Many of us experience the occasional night of sleeplessness without any consequences. It is when the occasional night
here and there becomes a pattern of several nights in a row that you are faced with a sleeping
Repeated loss of sleep affects all areas of your life: The physical, the mental, and
the emotional. Sleep deprivation can affect your overall daily performance and may even have an effect on your
If your insomnia continues for a
long period of time it can cause problems in your relationships, compromise your productivity, and perhaps
lead to other health problems.
It can become a relentless cycle of worry and anxiety as night after night you
toss and turn, wondering when sleep will come, wondering what is wrong with you.
Insomnia and sleeplessness generally fall into three
insomnia: where you have difficulty in falling asleep, generally
taking 30 minutes or longer to fall into a sleep state.
insomnia: where after falling asleep you have problems
maintaining a sleep state, often remaining awake until the early morning hours.
3. "Late" or "Terminal"
insomnia: where you awake early in the morning after less than 6
hours of sleep.
Insomnia can be the symptom of some medical conditions that may require your
doctor's advice and medical care. In those cases the cause will be treated, not the insomnia.
If, however, your sleeplessness is due to a pattern of not sleeping, or because
your body and mind find it difficult to settle into a state of relaxation necessary for sleep, this book offers you
alternative choices for achieving healthy sleep without the use of prescription drugs.
This introductory section will teach you how to:
- Set the mood for a comfortable sleep atmosphere
- Prepare your body for relaxation
- Use colors to stimulate calmness and relaxation
- Understand the importance of exercise
- Use music and other relaxation techniques
- Relieve your mind of anxiety and worry
- Discover the importance of reducing stimulants
- Use herbal teas and warm drinks to promote relaxation
- Use herbs and vitamins to promote natural sleep
All of the techniques and sleep-inducing aids we discuss can be applied naturally
and easily in your life. Our goal is to help you achieve sleep filled, restful nights without resorting to
dangerous narcotics and other drugs.
It's a good idea to try one or two of the methods at first, then add others as
necessary to find a strategy that works for you. Choose a technique that appeals to you that you can begin
immediately and stick with it.
In some cases you may need to be disciplined and determined if your goal is to
avoid the use of prescription medication. When you first start applying some of the techniques described here,
stick to the same bedtime schedule for a week or two.
A good idea is to keep track of your sleeping habits using a sleep log or diary to
record bedtime, wake time and any details regarding your sleeping patterns and the techniques you have used to aid
in the sleep process on any given night.
Sleep Log or
A sleep log or diary is a very valuable tool to help you find a solution to your
sleep problems or sleep disorder. Sleep diaries have many great benefits. It helps you discover patterns in your
sleep cycle that a doctor can then analyze and treat.
You should also include in your sleep diary a section for a dream journal. This
section will help you remember your dreams and in some cases people have been known to learn to completely control
their dreams. The dream section may be used by a psychologist to help analyze any psychological problems that may
be affecting your sleep.
Sometimes sleeping disorders are not all physical. Sometime the mind can cause
them and in those cases, a psychologist is the best option. Interpreting your dreams may hold the key to you
getting a good night’s sleep.
Sleep diaries should include the following
What you had to eat that day: Sometimes the foods you eat can affect your sleep cycle. Some foods are known to have chemicals
that cause dreams, cramps, insomnia, and other things. There are some foods that cause the exact opposite and are
good sleep inducers. Knowing what you ate that day can help you see patterns that you can try changing.
What you did during the day: You don’t have to be extremely detailed on this. Just a basic outline of what was done
throughout the day and any significant or stressful events. Some things can cause sleeping problems. Something that
was very stressful can also cause sleep problems. For example, if you decided to exercise before bed, you probably
will have a problem going to sleep because of the natural chemicals released into the bloodstream. Your activity
throughout the day greatly affects your sleep. Knowing what you did that day can help you see patterns that you can
try to change.
What time you got up: If you
got up too early or slept in too late, your internal sleep cycle could be all screwed up. Most doctors agree that
getting up at the same time every morning and going to bed at the same time every night is best. It keeps your body
on a natural and regular cycle and is one of the best ways to treat most sleeping disorders. If you got up to
early, your body will be tired all day and therefore you will be sleepy during the day. If you slept in too late,
your body will have gotten too much sleep and you will be tired and lethargic all day.
What time you went to bed: The same thing goes for this. The amount of sleep you have at night has A LOT to do with
your sleep cycle. Too many late nights will throw you out of whack for weeks. Scientists believe that your brain
releases beneficial chemicals in the body, but only do so when our internal clocks are at about 2:00 AM. We have
not yet been able to figure out why this is done and why at that time. Most doctors say that the best sleep cycle
is to go to sleep at ten at night and wake up at six in the morning. This schedule keeps your body
Did you wake up in the night? If you woke up in the night, write it down. Write down if you did anything when you got up.
If you got up to go to the bathroom, or let the dog out, or the phone rang, or if you just woke up for no reason.
If you can, write down the amount of time it took you to go back to sleep. This will help your doctor see all of
your sleep cycle.
What did you dream?
Your dreams can reveal things that are bothering you in your waking life. A psychologist can help interpret these
and help make the proper changes in your life. Depending on your religious beliefs, a psychic or dream interpreter
can be called in to do the same thing.
Regardless of who you trust to view this information, the more details you have in
it, the easier it will be to treat you. If you think of any other sections you want to add, then add them. This is
just a basic outline that can be changed to suit your needs.
Once you have kept a sleep log for several weeks, its time to begin treatment. We
discuss your various options on the following pages.
After you have observed how your body and your own specific metabolism have
adjusted to your new treatments, you can begin modifying your routine to incorporate more or less of the methods
described. Be sure to note adjustments to your treatment in your sleep
Remember, as with any health issue, never hesitate to consult your doctor if your
symptoms raise concern for your overall health.
However, after reading this you will have the information you need to turn your
sleepless nights into restful ones, waking in the morning refreshed and alert rather than tired and
Get ready to embark on the journey of falling asleep naturally!
On the next page we will
discuss How to Prepare For A Good