Tossing and turning all night, sleeping so light that every creek and cricket chirp wakes you up, your brain won’t stop no matter how exhausted you become…..Sound familiar? If so this post is for you!
“Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating, or maintaining sleep at least 3 nights per week, in addition to complaints of sleep-related daytime impairment.”-University of Maryland Medical Center
We need sleep to function properly, in fact most adults need at least 8 hours of sleep per night but hardly any of us are actually achieving this goal consistently. There are many adverse side effects to not sleeping well including; memory loss, irritability, impaired abilities, physical ailments and more. Causes for insomnia vary and may include; hormonal imbalances, health issues, stress, medication side effects and/or external circumstances such as noise1. Getting to the bottom of the cause of your insomnia is an important first step in addressing the issue. Take a hard look at your days, are there things that you could change that are causing you to lose sleep at night? Your health is more important than anything and you may have to make major changes to create an environment that promotes optimal health. Just remember that you will thank yourself later:) You may also want to consult with your health care providers to make sure your medications, herbs, hormones and any underlying issues are thoroughly investigate as a source for your sleepless nights.
In addition to lifestyle and medication adjustments you might try some or all of the following natural cures for insomnia:
Massage-The National Institute of Health has stated that Massage Therapy can improve sleep2. Massage decreases the stress hormone cortisol and norepinephrine, which causes vasoconstriction and increased heart rate by safely relaxing the autonomic nervous system3. Massage is a great way to relax and find freedom from pain so if stress or injuries are keeping you up at night this is an excellent option! Feel free to book your appointment online today with us at https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=158494 or give us a call if you have questions: 503.473.8515 also check out these great self massage techniques to find relief now: http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/lifestyles/tcmrole_sleep_message.html
Acupuncture-“Some reports suggest that certain acupuncture procedures have a nearly 90% success rate for the treatment of insomnia. Through a complex series of signals to the brain, acupuncture increases the amount of certain substances in the brain, such as serotonin, which promote relaxation and sleep” University of Maryland Medical Center. Acupuncture addresses each person as a whole which means it is working toward balance of the entire system. This can be extremely important when working to cure something as complex as insomnia. Acupuncturists also have many tools at their disposal such as herbs, lineaments, nutritional guidelines, traditional Chinese Massage techniques and more. Feel free to book your appointment online today with us at https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=158494 or give us a call if you have questions: 503.473.8515
Melatonin-Melatonin supplements help induce sleep, particularly in people who have disrupted circadian rhythms (such as from jet lag or shift work), or those with low levels of melatonin (such as some people with schizophrenia). In fact, a review of scientific studies found that melatonin supplements help prevent jet lag, particularly in people who cross five or more time zones. Speak to your health care provider to find out if melatonin is the right choice for you.1
Diet and exercise-It is no secret that we are greatly effected by what we put into and how we use our bodies. Our motto is everything in moderation unless it really doesn’t make you feel good and then maybe it is time to cut it out. A foundation of healthy food is key to this idea, food is our fuel and it is so important that each meal has a good serving of a healthy protein and vegetables. We are not saying that you should never eat potato chips again, just do your best to make the majority of your choices healthy ones so that when your body is processing the not so good stuff it doesn’t have to work as hard. This goes for exercise too! Our bodies were made to move in a variety of ways, make sure you are getting exercise most days and switch it up. Walk one day, bike the next or find classes that you love such as yoga and weight lifting or boot camp and swimming. Your body and mind will thank you and we guarantee you will sleep better at night!
The moral of the story is you have to put YOU first and choose a lifestyle that promotes optimal health. This may require a good spring cleaning of you routines, especially when it comes to food, exercise, medications and stress factors. We are here to help and can offer an objective insight on what might be contributing to your brand of insomnia! If you have questions about this article or have found other natural remedies for those long sleepless nights please share, we are always open to ideas! Thanks for reading and feel free to share.
1.University of Maryland Medical Center; Insomnia; January 2012; http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/insomnia
2. AMTA; Massage Therapy Can Help Improve Sleep; October 2012; www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-Can-Help-Improve-Sleep.html
3. Massage Magazine; Research shows massage therapy relaxes the autonomic nervous system; November 2011; http://www.massagemag.com/research-shows-massage-therapy-relaxes-the-autonomic-nervous-system-10098/