Insomnia is often an unexplainable condition with a simple description: You either can’t fall asleep or you wake up wide-awake and can’t get back to sleep. Sometimes the solution is a quick fix, other times it’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
So, what’s a reasonable night’s worth of sleep? Most doctors agree that it is about 7.5 hours. The amount of sleep required for each individual may vary, usually from about 6-9 hours. If you wake to feel refreshed, then you’ve slept enough.
There are two biggies that cause most insomniacs to suffer from an almost incurable sleep deprivation.
1. Depression – the elephant in the room! Depression is the most common cause of insomnia. Be open to the possibility and talk to your doctor. There’s a multitude of courses of action one can take, with or without the need for anti-depressants.
2. Stress – the other elephant in the room. There are all types of stress in our lives. Take an inventory. Figure our what you can and can’t control. Implement small steps towards making some changes or shifts in your life. Find something that you look forward to doing. Maybe start a new project that has a potential for some new experiences or income. Again, if your stress persists, then talk to your doctor. Go back, if the first thing that he suggests doesn’t work for you.
The following tips have worked for many people I know. Hopefully, that they will prove useful and effective for you.
36 Self-Tested and Proven Tips:
1.Try to set up an evening sleep ritual. In other words; develop a scheduled pattern of behavior preceding bedtime. Begin this at least one-hour preceding sleep-time. This includes no screen viewing of any kind.
2. Make a list of everything that you need to do for the next day. Put the list in the same place every night and let it go. That means that you’ve done everything you can do today. Tomorrow is a new day to work the list.
3. Refrain from eating or drinking anything sweet three hours before bedtime. Most say no alcohol, but self-experimentation proves that a dram of Scotch is OK. There are no initial sugars in whiskey, unlike wine, only when it processes during digestion, and this isn’t significant. (See the article,”Taming the Beast Within.”)
4. In theory, deleting all caffeine from one’s diet should help with insomnia. Chinese masters of Chi Energy (Life Force) believe that stimulants disturb the balance of Chi by “tricking” the adrenal glands. (Chinese Doctor T.K. Shih)
However, many insomniacs have a limited success from the omission of caffeine. It’s best to avoid the afternoon or evening cup unless you’ve been drinking coffee all day. In this case, like other stimulants, after the first dose or two, they tend to act more as depressants. The drinker may think that they’re getting the lift from the caffeine, but it’s the water in the coffee that’s giving them the energy boost. Dehydration from the previous cups of coffee was the likely cause of the tiredness.
5. Many insomniacs also have GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.) Some call it acid reflux. If you’re thinking about buying stock in Tums, then you probably have it! Refrain from eating spicy foods and sweet desserts in the evening. (“Shh, Don’t tell my daughter that dessert is food!”) If this is keeping you from falling asleep, or you’re waking with a sore throat, then you need to get this under control! I highly recommend seeing your doctor for diagnoses. However, I recommend to NOT take any PPI blockers (proton pump inhibitors.) These will stop the acid reflux but cause a whole slew of health problems if taken more than a few times. (Using my knowledge of Bioelectrical Science, Nutrition, and Anatomy, I may be the only person who has cured acid reflux disease. You can contact me here: https://www.emfnyc.com/contact
6. Resolve any conflicts or fights with your wife or girlfriend before retiring for the evening. (Try not to argue in the bedroom. That’s for sleeping, and you know what.)
7. Take a long hot shower in the evening, Be sure to use a wash cloth to scrub off all the dead skin cells. Get your feet and ankles scrubbed clean! This will all help you relax. I like to include an old-fashioned wet-shave with a shave brush, double or single edge razor, and all the trimmings…Thayer’s Witch Hazel and homemade-natural-organic after-shave balm.
9. Put on 100% cotton pajama bottoms and either a loose fitting T-shirt, sweatshirt, pajama top or no top at all. Lose the elastic. No tight underwear. Having the legs covered helps with Restless Leg Syndrome.
9. Then, I get kisses from both my girls on my smooth and fresh smelling face and go to my easy chair for a dram.
10. Ah, the day’s work is done. Now it’s time to completely RELAX. Enjoy the flavor notes of a slowly sipped dram or, if you don’t drink alcohol have a cup of warm milk, chamomile tea, or Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime Tea.
11. Resist the T.V. before bedtime, especially news or sports shows. Instead, read a relaxing book. No, not a page turner! Or, listen to some of your favorite music. No, not dance music!
12. Before bedtime, make it a habit of flossing and brushing your teeth. Brush your tongue. Use a mouthwash or salt in water.
13. Go to bed by 10 P.M. if possible, at the same time each night. My doctor says that each hour of sleep before midnight is like getting two regular hours of sleep after midnight. I find this to be true for me.
