5 ways to help your insomnia

A recent study shows that exercise might help people who suffer from chronic insomnia, just not right away. Chronic sleep disorders affect 40 million Americans, which include disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea, and the CDC has named insufficient sleep a public health concern. The study observed 23 female participants over the ages of 55, and how exercise influenced their sleep patterns.

Sleep psychologist, Kelly Glazer Baron initially thought that exercising helped improve sleep patterns, but after looking more closely at the data and participants’ testimonies, she realized that the amount of sleep determined how much a person would exercise the next day. It can be difficult to exercise after a poor night’s sleep, but making the effort to do so can help reduce chronic insomnia in the long run. Exercise helps relieve stress, a major factor of sleep loss. Regular aerobic activity is a behavioral change that is healthier than sleeping pills, because cognitive behavioral therapies focus on solving the underlying issues of sleep loss, rather than just relieving symptoms momentarily.

Sleeping pills can help you fall asleep, but they can become addicting and won’t solve the underlying causes of insomnia. There is a growing interest in cognitive behavioral therapies for treating insomnia. While it is more difficult to adopt in the beginning, it can help long term because it provides solutions to the initial problems that lead to insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation, cognitive behavioral therapy’s goal is to alter sleep habits and misunderstandings about sleep patterns that harm effective sleeping.

There are several ways and methods of treating and reducing insomnia; here are some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques you can try at home:

  1. Create a routine. Waking up at a specific time everyday is the first step towards forming a rhythm for your body. Organizing “wind down” time before bed is also helpful. For example, try taking a walk at night or meditating, running a nice bath, or practicing breathing exercises in a dimly lit room before trying to go to sleep.
  2. Don’t lounge in your bed. On a weekend morning it can be tempting to stay in bed to watch the news or read a book. However, it is better to dedicate your bed solely as a place of sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it is better to get out of your bed. Training your body and mind to view your bed as a place you go to when you are drowsy can help you sleep better and more regularly.
  3. Avoid heavy dinners and stimulants. Eating light dinners and avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the afternoons can all assist sleep patterns. If you consume a heavy meal before going to bed, your body will focus its energy on digesting that meal and can interrupt your body’s ability to go through all stages of sleep. And while alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it can also disturb your REM sleep and disturb your sleeping patterns.
  4. Understand that insomnia is normal. Insomnia can be frustrating, but it is also a very common sleep disorder. Worrying about not getting enough sleep and how this can affect your health will keep you awake, thus keeping you awake even more. Try calming down, replacing worry with simple breathing exercises or simple stretches.
  5. Document your sleep schedule. Keeping a diary of when you fall asleep and wake up provides a map of how your body reacts to different cognitive behavioral therapies. It gives you a better understanding of your body and how to tailor your behavior that will result in a better sleep schedule. If you decide to see a couple of sleep specialists, this can also be helpful in determining specific behavioral patterns you may need to change.

Read about more cognitive behavioral therapies here

Photo: Flickr/ RelaxingMusic

Solution News Source

5 ways to help your insomnia

A recent study shows that exercise might help people who suffer from chronic insomnia, just not right away. Chronic sleep disorders affect 40 million Americans, which include disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea, and the CDC has named insufficient sleep a public health concern. The study observed 23 female participants over the ages of 55, and how exercise influenced their sleep patterns.

Sleep psychologist, Kelly Glazer Baron initially thought that exercising helped improve sleep patterns, but after looking more closely at the data and participants’ testimonies, she realized that the amount of sleep determined how much a person would exercise the next day. It can be difficult to exercise after a poor night’s sleep, but making the effort to do so can help reduce chronic insomnia in the long run. Exercise helps relieve stress, a major factor of sleep loss. Regular aerobic activity is a behavioral change that is healthier than sleeping pills, because cognitive behavioral therapies focus on solving the underlying issues of sleep loss, rather than just relieving symptoms momentarily.

Sleeping pills can help you fall asleep, but they can become addicting and won’t solve the underlying causes of insomnia. There is a growing interest in cognitive behavioral therapies for treating insomnia. While it is more difficult to adopt in the beginning, it can help long term because it provides solutions to the initial problems that lead to insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation, cognitive behavioral therapy’s goal is to alter sleep habits and misunderstandings about sleep patterns that harm effective sleeping.

There are several ways and methods of treating and reducing insomnia; here are some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques you can try at home:

  1. Create a routine. Waking up at a specific time everyday is the first step towards forming a rhythm for your body. Organizing “wind down” time before bed is also helpful. For example, try taking a walk at night or meditating, running a nice bath, or practicing breathing exercises in a dimly lit room before trying to go to sleep.
  2. Don’t lounge in your bed. On a weekend morning it can be tempting to stay in bed to watch the news or read a book. However, it is better to dedicate your bed solely as a place of sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it is better to get out of your bed. Training your body and mind to view your bed as a place you go to when you are drowsy can help you sleep better and more regularly.
  3. Avoid heavy dinners and stimulants. Eating light dinners and avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the afternoons can all assist sleep patterns. If you consume a heavy meal before going to bed, your body will focus its energy on digesting that meal and can interrupt your body’s ability to go through all stages of sleep. And while alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it can also disturb your REM sleep and disturb your sleeping patterns.
  4. Understand that insomnia is normal. Insomnia can be frustrating, but it is also a very common sleep disorder. Worrying about not getting enough sleep and how this can affect your health will keep you awake, thus keeping you awake even more. Try calming down, replacing worry with simple breathing exercises or simple stretches.
  5. Document your sleep schedule. Keeping a diary of when you fall asleep and wake up provides a map of how your body reacts to different cognitive behavioral therapies. It gives you a better understanding of your body and how to tailor your behavior that will result in a better sleep schedule. If you decide to see a couple of sleep specialists, this can also be helpful in determining specific behavioral patterns you may need to change.

Read about more cognitive behavioral therapies here

Photo: Flickr/ RelaxingMusic

Solution News Source

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