Insomnia: You are Not Alone

Insomnia is a cruel affliction that often makes one feel helpless and alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about sixty million Americans suffer from one form of insomnia or another per year. It affects approximately forty percent of women and thirty percent of men. If everyone could just get each others phone number maybe they would be able to have phone sex and get some sleep.

What You May Be Up Against

There are two types of insomnia:

1. Primary Chronic: This refers to those that struggle solely with insomnia and have no other underlying conditions.

2. Secondary Chronic: This refers to those challenged by emotional disorders (especially depression), psychiatric conditions, drugs or a medical problem.


Primary chronic insomnia is often caused by alcohol, caffeine, anxiety and stress. Secondary chronic insomnia can be caused by such things as restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea (a nervous system condition that interrupts breathing), narcolepsy (daytime sleep attacks), circadian rhythm disruption (such as jet lag) or medications like certain antibiotics and psychoactive drugs (ask your doctor about side effects).

Other Causes and Remedies

Temporary causes of insomnia usually stem from diet, stress, atmosphere and minor pain.

• If you are experiencing occasional insomnia try to stay away from: coffee, tobacco, alcohol, spicy foods and large meals before bed.

• Make sure your sleeping area is as dark as possible accompanied by a comfortable temperature.

• Take a warm to moderately hot shower before bed.

• Spray the essential oil lavender on your pillow as the smell is associated with relaxing the mind.

• Try masturbating. The muscular contractions throughout the body and the final release can have you in a deep slumber before you know it.

• If you can, have a massage before bed.

• Workout two hours before sleeping.

• Eat poultry, dates, cottage cheese, chick peas, milk, sesame seeds, red meat, eggs or fish which all contain the amino acid tryptophan. This is what makes everyone conk out on Thanksgiving.

• Try to set a constant bedtime schedule so your body gets used to going to sleep at the same time each night.

• Do not watch television in bed it can stimulate your mind and keep you awake.

• Do not take daytime naps.

• Try acupuncture or a naturopathic doctor.

• Use a white noise or natural sound machine.

• Try melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone (which can also be taken as a supplement) that helps re-adjust and regulate your natural sleep cycle.

• See your doctor or a sleep specialist for possible pain or sleep medication.

Famous Insomniacs

Abraham Lincoln, Vincent Van Gogh, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Napoleon, Thomas Edison, Franz Kafka and Benjamin Franklin.

Treat your sleep with as much importance as your waking hours by preparing your body, bed and bedroom before you slumber. Insomnia does not need to take over your life (unless you have a girlfriend on the other side of the globe).



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