William Shakespeare had called sleep “nature’s soft nurse” owing to its ability to reinstate vitality within our body which in turn assists us to bring out the best performance every day. When sleep starts facing numerous problems, it becomes a nuisance in our life. Insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking and narcolepsy are some of the few sleep disorders over which one might stumble upon.
Like other medical problems, there are several medications available to alleviate such mental turmoil. But most of these medicines bring along harsh neurological unpleasant effects. But when there is a problem, there is always a solution! If sleeping disorders are troubling you yet you want to stay away from drugs, opt for alternative treatment which ranges from home remedies, exercises to alternative medicines like acupuncture and medicinal herbs. Here are some suggestions for you to follow in order to drive away sleep ailments.
Insomnia: Insomnia is the inability to sleep for a sufficient length of time or deeply enough to produce refreshment. This all-too-common problem has many causes like stress, jet lag, altered circadian rhythms associated with working night shifts or simply drinking too much coffee. However, insomniacs can get relief from this annoyance by adopting simple changes in their bedtime routine and humble modifications in their way of living. Choose a cosy, dark and breezy place for your slumber. Over exertion of brain due to watching T.V, playing video games or stressful discussions can also interfere with your sleep.
Therefore, avoid such activities before bedtime and always maintain a regular sleep schedule, i.e. going to sleep and waking up at a fixed time. Avoid alcohol, caffeine or tobacco for at least 3 hours before bedtime. Don’t torment your brain with stress and anxiety since it might lead to chronic insomnia. Calm your senses with meditation, relaxation procedures and yoga practices. Regular exercise and a balanced diet will also help you get sound sleep. These practices can help as well as herbs like valerian root, chamomile, passion flower, ginseng and hop. Acupuncture, a time-honoured Chinese therapy, is also recommended in this case.
Sleep Apnea: It refers to a pattern of interrupted breathing during sleep causing individuals to wake up dozens of times during the night, with the result that they experience little or no sleep. These individuals are continually tired and often suffer from depression that exacerbates the problem. Restricted breathing causes vibration in the airway resulting in loud snoring which can also steal the sleep of the affected person’s companion. Bedtime habits recommended for insomnia are also found to be very successful in bringing relief to this disorder. A person who suffers from this condition should also practice sleeping on his/her side while raising the head a little more than usual with the help of an extra pillow. Sleep Apnea is more common among obese people.
Restless leg syndrome: It causes unpleasant crawling, prickling, or tingling sensations in one or both legs and feet and an urge to move them about to obtain relief which ultimately results in fragmented sleep. A hot bath, relaxing leg massage, balanced diet along with regular exercise and eliminating caffeine may ease the problem.
Sleepwalking: sleepwalkers walk and eat while they sleep without getting a hint of their activity. Meditation, relaxation and staying away from emotional issues can drive way this troublesome disorder.
Narcolepsy: It causes unusual daytime sleepiness due to malfunctioning of the part of brain which controls our wakefulness. The onset of sleep in such individuals can be so abrupt that they fall down, with potentially disastrous consequences. A balanced amalgamation of proper counselling, meditation and adequate alteration in lifestyle can easily heal this disorder.
A regimen of healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and a composed mind will ensure deep sleep after which you will wake up with restored vigour to start your day. Liya Das (The Caribbean Current)