14. Sleep in a cool room. Not too hot, not too cold.
15. Leave a window cracked at the top to let in some fresh air.
16. Use a “Stay-Cool” pillow.
17. If you have a traditional mattress, use a synthetic mattress cover that covers both the top and all four sides. Most traditional mattresses will eventually have mites (little bugs that will tickle or take tiny bites.) If you have sensitive skin, these will make you toss and turn.
18. Use clean sheets and pillow cases. Many single guys will go too long before changing their set-up. Dead skin cells, oils, saliva, bacteria, and who knows what else, (Am I grossing you out yet? Good.) will collect in the sheets and make “your skin crawl!”
19. Use a moisturizing cream on your hands and feet. These appendages tend to dry out faster than other parts of the body. The moisturizer will help you relax.
20. If you’re a side sleeper, then support your back with another pillow.
21. Keep a container of water by the bed in case you wake up thirsty, this way you won’t have to get out of bed and stir yourself up.
22. Keep the bedroom as dark as possible. If you can’t get it completely dark, then use a silk face mask.
23. Have thick bedroom curtains. These will not only help to keep the room darker and muffle outside noise, but will also insulate the bedroom from draft or summer heat (providing you use air conditioning – which we do use in NYC.)
24. Keep a flashlight near the bed, in case you have to urinate in the middle of the night. If it’s more than once, then you either drank too much before bedtime or you need to see your doctor. (Don’t be afraid of the rubber glove at least he has a license to do it… not like your previous cell-mate!)
25. If your room isn’t completely quiet, or your wife talks in her sleep…Oh no, not mine…”Who’s George Clooney?”…wear soft foam ear plugs. I like the Hearos or the 3M’s.
26. Try not to lie on your left side. This makes your heart work harder. There have been times where my heart was beating so strongly that the vibration to the mattress would wake me.
27. If you can’t fall asleep, then try grandma’s recipe…a cup of warm milk. This works for our daughter, every time. Eating a small bowl of cheerios or puffed rice will also induce sleepiness.
28. If you feel that your feet are still sore and your on-call masseuse is not available…either try soaking them in a small tub of hot water and Epsom salt, or try rubbing Tiger Balm on the soles of your feet and cover with a loose pair of white socks. You’ll wake feeling like you just had a foot massage!
29. Not falling asleep right away…think of a beautiful beach scene. Leave the bikinis out! This time, anyway.
30. Another technique is to slowly breathe in, hold for a 8 count, then release, hold for a 8 count. Repeat this ten times. It will calm your body and slow the heart rate.
31. A third calming technique is to meditate on your breath and calmly dismiss, or release of any thoughts that creep in, Oh Little Grasshopper.
32. If you wake up and it’s still too early, don’t turn on a screen! Rather, go eat a bowl of a unsweetened cereal with milk (puffed wheat or puffed rice work well.) In 15 minutes, you’ll be sleepy again.
33. Try using bed risers to raise the head of your bed 7-12 degrees. This will help with acid reflux. (Yes, I can also cure hiatal hernias, naturally.)
34. Add an air purifier to your bedroom. It will help to improve your breathing during the night by eliminating dust and pollutants.
35. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, after trying all of this, then be sure to exercise the next day. Or, at least get in a 40-60-minute walk. Regular exercise will definitely help mitigate sleep issues. Then, review steps 1-33.
If sleeplessness persists, go see your doctor. Find out if the insomnia is being caused by having unresolved stress or a medical issue. Doctors know a lot more now than they knew 20 years ago. I recommend to not take any sleeping meds more than once or twice. They not only have side-effects, but insomnia can be cured naturally.
36. As we begin to sense that nighttime is approaching, the pineal gland begins to release melatonin. This chemical helps us sleep. If your pineal gland is calcified, then it may not function properly. (Many senior citizens think that sleep issues are a natural result of aging, but it is often because the pineal gland has become calcified over the years.) Taking chlorella and proper nutrition is a good start to begin decalcification. Seeing a nutritionist or having a consultation with me is also advised. Please note: using melatonin from the health food store is an ill-advised option. After a time, this form of melatonin will render ineffective and actually inhibit your body’s ability to produce melatonin naturally.
Keep in mind, even though you may have success with your new sleep-prep habits, you may still have occasional bouts of insomnia. Try not to stress about it. Just try to get back on course.
If you have difficulties implementing these steps or sticking to a disciplined regimen, you may consider working with a cognitive behavioral therapist.
Sleep deprivation can place a huge toll on the quality of our lives. It not only affects our coordination, energy level, memory, patience, and focus…but, it can also cause long-term damage to our hearts and immune system. Step up and take the necessary action to end your insomnia and move towards an improved life. Good night!…And, here is the new additional point which has proven to be the coup de grace for many:
37. (added July 18, 2017) Turn off your Wi-Fi and cell phones before your bed time ritual. There are many more things you can do related to this point that can be accessed through consultation. Everyone’s situation related to this is different. Please go to this website and read all content: https://www.emfnyc.com/