Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by many medical conditions like allergies, sleep apnea, GI issues, thyroid disease, depression, some autoimmune disorders, etc.. but other things like food sensitivities, stress and anxiety can be tough on a good night sleep. (Well yes, and the 5 year old coming scared to your bedroom at 2am doesn't help either!)
Insomnia is absolutely pervasive in our culture. Many of my clients struggle with it and nearly one in four of you reading this will have problems getting a good night's sleep. However, recurring to an addictive sleep drug should be the LAST resort.
If you struggle with insomnia, I urge you to work on it NOW! A good night's sleep is essential for good health and we should try to avoid prescription of the "non-habit forming" drugs that somehow you become dependent on for life!
Even though I struggle with this, and some weeks are better than others, I've learned what triggers it and how to help my sleep and manage my insomnia.
Here are 10 THINGS that have helped me, my clients, and that YOU can do for BETTER SLEEP:
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, certain medications, and sugar.
- Exercise. Nothing else to say about that. It's important. Don't fight it. JUST DO IT!
- Getting bright SUN exposure in the day and sleeping in pitch black at night- optimizing your natural levels of melatonin which is a major sleep hormone
- Unplug from electronics at least 1 hour before bed.
- Take an Epsom salt bath (cannot recommend this one enough!) on warm water for 20 minutes at night. If you think you don’t have time for it- trust me- you don’t have time to be up at 3am and exhausted the next day either!
- Don't drink any fluids within an hour of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.
- Tap a few drops of lavender essential oil on your temples, pulse points and behind your neck.
- Manage stress and anxiety- Do some light reading in bed, slow breathing exercises or meditation before sleep.
- Journal your feelings or your "to do list" for tomorrow and leave your worries on paper. End the journaling with some GRATITUDE points. Listing 5 things you are grateful about today.
- Go to bed at the same time every night, between 10-10:30pm is best.
Last, but probably MOST IMPORTANT- Find out YOUR triggers! I discovered caffeine (even that one innocent morning cup of joe) to affect my sleep. I've also found sugar, wheat and alcohol to give me some sleepless nights. I don't necessarily need to eliminate these, but I now know my limits and how to manage it. Cause it is worth my beauty sleep! : )
The Winter Cleanse (Elimination Diet) is a GREAT WAY to see how your sleep goes and which foods (or drinks) seem to aggravate it. We start February 20!
JOIN US and start dealing with your insomnia NOW!