How to Cure Insomnia The Natural Way

Insomnia

Before we get started with the self help guide on “how to cure insomnia the natural way” it is best to firstly understand Insomnia and how it works. I will try my best to help you on this page as I was able to overcome my Insomnia. This approach will give the best results.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is the inability to get a good night’s rest. Let me elaborate a little more. If you have at least 3 night of poor sleep and when I say poor sleep I mean 2 to 3 hours per night, you have insomnia. Acute insomnia is when you have it for a short time and it can also be called short term insomnia. This usually happens when you go through trauma or having any kind of stress. After one or two weeks the insomnia will pass by and life returns to normal.

If you are experiencing sleepless nights for a longer period it can be categorized as chronic insomnia, which can also be called Long term insomnia. Some people can have it for years before starting treatment.

Types of Insomnia

There are mainly 2 types of insomnia which is primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.

Primary insomnia is a psychological disorder and is not primarily caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The symptoms of primary insomnia are the following:

  • Waking up in the middle of the night and staring at the face of the alarm clock.
  • Having the fear of not being able to sleep while lying in bed.
  • Fearing the next day because if you cannot sleep you will be useless at work.
  • Experiencing a rising heartbeat in bed is also an indicator of primary insomnia.
  • Tossing and turning while trying your best to fall asleep.

If you have two or more of these symptoms, you might have primary insomnia. I know these symptoms personally, because I  was also a victim of insomnia.

Secondary insomnia is when you have a disease or any other factor that is causing it such as:200285117-001

  • Back pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Heartburn
  • Cancer
  • Alcohol

If you have secondary insomnia it is best when you treat these factors which is behind the Insomnia. Now let’s get to primary chronic insomnia which I had and the reason why you are still on this page. I have shared to you all the symptoms for insomnia, but let me tell you some good news.

Insomnia can be cured and you don’t have to live with it for the rest of your live and it is definitely not the end of the world.

The first step in tackling insomnia is to know how it works.

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1. Know your Enemy

Because it is a psychological disorder, we must first examine the mind. Our mind consists of the conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious part are the part that detect your environment, such as your senses. You feel, see, smell, hear and taste and this information are then processed into your conscious mind. All your decisions that you make, everything that you plan, your willpower and short term memory are being driven by you conscious mind.

The conscious mind are almost like a filter for what is being stored in our subconscious mind. Everything that your conscious mind think of are directly saved in our subconscious. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad such as the case of Insomnia. The subconscious mind are the part that determines our patterns and habits. All the emotions and long term memory are being saved in you subconscious mind and your personality are a window of your subconscious.

The not so good thing of your subconscious are that it cannot choose what it takes in. If you are thinking bad and negative thoughts everyday, you will soon become negative.

Have you ever noticed that if you spend your time with negative people, you also become just as negative as they are. This is because your subconscious mind takes in all those negativity that your conscious mind process from what it hears and see. The other downside of your subconscious is that it cannot differentiate between what is real or not. If you have ever been afraid while watching a horror movie, you will understand.

So how do we get chronic insomnia? First we must go through a trigger that gives us acute (short term) Insomnia. Triggers may be any kind of trauma, stress or external factors such as dogs barking or a drunk neighbor that can bring sleepless nights. Now while you are lying in bed awake all night because you cannot sleep, you have two choices.

Either you stay calm and focus your mind on other things or you start to panic. If you start to panic your subconscious mind will start to develop a behavior on how to handle the situation.

Your heartbeat will start to rise as adrenaline will be released into your bloodstream and when this happens for a couple of nights, you will get chronic insomnia. When your conscious mind does not know how to handle the sleepless night, your subconscious will. To cut this short and to get to the point  “Insomnia is a FEAR of sleep which can turn into a bad cycle”.

Fear

The more you fear and stress because you cannot sleep, the less you will sleep and the less you sleep, the more pressure there is on you to sleep. I know this sound crazy, but it is true. Insomnia is like a bad friend telling you that you cannot sleep. They always say that the truth will set you free, so I hope that this first step in dealing with your insomnia will help.

2. Identify your negative thoughts

This is the second step in dealing with your Insomnia after you know what insomnia is and how it works. Identify Your Thoughts

Now you have to start identifying those thoughts that are keeping you awake all night and the best way to do this is to get a diary. I am going to give you an example on what my thoughts was:

  • “How am I going to sleep tonight”
  • “If I don’t sleep tonight I am going to be a train wreck tomorrow at work”
  • “How am I ever going to sleep well again”

Take your thought and write it down in your diary. These thoughts are the culprits that keeps you up all night and if you don’t deal with them, then your Insomnia will never go away.

