Insomnia is a disorder characterized by a few hours of sleep at night that can lead to drowsiness during the day.
Severe insomnia can be compared to psychological torture.
Frequent lack of sleep can become chronic and pose a risk to health.
Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per day.
Of course, the number of hours can vary, depending on the age and profession of the person.
Older people sleep less at night, but often rest after lunch.
Sometimes a person does not have sufficient restful sleep.
The main reason for insomnia is a sedentary lifestyle and a diet based on sugar and convenience foods as well as stimulants (coffee, chocolate, etc.).
Many years ago, people lived in the countryside, did physical work outdoors, ate healthy and rarely drank coffee and alcohol.
There are also other causes that lead to frequent awakenings at night, for example, diseases associated with pain or hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism).
Causes of end-stage insomnia
The name of this disorder is reminiscent of a tumor sequence, but terminal (or late) insomnia is not fatal. It is simply a kind of sleep disorder.
Unlike normal insomnia (where falling asleep is difficult), terminal insomnia is slightly different.
People usually sleep well for the first 4-5 hours, then suddenly wake up and can’t sleep. It is therefore a typical morning sleep disorder.
Because the person has been awake since the early hours of the morning, it is possible that they suffer from fatigue, irritability, and mild depression.
Most often, premature awakening is caused by emotional stress, injury, or indigestion.
Older people are more likely to suffer from this disorder, especially menopausal women.
Insomnia in spring is caused by the increase in hours of sunshine compared to winter. In this case, too, people wake up earlier in the morning.
Symptoms of insomnia in childhood or adolescence
Due to changes in sleep habits or an incorrect lifestyle, many teens suffer from insomnia.
Even if they don’t know it, this disorder can lead to serious chronic risks to health.
Parents should pay attention to these symptoms:
- Declining school performance
- Lack of interest
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of concentration and memory disorders
Natural remedies for insomnia
Nutrition and dietary supplements
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, an internal pacemaker that controls the duration and impulses of sleep.
It causes fatigue, lowers body temperature and prepares the body for sleep.
Research on melatonin has shown mixed results in people with sleep disorders.
Some research has shown that melatonin restores and improves sleep.
Other studies show that this substance does not help people with sleep disorders stay awake.
Melatonin could be helpful for people with jet lag problems or shift workers.
Snacks to make sleep easier
Foods that make it easier to fall asleep contain a combination of proteins and carbohydrates.
It is recommended to eat a banana or pumpkin or sesame seeds before bedtime.
These foods contain tryptophan, an amino acid that supports the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that promotes sleep.
Carbohydrates help tryptophan get into the brain. It is recommended to eat a banana, peanuts and sesame seeds, as well as cookies.
Avoid rich meals late in the evening. To digest a plentiful meal, three or four hours are needed.
Also spicy and sugary foods should be avoided, even at dinner time. Spices can irritate the stomach. A larger amount of sugary foods (especially chocolate that contains caffeine) can cause restlessness.
Apparently, magnesium plays a key role in sleep. A study has shown that even a small magnesium deficiency can prevent the brain from resting at night.
You can get enough magnesium through food. The best sources are green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Before taking magnesium supplements, you should consult a doctor. Magnesium can interact with many different medications and too much magnesium can lead to serious health problems.
L-Theanine. This amino acid is present in green tea leaves and can combat anxiety that disrupts sleep. One study has shown that L-theanine decreases the heartbeat and immune response to stress.
It also stimulates the brain waves associated with relaxation.
A doctor should be consulted before taking L-theanine.
Herbal remedies for the treatment of insomnia
Chamomile is a quick herbal remedy to calm the nerves and relax the body.
This can help people with mild sleep disorders to fall asleep better.
It is recommended to drink a cup of chamomile tea in the evening and about 30 minutes before bedtime. To prepare chamomile tea, infuse 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile in a cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes, filter, sweeten with honey (if you want) and drink immediately.
Chamomile tea is an old home remedy that can also be drunk during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Valerian is an herb that can help people who suffer from sleep disorders fall asleep faster and sleep soundly through the night.
Valerian helps subjectively improve sleep disorders, although more studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of this herb.
