In recent weeks a few people who come to yoga classes have mentioned they have insomnia. I sincerly empathise with anyone who is suffering from this imbalance. I know it too well as I used to myslef and found it extremely depleating. The furstration that one had to face night after night of no sleep can be more toxic than the lack of sleep itself. At the time I was in a state of overwhelm, anxiety and I wasn’t eating the right foods at that time.
Do not fret. There is a healthy way to overcome insomnia, be. I know because I overcame insomnia when i addressed it with a healthy attitude. I had even had a slight dependency on sleeping tablets for a while, which did nothing to heal the cause of not slpeeing.
Nowadays I can sleep for ten hours no problem and thoroughly enjoy going to bed very early at least one night a week to fit in a ten hours sleep. So, if I can overcome insomnia, anyone can.
Here are some tips that worked for me and are still working. These tips go together, hand in hand. It’s a holistic approach that will cure insomnia.
1. Change your attitude to sleep. Instead of going about the day being cranky and tired because you’re not sleeping properly convince yourself that you have lots of energy, feel good and are happy with the sleep the night before regardless of how long or short it was. Changing how you think about not sleeping is really important as it settles the anxious feeling about the next nights sleep. This worked for me, mainly because I felt better during the day and stopped worrying – bonus.
2. Take up something that has a relaxing effect on the body and mind such as, guess what???? YOGA. Forward bends in yoga are calming and relaxing so any kind of forward bend will prepare the body for sleep. Also lying with your legs against a wall and gentle spinal twists will help to relax the body and mind. You could also practice the calming yogic breathing that we do in class, at intervals throughout the day; Inhale up the spine for 8 counts – hold at 3rd eye for 4 counts – exhale to base of spine for 8 count
3. Meditate. Old news at this stage. Good for everything. Calming the mind while balancing hormones.
4. Decrease stimulants. Give up caffeine and sugar for a while and all processed foods. Also consider giving up alcohol if you drink at night as it is a stimulant and will add to the problem. Even though a glass of wine can help you to drop off to sleep, if you are suffering from insomnia you are more than likely going to wake up again an hour or so later. So leave the wine aside for now or reduce to one night a week.
5. Start a relaxing night time ritual. Listen to relaxing music, light candles, take a bath, read a good story. Of course it’s o.k to watch a little t.v. however do it consciously. Turn the t.v. off a good while before going to bed. Be careful of your choice of pre-sleep programs as some can stimulate the mind and release hormones that can knock the body out of balance again. Such as programmes that stimulate tension, anxiety and fear. These types of t.v drama’s will release adrenaline and/or cortisol into the system which can keep the mind alert and awake. Some t.v programs can cause more stress & negative thinking than you may be aware of, so please be mindful of what you are watching or listening to. Most definitely do not watch the news late at night. In fact the less news you watch or listen to the better for your entire being.
6. Vitamin B Deficiency. The B complex vitamins play a role in sleep patterns and mood. This is especially important thing for vegetarians to watch out for, mostly B 12. Taking a good B Complex supplement could change your sleep patterns forever! You could also consider taking a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a sleep related hormone.
7. Vitamin D deficiency: New studies on the benefits of Vitamin D seem to be coming out all of the time. While its role in bone health is old news, newer studies have been showing that it can improve muscle strength and even prevent some forms of neurologic disease and cancer. True to vitamin D’s newly discovered role, studies are beginning to reveal that the widespread problem of sleep disorders in the northern hemisphere may be linked to the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Therefore Look into vitamin D deficiency and please take a good supplement. Best form is to spray under the tongue.
8. Valarian Hops. This is a wonderful natural sleep remedy. It is very powerful, works well and non-addictive. You can purchase in health food store.
10. Treat yourself to some relaxing time such as a massage, acupuncture, reflexology, cranial sacral massage etc.
11. Just chill. Everything is o.k. You are perfect as you are. There is no tomorrow, no yesterday. There is only now.
12. Be patient with this process. It may take while though it will be most worthwhile. The effects are long lasting.
May you soon enjoy a 10 hour sleep 🙂
Peace, Love, Happiness.