The is the first step in reprogramming your subconscious.

3. Replace and counter your negative thoughts with positive thoughts

Once you have written down those nasty negative thoughts you can now replace them with positive thoughts. Firstly you must evaluate those negative thoughts. The best method of evaluation is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are these thoughts logic and realistic?
  • Are they true?
  • Do I need to be afraid for them?

When you ask yourself these questions, you will realize that your answer for all of them was “NO“.  If your answer to them was no, then why do you still think it? The reason for this is that your subconscious mind cannot differentiate between what is true or false. When you think these thoughts your subconscious mind will send signals to your body to react.

That is why you get this butterfly sensation in your stomach when you think them. Now you have to replace them with positive thoughts. An example of mine were as follows:

  • It is not hard to fall asleep, it is easy and even fun
  • There were many nights that I did not sleep well and I did cope at work the next day.
  • Insomnia is not permanent and I will get over it.

Whenever you think these negative thoughts while you are at work or driving in your car, you must counter them with positive thoughts. When you think “how am I ever going to sleep better again” you must counter it with ” Insomnia is only a phase that I am going through and I will get over it soon”

You must say these positive thoughts out loud and you must really try to believe them as if it were true. Try to link positive emotion to these positive thoughts as hard as possible. Do this every day for as long as you must and remember that this is a process and will not help you overnight. Even if you are experiencing a tough night you must try as hard as you can to stay positive.

4. Schedule a time to worry

Schedule This may sound stupid, but it will really help you. It is very hard not to stress about insomnia and everything that goes with it and you must try to stress as little as possible.

The problem with this is that your mind has developed a habit to stress about insomnia and will not be fooled so easily.

Schedule at least two fifteen minute sessions during each day to worry. Whenever you start to worry during the day, postpone it until you reach your time to worry.

Soon you will realize that you don’t worry that much anymore and you can decrease the duration of your worrying period.

5. Change your habits

One of the most important steps in overcoming Insomnia is to change your habits. I will discuss each habit more in detail:

a. Decrease the time you spend in bed.

This is probably the habit that has the biggest influence on the severity of your sleepless nights. When I had Insomnia I will get into bed much earlier to make up for the previous night and I think we are all guilty to this.

Why is this so wrong to do when you cannot sleep? All the time you lie in bed and worry, you associate your bed with sleeplessness. The longer you do this, the worse it becomes. The moment you climb into bed, your heart starts to pump faster, because your subconscious wants to protect you from your bed.

I know this sounds crazy, but it is true.

So what do you do now??

First of all you need to determine the average time you sleep per night and work according to this. For example, if you sleep an average of 6 hours per night and you need to get up at 7 am the next morning, you need to add 30 minutes to your average time asleep. In this instance it is 6 and a half hours that you must give yourself to sleep.

Then you will need to go to bed at 00:30 am to wake up at 07:00 am. The minimum of time you spend in bed must not be less than 6 hours. This you do for week one and you can increase it with an increment of 30 minutes per week until you sleep better.

b. Start exercising

Yoga Exercise

Exercise has a lot of benefits for our body and can really help with sleep. Firstly it help your body to naturally produce seratonin which can help in improving sleep. Seratonin is a precursor hormone which is used for melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that ultimately helps us to sleep.

Secondly exercise helps your body to get rid of all the cortisol in your body. If you had a stressful day at work, cortisol will build up in your body. When you undergo stress, your body produces cortisol to cope with it and if it stays in your body for too long, it will have a negative effect on your health.

They always say that a healthy body results in a healthy mind and it is so true.

c. Eat more healthy

Your focus should be on foods that are high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an important “ingredient” in making seratonin. You can get tryptophan supplements or eat food that is high in protein such as eggs, fish, beans and much more.

When you have tryptophan stored in your body you must get in some carbohydrates such as whole wheat rice and pasta. Fruits also contain allot of carbohydrates which triggers the production of seratonin.

It is also best to stay away from coffee or drink at least only one cup before 2 pm.

Conclusion

I really hope that this information was helpful and that you are on your way to recovery from insomnia. You don’t have to live with insomnia for the rest of your live and I personally know how helpless you feel at the moment with all those sleepless nights that you experience. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.

 

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