Working at odd hours, a newborn baby that cries all night, a new house, noisy neighbors are some of the reasons why the sleeping pattern gets disturbed. Frequent changes in the pattern lead to lack of sleep. A few changes in the lifestyle can solve this problem. Here are some tips to deal with insomnia.
A warm bath
Stress and anxiety is a part of life and cannot be avoided. But it should not be allowed to cause health problems like insomnia. Don’t carry your anxieties to bed, because when you are stressed about something, it reflects on your body. If your mind is full of anxious thoughts, your body cannot relax. A warm bath improves circulation relieving muscle tension and stress. It is believed that the body temperature is highest during the day and starts to drop until bedtime when you start feeling sleepy. A warm bath 2 hours before the bedtime raises your body temperature and allows it to drop when you step out. This process induces sleep. Add one cup of bath salt, epsom salt and baking soda in the bathing water to removes toxins from your body. You can add a few drops of lavender oil too. Don’t use hot water and desist from soaking for too long as you will feel drained of energy.
Listen to music
For people working during night hours, sleeping pattern is completely disrupted. Sleeping during the day is impossible, especially if you live in a noisy area. Earplugs can be used to filter noise to some extent but plugging in music is a better option. Music is great for calming the mind and inducing sleep. This is the reason why lullabies are sung to babies. Music is a powerful tool to shape the mind. Research shows that the rhythm or beats in the music, stimulates the brain and produces waves that synchronize with it. So tune into soft, soothing melodies with a slow beat, to induce sleep. Music with 50-60 beats per minute like Handel’s “Water Music’, Strauss’s Waltzes, Mozart’s Baroque Music are choice picks. Noisy and fast numbers might do just the opposite. So avoid rock or metal while going to sleep.
Get a massage
Massage is directly linked to the production of serotonin and experiments have proven serotonin to be a very important neurotransmitter, essential for sleep. Though the neurochemistry of sleep is very complex, serotonin has been identified as the sleep hormone. Touching the skin stimulates the sensory organs to release this hormone from the brain. So massaging the back muscles, spine, hips and legs can actually stimulate the brain to produce the sleep hormone. Press and knead the temple area, the crown of the head and the inner side of the eyebrows 30 times. Half an hour of massage before going to bed can magically bring in sleep.
An effective nightcap
Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks as these are stimulants. Try a cup of warm milk 20 minutes before getting into bed. Milk can calm frayed nerves and induce sleep. If you are averse to drinking milk, there are number of herbal teas like Valerian tea, passion flower and hops which can help sleep problems. These herbs are natural sedatives so should be administered carefully. You can sleep with a pillow containing hops to overcome insomnia. Researchers are also coming up with a “nightcap’ filled with tubes of chilled water that makes active minds calm, and enjoy a good sleep.
Chinese mediation technique
You can follow any of the four tips given above or all together. If sleep still eludes you, there is a Chinese mediation technique. Lie down for sleep, with your back flat on the bed, breathe slowly. Visualize thoughts as they enter your mind, visualize them in the form of clouds, with a light breeze drifting in with the clouds. Each thought becomes a cloud and drifts away. As you continue to breathe slowly, the thought clouds become thinner and thinner till you have no disturbing thoughts, making you more and more relaxed until you drift into sleep.