The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4 a.m. knows all my secrets ― Poppy Z. Brite
Our mind is the ultimate wanderer. It’s always curious on its quest to find a solution to every problem it might came across during the day. It asks, it searches and it never stops. During the night even the smallest problem can be so exaggerated by our tired mind and be made into such a huge deal, whereas in the morning you would find yourself thinking otherwise.
But now, lying here wide awake we might be thinking about work and our personal problems. Some of us are lost in thoughts about developing a new project, trying to keep going or starting fresh. We might be wondering about new ideas and dreams and things to go after. It feels like this cyclone of ideas will never settle down for good.
What next?! Then we are thinking about not falling asleep, which, obviously, brings more stress and gets us back to square one.
I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know? — Ernest Hemingway
What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia - simply speaking is a difficulty falling asleep. You may also have a problem of inability to stay asleep. Insomnia causes weak memory, lack of concentration, irritability, confused state of mind and many other nasty things.
1. Behavioural Causes
Do you eat before going to sleep?
Large amounts of sugar or caffeine intake may trigger a metabolic imbalance which also will be a lousy helper in getting a proper night’s rest.
Do you watch TV before going to sleep and is there the one in your bedroom at all?
I will not start an endless conversation regarding the harmfulness of the magnetic field impact. Just let me suggest a gentle reminder that flashing images are not the best sleep buddies for our brain already overloaded by information during the day. Especially right before going to sleep. And there is a simple logic to that: bedroom is a place for rest. For body, mind and soul. Why put anything there which might cause needless irritation or interference with that “fortress of peace” ?
The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream — Marilyn Monroe
2. Sleep Routine
Do you need to force yourself into sleep?
No! Our sleep pattern follows our habits. I’m always trying to be in bed by 23:00. At least I’m trying to create a positive habit to do so. Why? Because there are certain organs that are already expecting from us to be asleep before midnight so they can recover properly. Delaying that till later may cause some serious problems in the future.
3. Sleep Environment
How noisy is there where you sleep? Is it dark enough? Is it comfortable? What are the levels of light and noise pollution in your bedroom? Think about that.
I used to dislike to sleep in a pitch-black bedroom. I didn’t understand back then the importance of darkness for the brain to rest and recover properly. And when I’ve learned that I shall not see the hand in front of my nose during the night I had little argument left. So I found light-blocking shades for my windows.
Also, it is a great idea to let a fresh air run through your bedroom right before going to sleep.
4. Emotional Causes
Personal problems. Anxiety and depression. Chronic fatigue.
I know, sometimes it might look as an impossible task to make your mind stand still and put that endless tornado of thoughts on pause. But who said you shouldn’t try?
Walking and breathing
Over the months I have formed a good habit of taking a short walk before going to sleep. I live in a stone throw distance from the river Thames so it makes my outings even more pleasant. It is very important to give your brain an “air bath” more often. Find a place where you can sit and stare for some time. Nice and peaceful. It rests your eyes and mind greatly.
Water relaxes the body and washes away all the tension. take a nice relaxing bath or stand in a shower for a few minuts and imagine all your worries washing away just before going to bed. If you like lavender as much as I do it is a good idea to spread the sent of it over the pillow you are sleeping on. Lavender calms your nervous system and brings a sense of peace.
None but ourselves can free our minds — Bob Marley
I have a habit of harmonising the space where I live with a calm, relaxing and peaceful music. It sets my mind properly. It enriches, inspires and brings up the best. What could be more pleasant than a sense of the harmony at home?
Still your mind with meditation. Put aside all the noise of this day and all the things that have been bugging you for a while. Imagine as if your mind is a beautiful garden. A blooming garden in spring filled with your favourite colours, senses and smells. Imagine yourself being a gardener lovingly getting rid of any weeds (trouble) growing between your beautiful thoughts (flowers). Take it all away. One by one. No rush. Patience. Keep the garden of your mind clean and tidy. Simple and beautiful.
Out of clutter, find simplicity — Albert Einstein
And finally – sweet dreams!
By Lesya Li
Photo by EastNews