Are you suffering from lack of sleep?

873582444_0a9eefa404 Are you suffering from lack of sleep?

Photo by MoonSoleil

Sleep is a precious commodity and yet there are many people who struggle with lack of sleep or the inability to get a good night’s sleep. I know that I have had bouts of insomnia for many years now. Reasons for lack of sleep differ.

You could be losing sleep because:

  1. You suffer from anxiety – many times certain individuals are just prone to being anxious more than others and no matter what the reason, you lose sleep when you are anxious.
  2. You have lost a job. Loss of job, unemployment, and the security that having a job gives you is enough alone to make you not sleep. You may also suffer from anxiety which makes the job loss stress even worse.
  3. If you are female, ages 40 – 55, as you enter menopause, there is increased potential of insomnia as your hormones affect your ability to sleep. Add number 1 and 2 and it gets worse.
  4. You have financial worries. Perhaps even before you lost a job, you had money management worries. Wondering how to make ends meet makes insomnia a frequent friend. Again, if you are affected by # 1, 2, and / or 3, your inability to sleep may increase.
  5. Your workload is substantial, if your present position or business has you weighed down, you may be losing sleep as you try to find solutions or wonder how you will cope. Lack of sleep can be increased by # 1, 2, or 4.
  6. You have family issues — an abusive spouse, an alcoholic or substance abusing partner, children with drug or alcohol or legal problems, you could lose sleep. Add any of the above, you will struggle more.

You get the picture! Every additional issue that you struggle with combines with the others and makes it harder to get a good nights sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to workplace productivity, obesity, marital problems, health issues and more.

Potential solutions:

I don’t have all the solutions by any means but here is a list of things that have helped me and other ideas that I know have worked for others:

  1. Get up and leave the bed for awhile. Tossing and turning is not productive.
  2. For me, it helps to make my list for the next day. If I do it before I go to bed, then I will usually sleep better. If I haven’t done it before bed, I find that if I get up and do it when I can’t sleep, I feel more relaxed.
  3. Drink warm milk before bed or in the middle of the night. We used to do hot buttered milk. Although not a low-calorie option, a cup of milk with a little sugar and a pat of butter warmed in the microwave was an easy fix for my no sleep issues.
  4. Take a warm bath before bed. This is a way to relax and put your self at ease.
  5. Drink chamomile tea or special sleepy time tea with Valerian in it.
  6. If you wake up, go read in another room. Some people may get sleepy reading in bed, for others, it doesn’t work to read in bed.
  7. Standardize your bed times. Going to bed at different times makes it harder to get your body clock in order.
  8. If the financial issues are the problem, here are some steps to plan for the unexpected that may help you rest in the long run.

If you have other solutions for getting a good night’s sleep and fighting insomnia, please share them in the comments. I welcome your solutions!

7 Comments

  1. Barb Poole on September 3, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Great advice, Julie! It’s a challenge so many face, particularly as we get older and/or deal with life’s stresses.

    One tip I got from Dr. Oz that really helps me is to dim the lights an hour before bedtime. I found out that lowered light levels release melatonin, the hormone that readies the mind and body for sleep.

    Thanks for sharing insights on something affecting so many!



    • Julie Walraven on September 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      Another great point, Barb! This was a bit of a selfish share, since last night was one of those nights so as I was writing that list that you know all about, I started another list of potential blog topics and this one was called “can’t sleep?”



  2. Gee Backhouse on September 7, 2010 at 12:30 am

    There are times when I can’t sleep and something I’ve tried very recently is to work my way through the alphabet and, for each letter, think of something to be thankful for. I found this advice on someone else’s blog but can’t remember whose (sorry!) and it seems to be very effective. For me, it’s helpful thinking about the good stuff, switching the focus to what’s going well. The job of keeping track of which letter you’ve got to and choosing what it is you’re thankful for for that letter is all pretty consuming, too. The mind gets properly diverted. So far, I’ve got nowhere near the end of the alphabet and have fallen asleep smiling (I think…!).



    • Julie Walraven on September 7, 2010 at 4:22 am

      What a great way to improve your attitude, Gee, at the same time as getting ready to sleep peacefully. Thinking about positives is a very good idea since anxiety is almost always about the negatives or the “what if’s”



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