“The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recently reported that 63 percent of Americans are sleep deprived.”
(Source: http://www.didyouknow.org) Did you know that symptoms of insomnia include:
- Difficulty falling asleep.
- Waking up too early then not being able to get back to sleep.
- Waking up frequently throughout the night.
- Waking up feeling un-refreshed.
Various things can cause insomnia. It could be stress, anxiety, diet, nutrition, lifestyle choices or environmental factors. If you are experiencing any level of sleep issues it can severely disrupt your ability to function, retain knowledge and to lead a happy healthy life.
Working Odd Hours?
Did you know the hours you work could be a major cause of sleep disruption? The National Sleep Foundation (http://www.sleepfoundation.org) has a page on their website addressing this. They explain that those working schedules other than the typical 9am-5pm work day are considered shift workers. Some shift worker positions include doctors, nurses, pilots, bridge-builders, police officers, customer service representatives, commercial drivers, store clerks, building cleaners and more. These shift workers experience sleep disturbances due to excessive sleepiness. Some of these workers work graveyard shifts or constantly changing shifts so their bodies have a difficult time adjusting to wake/ sleep times and are in a constant state of “tiredness”.
My partner and I both have experienced this type of sleep disruption resulting from working graveyard shifts. It feels as if you are in a constant drowsy, “floating through life” state. It was often hard to get enough sleep during our designated sleeping times because it was in the middle of the day. It was daylight out; people were mowing lawns and playing outdoors keeping us from sleeping. Also allot of our errands such as shopping and banking could only be done during the day, this also cut in to our designated sleeping time. We often found ourselves drinking excessive amounts of caffeine to stay awake and taking sleeping pills to actually sleep.
Experiencing stress or anxiety?
Many people work in high stress jobs and experience stress thought their day. Effectively dealing with this stress and anxiety can greatly impact your sleeping habits. Do you catch yourself worrying about certain issues or brainstorming solutions while you lay in bed before you fall asleep? Do you dream about your worries or stresses?
Many people experience sleep disturbances because they are not relaxing and letting go of the stresses before attempting to sleep at the end of the day. It is recommended that you do whatever is necessary to clear your mind before attempting to engage in sleep. Meditate, read, take a hot bath or do whatever helps you to relax and let go of the day’s happenings.
Every morning when you wake you should start fresh and ready to take on the world. If you fail to let go of the previous days happenings and stresses you cannot achieve this. Chances are you will wake feeling unrefreshed and weighed down. Your outlook on life may not be as cheery and positive as you would like. You will most likely have yet another stressful day and the cycle will continue. Sleep is intended to rejuvenate and refresh the physical body. In order for sleep to be effective you must do what is necessary to free your mind before engaging in sleep.
Many remedies exist that can help you sleep. Some of the remedies include herbs such as Hops, Passionflower, Valerian and Chamomile. Many people find that “white noise” (running water from a fountain or sink, soft music, sounds from a fan etc.), cold temperatures and dark conditions help promote sleep.
It is best to rely on these remedies only as temporary support while you address the underlying issues at hand that are causing sleep disruption.