistent sleep can lead to emotional problems like anxiety; which in turn causes problems in your ability to get to sleep, thus, creating a repetitive cycle... anxiety = lack of sleep, lack of sleep = anxiety. Other cyclical patterns include depression, anger issues, an inability to focus, and forgetfulness; meaning that one of these can lead to the other and visa-verse. In the long run, sleeplessness can also lead to physical ailments such as aches and pains, a lowered immune system, and digestive problems.

3.

Try getting to bed at the same time each night and waking up around the same time each day. Once you're in bed, let others know not to disturb you if it's not a greatly important matter; other matters can be written down and dealt with the next day. Even if you don't fall asleep, or you wake up and can not get to sleep again, it is better to lie there and relax. Doing so allows your mind and body to be calm, as compared to getting up and actively stimulating your mind and body again. Make sure that rooms are off limits to others during sleep times and that the rooms promote an environment, such as making the room as quiet and as dark as you need in order to obtain sleep comfort.

If noises are a cause of sleeplessness, try sleep remedies through white noise such as having a fan on to block out other sounds that make it difficult to get to sleep.

4.

Make quiet time for at least 15-20 minutes before bed time, away from TV, video games and other over stimulating, high energy or loud activities can be an effective treatment for insomnia. For instance, reading, having quiet conversation, doing a quiet and calming activity, or eating a healthy light snack before bedtime can help to unwind the mind and relax the body; making it easier to get to sleep at your set bed time.

5.

Practice relaxation techniques as a treatment for insomnia if your sleeplessness is related to anxiety or stress and your mind begins to start running through concerns and other thoughts when you are trying to get to sleep. For me, I find it helpful to work on self talk when my mind got overactive with thoughts, by writing down whatever is on my mind and then stating "Okay, those thoughts/problems are noted. But I can't really deal with all of that right now. Right now I need to get to sleep, so that I can wake up fully energized tomorrow and able to deal with these things better then."

Working on ways to better problem solve issues that you can control, or learning to let go of issues you can not control can make it more feasible to get more restful sleep.

6.

Practice deep breathing to slow down your mind and body as a remedy for insomnia. Practicing relaxation methods may be one of the best sleep remedies to utilize. Take deep breaths in, inhaling to the count of four and then slowly exhale to the count of four. Repeat this three times and you should feel your body relax. If that doesn't relax you enough to get to sleep, take a deep breath and hold it for the count of seven, then exhale slowly to the count of seven. Repeat this three times.

7.

Find relaxation techniques that work for you. Yoga, meditation, visualizing a peaceful place, creating relaxed lighting or even listening to soothing sounds are all methods that can help you relax, resulting in a natural treatment for insomnia.

Take a warm bath before bed time, as this can also relax the body enough to get to sleep. Use aromatherapy options by using scents of chamomile, lavender, neroli, rose and marjoram for relaxation that may ease sleeplessness.

8.

Other things that matter to your emotional well being and that can help reduce sleeplessness is to get good nutrition through healthy eating habits and eating meals at consistent times each day. Skipping meals is bad for your body and mind. If you're not hungry, at least eat a snack, so that you are still eating at consistently each day.

Consider other natural sources as treatment for insomnia. Some nutrition deficiencies can cause insomnia, such as low levels of calcium or magnesium. Consider speaking to a medical or alternative health practitioner about these possible deficiencies.

9.

Seek out sleep remedies through natural herbal treatments that you can take to help with anxiety, depression that result in sleeplessness, such as chamomile, St. Johns Wort, Passionflower, Skullcap and Valerian. I use Valerian when I end up with high levels of anxiety that disrupt my ability to get to sleep. Learn more about these herbs, how they help and any warnings involved before using them.

Tips and Warnings

  • Consult with a physician, nutritionist or herbalist when considering conventional, natural or herbal treatments.
  • Before taking herbal menopause remedies, be sure to learn all you can about the herb, its benefits, suggested doses and any warnings associated with it.
  • If you think that stress, anxiety or depression contribute to your insomnia; please refer to other articles and information relating to those topics.
  • As adults, we need to be able to get to sleep for 6-8 hours of regular and restful sleep each night in order to fully maintain peak physical, mental and emotional performance. Having sleep patterns thrown off for a few days is not a problem, but prolonged problems with sleeplessness and disturbances in routine sleep patterns can result in serious emotional and physical problems in the long run. Here I have compiled information for some sleep remedies and a change in habits that result in a natural treatment for insomnia.