A study has shown that valerian can improve sleep quality without side effects, even if no average dose has been determined.
Before bedtime, it is recommended to take 200 to 400 milligrams of a standardized valerian extract to improve sleep.
Other effective herbal teas for sleep disorders are lemon balm, lime blossom and hawthorn.
Put on the sense of smell at bedtime:
- Lavender has a mild sedative effect. Simply apply a few drops of lavender oil to temples and forehead before bedtime. The scent should help you fall asleep.
- Take a relaxing scented bath before going to bed. Add 5 drops of lavender oil and 3 drops of ylang-ylang oil to the warm bath water.
- The awakening should always occur at the same time every day, regardless of whether the patient has slept sufficiently the previous night. On weekends you should follow the same program so that the body adapts to the same pattern as during the week. In this way, the person falls asleep faster.
- Small naps during the day should be avoided, no matter how tired you feel. People who do not suffer from sleep disorders can gain benefits from a short nap in the afternoon. However, it is possible that this little nap disrupts the biological rhythm.
Preparing the bedroom
- Turn the alarm clock so that it cannot be seen from the bed. If you look at the alarm clock when you wake up (which is unavoidable), the person quickly thinks about how to get by with so little sleep.
- Turn down the heating by a few degrees before going to bed. Most people sleep better when the environment is cool.
- There are breathing exercises that favor falling asleep.
The following lifestyle and environmental changes can help counteract sleep problems:
- Turn off the TV. In some people, nighttime light can disrupt melatonin production and trigger “social jet lag,” which mimics symptoms of traveling through time zones.
- Turn off electronic devices. If you want to enjoy a restful sleep, you should turn off the devices or place them away from the bed.
- If a person does not fall asleep within 30 minutes, sleep specialists recommend getting up and leaving the bedroom or reading a book. The affected person should return to bed when they feel tired.
Avoid constant sleeping on weekends
It may sound logical, but you can’t make up for the lack of sleep accumulated during the week by sleeping day and night on weekends. You should not think of weekends as a chance to sleep in, but go to sleep at a reasonable time on weekdays.
It is recommended to go to bed 15 minutes earlier every day to get used to the change. For example, if you go to bed at 23:30 p.m., you have to go to sleep at 23:15 p.m. for some nights, then at 23:00 p.m., at 22:45 p.m., etc. (until the ideal bedtime, which for most people takes about 7-8 hours to wake up).
Restrictions for better sleep
- Avoid physical training up to four hours before bedtime, because this is too stimulating. On the other hand, it is recommended to do the exercises in the morning or after work. An exception is yoga.
- Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, especially four hours before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol in the evening. Although a glass of sherry can help you fall asleep faster, the effect evaporates quickly and you may wake up again at night.
- If you smoke in the four hours before sleep, you can suffer from insomnia. Nicotine stimulates the central nervous system and interferes with falling asleep and sleep.
a hot bath It is excellent for relaxing the body. Nevertheless, one must not overdo it. The body should relax slightly, but no exhaustion should be caused. A bath in hot water that is too long leads to a drying up of body vitality.
Use bath salts or add a cup of Epsom salt and sodium bicarbonate to the bath water.
Remedies for infants
Insomnia in newborns can be annoying for the child and parents.
For a peaceful sleep, it is recommended:
- Lead a regular lifestyle, with meals and naps at fixed times.
- Move relaxing activities into the evenings.
- Give the infant an object to fall asleep.
- Do not lock the child in a room when crying and do not create situations that can cause separation anxiety.
Over-the-counter sleep aids
Sleeping pills are relatively effective for treating sleep disorders, but only for a short time, because the body gets used to them (their effect decreases).
Diphenhydramine: Diphenhydramine is one of the most common ingredients in almost all over-the-counter sleep promotion medications. It blocks the histamine effect and promotes sleep.
To achieve good results, it is recommended to take the drug half an hour before bedtime.
Doxylamine: Doxylamine is another antihistamine used for short-term therapy for insomnia. Like diphenhydramine, it blocks the hormonal action of histamine and reduces sleep problems in many patients who suffer from insomnia.