Match Your Insomnia Treatment to Your Insomnia Type
When most people think about an “insomnia treatment” they think of either a natural herbal remedy or a sleeping pill. This limited attitude is one of the reasons many people fail.
This article will help you rethink your strategy to solve your sleeping problem. Your insomnia solution should be based on the underlying problem that is causing your insomnia. In fact, taking away the ‘symptom of insomnia’ without recognizing and addressing the underlying problem is a short sighted and limited strategy.
What is Causing Your Insomnia?
So what are some of the underlying causes of insomnia that show up in people’s lives as the ‘symptom of insomnia’? The causes of insomnia include the following: having a very overactive brain late at night that you can’t switch off; an intolerance to a food additive, coloring or chemical; psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, obsessive compulsive disorder; an unresolved emotion even from your distant past; age-related problems such as the delayed sleep phase experienced by teenagers and adolescents; pain; the side effect of prescription medication; the side effect of using drugs and stimulants; overheating in bed; sleep apnea; your sleep environment, such as sleeping with a snorer; a bad mental attitude habit that you now believe that you can’t sleep; changes in circadian rhythm – like those experienced by travelers and shift workers; intolerance or allergy to perfumes or fumes from manufactured furniture; muscle and restless leg syndrome problems; tinnitus; intolerance to certain healthy, naturally occurring substances in foods (even some multivitamins) such as salicylates and amines, etc.
You can see from this inconclusive list that there are many causes of insomnia. Until you work out your specific problem it is a waste of time randomly selecting an insomnia treatment.
Your sleep solution lies in matching your insomnia treatment to your insomnia type.
For example, if you have a racing mind late at night, you need to figure out a way to calm your mind down well before you go to bed, in order that your brain can have time to switch off and slow it’s rhythm down. I see many people, especially those working on computers all day that don’t have a proper ‘end time’ to their day, and what’s worse, they are sitting in front of a computer giving off melatonin-inhibiting blue rays. There is a free downloadable computer program that is available online that will help dim down your computer screen depending on the time of day in your specific location. Exercise is very important – a lot of people using computers for hours are exercising their minds but not their bodies. You may also need a notepaper beside your bed to jot down ideas that pop into your head during the night, if you are one of these mentally hyperactive types.
Are you waking up too early in the morning? If so, there is significant evidence that this could be connected to depression. If you are depressed, here are some suggested ways to overcome your insomnia that relates to depression. Walk every morning in the sunshine for at least 45 minutes; do an elimination diet to ascertain whether you have an intolerance to the food additives that are associated with depression in some people; use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – there is an online clinic available in Australia; investigate the evidence behind high EPA:DHA ratio Omega-3 supplementation (e.g. Professor Andrew Stoll, Harvard University, The Omega-3 Connection book).
These are just two examples of tailoring your insomnia treatment to the underlying cause of your insomnia symptom. There are many, many others of course. And did you notice that there was no mention of valerian, herbal teas or sleeping pills?
Your mission is to find the underlying cause of your insomnia.
This will lead to sleeping well, and a better life.
The development of this theme is the subject of my soon-to-be-released Sleep Mojo book.