Let’s find out everything about insomnia: the symptoms, the causes, the remedies and all the tips to combat an important sleep disorder.
If you too often find yourself staring at the ceiling at night and saying “I can’t sleep” , then it’s very likely that you suffer from insomnia. Sleeping well and ensuring a good rest is one of the fundamental activities to keep us fit and healthy and to keep the quality of our life high. Sleep, in fact, is one of the main regulators of our well-being and our mood, and plays a key role both in our body and in our mental state. In short, put simply, the way we feel during the day, when we are awake, largely depends on how we slept the night before .
But if you are here, your problem is probably how to fall asleep: so let’s see how to cure insomnia, what to do and what are the main causes of this disorder! A warning before starting : if you have been suffering from chronic insomnia for a long time, you can try our remedies and tips to solve the problem, but we recommend that you consult a doctor to better deal with the situation and solve this disorder.
What is insomnia? Symptoms and causes
An insomnia disorder is defined as that chronic condition of dissatisfaction with night rest and which, therefore, can be assessed subjectively from individual to individual. Insomnia essentially presents with these symptoms: difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in maintaining it in a more or less severe way with few or continuous nocturnal awakenings, inability to sleep a lot in the morning (waking up early). If diagnosed , it is a problem that, in truth, does not linger in the period of night rest but above all on the daytime performance and psychophysical quality of each individual.
A good way to treat and prevent this problem is to trace the possible causes. Among the most frequent are stress , depression, states of anxiety or agitation, but also the use of certain medications. Furthermore, insomnia can also be caused by some environmental factors , by physical pain or particular diseases, menopause and finally an overactive thyroid .
How to fight insomnia: tips for sleeping well
If you have problems with insomnia or lack of sleep that are mild and of little concern for your psychophysical balance, it is still good to take action. Here are some tips you can implement right away:
• Avoid afternoon naps , and if you do make sure they are no longer than 15-20 minutes.
• Do not use electronic devices before sleeping: screens, in fact, simulate sunlight and make the brain produce the hormone cortisol , the number one enemy of sleep!
• Avoid eating heavy food , alcohol or anything else that can cause a bad rest .
• Look for a way to relax before bed: an herbal tea, a relaxing bath, some music or a book.
• Try to get comfortable clothes, an equally comfortable mattress and a pillow that can support your head in the best way also depending on your usual sleeping position.
Insomnia: natural (and not) remedies
If you have already tried all these remedies, but still suffer from sleep problems at night, then you can go for something natural. If even these tips do not work , starting with a more specific treatment always prescribed by a professional, could be the only solution.
Insomnia and nutrition
There are relaxing foods that act as sedatives for the central nervous system. Among them are zucchini, green beans, boiled potatoes, leeks and apples. You can therefore prepare some dishes by accompanying these ingredients with carbohydrates , such as a boiled rice with vegetables.
Some officinal plants are used to relax the nervous, muscular or circulatory system, and in all cases they facilitate sleep and promote rest. Among the most common are passionflower, lemon balm and hawthorn . To induce sleep, however, we recommend valerian . Choose the one you like best and prepare yourself a relaxing herbal tea to sip before going to bed.
Another remedy you can use is to use essential oils, which can be used in a relaxing bath, used in an aromatherapy massage or used as diffusers for your bedroom. Among the most suitable are the essential oils of lavender and basil.
Treatment for a diagnosed insomnia
Therapy is usually pharmacological and only in the most serious cases do you need a psychotherapist . As for the choice of drugs, it is essential to hear from your doctor, the most common are in fact anxiolytic or hypno-inducing and, if not taken correctly, they can easily induce addiction which is difficult to eliminate.
As for therapy with a psychotherapist, on the other hand, there are different techniques and approaches to get to the crux of the matter and try to solve it. Among the most frequent and indicated techniques, for us suffering from this disorder in a not too serious way, there is certainly the relaxation exercise to be able to achieve sufficient tranquility to fall asleep.
Melatonin for insomnia
Finally, melatonin for sleep is a real cure-all . It is a hormone that is released by the pineal gland and that regulates the circadian rhythm: in practice, when the daylight decreases, the concentration of this hormone grows up to ten times, and this leads our brain to communicate to the body that the resting phase has begun .
You can buy melatonin at the pharmacy, which you can buy without a prescription in the 1 mg dosage and with the prescription in the 2 mg dosage. As for the intake, it is usually taken once a day about 2 hours before bedtime and on a full stomach.