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Are you one of the countless individuals who find themselves tossing and turning every night, unable to drift off into a peaceful slumber? If so, you’re not alone: approximately 1 in 10 people experience chronic insomnia. This sleep disorder can lead to poor concentration, irritability, and even affect our overall well-being. In this article, we’ll provide you with some helpful tips from renowned experts to improve your chances of getting that much-needed rest.

Identify the Root Cause of Insomnia

The first step in addressing chronic insomnia is determining its root cause, according-to Dr. Shalini Paruthi, codirector of the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Some potential causes for chronic insomnia might include stress, grief, or illness. Identifying the underlying issue helps determine the appropriate course of action for treatment and also serves as an important reminder that these conditions require proper attention beyond merely treating their symptoms.

Recognize Restlessness as a Potential Cause

Restlessness can often be a significant but underestimated factor contributing to insomnia. It manifests as an uncontrollable urge to move one’s limbs or torso, creating a state of hyperarousal that prevents a good night’s sleep. Dr. Paruthi recommends getting up, walking around, and stretching to ease these feelings before attempting to go back to sleep.

Keep Bedtime Associations Positive

  • Avoid spending long periods lying awake in bed
  • Don’t use electronic devices in bed
  • Maintain consistent sleep times

Evidence suggests that it’s crucial to maintain a positive link between your bed and sleep. According to Dr. Rachel Salas, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, using our phones or watching TV in bed might end up creating negative associations and exacerbate insomnia. Instead, try giving yourself around 15-20 minutes to fall asleep without any distractions.

What To Do If You Can’t Fall Asleep

If you find yourself unable to sleep after the initial period, avoid lying awake for too long. Use this time to engage in relaxing activities that promote good sleep hygiene, such as:

  • Reading a non-stimulating book
  • Doodling or coloring
  • Meditating or practicing deep breathing exercises

Avoid doing anything too stimulating, like checking work emails or starting household chores.

Consider Professional Help if Needed

Some individuals may require additional assistance when it comes to overcoming chronic insomnia effectively. There are over-the-counter and prescription medications available that can help provide temporary relief. Remember always to consult with your healthcare provider before trying any new remedies.

Moreover, if you’re still feeling tired despite getting adequate hours of sleep, it could be due to an underlying sleep disorder that requires professional attention. In these cases, reaching out to a doctor is advised.

The Importance of Sleep

Prioritizing proper sleep isn’t just about feeling well-rested; it has a myriad of benefits vital to our overall health and quality of life. A lack of sleep can lead to problems in memory, cognition, and even compromise our immune system. By addressing chronic insomnia through these simple strategies, you can start enjoying improved sleep quality and all its associated advantages.

In Summary

Chronic insomnia can be an incredibly frustrating disorder. However, by understanding its causes, maintaining positive bedtime associations, and seeking professional help if needed, we can take crucial steps towards achieving better sleep. So next time you find yourself battling sleeplessness, remember these helpful tips and set your mind at ease, knowing you’re on the path to a well-rested, healthier life.


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