Mechanical Turk messed up while I was trying to submit an article. I’m not too happy about it, but since I missed out on the whopping $8.00 pay for this article, I’m going to post it here. Might as well!
Sleep Disorders: You Can Beat Them
Sleeping disorders are one of those things that are hard for outsiders to understand. You spend hours laying in bed, staring at your clock just wishing that you’d fall asleep. If you’re lucky enough to fall asleep, you barely get a few hours and wake up feeling as though you never even got a wink of sleep. As a result, your productivity is down, your motivation levels are constantly depleted, your social life dwindles, your mood and overall happiness diminishes, and life becomes a monotonous chore.
We all know that a good night’s sleep is important for various reasons: It helps restore the body and mind as your body’s functions all slow down into a state of deep rest and relaxation. Your body actually heals and recovers faster while you sleep than while you are awake. Having adequate sleep is linked to higher productivity, better long-term memory, and happier outlook, overall — all according to various studies performed by Harvard.
Some causes of sleep disorders include some medications, depression, other mental ailments, physical ailments, physical pain, lack of routine, sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, shift work, and jet leg to name a few.
Changing Your Life: Plan of Attack
Your doctor plays a vital role in your life, yet many of us don’t visit ours nearly as often as we should. If you suffer from a sleep disorder, your doctor can help you come up with an attack plan. If you don’t have the means to visit a doctor, there is plenty you can do to try and retrain your body. If you think your medications are interfering with your sleep patterns, please consult with your doctor or a pharmacist about things you can try, such as changing the time of day you take your medication. Please do not change anything with your medication outside of the advice of your doctor and/or pharmacist.
Establish a Routine
The first step in re-establishing your sleep patterns is to change the rest of your life around. A routine before bed is very important — much like when we were children. The routine might include something as simple as brushing your teeth, washing your face, reading a book for 30 minutes, then retiring to bed. Some people might enjoy some meditation, drinking tea or warm milk, drawing, or other relaxing activities.
Some activities should be avoided for at least an hour before heading to bed, such as exercise, watching TV, and playing on the computer.
It should be noted that although some of us might find it a mandatory luxury, things other than sleeping and sexual activities should be avoided in bed… This includes reading, watching TV, playing on laptops, eating, and so forth.
Try your best to make it into bed at the same time every day and wake up at the same time everyday — including on weekends or your days off! This will be difficult for shift workers.
Maintaining an active lifestyle and eating a healthy diet can contribute help your body adapt to a proper sleeping routine. Exercise is especially important… And a good sleep after a heavy workout is arguably one of the best feelings in the world!
Once you find yourself cozied into bed, try your best to think of nothing. Some of us find it incredibly hard to not think of anything while laying in bed, so try to focus on relaxing your body. Think of your feet and focus on relaxing all the muscles in your feet. Move up to your legs, your back, your chest, your arms, your neck, your eyes, your mouth, and so forth. Let yourself focus on ultimate relaxation. Focus on your breathing — long, deep breaths mimic the patterns of sleep and can help encourage your body to follow along.
If you find yourself unable to fall asleep after 30 minutes, get out of bed and find something to occupy yourself for a few minutes: Read a book, grab a snack, floss your teeth, write out some things you’d like to accomplish tomorrow, or something else equally as low-energy.
Tips for Staying Asleep
– Ensure your room is a good sleep temperature. Cooler is usually better for this as our bodies are trained to wake up in warm situations as opposed to cold.
– Keep a window open and/or a fan blowing.
– Turn off your phone’s ringer and turn off any other noise makers in the house (TV, Radio).
– Ask other people in the house to avoid interrupting you while you sleep.
– Stop drinking fluids an hour and a half before bed and use the bathroom directly prior to going to bed.
– Keep your routine consistent!
Good sleep is important for a good life! Take charge of yours and remember that you are not alone in your suffering of sleep disorders.