Sleep and Insomnia

Woman SleepingInsomnia is usually indicative of another medical problem. In order to cure sleep problems and get your circadian rhythms in balance you must find the “root” problem. At some point in life we have all suffered the inability to sleep. The key to restoring restful sleep is the same as all disease. You must diagnose the root cause of the sleep disorder. Often chronic sleep problems are manifest as a result of both physical and emotional distress. We invite you to explore this page and options which have helped the author obtain better sleep.

Sleep Disorders

Balancing your body’s natural clock (circadian rhythms) improving sleep may require you to make some serious lifestyle changes. Sleep disturbances are more common as we age (due to changes in our body chemistry). Intermittent insomnia and chronic insomnia are totally different problems requiring different approaches. While I continue my research into getting a good nights sleep might I suggest you consider doing your own research on:

  • The benefits of sun exposure
  • Montmorency Tart Cherries and Cherry Juice Extracts (Contain Melatonin)
  • Melatonin supplementation
  • Sleep Cycles and REM Sleep
  • Any medical condition that you are suffering from that occurred prior or about the same time as your difficulty sleeping

I have a lot to say on the subject of insomnia (I suffer greatly, sleeping only a few hours at a time after lying in bed for hours on end). Insomnia MUST be corrected in order to live a healthy life and feel your best. I will publish my findings on how long one should sleep, how to optimize circadian rhythms, etc. as I come to my own conclusions and improve my own sleep. I can tell you that I have had some success with improving my sleep slightly by eating tart cherries.

It’s important that you “prepare” for sleep. Taking time to turn off all the electronics (No TV in the bedroom), proper hygiene (Clean Sheets, brushed teeth, and a nice warm bath before bed help). Your room should be as dark as possible (If you must get up during the night consider a low power night light). Learn about Mattresses (Most people have no idea about “out gassing” chemicals in mattress materials or the chemicals used as fire retardant and required by law). Eat light after 5pm. Avoid stimulants like caffeine. These are just some of the ways to help you get a more restful sleep. You need to create a sleep environment. You also need to get in a pattern or routine where you sleep and rise at the same time each day, including weekends.

What about sleeping pills?

In my humble (yet very biased) opinion pills do way more damage than help. Chemically altering the brain to accomplish what the body does naturally only masks the problem. In fact it may DELAY your recovery to full natural pleasant sleep. While I have firsthand knowledge of how difficult it can be to sleep when you are in pain (I suffer excruciation neck problems) I also know how ineffective sleeping medications (or those drugs prescribed for sleep) are a dead end road that will only cause you MORE SUFFERING.

I tried Trazadone, Ambien, Clonazepam (Huge Mistake) and other drugs that should not have been prescribed for sleep like Gabapentin. None of these pills work long term. On me they didn’t even provide temporary relief. Learn from my mistakes. You MUST find the SOLUTION the CAUSE of your problem before you can treat it. The brain is not begging to be bathed in risky chemical solutions.

When you can’t sleep it’s your body telling you something is wrong. You will NEVER solve your problems if you mask the symptoms and quit looking for the root cause. If you are an SSRI’s (and other antidepressants) or any Benzodiazepines (Tranquilizer) user you are headed for long term hell. I am neither a fan of Scientology or Tom Cruise, but when he says that Drugs “mask” your problem and do not provide a solution he is dead on. I’d rather be dead right than dead wrong. Over 100,000 people die each year in the United States as a result of prescription drug contradictions. Don’t be one of them. Sleep is too important to mask with chemicals. Trust me on this – I suffered greatly at the hands of the insidious drug Clonazepam.

While herbs and natural foods contain chemicals (such as the hormone Melatonin) I have not come across one individual who has died from any non-allergic reaction to a substance contained in a whole food product. Pleasant Dreams.

And a final thought for those of you suckered into drugs via TV advertising. The sleep Medication Lunesta is NOT NEW. The chemical has been available in the UK for more than 12 years at the time of this writing. I would suggest you find out the chemical name of any brand name drug you are considering for ANY ailment and research it extensively. Other countries approve drugs much faster than the USA’s FDA, so there is often very good clinical information already published from other countries.

Posted by on Jul 15th, 2008 and filed under Stress / Sleep / Spirituality. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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