Tossing and turning, blank stares into the night, and efforts to keep track as we “count sheep”. Almost all of us have encountered our fair share of difficulties trying to get the adequate amount of sleep we need to conquer the next day. And whether you have issues falling asleep, issues staying asleep, or notice you still feel tired even after a full night’s rest, the common denominator seems to all be the same: lots of exhaustion mixed with lots of frustration. But what even causes us to experience insomnia to begin with? If we feel so exhausted, why doesn’t the body just simply allow us to close our eyes and drift off into the night? How it could all be so simple! It seems that the causes of insomnia can be quite multifactorial, and therefore, may take time to understand the root of what’s throwing our sleep patterns off.
For some, insomnia could be due to a disruption in our natural sleep-wake cycle, also known as our circadian cycle. Given this day and age that we live in, anything could disrupt this cycle, and therefore present itself as insomnia. Too much exposure from the blue lights beaming through our electronic devices, working the night shift1, or even having a late night snack may cause imbalance to the cycle. For some, sleep may be fleeting due to the stress of the events of the day or even due to racing and anxious thoughts about what tomorrow holds. For others, it could be a mix of it all. And because we are all so unique and our bodies respond to our surroundings differently, getting to the root cause and treating insomnia may look different from person to person. Nonetheless, there are some things that may be beneficial for anyone experiencing sleepless nights such as implementing a sleep routine. Having a sleep routine, or better “sleep hygiene practices”, means that you practice a routine in which you’re intentional about creating a calm and peaceful environment for sleep, to better prepare the mind for sleep, so that the body can transition to a place of rest and rejuvenation.
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