Don’t Do This If You Suffer From Insomnia

I’m writing this blog post as an occasional sufferer of insomnia, and what I’m presenting today is something I concluded from reading multiple articles online. Insomnia is characterized by an inability to sleep and/or to remain asleep for a reasonable period. One who suffers from insomnia will typically complain of being unable to close their eyes or “rest their mind” for more than a few minutes at a time.

It would seem ridiculous to suggest that the reason you can’t fall asleep is because you are in bed. As preposterous as this sounds, it can actually be the case. When a person is suffering from insomnia, and they continue to stay in bed, the problem can actually worsen.

It’s happened to most people at least once in their lives, including myself. They feel tired in the evening, so they decide to go to bed early. Then when they try to fall asleep, they find that it is almost impossible to achieve. Minutes turn into hours and then before they realize it they have been in bed for three or four hours without even a moment of sleep. I have felt the frustration of this too!

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Insomnia is a common problem and although there are many medical ways to treat it, the answer might be found in getting out of bed. To begin with, we already know that sleep is fundamental to a human being’s existence and if we feel that we aren’t getting enough it can create a great deal of stress and unhappiness. To counteract that we sometimes go to bed before we feel tired.

Our hope, of course is that once we are in bed, in the peaceful darkness, our body will natural take the hint and drift off. This is especially true if we have to wake up early or we have something stressful to tackle the next day, such as beginning a new job or starting school. The problem with that logic is that if you are not tired, being in bed is not going to change that fact!

It is unfortunately true that you cannot magically drift off to dreamland if your body is not ready yet. We don’t live in a perfect world. Instead you will become frustrated and even more determined to sleep. Insomnia sets in and your good intentions of getting a full eight hours of sleep turns into just an hour or two.

If you are in bed and you cannot fall asleep after thirty minutes you should consider getting back up. It may be discouraging to realise that you are back where you started, out of bed and no closer to falling asleep, but getting out of bed can put a stop to the insomnia. If you do get up there are a few things you can do that will help put you in the mind frame that you need to be to sleep.

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Some of these things include watching TV, listening to soft music, and reading. If you decide to watch TV, it’s important to pick a program that is not stimulating such as the news or an action movie. When reading, choice is important. You shouldn’t choose something that you’ll become too engaged in. You want to be able to close the book or magazine once you’re tired.

Getting out of bed when you can’t sleep doesn’t mean that insomnia has already taken hold of you. It does mean that your mind isn’t quite ready to shut itself off for the day. Instead get up, do something relaxing, and before you know it, you’ll fall right to sleep.

There are some other things to note. Insomnia is a symptom, though a common misconception is that it is itself a sleep disorder. Insomnia is most often caused by sleep disorders, but other causes include fear, stress, anxiety, medications, herbs and caffeine. An overactive mind or physical pain may also be a cause. Finding the underlying cause of insomnia is usually necessary to cure it. And that is what I urge you to do.

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Also published on Medium.


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