In the previous chapter, we talked about the two fundamental categories of remedies to overcome insomnia. However, these extrinsic factors could not deal with the root of insomnia. Yes, you can feel better after trying out those remedies, but insomnia can only be healed completely if the origin of the problem is removed. Otherwise, there is a high chance for insomnia to relapse.

So what is the root of insomnia? For many, the primary cause of insomnia is having a poor lifestyle and sleep habits. Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference to the quality of your sleep.

Although not all insomnia is caused by stress, but it is undeniable that people who experience ongoing stress are more susceptible to insomnia. In the case of stress-related insomnia, treating or eliminating the stress will alleviate insomnia. As mentioned in the earlier chapter of this book, stress affects the quality of one’s sleep which can upset his or her sleep rhythm.  Thus, one will find it difficult to fall asleep at night and stay awake during the day.

It is important to handle all parts of your life in the best manner possible to ensure that you are at a healthy balance. You need to make sure that you are getting sufficient sleep on a daily basis. Sleep plays a major role in your physical health. Insufficient sleep for a short time may make you more moody and irritable. Long-term effects can be serious: cardiac problems, depression, stroke, heart attack, to name a few.

According to sleep experts, several studies showed that when people get sufficient sleep, they will not only feel better, but will also increase their odds of living longer, healthier, and more accomplished lives.

To overcome insomnia, you should stay away from any nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. All of these will cause the mind to become restless overtime naturally. Having a constant amount of caffeine will force the mind to be more active than it is.

Most people need the energy to start their day, so they chose stimulant. Caffeine is one of the most popular choices of stimulant today to ensure alertness and wakefulness in the morning and for the rest of the day. However, they’re ignorant to the fact that caffeine is one of the leading causes of insomnia. It screws up the natural balance of wakefulness and sleep.

Therefore, insomniacs should stay away from these drinks to have a quality sleep. Skip that coffee break, reach for a glass of plain water instead of the coffee, which may be the reason why you are having trouble falling and staying asleep at night.

Besides that, setting up a sleep schedule for yourself is one of the best self-help techniques for insomnia. It is a major step in overcoming insomnia for good. It is so important to go to bed at the same time at night and wake up the same time every morning because the body needs consistency. The body likes a routine. It thrives on habit. With a regular bedtime and wake-up time, your body is more likely to stay on track. If you can, avoid alternating schedules, late night parties, night shifts or other things that may disrupt your sleep schedule.

When you have a difficult time falling asleep, try to drink a glass of warm milk. It is a traditional remedy for insomnia, and there’s evidence that it can help you to get better quality sleep. Not only does milk help prevent hunger from disturbing your sleep, but it also contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which is converted in the brain into a “relaxing” chemical known as serotonin. Calcium is very pro-metabolic, reducing stress and decreasing levels of parathyroid hormone, which has been known to play a role in insomnia.

Not just that, you can always adjust your own daily schedule to include time for yoga or meditation. There is an abundance of evidence that yoga and meditation can improve sleep patterns, often dramatically. Having some relaxation time for yourself is important. These techniques can be done at home for both comfort and privacy. It helps to increase the total flexibility of your body, relax your mind and destress your body. Try to spend at least 30 minutes a day to either meditate or yoga. Typically meditation and yoga are best done in the early morning, in a quiet place and with exposure to sunlight.

For meditation, all you have to do is sit down and clear your mind. Try to listen to relaxing music to help calm you down. The moment you start to get used to the idea of meditating throughout the day, the mind will be able to relax faster at night and therefore you will have an easier time falling asleep.

As for yoga, you can either go for yoga classes with a bunch of friends or practice at home for more privacy. It will benefit your sleep in many ways. The practice of certain yoga postures will increase the blood circulation to the sleep center in the brain, which has the effect of normalizing the sleep cycle.

Remember, sleep is not a lifestyle choice or a luxury; it is natural and necessary. So root out the underlying causes, change your diet, drink a glass of warm milk, set up a sleeping schedule, do some yoga and meditate. Follow the pieces of advice mentioned above, and eventually, you’ll get your quality sleep.

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