Insomnia

Insomnia is a common, devastating problem that can cost us our energy, our good mood, our ability to function and ultimately our health. If the situation becomes chronic, it can lead to more serious health problems and even a shortening of our life span, according to experts.

Insomnia in itself is not the problem but is usually a symptom of a variety of other potential problems. The trick is identifying the underlying cause of our insomnia and finding the right treatment for that problem.
Common Symptoms of Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep despite being tired, Waking up frequently during the night, Trouble getting back to sleep when awakened, Exhausting sleep
Waking up too early in the morning, and Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, or irritability

Psychological issues that can cause insomnia are Depression, anxiety, chronic stress, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. People who suffer from these mental stresses have a hard time sleeping, not only because of their inner turmoil, but because the body is physically preventing sleep because of these issues.

There are certain Medications that can cause insomnia like antidepressants; cold and flu medications that contain alcohol; pain relievers that contain caffeine (Midol, Excedrin); diuretics, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure medications.
There are certain Medical problems that can cause insomnia like asthma, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, kidney disease, cancer, chronic pain.
How to Cure Your Insomnia: The easiest solution in half the cases is just change of habits like avoiding too much coffee during the day, avoiding too much alcohol, especially red wine at night and quitting smoking in the evening onwrds.
The next step could be to adopt new habits to help you sleep - Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends, even if you’re tired. This will help you get back in a regular sleep rhythm.
- Avoid naps. Napping during the day can make it more difficult to sleep at night. If you feel like you have to take a nap, limit it to 30 minutes before 3 p.m.

Preparing your brain for sleep
Your brain produces the hormone melatonin to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. As melatonin is controlled by light exposure, not enough natural light during the day can make your brain feel sleepy, while too much artificial light at night can suppress production of melatonin and make it harder to sleep.

To boost melatonin production, use low-wattage bulbs, cover windows and electrical displays in your bedroom, avoid bright light and turn off television, smart phone, and computer screens at least one hour before bed.

Get out of bed when you can’t sleep. Don’t try to force yourself to sleep. Tossing and turning only increases the anxiety. Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something relaxing, such as reading or listening to soothing music. When you’re sleepy, go back to bed.

Breathing from your belly. Most of us don’t breathe as deeply as we should. When we breathe deeply and fully, involving not only the chest, but also the belly, lower back, and ribcage, it can help relaxation. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Progressive muscle relaxation. Lie down or make yourself comfortable. Starting with your feet, tense the muscles as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10, and then relax. Continue to do this for every muscle group in your body, working your way up from your feet to the top of your head.

The problem with sleeping pills is that they usually work by lowering the activity of our nervous system. This presents 3 problems: The first is that they leave us drowsy in the morning. The second is that they contribute to our continued cycle of insomnia, and the third is that they are addictive.

The new formulas medicine is turning more and more to natural ingredients. These include ingredients such as Longan fruit extract, Muceuna Pruriens herb extract and Valerian root extract, and have the following advantages over the old sleeping pills:

- They are made from natural ingredients
- They don't leave you sleepy the next day
- Are non-addictive
- Preserve your focus
- Are impossible to overdose on more  

I am not eligible to go into the medical conditions that cause insomnia, but I do agree with most of the suggestions made above and these certainly help in getting quicker sleep. Meditation with deep breathing is a very good suggestion. Repetition of a couple of verses like Gita/Guru Granth Sahib or Gayatri Mantra or any other religious text with eyes closed, with concentration, lying on a comfortable bed will shut other irrelevant thoughts that keep the mind active and will greatly help in inducing sleep.
Another very important suggestion is to massage calves of both legs with some oil like mustard, coconut oil with some camphor dissolved or cow ghee (the best) for a little while before hitting the bed and also rub a little cow ghee to soles of both feet before hitting the bed. This has the wonderful effect of calming the brain and releasing tension. I write this as I have tried and experimented this on my wife and have achieved very good results.
Sleeping pills and any other types of medication should be the last resort to treat insomnia. more  
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