Finding help for sleep problems is getting easier as more people recognise the affect that sleep has on their health and wellbeing. It is no longer necessary to suffer in silence and cope with exhaustion or any of the other debilitating side effects.
Anyone who has problems sleeping or experiences any other problem with their sleep should seek support and advice. Families and partners can also help each other by monitoring each others sleeping habits and noting any problems such as difficulty in breathing or disturbances like sleepwalking.
Of course the first place to look for help is usually the GP who will be able to investigate the problem and provide help. This is especially important for complaints that offer a health risk such as sleep apnea and traumas.
Exploring the Options
For many people, difficulty in sleeping can almost become a ‘natural’ state and although it may not affect their health, it can make them grumpy and impair their performance. For them, there are a number of avenues to explore that could lead to improved sleep and a greater feeling of general wellness.
Having investigated the causes of any sleep disturbance such as diet, alcohol and environmental problems such as noise, discomfort and temperature, other therapies may help…
Family and friends are often a great source of information. If immediate family have experienced similar problems (and insomnia can run in some families) they may have some tips that will help. They may also be able to help if anxiety and depression are causing disturbed sleep.
Sleep and help can often be improved by having more activity and fresh air during the day. It can also hinder sleep if taken in the hours before sleep, so if you visit the gym or take a dance class in the evening this may leave you energised rather than sleepy!
For those who find relaxing difficult, forget the wine, beer and the telly – these all make sleep harder or cause you to wake during the night. Try one of the herbal remedies that help you sleep which are in your local chemist and have an early night and a long soak in a warm bath.
For those who need help to relax, a course of yoga or deep relaxation may help. Taking control of the body and the mind is often the best way to prepare for a good nights sleep.
If worry is the problem then Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) could help. This has helped many people deal with anxiety and habits that they find difficult to manage.
Sometimes factors such as an uncomfortable bed or noisy neighbours can be making sleeping difficult. Changing bedrooms, a new bed or some redecorating may do the trick and for those who want to make the bedroom even more inviting for sleep, the oriental practice of feng shui has lots of tips.
Identifying the Problem
Identifying why sleep is so evasive may give you some clues. Sleep well in a hotel, or staying away? What is the difference? Try a night away and see if you can pinpoint what it is that keeps you awake at home.
For the more esoteric, a massage, soothing music and some poetry make a lovely night time ritual. And for lovers, sex can be a blissful way to prepare for the land of nod. Beware though, experts warn that this may be helpful for men but less so for women!
Some people find that hypnosis can help dispel some of the problems that keep them awake. Others find that self help books and CDs are helpful – your local bookshop will have a selection.
Make preparing for sleep an important part of you day and you will start to look forward for bed.