Sleep Therapy Starts With Pinpointing your Cause of Insomnia
Posted Dec 12 2009 11:38pm
Sleep therapy starts with trying to pinpoint your underlying cause of insomnia. If you are unsure of what is causing you to lie in bed at night awake or going to sleep but not feeling rested, start looking at your lifestyle and overall health. Sometimes, there are concrete factors that can be treated so you can get a good night’s rest.
Snoring is a common complaint of many people who seek sleep therapy options. Unfortunately, snoring can be caused by dozens of things including sleep apnea, obesity, allergies and sinus issues, and even prescriptions medications. These particular examples are concrete causes that can be solved with current medical practices today.
1. Obesity can be helped with proper exercise and a diet to lose weight. When there is less fat to obstruct your air passageways, you breathe easier.
2. Sleep apnea is a medical condition that can be treated. You may have to be evaluated in a sleep clinic to see what type you have before a treatment plan can be put into motion.
3. Allergies and sinus issues can be controlled with medications which keep your nasal passageways from swelling so you can breathe easier and avoid snoring.
4. Certain medications for health conditions from pain to heart disease can affect sleep. Talk with your doctor about altering your dosage or changing medications all together so you can sleep.
Stress is perhaps the biggest underlying cause for insomnia and inadequate sleep practices. Most sleep therapy plans tackle different aspects of stress. Whether you are on a deadline at work, got laid off, have a child sick at home from school or have a death in the family, stress eats away at your psyche – both consciously and subconsciously.
When the mind is occupied, it is hard for it to shut off and sleep. Therefore, you have to rely on some activities that normally bring your peace in order to help you sleep. Some popular types of sleep therapy in regards to stress include:
1. Aromatherapy – Scientists have proven that certain scents trigger the neurons in your brain to react in a certain way. Stress tends to kick up endorphins but with the right aromatherapy fragrances, you can turn those hyper chemicals off. Lavender, rosemary, chamomile, vanilla and ylang-ylang are popular relaxing scents. Burn incense or candles; place sachets inside your pillow; bath in bath oils or salts treated with aromatherapy products.
2. Background music – There are certain sounds in nature that soothe your subconscious mind. If you were to get a CD of these sounds, it could enough to trick your brain into shutting down for the night so you can get some sleep. Waves crashing on shore, a bubbling brook, birds chirping … these are just a few of many nature sounds to consider.
3. Herbal remedies – Sleep therapy can be enhanced with nature’s bounty. There are a number of natural herbs that naturally calm the body and act as a light sedative to help you sleep. Valerian has long been used as a sleep aid. Drinking chamomile or passion flower tea about 30 minutes before your bed time helps too.
Changes in Lifestyle
Sometimes, tackling snoring difficulties as well as stress just isn’t quite enough to help you get a full night’s sleep. In this instance, changes in lifestyle might be the best sleep therapy for you.
1. New bedding – Sometimes you need a new mattress, sheets or even pillows. Mattresses and pillows do get worn out after years of use. If they are not supportive of your body anymore, problems with sleeping can occur.
2. Darkness – Even the tiniest bit of light in your room can keep you from sleeping. You might have to rearrange the location of your bed to avoid the glare of the street lamp outside. Or, you might have to wear eye shades to block out light from the alarm clock or nightlight in your bathroom.
3. Cut down caffeine and alcohol – Caffeine keeps your nerves hyped up while alcohol is sometimes depresses your system. Both substances can hinder sleep. One of the best sleep therapy practices to observe is avoiding both at least two to three hours before bedtime.
4. Maintain a normal schedule – Do not take naps in the middle of the day and try to avoid sleeping late. By maintaining the same schedule each day, your body should also stay on schedule and expect sleep at the same time every night.
There are a number of different sleep therapy options to consider. Just remember to try and pinpoint what your problem is first before finding solutions. If you blindly follow different sleep solutions, you could end up with a lighter wallet and more insomnia.