The importance of sleep
As adults, we spend about one-third of our lives sleeping. Unfortunately, many people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Sometimes this is because of a medical condition that needs to be treated. Other times, insomnia can be caused by psychological issues such as anxiety or depression.
Matthew Walker is a superhero of sleep research and author of the amazing book "Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams."
In his book and in his research, Walker emphasizes the importance of sleep for human health and well-being. Walker believes that sleep is essential for physical and mental health, and that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. He also argues that sleep plays a crucial role in cognitive function, memory consolidation, and learning. In addition, Walker emphasizes the importance of getting enough deep sleep and REM sleep, which are critical stages of the sleep cycle for physical and mental restoration. He also stresses that consistent sleep patterns and adequate sleep duration are key to optimizing the benefits of sleep. Overall, Matthew Walker believes that sleep is a fundamental aspect of human health and that getting enough quality sleep is essential for our overall well-being.
So, you see, sleep is very important to your health. It helps you to be alert, focused and productive. It improves your mood and emotional health, which can help you deal with stress better. Sleep also maintains a healthy immune system so that you can fight off infections more effectively. Finally, getting enough sleep helps you learn new information and remember things better by allowing the brain to process memories while we're asleep.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or both. Insomnia can be caused by stress, anxiety or depression; long-term sleep deprivation; short-term illness; and other factors. It is a common sleep disorder that affects a large percentage of the population of the world, with estimates suggesting that as many as 30% of adults might also suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. The fact that it is common, however, doesn't make it normal.
Types of insomnia
There are two types of insomnia: acute and chronic. Acute insomnia lasts for less than three weeks, while chronic insomnia lasts longer than that.
Acute insomnia is often due to stress, anxiety or depression.
Chronic insomniacs may have medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes that keep them awake at night; they might also suffer from substance abuse issues or have sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome (RLS).
Causes of insomnia
Incorrect beliefs about sleep. Many people believe they can function just fine on less than 7 hours, some even hold it as a badge of honor being able to only sleep X amount of hours and still perform.
Alcohol and caffeine intake before bedtime can cause insomnia. The stimulant effects of these substances may keep you from falling asleep quickly, or they may keep you awake if they wear off during the night. Caffeine has been shown by some studies to disrupt deep sleep stages--meaning less REM (rapid eye movement) cycles which are crucial for feeling refreshed upon waking up in the morning! Alcohol suppresses rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which means less dreaming but also results in feeling groggy upon waking up as well as causing headaches due too much dehydration caused by drinking too much alcohol.
Overeating before bedtime can disrupt your sleep cycle because digestion requires energy, which uses up oxygen needed by the brain for restful slumbering!
Poor sleeping environment – such as an uncomfortable bed, or a bedroom that's too light, noisy, too hot or too cold.
Lifestyle factors – jet lag, shift work
Mental issues - Stress, anxiety and depression
Physical issues – heart problems, pain etc.
Medications (including over-the-counter drugs) - such as some antidepressants, epilepsy medicines and steroid medication
Conscious changes to promote a good sleep
Adopt appropriate beliefs about sleep.
The best course of action is to gather new data, to learn why sleep is important. We recommend the book “Why We Sleep” mentioned above.
Limit alcohol and caffeine.
It's best to avoid drinking anything containing caffeine after noon if it keeps you awake at night. It is also a good idea to avoid alcohol if it makes it hard for you to get up in the morning or causes difficulty falling asleep at night.
Do not overeat before bedtime.
Avoid heavy meals within three hours of bedtime; instead eat something light about an hour before turning in so that digestion can complete before lights out!
Deal with Jet lag.
There is way how to easily deal with jet lag using a specific TFT algorithm. Contact us to discover more.
Physical and mental issues.
The first step in treating insomnia is to become aware of and address any underlying medical or psychological conditions. For example, if insomnia is caused by sleep apnea, treatment for sleep apnea may alleviate insomnia symptoms. Similarly, if insomnia is caused by stress or anxiety, therapy or medication may be helpful.
Keep a regular sleep schedule.
Try going to bed and waking up at around the same time every day so that your body develops an internal clock that's in sync with its natural circadian rhythm (the 24-hour cycle). This will help keep your internal clock from getting confused about when it should sleep and wake up--which can happen when we stay up late one night or take naps during the day because our brains think it’s still nighttime when really it’s not! If you stay late during the night, it is still best to wake up at your usual hour, even with less sleep for that night, because it makes it easier to stay in sync with your circadian rhythm.
Get enough exercise.
Exercise can be a great way to unwind, but you don't want to do it right before bedtime. If you exercise too close to your bedtime, it can actually make it harder for your body to fall asleep--and if that happens, then even more stress on top of the insomnia! So try to finish your workout within three hours of going to sleep.
