The causes of insomnia are varied. I have separated them by causes and what you can do to help them.
The television shows that you watch and the books that you read can stimulate your nervous system.
If the TV shows or books are raising your heart rate or making you clench muscles, these are not conducive to sleep. Choose more relaxing stories 1 hour before bed, something that does not stimulate the fight or flight response.
Watch the intake of caffeinated drinks such as cola, coffee/black tea and energy drinks.
If you looked at the last blog caffeine blocks the “sleep inducing” chemicals in the brain. Some people have to stop caffeine consumption by 12 noon because it affects their sleep. You may have to test this to see what your toleration is for caffeine in regard to your sleep.
Talking on the phone before going to sleep and/or using your phones social media.
Depending on the conversation, it can provoke feelings that make you mad, upset you or start off a train of thought that does not allow relaxation of the nervous system into a sleep pattern. Refrain from possible disturbing conversations before bed.
If a person is too hot it can make it difficult to sleep.
Opening a window to allow cooler air, or layering the blankets to adjust the temperature will help. Also the heavier blankets can be very calming to the nervous system. Some sleep studies also suggest sleeping naked to allow your body to adjust its heat to the correct comfort zone and minimize any restriction of twisted bedclothes.
Another sleep study suggests that insomnia can be caused by not having enough sex.
I will leave you to work on this as homework.
Worries can cause sleep disturbances.
A suggestion for this is that before bed you make a list of all the problems you are worried about and possible solutions next to them. By writing them down you help remove them from the conscious mind and you will relax knowing that you will not forget about them, and you can pick up the list in the morning.
Anxiety and Depression.
This is a multi-layered situation. Some anxiety and depression can be caused by deficiencies in nutrients. When we do not have the nutrients available to maintain the nerves themselves, then the nerves become hyper-irritable. For instance there are B Vitamins that are useful for calming the nerves, and there are B vitamins for giving more energy. Vitamin D is also known to cause the nerves to calm. There are various herbs that are available to aid the nervous system in calming down. We will discuss these at length in a future blog.
A study of women found that when women spend time with friends, hormones are released which have a calming affect on the nervous system. Men have the same response but not to as large an extent as women.
If you cannot breathe, you cannot sleep well. For seasonal allergy sufferers closing the windows can minimize the allergens in your room. Cover mattresses and pillows to shield against dust mites, take a shower/bath before bed to remove allergens from your body. Once again there are nutrition supplements that can be taken to minimize histamine reactions and support the body’s own defense mechanism.
Indigestion and eating too late.
One of the largest problems today is Gut Health. People are having problems with digestion. The food should pass through the stomach 20 minutes after we eat it. But with our poor gut health we are not able to digest our food well. Then when we lay down we have heart-burn, indigestion and bloat. This can be addressed with nutritional supplements that aid in digestion and in healing the gut.
Joint pain and restless leg syndrome.
If your joints hurt or the nerves in your back and legs are irritable, it makes it extremely difficult to sleep. Chiropractic adjustments align the joints and take pressure off the nerves allowing them to calm down. If the muscles are deficient in nutrients such as magnesium, calcium or potassium, they will ache like a tooth ache or they will Charlie horse when you stretch your legs in the middle of the night. These can all be helped with chiropractic and nutrition.