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How to cure insomnia.

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How To Cure Insomnia Naturally

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So, you’re having trouble falling asleep and would like to know how to cure your insomnia? Just know that you’re not alone.

It is known that about 20 to 30 percent of the general population have trouble falling asleep or sleep poorly.

But first: if you think of yourself as an insomniac because you can’t sleep after staring at your phone and right after your daily 3-hour siesta… just know that you might not be an insomniac and that the problem may be the phone or the siesta...

On the other hand, if you regularly can’t sleep, even when you feel tired and are starting to feel the consequences of all the sleepless nights, then you might have won the right to call yourself an insomniac (hurray!...).

We decided to help all of you insomniacs  sleep better and live a better life. So here’s our guide to help you find out how you can “cure” your insomnia, naturally.

 

But, first: what is insomnia, exactly?

What is insomnia?

As you may already know, insomnia is the incapacity to sleep, even though it is the proper moment to sleep and you have enough time to do so.

There are 3 different types of insomnia: 

  • Transient insomnia: The shortest form of insomnia (1 week or less). This type of insomnia is generally caused by changes in your sleep environment, anxiety, or some form of depression.

  • Acute insomnia: A medium-term form of insomnia. Acute insomnia, a.k.a. “adjustment insomnia”, can last up to 1 month. This type of insomnia is usually born from a psychological trigger and ends when it’s no longer present or when the person gets used to it.

  • Chronic insomnia: This is the longest, most intense form of insomnia. This type of insomnia lasts more than 1 month and is usually linked to chronic medical and/or psychiatric conditions.

 

What are the symptoms (and consequences) of insomnia?

Insomnia symptoms consequences.

Typically, insomnia can have multiple effects on your health, but it usually starts with having difficulty falling asleep at night, going through disturbed sleep sessions, and waking up early without feeling rested.

During the daytime, many insomniacs will feel tired, irritable, have trouble concentrating, and be subject to memory loss.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Recurring headaches;

  • Acid reflux;

  • Anxiety (or excessive worrying);

  • Low energy;

  • Reduced work performance;

  • And an increased risk of depression.

 

What causes insomnia?

What causes insomnia?

The most common causes of insomnia will revolve around anxiety, depression, and changes in your sleep schedule. But there might also be a more important underlying problem, like physical illnesses, neurological problems, or sleep disorders.

Now, if you think you have some form of insomnia, before finding out how to cure it, you need to find out what really affects you. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Has my routine changed recently?

  • Do I have an upcoming event, meeting, or new job that’s stressing me?

  • Do I feel physical pain or discomfort at night?

  • Am I taking a new type of medicine?

  • What about my mattress? Is it the most comfortable, high-end memory foam mattress ever (wink, wink)?

     

Usually, by asking themselves these questions, many people will be able to decipher what’s troubling their sleep and then simply correct the situation.

 

OK, but if that doesn’t work, how can  insomnia be cured?

How to treat insomnia?

For starters, let’s just say that there isn’t one proper way to cure all types of insomnias. If you want to know how to cure insomnia, the best thing to do is to find the source of your sleepless nights. And if you can’t by yourself, just talk to a doctor.

Here are some general tips that can help you cure your insomnia: 

  1. Reduce your coffee and alcohol intake: as both are known to influence the nervous system. No coffee in the afternoon and no alcohol in the evening. The effects of coffee can be felt for a long time, as caffeine can stay in your system for up to 24 hours (so, no coffee before bed). As for alcohol, the sedative effect that you feel after consumption fades out and can lead to frequent arousals, hence a disturbed night’s sleep;

  2. Exercice during the day. You can move your butt all day and as regularly as possible to feel more tired when the night comes. However, stop working out at least one hour before going to bed (ideally aim for 3 hours or more). Since your body becomes more active when you work out, a full-on workout right before bed might not be the best of ideas.

  3. Avoid large meals before bedtime: if your digestive system is all over the place after digesting a divine meal that your mom made for you, you might have trouble going to bed. Try eating smaller portions for dinner and you should be fine.

  4. Wake up (and go to bed) at the same time every day: your body can be trained. If you are prone to insomnia, waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday (even on the weekends) will help your body create a better sleep routine.

  5. Say “bye-bye” to naps (oh no!): napping can be great to feel better when you are super tired. It also feels good (yeah, we at Polysleep are definitely nap addicts!), but sometimes, naps can shake up your sleep pattern a bit too much. So you might sleep in the afternoon, but then, when nighttime comes, your body feels like it has already slept (which is kind of the case). So with no naps, your body is less likely to say no to a good old-fashioned night’s sleep.

  6. Stop doing stuff in bed: activities in bed can be really neat. But if you have trouble sleeping, you might wanna stop doing anything else while you’re in your bed. When you’re in bed doing something other than sleeping, you’re telling your brain that it’s fine to stay awake in bed, doing something else. What you really want is to rewire your brain so it thinks that bed = sleep. So, no phone, no computer screen or books, and your sleep quality should increase.