Keep a journal before and after sleep.
It is a great idea for many people believe to keep a diary next to their bed and write down everything that their minds wants to share with them before falling asleep and after awakening. However, it is not a good idea to create a habit of taking notes during the night, so remember: before falling asleep and after you wake up.
Insomnia from the brain perspective
Let’s discuss insomnia from the brain perspective and what we are really dealing with in terms of unconscious programming.
Insomnia from brain perspective is being in the beta state at inappropriate time. We are typically in the beta state of brain during our waking hours when we are engaged in activities that require attention and mental effort, such as working, studying, or participating in a conversation. Beta state of brain can be beneficial at times, but it’s not what we want to experience when trying to sleep.
3 faces of insomnia
There are 3 distinctive issues that people deal with that fall under the category of insomnia:
Waking up too early
There are two options in this case:
- Waking up early might be your predisposition. What we mean by that is that some people are just naturally early risers and they function better when they wake up early. If that is your case, try implementing it into your day to day life rather than fighting it or trying to change it.
- Waking up early can be a functional problem about something else. If your early awakenings are out of ordinary, these are the questions you can ask yourself:
- How long have you been experiencing early awakenings? Since when?
- What happened just before?
- What is the thing you feel you need to resolve in order to get some proper sleep?
- What can you do about it now?
- Is there someone who can offer you a fresh perspective on the issue you are dealing with?
- Is there something that you can learn about the issue that you are dealing with?
Waking up in the middle of the night
You might wake up in the middle of the night and your brain switches to beta state. It is as if your mind wanted to tell them something very important. Your mind is trying to warn you against something, or the mind starts to worry about some future event, or the mind starts to reply the past scenario you have experienced. Regardless of the content of the mind activity, there is one thing in common: the mind won’t let you fall asleep. How to go about that?
We believe it is important to make an agreement with your mind that everything important can wait until the morning. Ideal scenario: write down everything important before falling asleep and then let’s wait with everything else until morning. Also, remember that whatever challenge you are facing in your life: the more you rest, the more capable you are to face the challenge.
Inability to fall asleep
This is similar scenario to the previous one, just the timing is different. Again, it is mind keeping you awake with all the chatter, your brain being in beta state. We addressed it above. However, you might be unable to fall asleep due to physical sensations. You might be hungry or too full or your sleeping conditions are less than ideal.
The ideal sleeping conditions
The ideal sleeping conditions can vary from person to person, but there are some general guidelines that can help promote a healthy and restful sleep environment. Some factors that can contribute to an optimal sleep environment include:
- Darkness: Sleeping in a dark environment can help promote the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is important for regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
- Cool temperature: Sleeping in a cool room, ideally between 60-67°F (15.6-19.4°C), can help lower the body's core temperature, which is important for initiating and maintaining sleep.
- Quiet: A quiet environment can help promote uninterrupted sleep, but if this is not possible, using earplugs or a white noise machine can help mask distracting sounds.
- Comfortable bed: A comfortable mattress and pillows that support the body's natural curves can help prevent aches and pains that can disrupt sleep.
- Reduced light exposure before bed: Avoiding bright lights, especially from electronic devices, before bedtime can help promote the natural production of melatonin and signal the body to prepare for sleep.
- A relaxing sleep environment: Creating a sleep-conducive environment can help signal the body to wind down and prepare for sleep. This can include dimming the lights, engaging in relaxing activities before bed, and avoiding stimulating activities like work or exercise.
Overall, the ideal sleeping conditions are those that are comfortable, quiet, cool, and dark, and that promote relaxation and signal the body to prepare for sleep.
Unconscious changes to deal with insomnia
Sometimes regardless of how conscious we are, we might be unable to make changes in our lives. This might be because our behaviors become habitual and are therefore outside of our conscious awareness. Things just happen to us and we feel as we don’t have much of a control of them. Reading the list of conscious changes we can implement makes us upset because it seems like we have tried everything and nothing worked so far.
Hypnosis for insomnia
We can assist you with dealing with insomnia and underlying psychological factors. One of the most effective techniques that focuses on unconscious mind is hypnosis. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine observed that hypnosis was associated with significant improvements in sleep quality, sleep duration, and time taken to fall asleep.
One of the benefits of hypnosis for insomnia is that it is a non-invasive and drug-free therapy. Unlike prescription sleep medications, which can have side effects and the potential for addiction, hypnosis is a natural and safe treatment. Additionally, hypnosis can address the underlying psychological factors that may be contributing to insomnia, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. Contact us here to discover more.