Insomnia

We're so sleepy.

We’re so sleepy.

What is it?  It is when, over a period of weeks or months, a person does not get enough sleep, or is not able to stay asleep and wake refreshed.

My Problem: Muscle spasms usually terrorize me as soon as I lay down to sleep.  I take 5mg of Baclofen about 8 or 9pm and that helps.  But what really works is eating more salads, greens, cabbage, and sweet potatoes with dinner.  Also taking an alternating hot/cold shower before bedtime.  That shower allows me to fall sleep right away with few or no spasms, sleep well, and wake up refreshed, alert, and energized.  It’s wonderful!

Causes for Insomnia Are Numerous.  Here are a few: Restless Leg Syndrome [RLS] – spasms and twitches associated with iron deficiency and caffeinated items; underlying problems with a person’s heart, brain, lungs, or other organs; over-eating and eating too close to bedtime; and eating junk foods [lots of chemicals, salt, fat, etc].

What Helps It?  There are many things, but I will share some.

  1. Daily eat healthy foods – fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, vegetables, and beans.  They help cells and muscles to be well fed and calm at bedtime.

  2. Daily eat a big breakfast – combination of whole grain, fruit and nuts.  Like oatmeal [rich in melatonin], fruits, and a handful of walnuts or almonds.  Eat a big lunch with a salad.  And have a light dinner with a salad – like soup, sandwich, and salad*, or fruit and sandwich.  *Salads with Romaine lettuce are very calming and soothing for body and nervous system.

  3. Avoid eating close to bedtime since it keeps the body busy digesting when it needs to rest.

  4. Drink enough water – to help rinse out irritants and toxins in blood, so they don’t keep you awake.

  5. Avoid meats and junk foods close to bedtime.  They are complicated foods and will keep you awake.

  6. Avoid alcohol [wine, etc.] – it disrupts sleep late in night.

  7. Avoid nicotine – it stimulates nerves when the body needs sleep.

  8. Avoid caffeine [in coffee, energy drinks, chocolate, tea, and more] – it is a drug and stimulates the nerves and body, and will keep you awake long after being consumed.

  9. Also avoid these irritating foods: black pepper, ham, bacon, sausage, cheese, MSG [Mono sodium glutamate], NutraSweet®, and sugar.

  10. Keep up your calcium and iron – to help keep body relaxed.  I eat leafy greens, beans, oats, almonds, and avocado, plus take 1 tablespoon Plantation® Blackstrap Molasses once or twice a day.

  11. Drinking herbal teas like Chamomile or Catnip are helpful.

  12. Get sunlight every day, especially in early morning.  This helps to increase melatonin levels [a hormone made by body] which helps you sleep at night. 

  13. Exercise for 30 minutes daily – outside when possible.  It balances the nervous system.

  14. One of my favorite helps is the alternating hot and cold shower:  Shower with the warmest water possible [without burning] for 3 minutes, then turn water as cold as possible for 1 minute; then repeat this cycle 2 more times and end with cold water.  It relaxes the body, helps get rid of toxins [can irritate body], and speeds up the immune system.

  15. If possible: sleep with fresh air coming into the room; have room temperature a bit cooler – even in winter; and sleep without lights on [except nightlight].

  16. As much as possible go to sleep at the same time each night.  But before getting into bed, chill out and shut down.  An hour or half hour before, shut off TV, computer, and all gadgets.  And try not to take any drama-filled phone calls.  Be quiet, meditate on blessings, or pray.  Just calm down from the day.  I try to get into bed by 10pm.  But at 9:30pm I shut off the computer and read from the Bible.  *Practice getting to bed before midnight, but by 10pm is even better.  Why?  The hours before midnight are the best for sleeping.  This is when the body mostly builds up its supply of melatonin and growth hormone, and repairs the damage from the day – but only while you sleep. 

There is so much more on this topic, but that’s all for now.  The bottom line is avoid the irritating items and do what feeds and calms the body and the nerves.  Hope you have more good nights.  See you tomorrow night for the post on Foggy Brains.  Take care.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

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3 thoughts on “Insomnia

  1. Great advice. Had a relaxing bath last night, and slept all night! Miracles do happen. Am going alcohol free during the week, see if that helps. Thanks so much for sharing what works for you.

    • Dear Annette, I am tickled pink that you were able to get some good sleep. I’m so happy for that and the efforts you are making to do better. If you have special concerns, just ask me and I will try to answer them. My very best to you and your family! Regina.

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