  7. Make your bedroom extra comfy: make sure that your room temperature is as you like it and the lighting is dimmed or turned off. Try to limit noise in your surroundings and try to make your bed really comfortable. Make your bed with nice and clean sheets, and buy great pillows if the ones you have aren’t that great (we recommend our memory foam pillow if you haven’t tried it yet). 

  8. Limit stress factors: anxiety is one of the main reasons people are unable to fall asleep. If you are the kind of person that thinks too much when going to bed, change your thinking routine! Don’t think about what went right and wrong during your day, or at least, not when it’s time to go to bed. Maybe set aside some time right after dinner to think about everything that’s bothering you. Take enough time to find solutions or to realize that those problems may not be as big as you first thought. A good tip to clear your head is to make a list, to write everything down on paper. This way, you know that you’re not gonna forget anything since it’s been written down, and your mind can wander freely towards a good night's sleep.

  9. Relax! If you find it hard to cool down before going to bed, try bed meditation or other relaxation techniques. You could also use an app like Relax Melodies, which has been purposely created to help people relax.

  10. Watch your medicine: liquid medication, capsules, and pills may have a stimulant effect that you don’t even know about. Take the time to read the ingredients and counter effects on any medication you're taking. You might discover that the reason why you have trouble sleeping is because of one of those. And to be 100% sure, ask your doctor about them.

 

How to cure insomnia with cognitive therapy

How to deal with insomnia cognitive therapy.

The tips mentioned above may sound a tad bit general to some of you, and maybe even a little cliché. But if you've already heard about them, it’s because more often than not they work. So, don’t discard them before really trying a few times.

Many of these tips are part of a therapy in which many sleep experts believe in: cognitive therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (or CBT-I), is considered to be as effective as sleep medications, and sometimes even more. The objective of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to help you gain control over the thoughts that prevent you from falling asleep.

This therapy is usually divided into two parts: the cognitive part, and the behavioral part.

 

Cognitive therapy to cure insomnia

The cognitive part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you find out what prevents you from sleeping properly and gives some guidance to change your preconceived ideas that lead to insomnia.

You can cure insomnia with cognitive therapy by gently suppressing the negative thoughts or worries that keep you awake.

For example, if you have  insomnia because you’re stressed about work, apart from what we already listed, cognitive therapy could help you with multiple techniques, such as: 

  • Journaling: where your write down negative thoughts that come up and then rewrite them in a positive way;

  • Self-talk: to learn how to be  less critical about yourself and be more compassionate;

  • Positive activities: scheduling rewarding activities that will cheer you up before going to bed. Hence you’ll be less likely to go to bed with a negative mindset;

  • Situation exposure: create a list of things that gives you anxiety and order them by the level of stress they cause. Then, the purpose of this technique is to expose yourself to these things until they become less and less stressful.

  • Determining SMART Goals (goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited). Having SMART goals will help you move towards real objectives and feel like you aren’t stuck;

  • Guided introspection: answer questions asked by a therapist. This method will help you challenge your negative thoughts with different viewpoints.

If you’re deep down in a negative cycle where you worry because you fear that you’re not going to  be able to fall asleep, cognitive therapy offers many techniques to help you address this. 

 

Behavioral Therapy as a Cure to  Insomnia

Behavioral therapy will help you cure your insomnia by guiding you into developing a good sleeping routine. Many of the 10 tips mentioned in the “Ok, now, how do we cure insomnia” section are behavioral.


Apart from the techniques already mentioned, behavioral therapy could help you cure your insomnia with the following techniques:

  • Light therapy: if you tend to fall asleep in the afternoon and can’t sleep when night comes, getting more light could help you stay awake during the day and sleep during the night. During the summer, try to go outside as much as possible when it’s sunny. You could also buy a special light that will mimic sunlight;

  • Remaining passively awake: when you go to bed, try to stay awake instead of trying to sleep. This way, less stress is less likely to build-up since the emphasis is not focused on the “I must sleep, now!” thought;

  • Sleep restriction: staying out of your bed as much as possible and avoiding naps. This way you will feel more tired and will be more likely to fall asleep easily;

  • Etc.

It’s impressive how things can change simply by force of habit. 

 

So, How to Fix Insomnia? The Conclusion

How to fix insomnia?

If you don’t know us at Polysleep, let’s just say that we like everything that is related to sleep. Very, very much.

So we know that being unable to fall asleep properly is simply horrid.

If you want to know how to cure your insomnia, start with this guide and try our tips and techniques. You never know, they could really help you find out how to cure your insomnia. 

If you tried all of our tips and techniques and you’re still in the insomniacs club, just remember:  “the first rule about the insomniacs club is you don’t talk about the insomniacs club!”. No, just kidding, if you feel like you still have insomnia, we encourage you to seek help from a professional.

Have a good night’s sleep!

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