The purpose of a good night’s sleep is to repair and rejuvenate both body and mind. Dreaming is essential to release emotions through imagery and metaphors whilst we sleep so we wake up feeling refreshed. Lack of sleep can allow these unresolved emotions to build up into the next day and leave us feeling even more exhausted and stressed.
Throughout life we experience different emotional periods, such as worrying about jobs, moving house, looking after children in the night: these are often temporary periods of lack of sleep. It’s when we experience chronic insomnia for more than three weeks that we notice the long term effects of this – lack of motivation, irritability, fatigue, disorientation, etc. Some causes of chronic insomnia can be a combination of physical and emotional reasons, or side effects of drugs.
As insomnia continues, it can reduce the number of our cells that fight viruses and illness, so increasing our risk of other diseases.
- Can you pinpoint the underlying root cause? Might it be relationships issues, money issues, health concerns? Seek professional help and do something about it.
- Are you getting the right vitamins/minerals from your diet?
- Amino acid L-tryptophan promotes serotonin, a natural relaxant, and can be found in warm milk, bananas, grapefruit, figs, dates, tuna and turkey.
- Try a few drops of lavender oil in a bath before bed.
- Use blackout curtains and do not watch TV in bed.
- Write any worries down or talk to someone. Don’t go to bed on an unresolved argument!
- Try something relaxing before you go to bed, for example, gentle yoga, tai-chi, relaxation, meditation, self-hypnosis etc.
- Get a regular massage.
- If after 30 minutes you are still awake, get up and have a warm relaxing drink (milk or chamomile tea).